Got Moths? Celebrate National Moth Week and Global Citizen Science

Spot any underwings lately? These popular moths, known for revealing their true, vibrant colors when their wings are fully spread, will be spotlighted this summer as National Moth Week marks its fifth consecutive year across the U.S and around the world. This year National Moth Week is being held July 23 through July 31… Dr. David Moskowitz and Liti Haramaty are the co-founders of National Moth Week. David holds a PhD in entomology from Rutgers University for his research on the tiger spiketail dragonfly and is a senior vice president with EcolSciences, Inc. in Rockaway, New Jersey. Liti holds a master’s degree in ecology for her work on morphology and ecological adaption in corals. She has worked at SUNY Stony Brook and Brookhaven National Lab, and since 1999 has been employed at the Rutgers University Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences.

Read the entire article at Entomology Today »

Rutgers Equine Science Center kicks off 15 years of excellence

Close to 100 people attended the 2016 Rutgers Equine Science Center summer showcase in the kickoff celebration of the center’s 15-year anniversary… Welcoming remarks were given by Dr. Karyn Malinowski, director of the Equine Science Center, Dr. Wendie Cohick, chair of the Department of Animal Sciences, and Dr. Brad Hillman, senior associate director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and director of research. The event continued with the presentation of a Congressional Certificate from U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-1) by Sharon Ortepio, chair of the Equine Advisory Board, a part of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. The center was honored with a ceremonial proclamation from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, sponsored by Lillian Burry.

Read the entire article at Greater Media Newspapers »

Rutgers Equine Center Kicks Off “15 Years Of Excellence”

Summer Showcase #12 Group Shot

Presentation of the New Jersey Joint Legislative Resolution by Ann Dorsett to the Rutgers University Equine Science Center. Left to right: Ann Dorsett, Liz Durkin, Sharon Ortepio, Karyn Malinowski, Carey Williams, Brad Hillman, and Wendie Cohick.

The 2016 Rutgers Equine Science Center Summer Showcase was a huge success! Close to 100 people participated in the kickoff celebration of the Center’s 15-year anniversary on July 13th. Welcoming remarks were given by Karyn Malinowski, director of the Equine Science Center, and Wendie Cohick, chair of the Department of Animal Sciences, and Brad Hillman, senior associate director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and director of Research.

[Read more…]

Competition Between Oyster Aquaculture and Horseshoe Crabs Could Be Affecting Red Knot Foraging

Red Knot (Calidris canutus).

Red Knot (Calidris canutus rufa).

Aquaculture is a burgeoning industry along the Delaware Bayshore, infusing millions of dollars and jobs into local economies each year. A particular area of growth over the last decade has been intertidal rack and bag oyster production of eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica).

Farm raised oysters ready for harvest at a Cape May County oyster farm.

Farm raised oysters ready for harvest at a Cape May County oyster farm.

The majority of existing oyster farms in New Jersey are located along the Cape Shore region of Delaware Bay where oyster cultivation developed more than a century ago. The region is also an important stopover site for the federally listed red knot (Calidris canutus rufa), a shorebird that migrates from southern Argentina to breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic.

Red knots rely heavily on the lipid-rich eggs deposited by spawning horseshoe crabs in order to gain enough weight to complete their migration and begin their breeding season in the Arctic. Horseshoe crabs deposit eggs over a three- to seven-week window each spring, and red knots have evolved over millennia to time their migration and stopover to take advantage of this energetically rewarding food source during the brief period it is available. [Read more…]

Dietetics Faculty and Students Have Had an Amazing Year!

Student IFNH Ambassadors: Bill Cornelius, Taylor Palm, Cortney Flynn and Rebecca Tonnessen.

Student IFNH Ambassadors: Bill Cornelius, Taylor Palm, Cortney Flynn and Rebecca Tonnessen.

