NEWS & EVENTS
West Virginia University research promoting fuel for our engines and our bodies advanced thanks to a pair of mini-grants provided by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s Division of Science and Research.
The mini-grants provide replacement salary for an uninterrupted period of time for a faculty member to write research or research equipment proposals during the summer. Each of the six winning faculty members agrees to submit a proposal for funding from an external agency or foundation as a result of obtaining the mini-grant.
Vagner Benedito and Kaushlendra Singh, both of WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, each earned $5,000 to further their research agendas. Both will use the mini-grants to spend a portion of this summer crafting proposals to the National Science Foundation.
For the full story, please visit WVU Today.
Writing for The Daily Athenaeum, Cody Schuler talks to Davis College alum Bill Rittenour about his burgeoning brewing business:
Rittenour said his doctoral degree in fungal biology was a serendipitous experience and has been useful in his brewing pursuits.
“Yeast is a fungus, and I took a fungal genetic class at the Ph.D. level. Out of all the fungi, there’s most known about yeast,” he said. “I learned all about its fermentation and its physiology; that definitely applies to brewing as far as how they take in sugars and how temperature affects their metabolism.”
Click here the full story.
Keith Bowers, ‘82, BSLA, will deliver the E. Lynn Miller Lecture in Landscape Architecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, in room 1001 of the Agricultural Sciences Building on WVU’s Evansdale Campus.
For nearly three decades, Bowers has been at the forefront of applied ecology, land conservation and sustainable design. As the founder and president of Biohabitats (www.biohabitats.com), he has built a multidisciplinary organization focused on conservation planning, ecological restoration and regenerative design. Using a living-systems approach as the basis for all of its work, Biohabitats employs whole-systems thinking through applied ecology to address a variety of projects at multiple scales. From site-specific river, wetland and coastal habitat restoration projects to regional watershed management and conservation, to the regeneration of urban estuaries, Bowers has kept Biohabitats at the vanguard of ecology and design.
Bowers is also president and founder of Biohabitats’ sister company, Ecological Restoration and Management, Inc. (www.er-m.com). Ecological Restoration and Management provides professional installation and management services for restoration projects throughout North America.
He currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Wildlands Network (http://www.twp.org), a national organization focused on restoring, protecting and connecting North America’s best wild places and is the Theme Lead for Ecological Restoration under IUCN’s Commission on Ecosystem Management. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Society for Ecological Restoration International (www.ser.org) since 1999, twice as its Chair and currently serves on several board committees.
He is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), registered in over seven states, and is a Professional Wetland Scientist.
The lecture was endowed through a gift from E. Lynn Miller, who earned his B.S. from WVU and his Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard. He also created the Miller Creative Writing Award, given annually to a WVU student who best expresses concepts of landscape architecture in a creative context.
Miller is an emeritus professor of landscape architecture at Penn State. He has served as a visiting professor in the University of Texas Austin’s landscape architecture program, at the Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal, and at Tsinghua University in the Peoples Republic of China. In 1992, he was the ASLA Congressional Fellow with the House Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. In 1995, he received the Outstanding Educators Award from the Council of Educators of Landscape Architecture.
The Miller Lecture was established through the WVU Foundation, a private non-profit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts for the benefit of WVU.
Researchers from a variety of disciplines integral to the West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design will come together April 25 for a forum to discuss innovation and entrepreneurship.
“These researchers in the biomaterials, animal science and design manufacturing disciplines will speak about their experience collaborating with industry, balancing university research responsibilities and their entrepreneurial pursuits, and discussing obstacles and recommendations for university faculty interested in pursuing innovation and commercialization efforts,” said Lindsay Emery, business development manager with WVU’s Office of Research and Economic Development.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 4:30 6 p.m. in 2001 Agricultural Sciences Building on WVU’s Evansdale Campus and will feature three speakers.
Steve Kelley, professor and department head of forest biomaterials at North Carolina State University, conducts research in sustainable production of energy and materials from biomass and the application of novel analytics tools to biomass.
