Archive for August, 2013
An invasive species called hydrilla, pictured, is choking parts of the Ohio River, is also in five small water bodies in the Cleveland area, and poses a threat should it reach Lake Erie, says a CFAES expert. But boaters can help fight it. So can anglers, people who keep aquariums and water gardens, and dogs that like swimming. Here’s the story.
The Convention on Biological Diversity calls invasive species the second biggest threat to the world’s biodiversity after habitat loss.
(Photo: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org.)
The registration deadline for next week’s Ohio Watershed Leaders Conference is Friday (Aug. 30). Sign up soon if you’re interested. At last report, only nine slots were left. The conference is being presented by CFAES’s statewide outreach arm, OSU Extension.
The latest issue of Cleveland Business Connects looks at the Agricultural Technical Institute’s new associate-degree programs in renewable energy and sustainable agriculture. “Thousands of colleges are offering a course in solar, a course in wind, etc.,” ATI’s Russ Yoder says. “But very few even in 2013 are offering degreed programs in renewable energy. If you are from San Francisco or Seattle and interested in all things environmental, you need to come to Wooster to get this degree.” ATI, which is in Wooster about an hour south of Cleveland, is CFAES’s associate-degree-granting unit. Get details on the programs here and here.
CFAES scientist Erdal Ozkan has developed a prototype for an “intelligent” pesticide sprayer for orchards and plant nurseries. The air-, laser-, and computer-assisted device is said to be the first of its kind in the U.S. The new tech, according to a report by the SEEDS competitive grants program (pdf; p. 32) of CFAES’s research arm, OARDC, “will help growers prevent excessive pesticide use and thus reduce production costs, worker exposure to pesticide risks, and adverse environmental contamination.” More testing awaits.
CFAES’s Richard Moore will present “Water Quality Trading: An Analysis and Comparison of Programs in Ohio” from 4:10 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29, on Ohio State’s Columbus campus, with a video link to the Wooster campus of CFAES’s research arm, OARDC. It’s free. All are welcome. Included will be details on the Alpine Water Quality Trading Plan, which Moore helped develop. The plan has enabled a northeast Ohio cheese factory to cut its phosphorus discharge, boost its use of local milk, and create 12 new jobs. Bottom line, the plan has increased the sustainability of the company and of local farms while improving the area’s water quality. More on the plan.
Ohio State scientists, including from CFAES, talk about their research on shale energy — what they’re doing, what they’re planning, what they’d like to do down the road — in a recent press release. “The shale energy industry is moving very quickly,” Zuzana Bohrerova, coordinator of Ohio State’s Shale Environmental Management Research Cluster, says in the release, “and there’s not really much science behind what’s happening and what impact it can have, good or bad.”
The website of CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources asks and answers the question, “How do you move 44 tons of soil from 88 mesocosm tubs in 2.5 hours?”
A tornado hit the Wooster campus of CFAES’s research arm, OARDC, in 2010 (video; 7:27). OARDC’s Secrest Arboretum was right in the storm’s path (pdf). Three years later to the day, CFAES forestry scientist Charles Goebel will talk about and show how nature is helping the arboretum bounce back. It’s next in the “Secrest AfterHours” series. The free public series features casual, informative programs on plants and free food and social time after.
Details are still to come, so for now it’s a “save the date” thing: CFAES’s Organic Food and Farming Education and Research program will hold its fall symposium Oct. 8. It’s for farmers, scientists, and anyone else interested in organic food and farming.