The faculty and students associated with Dietetics, one of the options in the Nutritional Sciences Program at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, have had an amazing year! Peggy Policastro, nutritionist at Rutgers Dining Services and director of Behavioral Nutrition and the Student Ambassador Program was selected to receive the Mary Abbott Hess Award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in October. Barbara Tangel, director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics, was awarded the Carolyn Sebastianelli Distinguished Member Award by the New Jersey Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (NJAND). And Chris Gunning, nutritionist, Rutgers Health Services, and program leader, Health Information Technology for the 21st Century, was recognized by NJAND as the 2016 Emerging Dietetic Leader for the State of New Jersey. Not to be outdone by their professors, 100% of the student IFNH (Institute for Food and Nutritional Health) Ambassadors were placed in their dietetic internships, when national placement averages about 50%. Two of the ambassadors were honored with awards and one completed a George H. Cook Honors Thesis!

[Read more…]

Brewery Boom Could Revive New Jersey Hops Production

Rutgers doctoral candidate in plant biology, Megan Muehlbauer, co-directs the Rutger's hops study and oversees the trial hops plot at Snyder Research Farm in Pittstown. Photo: Cameron Bowman

Rutgers doctoral candidate in plant biology, Megan Muehlbauer, co-directs the Rutger’s hops study and oversees the trial hops plot at Snyder Research Farm in Pittstown. Photo: Cameron Bowman

The two-year Rutgers study, funded by a grant from the USDA Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, focuses on identifying the best practices for growing and analyzing hops, a traditionally risky and expensive crop to grow. The project includes creating and maintaining a quarter-acre trial hops plot at the Snyder Research Farm in Pittstown, NJ, that is managed by two Rutgers doctoral candidates in plant biology, Megan Muehlbauer and Robert Pyne. They are directed in this project by Jim Simon, professor in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology and director of the Rutgers new‐use agriculture and natural products program. In Colonial days, the mid-Atlantic region was the epicenter of hops production in the United States. Disease and prohibition during the early 1900s sent hops to the country’s northwestern corner. The proliferation of craft breweries and the Rutgers study could help bring this crop back to New Jersey. Read more at Rutgers Today.

A Wildflower Meadow Blooms at IFNH and Cook Campus Gains a New Outdoor Classroom

IFNH Wildflower Meadow. Photo: Jennifer Simon.

IFNH Wildflower Meadow. Photo: Jennifer Simon.

You’re going to have to burn some calories regardless of which direction you approach the main floor of the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health. But whether hoofing it up a long flight of stairs or a shorter jaunt from the courtyard, you’ll likely be distracted by the view and not even mind the workout. Students, alumni and faculty in the Department of Landscape Architecture (LA) have had a hand in creating the eyecatching views that grace the ascent to the building. First came the alumni-designed EcoWall flanking a long interior staircase. Then came the student-designed landscaped garden along the gentle slope of the courtyard, planted in the spring. And finally, the glorious meadow in summer bloom along the steep slope at the front entrance of the building, designed by an alum and used as an outdoor classroom.

[Read more…]

The Road to Financial Wellness Starts at Rutgers

Jason Vitug ('07 RBS) founder of Phroogal with Barbara O'Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in financial resource management.

Jason Vitug (RBS’07) founder of Phroogal with Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in financial resource management.

The Road to Financial Wellness 2.0 kicked off with a campus pit stop held at IFNH on Thursday June 2nd. Jason Vitug, a 2007 graduate of Rutgers Business School and founder of Phroogal—a social media company providing financial information targeted to millennials—is embarking on his 2nd annual financial education journey across the United States with 50 events in 50 states over 107 days, covering 15,000 miles, to raise awareness of personal finance and to encourage people to make better financial decisions. Vitug will kick off this road trip in his hometown of Elizabeth, NJ, on Tuesday June 7. Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in financial resource management, invited Vitug and two guest panelists—Pamela Callender, business development and marketing manager at Rutgers Federal Credit Union (RFCU), and Kim Cole, Navicore Solutions and New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education—to speak to the campus audience and provide specific tips to improve a person’s financial wellness.

