Archive for February, 2013

Aliens among us

closeup of emerald ash borerThe Convention on Biological Diversity calls invasive species the second biggest threat to the world’s biodiversity after habitat loss. Next week, March 3-8, is National Invasive Species Awareness Week. (Photo: Emerald ash borer by James E. Zablotny via USDA APHIS). More to come …

Understanding, improving how people make decisions

image of joe arvai

Joe Arvai presents “Decision Aiding in Difficult Contexts: Insights from Research in the Developed and Developing World,” the next talk in the School of Environment and Natural Resources’ spring seminar series, on Feb. 28. Free. All are welcome. He’s with the University of Calgary’s Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment, and Economy. Details on his research here (pdf) and here.

These woods will inspire you

image of clifty falls state park

The 2013 Ohio River Valley Woodland and Wildlife Workshop is March 23 at southern Indiana’s Clifty Falls State Park, shown here, about 70 miles southwest of Cincinnati. It’s for landowners (and anyone interested in forests and wildlife) in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana and features experts from Ohio State (by way of CFAES), Purdue, and the University of Kentucky plus the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Indiana’s Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Get the brochure, which includes the topics, speakers, and a registration form, here (pdf). Or register online. Deadline: March 13.

A wet, green buffer to harmful effects of development

image of water drops on green leaf

Rain gardens can give residential, commercial, and industrial developments a greener, and also bluer, footprint, says a CFAES student research project (1-page report; downloadable pdf or text file). “By reducing runoff volume and peak flow, (rain gardens) provide a dynamic internal water storage zone with the potential to improve water quality,” the researchers wrote. “Rain gardens … represent a sustainable and economical method for decreasing the volume of water that flows into rivers and streams during storm events.” The project was funded by the SEEDS grant program of CFAES’s research arm, OARDC.

Gypsum an ‘environmental problem solver’?

Tim Rudell of WKSU, northeast Ohio’s public radio station, reports on algae-fighting gypsum research by CFAES’s research arm, OARDC. Previous posts on the work here and here.

ABCs of bee ID

bee ID guide 2CFAES offers a handy identification guide to the bees of Ohio (pdf). It’s from the Agricultural Landscape Ecology Lab of Mary Gardiner, a CFAES bee expert and a speaker at the March 14-15 Power of Pollinators Short Course.

Can bumbles bounce … back? Workshop looks at health of native bees

bumble beeOARDC, CFAES’s research arm, will host The Power of Pollinators Short Course March 14-15. It’s a workshop on the biology, conservation, and identification of native bees (such as the bumble bee, for instance, shown here). It’s for anyone interested in bees, the work they do, and how we can help them, including farmers, gardeners, beekeepers, and naturalists. Details here. Register here.

What climate change means for our health … and what we can do about it

climate change webinarThe next webinar by Ohio State’s Climate Change Outreach Team is “Climate Change and Public Health” Feb. 26. The speaker will be George Luber, who’s an epidemiologist and the associate director for climate change with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Free. Register here (scroll down). Among the team’s members are faculty from CFAES. Read a September 2012 New York Times story that interviewed Luber here.

New study funded on environmental impact of shale exploration

Three CFAES faculty have received a grant to study the environmental impact of shale exploration in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The grant comes through OARDC’s SEEDS grant program. OARDC is CFAES’s research arm.

What can blue do for you?

eastern bluebirdA book titled Red Bird, Green Bird, which OARDC published in 2009, has this to say about the plant- and people-helping diet of bluebirds: “Seventy-six percent consists of insects and other small animal forms; 24 percent is of vegetable substances, taken mostly in winter. Of the whole food, beetles constitute 28 percent, grasshoppers 22 percent, and caterpillars 11 percent. Its only offense is the eating of a few beneficial beetles, amounting to 8 percent of its food for the entire year.” Learn more about bluebirds this Saturday (Feb. 23). (Photo: Ken Thomas via Wikimedia Commons.)