Prior to joining North Carolina State University, Kelley spent 13 years at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory where he worked on biomass conversion technologies, technical leadership & innovation in the areas of biomass characterization, production of value-added bio-based products and thermal conversion processes.
Anthony Bimbo, technical consultant with International Fisheries Technology, has worked in the global fishing industry for over 50 years. His first 33 years were spent with the largest fishmeal and oil producer in the U.S. For the last 17 years he has served as an international consultant for the industry.
During his career, Bimbo has held a number of important roles including chairman of the Scientific Committee for International Fishmeal and Fishoil Organization, co-chairman of the U.S. Menhaden Task Force that submitted the Generally Recognized as Safe menhaden oil petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and member of nine Expert Generally Recognized as Safe panels for various marine oil products.
Craig Nelson, senior footwear designer for Sketchers USA, has over 15 years of experience working in the footwear product business and has extensive brand building expertise and design management experience. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and his master’s degree in industrial design from North Carolina State University.
The event is co-hosted by the Davis College and Linking Innovation, Industry and Commercialization, a program dedicated to establishing new and strengthening current relationships between industry representatives, faculty researchers and students.
From the smallest life forms to the most complex social and environmental systems, graduate student research in West Virginia University’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design runs the gamut.
Davis College students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees will get the chance to share their scholarly endeavors at the 15th annual Graduate Student Research Conference on Tuesday, April 9, in the Blue and Gold Rooms of the Evansdale Residential Complex.
Students will present either a 15-minute oral research paper or a research poster. Ph.D. and master’s students will be judged separately in the two categories: oral presentation and poster presentation. For each contest, monetary awards will be presented for first and second place respectively, in both the paper and poster categories.
The event is free and open to the public. Doctoral candidates will present their papers from 8:20 to 12 p.m. Master’s candidates will present their papers from 1 to 5:20 p.m. Master’s candidates will be available to answer questions about their research posters from 8 to 10 a.m. Ph.D. candidates will be available to answer questions about their research posters from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.Click here for abstracts of research presented at the event.
Visitors to West Virginia’s State Capitol on Friday will witness hundreds of the state’s 4-H’ers as they begin a new chapter in their lives. For many who attend West Virginia University and WVU Extension’s education-filled Day at the Legislature in Charleston, it’s the first time to see their legislature in action.
“For many of our 4-H youth and adult volunteers, this is their first time seeing the Capitol,” said Steve Bonanno, interim director of WVU Extension Service. “We want to provide them with an opportunity to see how decisions are made in their state and to see what higher education has to offer them.”
More than 50 programs will exhibit in the Capitol’s upper and lower rotundas beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 22. The event lasts until approximately 1:30 p.m.
West Virginia 4-H’ers, Master Gardeners, Community Educational Outreach Service members, and Extension volunteers from across the state will attend the event.
In addition, nearly 100 youth from across the state will observe the legislative process as part of their curriculum in a three-day WVU Extension 4-H Civic Engagement Forum, held in conjunction with the Day at the Legislature.
Bonanno will kick-off the event at the W.Va. Culture Center Auditorium at 9 a.m. Champion West Virginia storyteller and musician Adam Booth will tell stories and talk about turning a passion for the arts into a career. WVU President Jim Clements will discuss how individuals’ stories often begin at WVU.
Interested in planning for college? WVU recruiters and the West Virginia Treasurer’s Office will have application and funding information.
Visitors will have a second opportunity to hear Booth tell tales in the Capitol’s Lower Rotunda from 11:30 a.m. to noon.
Other exhibitors include WVU Extended Learning’s on-line and off-campus programs; WVU Jackson’s Mill; the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources; and Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.
Attendees can join the conversation on social media; use hash tags #WVUDay, #ConnectWVU, and #4Hforum.
WVU’s Day at the Legislature isn’t the only way West Virginians can access WVU’s resources. WVU Extension Service has offices in all 55 West Virginia counties.
For more information about WVU & WVU Extension’s Day at the Legislature, please visit www.ext.wvu.edu.
