Student Interns Tackle Oyster Disease Ecology at Haskin Lab

L-R: William Shroer, Lauren Huey and Joseph Looney at the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory.

L-R: William Shroer, Lauren Huey and Joseph Looney at the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory.

Ecologically diverse communities are resilient communities. But can this diversity also help prevent the spread of disease? This question was at the heart of research conducted during experiments conducted by student interns at the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory in Bivalve, New Jersey. As part of a collaborative project with Old Dominion University, that is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Rutgers undergraduate students Joseph Looney, William Schroer and Lauren Huey ran experiments that examined how oysters get sick. [Read more…]

Magical Mud, Microbes and Methane

Re-enactment of the George Washington – Thomas Paine discovery that the “Will-O’-the Wisp” was a flammable gas on the 225th anniversary, November 5, 2008. Photo courtesy of Robert H. Barth

Re-enactment of the George Washington – Thomas Paine discovery that the “Will-O’-the Wisp” was a flammable gas on the 225th anniversary, November 5, 2008. Photo courtesy of Robert H. Barth

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

Rutgers Cooperative Extension 2014. Photo: Jeff Heckman

Rutgers Cooperative Extension 2014. Photo: Jeff Heckman

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 Honored with NOAA Fisheries Habitat Conservation Award

Ken Able addressing a local group with a focus on fish and fisheries research at the Rutgers University Marine Field Station.

Ken Able addresses a local fisheries group at the Rutgers University Marine Field Station in Tuckerton, NJ.

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.

[Read more…]

N.J. Legislature Honors Rutgers on the 150th Anniversary of its Designation as the State’s Land-Grant Institution

L-R: Sen. Kip Bateman (R-16), Sen. Bob Smith (D-17), Robert M. Goodman, Executive Dean of the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20), Sen. Nick Scutari (D-22), Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-1) and Senate President Stephen Sweeney hold a joint N.J. Legislature resolution that honors Rutgers on the 150th anniversary of its designation as the state’s land-grant institution

L-R: Sen. Kip Bateman (R-16), Sen. Bob Smith (D-17), Robert M. Goodman, executive dean of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20), Sen. Nick Scutari (D-22), Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-1) and Senate President Stephen Sweeney on the floor of the New Jersey Senate.

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…]