The Revolutionary War had ended and attention now turned to other issues. Debate ensued over the origin of the mysterious marsh blue flame, Will-o’-the-Wisp, which lured unsuspecting travelers to a boggy death near Rocky Hill. George Washington and Thomas Paine argued the origin was a flammable gas. In an experiment on November 5th, 1783, from a scow in the Millstone River, flaming torches were held above the river surface while soldiers probed the mud . . . 231 years later, Professors Douglas Eveleigh, Theodore Chase Jr., Craig Phelps and Lily Young submit a note of acknowledgement to their forebears on how that flash of inspiration from magical mud heralded American science and the study of microbiology. Read more at New Jersey 350.
Rutgers Cooperative Extension 2014 Annual Conference Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Smith-Lever Act
The 2014 Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) Annual Conference convened on October 20 in the Cook Student Center. With 223 in attendance, this has been one of the largest RCE conferences to date, growing in recent years with SNAP-Ed/EFNEP members in attendance and the Office of Continuing Professional Education (OCPE) joining the fold.
For 2014, the conference incorporated special activities to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, which officially created the national Cooperative Extension System. Rachel Lyons, interim chair of the Department of 4-H Youth Development, served as presenter for the conference. [Read more…]
Ken Able, distinguished professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences and director of Rutgers University Marine Field Station (RUMFS) at Tuckerton, NJ, was chosen as the 2014 recipient of the Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award from NOAA Fisheries, Office of Habitat Conservation.
“The Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award is the most prestigious award in the country given in recognition of an individual’s contributions to the restoration and conservation of marine and coastal habitats,” said Rich Lutz, director of the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers. “What a wonderful honor it is for Rutgers to have one of its most sterling scientists recognized as the worthy recipient of this year’s Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award.”
Able’s research at RUMFS focuses on the life history and population dynamics of larval and juvenile fishes in the relatively undisturbed Mullica River–Great Bay estuary and along the east coast of the U.S. In 1989, Able introduced weekly monitoring of larval and juvenile fishes in the estuary. This weekly monitoring, which continues today by RUMFS, is part of a broader analysis of issues of habitat quality for estuarine fishes in natural and impacted estuaries that stretches from New York Harbor to the Gulf of Mexico.
“Habitat conservation and restoration are increasingly important issues in the management of the nation’s coastal resources and for that reason, my colleagues and I from the Rutgers University Marine Field Station feel particularly honored by this award,” said Able.
N.J. Legislature Honors Rutgers on the 150th Anniversary of its Designation as the State’s Land-Grant Institution
The New Jersey Legislature commemorated the 150th anniversary of Rutgers’ designation as the land-grant institution for the state of New Jersey by passing a joint resolution in the Senate on Sept. 22.
In 1862, Congress passed the Land-Grant College Act, a landmark statute also known as the Morrill Act, which established a system of land-grant colleges in each state to train students in the mechanical arts and agriculture. In 1864, the New Jersey Legislature designated Rutgers College the land-grant institution for New Jersey following the efforts of two Rutgers College professors to have Rutgers named the state’s land-grant college, prevailing over Princeton and the State Normal School in Trenton. [Read more…]
The idea of investigating weeds in a parking lot may not look very exciting, but to a botanist –and especially to an urban ecologist interested in plants and biodiversity – this car-filled area represents an extreme, urban treasure trove of thriving and flowering plants. These are mostly the same species as those pesky weeds that spring up in the cracks of our driveways at home that we can’t wait to remove with the latest weed killer. Yes, those very weeds. Hundreds of species bear seeds, produce flowers and propagate in parking lots all over the country, but not much is known about their survival and persistence.
In the spring of 2014, Lauren Frazee, Ph.D. student in the graduate program of Ecology and Evolution, found herself taking on a project investigating the biodiversity of weeds in Rutgers parking lots that was launched in 2012 by Lena Struwe, associate professor in the departments of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources as well as Plant Biology and Pathology, and her other graduate student, Jennifer Blake-Mahmud. A global botanist, Struwe is one of two co-advisors to Frazee in her doctoral program, along with Steven Handel, professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources.
Frazee’s interest is in urban plants and how urbanization affects plant life. “Parking lots are fascinating, since they can serve as a proxy for answering many questions about extremely disturbed urban ecosystems.” [Read more…]