Meet new faculty member James Knighton

James Knighton in a snow-covered outdoor area, wearing a dark jacket and gray knit hat with snowflake pattern, holding a white plastic bottle.
James Knighton

The Department of Natural Resources and the Environment welcomes new faculty member James Knighton as an assistant professor specializing in hydrological modeling and flood risk. His primary goal as a teacher is to prepare his students for the workforce. As an engineer out in the field, he noticed differences in the preparedness of new hires. He wants his students to be ready to hit the ground running and experience less stress in their early careers. On a personal note, when he and his wife visited the Storrs area, they felt it was a perfect place to live, as they are expecting their first child in October. Here’s what he had to say in an interview. Continue reading

Meet new faculty member Jessica Brandt

Jessica Brandt
Jessica Brandt

Jessica Brandt is a new assistant professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE) with a joint appointment in the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering. Her research investigates contaminant transport, cycling, and consequences in aquatic ecosystems and corresponding public health risks. This fall, she will offer an ecotoxicology course for both undergraduate and graduate students that uses case studies to explore how environmental pollution results in adverse effects for animals and people. Here is what she told us in an interview.

Where did you get your degrees?

I received my BA in public health studies from Johns Hopkins University (2011) and my MHS in environmental health from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2012). In 2018, I completed my doctoral work on the coal ash waste stream’s impacts on recipient freshwater food webs in the Nicholas School at Duke University. Continue reading

Image of the week

On Monday, August 3, 2020, a press conference was held at the Storrs Campus to announce receipt of a $10 million dollar grant entitled Systems-Based Integrated Program for Enhancing the Sustainability of Antibiotic-Restricted Poultry Production. The media event included speakers President Tom Katsouleas, Governor Ned Lamont, State Senator Cathy Osten (19th Senate District, Deputy President Pro Tem, Co-Chair, Appropriations Committee), State Representative Gregg Haddad (54th District), Commissioner of Agriculture Bryan Hurlburt, Dean Indrajeet Chaubey, Associate Dean for Research Kumar Venitanarayanan (PI) and Nicole McKay, president of the Connecticut Poultry Association. UConn Today published an article on the work to be funded by the new grant.

CAHNR in the news

Students ReadingAg Web Farm Journal highlighted the activities of UConn Extension’s Operation Community Impact. The initiative, which involves UConn 4-H members and volunteers working with community partners and the UConn Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, has coordinated the donation and distribution of more than 100,000 pounds of dairy products.

UConn Today featured a group of researchers from UConn and Wesleyan University, including CAHNR Alumna Kayla Anatone ’12 (Environmental Science), who spent four years studying remnants of industrial waste in a stretch of the Still River in Western Connecticut.

Beth Lawrence, an assistant professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, was mentioned in UConn Today for her work as a faculty advisor to Andrew Tienken ’22 (CLAS) on a research project. The project is assessing the services of phragmites, an invasive plant, and carbon and nitrogen removal functions of native grasses in 20 wetland sites along the Connecticut coast using data collected by Lawrence and her research team in 2017. Tienken was one of three students to participate in Connecticut Sea Grant’s new summer undergraduate research fellowships for underrepresented and underserved students interested in marine and coastal scientific research. Continue reading