Archive for July, 2013

Jump the carp. Or hopefully not

asian carp 2 for GBConcerned about aquatic invasive species? The Mississippi River Basin Panel of the national Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force meets next week on Ohio State’s Columbus campus (an especially nicely wet part), and you’re welcome to attend. Among the topics will be the status of Asian carp in the Ohio River. The non-native fish, which are actually four different species, including the skittish, jumpy silver carp, shown here, are already established in parts of the Mississippi basin, including the lower Ohio. They threaten native fish and natural ecosystems. And boaters who can’t duck fast enough. (Photo: Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.)

Back to flax, ahead to sustainability?

hannah whiteheadOilseed crops are being grown again on a historical farm run by CFAES’s research arm, OARDC. Flax, canola, sunflower, and camelina “have the potential to add complexity to crop rotations, provide valuable ecosystem services, and deliver additional value chains in the form of on-farm biodiesel, cooking oil, and highly nutritious feed for animals,” writes Hannah Whitehead, pictured in a field of canola in bloom, who works in OARDC’s Agroecosystems Management Program. Read her story.

Watch: How to make your garden pollinator-friendly

pollinator videoWhat can you do to bring more pollinators to your garden? Denise Ellsworth, CFAES’s program director for honey bee and native pollinator education, offers tips in this new video about how to attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds (2:19).

Plenty to sink your beak into

great blue heronA panel discussion at the next Environmental Professionals Network breakfast, which will focus on restoring the Olentangy River, will feature Laura Shinn, planning director, Ohio State; Byron Ringley, senior principal, Stantec; Anthony Sasson, freshwater conservation manager, The Nature Conservancy; and Alice Waldhauer, watershed coordinator, Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed. Also, come early and go birding at the Wilma H. Shiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park (the breakfast program’s location) with Jim McCormac, avian education specialist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife and Columbus Dispatch nature columnist. Details.

August breakfast program to feature Olentangy River restoration

olentangy dam for GBThe Environmental Professionals Network, a service of CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), has announced its “breakfast club” program for August. The topic is the 5th Avenue dam removal project on the Olentangy River, and the location, which is a change from the usual, is SENR’s Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park. If you’re interested, register soon, because attendance, due to the smaller venue this month, is limited to 60.

Watch: ‘Water is the next generation’s oil’

water quality videoA new YouTube video features CFAES’s water quality research (2:17) and a recent visit by USDA official Michael Scuse to our Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, which is an important home for these efforts. “Many of us have come to understand,” CFAES Dean Bruce McPheron said on that visit, “that water is the next generation’s oil.”

Sustainability’s got hops

Hop flower closeup

CFAES’s South Centers at Piketon have set the date for Hops Field Night. More on growing hops around here? Try this Michigan State fact sheet (pdf). (Photo: Hop flower by LuckyStarr via Wikimedia Commons.)

Teaching teachers how to teach about climate

Ohio State is giving a webinar tomorrow (7/11) on Great Lakes climate education. You still have time to sign up.

Why (and how) we care about our lawns, and whether they can be greener

lawnA recent CFAES survey looked at why Americans think their lawns are important and what they’re willing to do (and/or not do) about it. The researchers say the findings could suggest ways to increase the acceptance (and dare it be said, fashionability) of non-chemical, environmentally friendlier lawn care methods. (Quote: “Homeowners crave the acceptance of their neighbors.”)

How to keep phosphorus in the soil to prevent algal blooms

“To protect Ohio water resources, phosphorus fertilizer must be put in the right place,” says Steve Prochaska, an agronomy field specialist with CFAES’s outreach arm, OSU Extension. A program coming up on July 18 in Wood County will show farmers how to do just that while also maintaining high yields. Details.