Meet undergraduate student Chloe Edwards

Chloe Edwards working for the Farmington River Watershed Association.
Chloe Edwards. Photo: Farmington River Watershed Association.

Taking a course in wetland habitats turned Chloe Edwards into a double major, emboldening her to add natural resources to her animal science studies. What followed were transformational experiences as she explored her deepening interest in animals, immersing herself in conservation and wildlife management internships. While COVID-19 did impact her participation in research, she was able to discover other opportunities to explore her interests. Read more about Edwards as she reflects on exploring different paths and being unafraid to travel in new directions.

What attracted you to the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources?

I knew I wanted to study animals and I had heard from people at UConn that they had a great animal science program. I like animals and I thought this was the right major for me. Although, I ended up not just sticking to animal science. Continue reading

Extension educator creates programs and initiatives to protect water resources

Michael Dietz standing in front of a river.
Michael Dietz

As an educator in UConn Extension and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE), Michael Dietz has been working for over a decade to strengthen Connecticut communities by studying ways to protect surface and groundwaters and by promoting the use of green infrastructure techniques throughout the state. In 2018, he became director of the Connecticut Institute of Water Resources (CTIWR). In that role (split between Extension and NRE), he collaborates with colleges and universities throughout the state to build connections between the academic community and water resource managers. These relationships serve to understand and resolve important water-related problems in the state and regionally, while also sharing research on water resources and general information with the public.

One of Dietz’s top water quality concerns for the state is the application of road salt during the winter months. Deicing salts, consisting of sodium chloride and other chemicals, are heavily used on roads, walkways, parking lots and driveways to prevent slips and falls, but their use carries environmental costs. Salt runs off these surfaces, or slowly permeates them, when warm weather and rain arrives in spring and makes its way into the soil and water, affecting vegetation and aquatic life, as well as human health when it reaches drinking water wells.

For the last several years, Dietz and fellow UConn researchers have closely studied the problem on the UConn Storrs campus. Now, their research is helping inform new programs and initiatives designed to reduce the use of road salt around the state. Continue reading

Awards and achievements in CAHNR

Graduate student receives EATA Scholarship Award

Defining Studios Photo
Defining Studios Photo

Gyujin Kim, a second-year master’s degree student in the Athletic Training Program in the Department of Kinesiology, received the Koko Kassabian Scholarship Award at the 2021 Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association (EATA) Convention, held virtually January 8 to 11.

The award is named in honor of Kerkor “Koko” Kassabian, who worked at Northeastern University and served as president of the EATA and the Athletic Trainers of Massachusetts. He is also a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame.

By Jason M. Sheldon

CAHNR in the news

Indrajeet Chaubey, dean of the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources, speaks at an event to announce a $10 million USDA grant to support integrated and sustainable antibiotic-restricted broiler poultry production research on Aug. 3, 2020.
Indrajeet Chaubey, CAHNR dean and director, speaks at an event to announce a $10 million USDA grant on Aug. 3, 2020. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

CAHNR Dean and Director Indrajeet Chaubey quoted in an article in Farm Flavor about assisting farmers with resources on government compliance, health protocols, federal aid and other topics when the coronavirus pandemic reached Connecticut in March 2020. The article cites UConn Extension‘s efforts to create a website for COVID-19-related information, including resources for both farmers and consumers on production, distribution and processing. Dean Chaubey also cites UConn Extension’s initiative, Operation Community Impact, which enlisted UConn 4-H members and volunteers to distribute more than 144,000 pounds of surplus milk and other products from Connecticut dairies to 53 food pantries in the state. The article also appears in the 2021 issue of Connecticut Grown.

Connecticut Sea Grant (CTSG) discussed a new project led by Juliana Barrett, extension educator and coastal habitat specialist at CTSG, at the Hoffman Evergreen Preserve, a property of the Avalonia Land Conservancy, in Stonington, CT. With grant funding from the Long Island Sound Futures Fund and further support from Avalonia volunteers, Barrett will help improve long-term resilience to climate change in a coastal forest.

The Day discussed an interim report released by the Connecticut Trail Census, a partnership between UConn Extension, the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments, the Connecticut Greenways Council and local trail advocacy organizations, detailing the increases in trail use in 2020 over the previous year, reflecting the impact of COVID-19 on outdoor activities. The article quotes Laura Brown, a community and economic development educator in UConn Extension who manages the program, and Kim Bradley, CT Trail Census program coordinator. Continue reading