NEWS & EVENTS
Carol Brown, a master’s candidate in soil science in WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, received a $1,500 scholarship from the National Association of State Land Reclamationists.
Brown’s thesis research focuses on the quality and yield of switchgrass grown on reclaimed surface mines for biofuel production.
After earning her undergraduate degree at Ohio State, Brown began her graduate studies under Jeff Skousen, a professor of soil science in the Davis College and land reclamation specialist for WVU Extension.
“As an undergraduate, I specialized in ecological engineering because of the focus on habitat restoration,” said Brown, of Avon, Ohio. “I knew that a master’s degree in soil science would fill in the gaps left with my engineering degree.
“Soil science is such a crucial part of the reclamation of new and abandoned mine lands that I jumped at the chance when I was offered the position at WVU,” Brown added.
– See more at: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2013/10/24/wvu-grad-student-seeks-new-fuels-in-old-fields#sthash.SnAolx6P.dpuf
West Virginia University Extension specialists will conduct a one-day Lawn and Landscape Recertification Workshop on Oct. 26 that teaches participants tips and safety techniques to maintain their lawns and gardens.
Topics include pest control, proper fertilizer and pesticide storage and balancing soil nutrition.
The workshop will be held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the South Agricultural Sciences Building on the Evansdale Campus. The cost for the workshop is $20 at the door or $15 by mail-in advance. Drinks and snacks will be provided.
During the lawn and garden pest portion of the workshop, participants will learn about common, unwelcome insects, weeds and plant diseases.
– See more at: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2013/10/21/wvu-extension-to-hold-workshop-on-lawn-and-garden-maintenance#sthash.wwXEDGmp.dpuf
Jessica Odenheimer, a master’s candidate in agronomy in WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, won a $2,000 scholarship from the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs.
“Land reclamation is my passion,” Odenheimer said. “Reclamation will always be needed, whether it’s for land that was mined for coal, land that was fractured for natural gas, superfund sites, or even streams and rivers that have been affected by industry or our growing population.”
Odenheimer took land reclamation courses while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences at Virginia Tech. In 2010, she met WVU’s Jeff Skousen at a meeting of the American Society of Mining Reclamation.
“I knew he would be a fantastic mentor in the realm of mining reclamation,” Odenheimer said.
Skousen serves a dual role at WVU, both as professor of soil science in the Davis College and as land reclamation specialist for WVU Extension. He has an international reputation as an expert in disturbed mine lands and reclamation systems.
– See more at: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2013/10/18/wvu-grad-student-receives-national-recognition-for-mine-land-reclamation#sthash.I2KSNGXq.dpuf
Fall webworm appears late in the season and is usually not difficult to control or detrimental to the plant.
“While they can destroy leaves it’s rare for them to do any significant damage to established trees,” Daniel Frank, WVU Extension Service entomology specialist, said.
Fall webworm larvae form a web or tent around themselves and their food the tree foliage. As the larvae grow, so do their webs and the destruction that they cause.
Because the larvae feed in groups, they can skeletonize leaves, eventually consuming entire leaves as they reach maturity.
Gardeners and growers often mistake fall webworms with the eastern tent caterpillar despite their different appearances.
Fall webworms form loose, silken webs around the ends of branches; the larvae feed on the foliage within the web.
Conversely, the eastern tent caterpillar forms dense webs in the forks and crotches of trees; the larvae leave their web to feed but congregate there at night and during inclement weather. Eastern tent caterpillar larvae occur in the spring.
Since fall webworm feed on leaves late in the season and their webs are generally concentrated in limited areas, they cause minimal damage to the tree. However, the nests often look unsightly and can be controlled by pruning and destroying infested branches if the webs are within reach.
According to Frank, bacterial and synthetic insecticides are also effective against fall webworm. Sprays should be applied to the foliage closest to the web mass, as spraying the web itself will not give good contact to the larvae inside.
For more information on agriculture programs in your community, contact your local county office of the WVU Extension Service, or visit www.ext.wvu.edu.
By Cassie Waugh, WVU Extension Service
Michael E. Mann is distinguished professor and director of the Earth System Science Center in the Department of Meteorology at the Pennsylvania State University. He’s also the author of “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars,” which provides the title for his presentation.
A reception and book signing will follow Mann’s lecture, which is free and open to the public.
Mann’s visit is sponsored by the Division of Forestry and Natural Resources in WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.
For more details, please visit WVU Today.
The Agricultural Sciences Building, a significant part of the re-imagining of agricultural sciences at West Virginia University’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, will have a groundbreaking at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 12.
Upon completion, the facility will house Davis College administrative units and three of its five academic divisions, Animal and Nutritional Sciences, Plant and Soil Sciences, and Resource Management, along with specialists and staff in WVU Extension Service’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Unit.
The building will be 201,000 square feet with an unfinished space for future completion of 8,000 square feet. The five-story structure will include substantial instructional space for lectures and laboratories, as well as cutting-edge research laboratories and design studios for students in landscape architecture and environmental design.
The project, which is currently out on bid, includes construction of the new Agricultural Sciences Building and demolition of the current building. Construction is expected to be completed by December 2015, with the demolition of the current building projected for early 2016.
The building has been designed by Duncan Kirk, AIA, the technical principal of HOK’s Washington, DC, and Atlanta offices.
