Sustainable Raritan River Collaborative Recognizes Eight Stewards of the Raritan River and Bay

2016 awardees, left to right. Front row: Walter Lane and Tara Kenyon of Somerset County Planning Division; Jim Waltman and Kate Hutelmyer of Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association; Bill Schultz, Raritan Riverkeeper; Rosana Da Silva and Chris Obropta of Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program; Julia Somers of the Highlands Coalition; Larry Jacobs and Beth Davisson; Eric Zwerling. Second row: Cody Obropta, Maithreyi Thukaram, Dominick Cardella, Tyler Obropta, Adam Cucchiara, Kaylene Campbell, Tekla Pontius-Courtney with Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program. Third row: Brittany Musolino, Erin Stretz and Mike Pisauro of Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association; Debbie Mans; Bill Kibler; Michael Catania. Not shown: Candace Ashmun. Photo credit: Nick Romanenko.

2016 awardees, left to right. Front row: Walter Lane and Tara Kenyon of Somerset County Planning Division; Jim Waltman and Kate Hutelmyer of Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association; Bill Schultz, Raritan Riverkeeper; Rosana Da Silva and Chris Obropta of Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program; Julia Somers of the Highlands Coalition; Larry Jacobs and Beth Davisson; and Eric Zwerling. Second row: Cody Obropta, Maithreyi Thukaram, Dominick Cardella, Tyler Obropta, Adam Cucchiara, Kaylene Campbell and Tekla Pontius-Courtney with Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program. Third row: Brittany Musolino, Erin Stretz and Mike Pisauro of Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association; Debbie Mans; Bill Kibler; and Michael Catania. Not shown: Candace Ashmun. Photo credit: Nick Romanenko.

Extension specialist Chris Obropta and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program Team, along with director of the Rutgers Noise Technical Assistance Center Eric Zwerling—in his capacity as a Readington Township Board of Education member and chairperson of the Green Committee—were among eight individuals and organizations to receive 2016 Sustainable Raritan River Awards at the 8th Annual Sustainable Raritan Conference and Awards Ceremony held at Rutgers on June 10.

“The purpose of these awards is to recognize some of the more creative and impressive accomplishments by genuine leaders throughout the Raritan Watershed,” said Michael Catania, executive director of Duke Farms Foundation and a member of the Sustainable Raritan Awards Committee.

Each year at its Annual Conference, the Sustainable Raritan River Collaborative and the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative give awards to recognize outstanding achievement in efforts to revitalize, restore and protect the Raritan resources and promote the area as a premiere place to live, work and raise a family.

Rutgers University launched the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative in 2009 to bring together concerned scientists, environmentalists, engineers, businesses, community leaders and governmental entities to craft an agenda that meets the goals of the U.S. Clean Water Act to restore and preserve New Jersey’s Raritan River, its tributaries and its bay. The Initiative, a joint program of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, partners with other Rutgers schools, centers and programs to ensure the best contributions from the sciences, planning and policy. [Read more…]

Heat wave blamed for 6 deaths nationwide, including boy, 12, in Arizona

Dozens of states continue to deal with an unrelenting heat wave that is being blamed for the deaths of six people, including a boy hiking in Arizona, reports say… "It’s fair to say that the vast majority of the nation has been experiencing above normal temperatures for the past week," David Robinson, New Jersey state climatologist at Rutgers University, tells CBS News.

Read the entire article at Cleveland.com »

Dangerous heat wave gripping parts of the U.S.

Americans in 26 states are struggling with heat warnings and advisories as near triple-digit temperatures smother states from New York to California… "It’s fair to say that the vast majority of the nation has been experiencing above normal temperatures for the past week," said David Robinson, New Jersey state climatologist at Rutgers University.

Read the entire article at CBS News »

The heat is on across N.J. Will records be set?

If you’re drenched with sweat when you’re walking or working outside on Friday, just remember how bad it was exactly five years ago. That’s when New Jersey was sweltering through a brutal summer heat wave, and the mercury on July 22 climbed to a record-shattering 108 degrees at Newark Liberty International Airport… That was, and still is, the hottest temperature on record in Newark and just two degrees shy of the highest temperature ever recorded anywhere in the Garden State – 110 degrees, according to New Jersey State Climatologist David Robinson at Rutgers University.

