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Archive for the ‘Extension’ Category

New project aims to harness student power to assist Connecticut towns with climate adaptation planning

Climate Corps - Living Shoreline Workshop

A Living Shoreline workshop organized by Juliana Barrett held on the Avery Point campus as part of the Climate Adaptation Academy (CAA). The Climate Corps builds on the success of the CAA, an organization that provides municipalities with information and tools to help them adapt to a changing climate.

Uniting faculty members from the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, Center for Land Use and Research (CLEAR), and Connecticut Sea Grant, the Climate Corps will serve Connecticut communities by assisting with analyzing climate impact and presenting adaptation strategies while providing a unique learning opportunity for undergraduates.

Students in the Climate Corps will engage in classroom teaching and service learning to develop valuable workplace skills. The program is divided into two components, featuring instruction in the fall semester and a practicum in the spring. Students will learn about climate change and public policy in a new team-taught course entitled: Climate Resilience and Adaptation: Municipal Policy and Planning; then, in the following semester, they will form teams and, with the help of faculty mentors, work with local administrators in communities across the state to support climate adaptation planning. Students will directly assist town officials by preparing assessments of vulnerable areas, structures and systems. They will present ideas on how to prepare for the challenges and suggest methods to acclimate to a changing climate. The goal is to provide municipalities with data, models, forecasts, policies and information on costs so officials can make informed decisions to manage the risks their communities face. The program will draw its students from the Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies and Environmental Engineering majors. Four Connecticut communities will participate in the first year. (more…)

CAHNR in the news

Students with mobile devicesSome of CAHNR’s people, places and programs made the news recently. The bolded topics are linked to initial media coverage. The roman text links go to additional information.

Daily Campus. 3-30-17. Reported on a seminar hosted by the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture and given by Zeyaur Khan, who works at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology and is a faculty member at Cornell University. Khan spoke of his advances in pesticide-free control using native perennial forage species as both deterrents and trap crops.

UConn Today. 4-5-17. Referred to the Agricultural Extension Service as a training resource in the World War I effort. 500 women learned about food conservation, milk testing, canning methods and some military skills and then became trainers for about 30,000 others throughout Connecticut. That Extension group is now referred to as UConn Extension.

YouTube. 4-5-17. Posted a video, narrated by Professor Nancy Rodriguez, of a group doing yoga. Research done by Rodriguez, who is on the faculty of nutritional sciences, indicates that yoga paired with adequate dietary protein is beneficial to people as they age. This video is part of the UConn Science in Seconds series. See also UConn Today. 4-6-17.

By Patsy Evans

Online course catalog created for Extension programs

Extension Course Catalog

There are more than a hundred UConn Extension specialists working throughout Connecticut. These educators are teaching and training in local communities, sharing their wealth of knowledge with residents through a variety of programs. These instructional activities will now be more visible and easier to find with the creation of an online extension course catalog.

The new catalog was proposed by Michael O’Neill, associate dean for outreach and public engagement, in order to raise the profile of extension activities. Prior to the launch of the website, there was no single source that listed and described all of the courses that UConn Extension hosts.

“In this digital age, we need a mechanism for citizens and businesses to access the excellent programs we offer through UConn Extension,” says O’Neill. “I believe that this online catalog is a valuable first step in that direction.” (more…)

CAHNR in the news

newsprintSome of CAHNR’s people, places and programs made the news recently. The bolded topics are linked to initial media coverage. The roman text links go to additional information.

YouTube. 3-20-17. Posted the testimonial of Richard Dodakian, who suffered exertional heat stroke at the Falmouth Road Race. His life was saved by Korey Stringer Institute staff members. One of those people is Robert Huggins, a postdoctoral fellow in kinesiology, who is on the video.

New York Times. 3-21-17. Quoted Lindsay DiStefano, an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology, who spoke of the benefits of physical activity in the classroom.

tctMD. 3-21-17. Announced a research conclusion that there is “no convincing evidence of measurable verbal or nonverbal memory dysfunction due to statin medication.” These findings come from the research of Associate Professor Beth Taylor, who a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology. (more…)

Meet new faculty member and alumnus Michael Puglisi

Michael Puglisi

Michael Puglisi

Michael Puglisi has come full circle. Having received his PhD in nutritional sciences from UConn in 2008, he worked in research labs in Nashville, Tennessee, and on public health initiatives in Brooklyn, New York, and North Carolina. Now he is returning to UConn as an assistant extension professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and coordinating the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) for the state of Connecticut.

Where did you get your degrees?

I received my BS degree in dietetics from the University of Delaware, my MS in nutrition in sports and chronic disease from Virginia Tech and my PhD at UConn in nutritional sciences. It’s good to be back at UConn!

What did you do before you came to UConn?

I went through the whole spectrum of the field of nutrition. After graduating from UConn, I went to Vanderbilt University and completed a post-doc in inflammation and the effects on insulin sensitivity and how different dietary fatty acids affect that. So, I went from human research to animal and cell research.

(more…)