In addition to the presentations, during his journey Vitug and his Phroogal team will be posting and sharing stories at #TheRoad2016 and encourages everyone to ‘come along for the ride.’

Jason Vitug speaking about his journey to financial wellness.

Jason Vitug speaking about his journey to financial wellness.

The Rutgers seminar began with Vitug talking about his own financial history including the $5,000 credit card debt he graduated with and ‘living paycheck to paycheck, despite a six-figure salary.’  In recounting this, he emphasized the importance of life planning and smart spending. Vitug told the audience to dig deep and ‘envision your dream life style’ so that you have a life plan which your financial plan then supports. Contrary to popular wisdom, he explained that money can make you happy if it fulfills what you need and love, rather than just like and want.  Is that big house part of your real dream or just ‘keeping up with the Joneses?’

[Read more…]

George H. Cook Scholars Present their Theses

George H. Cook Scholars.

2016 George H. Cook Scholars.

By Samuel Ludescher (SAS ’17)

On April 15, the second floor of the Cook Campus Center was abuzz with students and faculty taking part in theses defenses for the George H. Cook Scholars Program. Sixty four students presented and defended their theses, the last stop in a year-long process of independent planning and research that begins in the spring semester of each student’s junior year.

Janice Geiger, Administrative Assistant General Honors Program with Dr. Malcolm Watford, director George H. Cook Scholars Program, Department of Nutritional Sciences.

Janice Geiger, Administrative Assistant General Honors Program with Malcolm Watford, director George H. Cook Scholars Program, Department of Nutritional Sciences.

The program is presided over by Malcolm Watford, director of the George H. Cook Scholars Program and professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, and Janice Geiger, Administrative Assistant of the General Honors Program. Applicants of the George H. Cook Scholars Program must be in the top 15% of their class with a 3.45+ GPA. Students who achieve a 3.00 GPA are also eligible for the program if they are nominated by a SEBS faculty member. Honors projects must exhibit independence and originality. These presentations are opportunities for undergraduates to showcase their passion and ability to conduct independent research. The thesis defense is also a test of each student’s public speaking skills, a skill they must have sharpened in order to properly communicate their research to the audience. A member of the George H. Cook Honors Committee serves as session chair for each scientific category.  The session chair is accompanied by a reviewer handpicked by the presenting student. [Read more…]

The 10th Annual Run for the Woods Raised Over $1,000

Run for the Woods - On the Course - Photo Credit-Amanda Sorensen 2

Through the woods. Photo Credit: Amanda Sorensen.

The 10th annual Run for the Woods was held on May 14. The weather was beautiful, the runners were fast, and the volunteers and organizers did a great job. This 5k trail race was organized by the graduate students of the Ecology and Evolution Graduate Student Association (EcoGSA) to raise funds for restoration and care of local woods at the Rutgers University Ecological Preserve (EcoPreserve) and for their association. Professor Richard Lathrop, faculty director of the EcoPreserve, has also used donations to fund undergraduate projects such as an ecology course focused on natural resource management. The Run was originally held in Helyar Woods, part of Rutgers Gardens. The location was changed in 2014 and now takes place at the EcoPreserve.

Run for the Woods - Starting Line - Photo Credit-Amanda Sorensen

Starting Line. Photo Credit: Amanda Sorensen.

This year 44 runners and walkers crossed the finish line. The competitors were mostly local runners, and many come out every year.  The fastest male finisher, William Hulbert, crossed the finish line in 18:49 minutes. The fastest female finisher, Amanda Cirillo, finished the run in 25:44 minutes.

Joni Baumgarten, who has headed the organization for four years, described the course as a single loop through the EcoPerserve, featuring many spring flowers including spring beauty (claytonia virginica) and Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema Triphyllum).  Obstacles included narrow sections, roots, rocks, and—because of the recent rains—mud!  Despite this last messy challenge, Natalie Howe, one of the runners who also helped [Read more…]