Read the entire article at The Star Ledger »

Americans support GMO food labels, don’t know much about safety

Americans widely support the mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods, which is required in a bill approved by Congress on July 14 and sent to the White House to await President Obama’s signature… William Hallman, a 2016-17 visiting scholar at the Annenberg Public Policy Center and professor of the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers University, noted that while nearly 60 percent of Americans reported having only a fair or poor understanding of GMOs, the new labeling law might ultimately change this if consumers are willing to use QR codes to find out more about the products they buy.

Read the entire article at Ag Professional »

Female Golf Course Superintendents: New Jersey Leads the Way With Several Rutgers Grads

Tammy Stephens, head super at Warrenbrook Golf Course in Warren, NJ.

Tammy Stephens, head superintendent at Warren Brook Golf Course in Warren, NJ.

When Jo-Ann Eberle became head superintendent in 1984 at Sunset Valley Golf Course in Pequannock, she was a rarity—first female head super in New Jersey and the Northeastern United States.

More than 30 years later, New Jersey boasts all of three female head supers in Rebecca Hawkins at Darlington Golf Course in Mahwah, Diane Elwood at Bel-Aire Golf Course in Wall and Tammy Stephens at Warren Brook, but three more ladies are serving as assistant superintendents and are members of the New Jersey section of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

They are Jessica Hall at Rockaway River Country Club n Denville, Valerie Lawrence of Spring Brook Country Club in Morristown and Jennifer Torres, who works for New Jersey’s Spirit Golf Management at Makefield Highlands in Yardley, Pa.

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New peach and nectarine varieties help Eastern growers compete

Peach growers and shippers in the Northeast who market to large retailers are seeing increasing competition from shippers in California, Georgia, South Carolina and even countries in the Southern Hemisphere… Traditionally, the market has hung its hat on yellow-fleshed peaches, said Jerry Frecon, a Rutgers University emeritus professor  ‘said there are plenty of new peaches and nectarines being developed. Many in the Mid-Atlantic states are coming from Rutgers University’s Tree Fruit Breeding Program, under the direction of plant biology and pathology professor Joseph Goffreda, at Cream Ridge, New Jersey.

Read the entire article at Good Fruit Grower »

‘Excessive’ heat expected this weekend in N.J.

There’s no doubt it’s been hot, humid and sticky – but when is it a heat wave? In the Northeast, a heat wave is typically three or more days in a row where temperatures at a particular weather station hit 90 degrees or above. Monday marked day five of 90-degree-plus days in a number of New Jersey towns, according to weather data from NJ Climate and Weather Network, part of the Office of the State Climatologist at Rutgers University.

Read the entire article at NorthJersey.com »

Balancing Passions, a Rutgers-trained Scientist Heads for the Future

Talia Young, on a research trip to Mongolia. Photo: Talia Young.

Talia Young, on a research trip to Mongolia. Photo: Talia Young.

Acquiring new knowledge and sharing it with high school students have marked Talia Young’s journey

Talia Young, a newly minted Rutgers Ph.D. in ecology, studies fish and their relationship to the people and communities that depend on them.

She’s also passionate about acquiring new knowledge and sharing it with young people, which is what has led her to move between research and teaching since her undergraduate days at Swarthmore College. Now preparing for postdoctoral work at Princeton University, Young spent her last several weeks as a Rutgers graduate student co-teaching, with help from Kristin Hunter-Thomson in 4H Youth Development, a mini-course on mathematics applications in fisheries science in a Philadelphia high school – the same one she taught biology in before going to graduate school. The course was partly funded by the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources and the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences.

[Read more…]

THE GARDENER STATE: On the road against hunger

New Jersey farmers grow such an amazing diversity of fresh produce, providing residents with a bounty of choice, flavor, nutrition and enjoyment… However, for approximately 16 percent of our population, fresh produce is simply not accessible. Since 1996, Farmers Against Hunger has been able to help more than 75 community organizations, and an estimated 7,500 people weekly, by providing free, surplus fresh produce for distribution to those in need. — Nicholas Polanin is associate professor, agricultural agent II, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Cooperative Extension of Somerset County.

Read the entire article at My Central Jersey »