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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Organization celebrates 25 years supporting state tree wardens

Tree warden logo colorConnecticut’s trees are a source of pride for its residents and they attract visitors with their picturesque beauty, lining downtowns and neighborhoods across the state. The aesthetic splendor of trees in the state are complemented by the multiple environmental benefits they offer. They reduce noise and air pollution, decrease the erosion of soil by slowing rainfall, supply wildlife habitat and provide shade. It is easy to appreciate these valuable natural resources without considering the important responsibility that rests with a municipal tree warden, who ensures the protection of these public assets.

The Tree Wardens’ Association of Connecticut (TWAC) celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary this spring, in observation of a quarter of a century of efforts to guide municipal tree wardens. A 501(c)(3) voluntary membership organization, TWAC was established by Senior Extension Educator Bob Ricard in 1992. As a member of UConn Extension, Ricard sought to provide training, assistance and education to tree wardens across the state and create social networking opportunities. TWAC held a gala event, with workshops and an award ceremony on April 28 at the Omni Hotel in New Haven to mark the occasion.

The stewardship of public trees was formalized in Connecticut General Assembly in 1901 with the passage of a state law requiring every town and city to appoint a tree warden. The appointed tree warden is responsible for the care and control of trees and shrubs in their municipality. The only exceptions are trees along state highways, which are overseen by the Commissioner of Transportation, and trees in parks that fall under the jurisdiction of a Park Commissioner. Tree wardens may appoint deputies to assist with carrying out the duties of the tree warden. The intention of the legislation was urban reforestation while ensuring public benefit and safety. (more…)

Image of the week

UConn NRE study abroad in Italy

Want to see more from NRE’s 2017 Italy Study Abroad program? Visit https://t.co/qSd9QY31ET to take a peek! #UConn #StudyAbroad #WaterSystems pic.twitter.com/Do8WVmbPgH

— UConn NRE (@UConnNRE) June 26, 2017

CAHNR in the news

newspaper readersAOL posted a video of Ashley Kalinauskas, who founded the company behind a treatment that helps dogs, cats and horses combat cancer. Kalinauskas earned a bachelor’s degree in pathobiology and veterinary sciences.

MySA included an article about summer interns at the Connecticut Audubon Society. One of them, Helena Ives, tracks the populations of threatened coastal birds, such as the piping plover. Ives is a student in natural resources and the environment.

Times Union reported on the implications of research done by Professor Mark Brand for New York state plant sellers.  Brand’s development of four infertile, seedless barberry varieties will allow residents to buy a favorite landscaping plant that is not invasive like the other, older varieties. Brand is part of plant science and landscape architecture. (more…)

CAHNR in the news

newsprintMedical News Today quoted Gregory Panza, a Department of Kinesiology graduate student, about research results that found that people who are not active can improve their subjective well-being by performing some physical activity. Panza was the lead author of the study, which was published in Journal of Health Psychology. Other kinesiology researchers involved in the research include Associate Professor Beth Taylor and Distinguished Professor Linda Pescatello.

UConn Today gave suggestions on how to deal with ticks, including information about their life cycles. The article quoted College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources Dean Sandra Bushmich and Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture Public Service Technician Susan Pelton and referenced a Home and Garden Education Center publication about ticks. (more…)

Scientists investigate effects of sea level rise on coastal wetlands

Coastal Wetlands - Hammonasset

Coastal wetlands in Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, CT.

If you are heading to the beach this summer, you are likely to pass by coastal wetlands on your way to the shore. These wetlands vary from bottomland hardwoods to marshes to seagrass beds but all occur at the intersection of land and sea, where fresh water from land meets saline tidal waters.

Coastal wetlands provide an array of ecosystem services. They protect shores from flooding, erosion and storm surge; provide habitat for wildlife; filter pollutants from water and sequester carbon. A group of researchers led by Assistant Professor Beth Lawrence of the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE) and UConn’s Center for Environmental Science and Engineering (CESE) is studying and quantifying the ecosystem services of carbon and nitrogen cycling to determine how these areas are responding to rising oceans.

The coast of the eastern United States is expected to experience elevated levels of sea level rise compared to the global average. Several factors, including water temperature, salinity, currents, the melting of glaciers and ice sheets and various geological and geographical elements, affect the rate of sea level rise. Scientists forecast global sea level rise in the range of 8 inches to 6.6 feet by 2100. The pace at which and amount the oceans rise will depend largely upon carbon and methane emissions that accelerate the melting of the planet’s ice and increase ocean temperatures. Heat causes water to expand, further escalating sea level rise. (more…)