The groundbreaking ceremony will include remarks by WVU President James Clements, Davis College Dean Dan Robison, West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist Doolarie Singh-Knights, and Rachel Manning, an undergraduate student pursuing majors in agricultural and extension education and agribusiness management and rural development.
“This groundbreaking for the Davis College is an exciting day as we commence with a new building, and it is also a day to re-imagine what we do and recommit ourselves to the high mission of WVU and our pursuit of the sciences of agriculture, natural resources and design,” Robison said.
The groundbreaking will take place in the Area 43 parking lot adjacent to the South Agricultural Sciences Building on WVU’s Evansdale Campus. Following the ceremony, a reception will be held in the Evansdale Greenhouse featuring light refreshments using the West Virginia 63 tomato, bred by Emeritus Professor Mannon Gallegly. WVU is celebrating the 50th birthday of the tomato.
The groundbreaking takes place a year after the dedication of the Evansdale Greenhouse. The exterior of the new Agricultural Sciences Building will match that of the Greenhouse, as will the South Agricultural Sciences Building, which is currently being re-skinned. The Davis College facilities are part of WVU’s multi-year, $159.5 million building plan that is remaking the Evansdale campus.
A prominent biochemist will visit the West Virginia University campus on Tuesday, Sept. 10, to discuss the nutrition of healthy aging.
Bruce Ames, senior scientist at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute and professor emeritus of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, will present two lectures to the WVU community as part of the Nath Lecture Series.
Ames will present “Vitamin and Mineral Inadequacy Accelerates Aging-associated Diseases” at 3 p.m. in the Fukushima Auditorium of the WVU Health Sciences Center.
That evening, he will discuss “Poor Nutrition Accelerates Aging-associated Disease: A Path to Prevention” at 7:30 in 1021 South Agricultural Sciences Building located on WVU’s Evansdale Campus.
Both lectures are open to the public, and faculty, staff, students, and members of the community are encouraged to attend.
Ames is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was on its Commission on Life Sciences. He also served on the board of directors for the National Cancer Institute and the National Cancer Advisory Board from 1976 to 1982.
He has received numerous awards for his research including the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation Prize, the Tyler Environmental Prize, the Gold Medal Award of the American Institute of Chemists, the U.S. National Medal of Science, the Linus Pauling Institute Prize for Health Research, and the Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal from the Genetics Society of America.
With more than 540 publications, Ames is among the most cited scientists in the world.
The Nath Lecture Series is funded through an endowment by Drs. Joginder Nath, professor emeritus of genetics, and Charlotte Nath, professor emeritus of family medicine in the WVU School of Medicine.
Ames’ lectures are sponsored by the Nath Lecture Series, the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, the college’s Division of Plant and Soil Sciences and Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences, the Provost’s Office, the WVU Health Sciences Center, and the WVU Honors College.
Hosted by the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and WVU Extension, the event introduces new research and highlights ongoing projects in organic production methods through intensive workshops and organized or self-guided tours of the farm.
WVU’s Organic Farm is among the largest certified organic research farms in the nation dedicated to teaching, research and outreach. It’s a living laboratory linking scientific discovery with applications supporting an increasing number of organic growers and gardeners.
“The needs of organic growers are constantly evolving and our research helps address the new opportunities and emerging problems they face,” said Jim Kotcon, associate professor plant pathology. “We enjoy putting together this event every year and hope participants benefit from our efforts.”
Workshops led by WVU faculty and graduate students will provide overviews of soil management and quality, pest identification and control measures including insects, diseases and weeds, and livestock and pasture management. New trap-crop experiments for insect and plant disease control will be among the tour highlights.
“We invite everyone who has an interest in organic production to join us,” Kotcon said. “This is a great opportunity to bring growers and researchers together to understand the challenges confronting successful organic producers and to learn about some of the innovative solutions developed at WVU.”
Gates open at 1 p.m. with workshops beginning at 1:30 p.m. Guided tours begin at 4 p.m. Dinner featuring organic produce grown on the farm will be served at 6 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is appreciated.
To register, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Tessy Warnick at 304-293-2961.
Dave Marnell and Kayla Marley, students in the WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism, have taken an in-depth look at organic agriculture, interviewing the Davis College’s Jim Kotcon for the video above, and crafting this multimedia piece on the subject for the Mountaineer News Service:
“Many organic farmers had a legitimate complaint that the college of agriculture was not providing enough research for the things they needed,” Kotcon said in regards to the start of organic studies at the university. “Research back then was dominated by chemical company interest. We saw this as a good chance to serve a segment of the American agriculture community that had been underserved.”
As West Virginia University continues to reach new milestones in its ambitious comprehensive campaign, A State of Minds, WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design honored some of its most ardent supporters and partners at a recent banquet.
“We’ve begun a new tradition of honoring some of the people and organizations that truly make a difference here in the Davis College providing us with a margin of excellence through donations of their time, energy, ideas and financial support,” said Daniel J. Robison, dean of the Davis College.
“We have and will always honor our outstanding faculty, staff and students for the work they do, and now we add another group of well-deserved recognitions,” Robison continued. “The kinds of contributions these people make set us apart, enable us, and inspire us to work all the harder.”
Robison noted that private giving and donations of time and energy make all the more difference in uncertain budgetary times and, through endowments, “sustain the good works of students and faculty for years to come.”
For the full story, please visit WVU Today.
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