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Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

CAHNR in the news

newspaper readersHealthDay reported on research into food and beverage advertising aimed at kids. Lead author of the study, Associate Professor Jennifer Harris said, “Children continue to view thousands of TV ads per year for unhealthy food and drinks.” Harris is on the faculty of allied health sciences. See also UConn Today.

The Daily Campus quoted Steven Zinn, a professor and department head for animal science, in an article about the voluntary milking system that is coming to Kellogg Dairy Center.

UConn Today featured a story on CAHNR student Daniel Munch, who is majoring in livestock management and policy (individualized major) and resource economics. The article mentioned his high school involvement in 4-H, mentoring animal science freshmen and CAHNR Ambassadors. He was depicted with a rooster in the poultry barn.

By Patsy Evans

 

Willimantic 4-H FANS after-school program flourishes

Amy Walker and students harvest kale from the garden.

Amy Walker and students harvest kale from the garden.

It’s been a busy year for the students involved in the W.B. Sweeney Elementary School 4-H FANs IM program, culminating with an exciting eight-week summer program.

During the 2016-17 school year, students met weekly to participate in fun activities designed to teach healthy eating, exercise and gardening. Summer Story Days, held on Wednesdays, included guest readers and food demonstrations in which students created healthy snacks. Families attending took home a bounty of fresh vegetables from the students’ garden.

Guest readers were well received by students and their families and included Cameron Faustman, dean of the College, wearing his popular corn hat; Jim Rivers, town manager of Willimantic, where Sweeney is located; Elsa Núñez, president of Eastern Connecticut State University; Mae Flexer, state senator; Patricia Garcia, superintendent of Windham School District; Susan Johnson, state representative; Marc Cournoyer, Windham County 4-H youth development program coordinator; Lindsey Brush, 4-H FANs IM program assistant; and Amy Walker, third-grade teacher and club adult leader.

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CAHNR in the news

newsprintNature published a study called “Creation of forest edges has a global impact on forest vertebrates.” Among the 30 researchers on the project is the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment Visiting Assistant Professor Laura Cisneros. See also UConn Today for a video and article.

The Day mentioned Tessa Getchis and her role in explaining the science behind commercial shellfishing operations. Getchis is an extension educator in the Department of Extension in New London County.

UConn Today reported on research into advertising that made unhealthy products seem healthier to children. The study was published in Pediatric Obesity, and its lead author was Associate Professor Jennifer Harris, who is part of allied health sciences. (more…)

Meet undergraduate student Julia Schnelting

Julia Schnelting

As a UConn athlete, Julia Schnelting is always working hard at both school and rowing. Julia is a foreign exchange student from Germany and has overcome a language and culture barrier to be a student in America. Her outgoing personality has helped her to find a home with the UConn Women’s Rowing team. Read more about Julia’s experiences as a UConn student.

What attracted you to UConn? I initially came to UConn to be on the Women’s Rowing team. In Germany, it is very hard to combine sports with school. I had heard about students coming to the United States to play sports. So, I applied with an agency that brings athletes from around the world to the United States to participate on college teams. I was then approached by coaches to be a part of their rowing teams. Although I was unable to visit UConn, I liked how the school looked in pictures, and I had a good feeling about attending here.

What is your major, and why did you choose it? I am a senior studying applied resource economics in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE).  In Germany, I had previously been studying sale engineering and product management, which was more engineering based. I thought ARE was a little strange at first, since it was in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, but when I did more research, it seemed like a good complement for my major back at home. (more…)

Horticulturist brings patience and perseverance to development of new plant cultivars

Brand2

The original plant selected in 2012 to be Prunus x cistena ‘UCONNP001’. The cross was made in 2012. In 2016, the final decision was made to introduce and license the plant, and Brand was able to provide hundreds of plants generated via tissue culture to Monrovia Nursery, the licensee.

It takes years of perseverance and patience to bring a new plant cultivar to market. Mark Brand, professor in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, has what it takes to plod through this lengthy process. To date, his lab has introduced twenty-seven new cultivars and currently has about a half dozen others in trials, of which he is optimistic several will be licensed in the next year or two.

The first step in launching a new cultivar is choosing a particular species of plant. Some ideas come from grower suggestions, others from a specific need. The latter was the case for Berberis (barberry), a plant that used extensively in commercial landscaping that had become an invasive. Brand developed a sterile version of the plant. Other new plant cultivars come about when an unusual seedling or plant habit is observed, such as a different growth pattern or color, presenting an opportunity to produce something special.

“Occasionally, you find these serendipitous things about a plant,” Brand says. “We originally started working on Buddleia [butterfly bush] because we wanted a sterile version. In Connecticut overwintering Buddleia can be problematic, but in milder climates butterfly bush can be weedy and invasive. With Buddleia, that was our original tactic. But our mutation breeding program produced a dwarf mutant that had a cool form and habit but so-so flower color, so we bred it with other cultivars with strong flower color to get dwarf plants in a range of colors. These plants have been introduced as the Better Homes and Gardens Soda Pop series.” The same mutation breeding program also produced the variegated ‘Summer Skies’ butterfly bush that is part of the Proven Winners® program.

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