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Archive for the ‘Extension’ Category

Researchers examine road salt contamination in groundwater and wells

Road Salt Contamination

Deicing salt on the permeable pavement in front of Augustus Storrs Hall, a potential source of groundwater contamination causing mobilization of radium and radon.

Road salt is inescapable during a Northeast winter. Applied as a deicer, it helps prevent accidents, slips and falls. Salt lowers the freezing point of water, accelerating melting and keeping ice from forming when temperatures drop. Despite the benefits to transportation and safety, road salt has serious environmental impacts and presents hazards to human health. Researchers at UConn have recently completed two studies on the Storrs campus, examining how deicers interact with areas surrounding permeable surfaces and discovering a potential radioactive danger.

Mostly a combination of sodium and chloride, road salt chemicals can flow into surface and ground water impacting aquifers, wells, wildlife, flora and drinking water. While these effects have long been publicized, road salt continues to be heavily used due to its low cost and a lack of viable alternatives. The increased use of storm water management systems, particularly in urban settings, has renewed questions about how these contaminants travel and affect the neighboring environment.

A team of UConn researchers, including Professor Gary Robbins of the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE), Assistant Extension Educator Dr. Mike Dietz of the Department of Extension and Connecticut Sea Grant and NRE graduate students Derek Angel and Lukas McNaboe, investigated how the installation of one popular storm water management system, permeable asphalt, affects road salt contamination of groundwater. Connecticut Sea Grant funded the initial phase of the research. (more…)

UConn’s clubs bring array of activities to 4-H Adventures in STEM Conference

Members of the UConn Chemistry Club work with Adventures in STEM Conference participants in the electric fruit workshop.

Members of the UConn Chemistry Club work with Adventures in STEM Conference participants in the electric fruit workshop.

The 2016 4-H Adventures in STEM Conference, held November 5, was designed to engage youth ages 12 to 18 in STEM learning, as well as introduce the students to UConn and STEM careers. This year’s conference hosted sixty-six youth attending a variety of workshops primarily designed and run by UConn student groups.

“After our first student workshop with the Engineering Ambassadors was so successful, I discovered there are a lot of STEM-related student organizations on campus,” says Nancy Wilhelm, program coordinator Cooperative Extension System (CES).

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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 media coverage. The roman text links go to additional information.

Swimming World. 2-15-17. Announced that UConn swept the podium in the women’s one meter diving event on day one of the American Athletic Conference Championships. Department of Nutritional Sciences student Monica Marcello was part of the team with 280.85 points.

The Register Citizen. 2-16-17. Gave details about the upcoming Annual Horse Symposium at UConn in its news section. This Department of Animal Science event will be held on March 4 and 5. See also: The Dolphin. 2-16-17.

Daily Campus. 2-20-17. Reported on a talk given by Anoushka Concepcion about the technology involved in the propagation and cultivation of Connecticut native sugar kelp as a food sourceConcepcion is an assistant cooperative extension educator in the Department of Extension. (more…)

CAHNR in the news

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

Office of the Vice President for Research website. Spring 2017. Announced the recipients of the Scholarship Facilitation Fund Awards, which support faculty research, scholarly activities, creative works and interdisciplinary initiatives. Awardees include Assistant Professor Christopher Blesso from nutritional sciences whose project is Defining the Role of the HDL Receptor, SR-B1, in Adipocyte Lipid Metabolism and Inflammation.

UConn Engaged. Spring 2017. Listed Deborah Bubela, an assistant professor in residence in kinesiology, as a member of the newest Service Learning Faculty Fellow Cohort.  The group was described as committed and innovative faculty to design, develop, and deliver service learning curriculum. (more…)

CLEAR receives Provost’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement

Mike Dietz, left, and Dave Dickson, right, take Congressman Joe Courtney on a tour highlighting UConn's innovative storm water management practices.

Mike Dietz, left, and Dave Dickson, right, take Congressman Joe Courtney on a tour highlighting UConn’s innovative storm water management practices.

The College’s Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) received the 2016 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement, Career Recognition for a Team. A reception was held at the William Benton Museum of Art on November 17, with awards presented by Provost Mun Choi and Carol Polifroni, director of the University’s Office of Public Engagement.

The Provost’s Awards recognize faculty, staff, students and alumni, for programs that engage the public and address social issues.

“We’re honored to be recognized,” said Chet Arnold, director of CLEAR . “This is an award for many different programs and projects that are all interwoven amongst a team that works very closely together. Every single person on this team deserves this award.”

Since 2002, CLEAR has developed award-winning programs designed to address issues related water management, land use planning, climate resiliency and geospatial technology. CLEAR is a partnership between the Department of Extension, the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment and Connecticut Sea Grant. (more…)