Writing for The Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bill Archer covers the phenomenon of the West Virginia ‘63:
Anyone who waited for the release date to participate in the free packet of West Virginia ‘63 tomato seeds, waited too long.
“We’ve already ran out,” Ann Bailey Berry, associate director of the West Virginia University Extension Service said. “As of Friday we have had almost 19,000 requests. We had no idea that there would be this many requests.” The extension service re-released the tomatoes as part of the state’s sesquicentennial celebration this year.
Click here for the full story.
Via WVU Today:
Back by popular demand is the annual Winter Blues Farmers Market, sponsored by the West Virginia Farmers Market Association. The market is open to public from 3-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at Waterfront Place. Nearly 50 vendors will sell everything from local meats and veggies to breads. Admission to the market is free.
A Local Food Dine-Around will take place in conjunction with the farmers market and begins at 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door and can be exchanged toward samples from the 12 West Virginia restaurants exhibiting at the Dine-Around.
The WVU Extension Service Small Farm Conference addresses a wide range of topics affecting agriculturists, and most importantly, small farmers from West Virginia. More than 70 classes on topics like agricultural law, marketing, and high tunnels are offered.
To register for the conference or to view a tentative schedule, visit: www.smallfarmcenter.ext.wvu.edu/conference.
For information about the W.Va. Small Farm Conference, contact Program Coordinator Carrie See at 304-293-2715 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joe Morton herds more of his children every year.
They are very small and easy to overlook because they are hidden away in roots in the invisible world of soil.
They are fungithe good kind that form beneficial symbiotic associations with almost 80 percent of plants. In fact, plants probably wouldn’t have gotten started on land 450 million years ago if the fungi weren’t there to help obtain food and water.
As plants segued from water to land, they had no true roots. The “mycorrhizal” symbiosis provided a way for plants to obtain precious nutrients on land, and they have evolved together ever since. The mycorrhizal association is so critical that if the fungi disappeared today, much of the plant life in the tropics and deserts would cease to exist.
The WVU collection of mycorrhizal fungi is the largest in the world and is nine times the size of what it was 30 years ago. It is used by high school students to discover microbes, researchers to explore the fungi and the symbiosis, and businesses to develop applications for agriculture and restoration projects. As an example, one company is using the fungi to restore green areas and grow date palms in deserts affected by oil well fires in the Persian Gulf.
“Now they’re my babies. I know all about them. I know when they’re bad and when they’re good,” Morton said with a laugh.
Randy Jackson, director of the Regional Research Institute and frequent Davis College collaborator, was named a Benedum scholar in behavioral and social sciences.
Click here for the full story.
A limited supply of seeds for the West Virginia 63, a blight-resistant tomato developed at West Virginia University, will be available for home gardeners beginning March 4.
The tomato, bred by WVU Professor Emeritus Mannon Gallegly, was created to resist blight and was unveiled in 1963 as part of West Virginia’s centennial celebration. Signs of blight, which is of concern to many gardeners, include brown spots or lesions on the stems, olive green or brown patches on the leaves, and white fungal growth underneath.
“Overall, it’s a good canning tomato and a good slicing tomato for the table,” said Gallegly, who retired from WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design in 1986. “A lot of people just eat slices of the tomato between two pieces of bread. That’s the way I eat ‘em.”
As WVU celebrates the tomato’s 50th birthday, and as West Virginia celebrates its 150th birthday, Gallegly and WVU colleagues have harvested a supply of seeds to let Mountaineer fans grow a piece of history in their own yards and patios.
Seeds will be mailed out beginning March 4, with a limit of one packet per household, while supplies last. Seeds can also be requested through local WVU Extension offices.
Gallegly, who will be 90 this year, targeted tomato blight almost as soon as he began his work at WVU in 1949. It’s the same disease that caused the Irish potato crop to fail in the 19th century, and triggered a famine and mass migration. You can find Gallegly’s story in the winter issue of the WVU Magazine, which includes a video that details his career at WVU, which brought West Virginia and the world an indestructible tomato.
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