AMHERST, Mass. - The New England region underwent El Nino-like climate changes during the Ice Age, a team of researchers has found. University of Massachusetts geoscientist Julie Brigham-Grette led the research, along with former UMass graduate student Tammy Rittenour (now a doctoral candidate at the University of Nebraska), and environmental scientist Michael Mann, now at the University of Virginia. The findings are detailed in the May 12 issue of Science. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, and the University of Massachusetts.
AMHERST, Mass. - William Manning, a plant pathologist in the microbiology department at the University of Massachusetts, has spent much of the last 25 years trying to answer a single question: Can a tobacco plant serve the same purpose as a canary in a coal mine? The answer lies in the way a tobacco plant suffers when it''s exposed to pollutants, especially ozone. Although ozone occurs naturally in the air we breathe, increased levels flood the East Coast during warm, sunny days between May and October, especially in the Northeast.
AMHERST, Mass. - A new book by world-renowned Holocaust studies expert James Young, professor of English and Judaic studies at the University of Massachusetts, will be published by Yale University Press May 9. A publication party will take place at Atticus Books in Amherst on Thurs. May 11 at 5 p.m. Young will also speak on the subject at a formal book launch at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston on Thurs. May 18 from 6-8 p.m.
AMHERST, Mass. - Andrew Pazmany, the University of Massachusetts researcher and tornado chaser, will be on the trail of the swirling storms in tornado alley again this year now that tornado season has begun once again. Pazmany, along with colleagues at the University of Oklahoma, tracked last year''s "monster" tornado on May 3, resulting in the highest resolution radar image ever recorded from a tornado.
AMHERST, Mass. - Statistics class has a reputation for tripping up even the brightest students. But a $2.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation is enabling University of Massachusetts researchers to develop software that helps middle-school students get a grip on stats before math anxiety grips them. And that''s important, says team leader Cliff Konold, because statistics and data analysis are becoming a bigger part of the world, not just for academic pursuits, but for everyday decision making. The group is working on the project under the auspices of the Scientific Reasoning Research Institute (SRRI), an interdisciplinary research organization devoted to the study of learning and instruction in the sciences and mathematics.
AMHERST, Mass. - Raymond Bradley, climate researcher and head of the geosciences department at the University of Massachusetts, is among the experts scheduled to appear on a two-hour special PBS program on Tues., April 18, at 9 p.m. Bradley is known for his work documenting global warming. The program, "What''s Up with the Weather?" explores the extreme weather of the past decade. It was produced by NOVA and Frontline.
AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts plant researcher and associate professor Susan Han discovered something several years ago that Easter-lily lovers will appreciate over the next few weeks. After experimenting with a variety of remedies for a condition that attacks the holiday lilies, Han tried a growth hormone readily available as a nursery product and sprayed it on the tall, leafy plants. This simple procedure, she said, protected the lilies from foliar chlorosis, the bane of the greenhouse industry''s third most important product.
AMHERST, Mass. - Derek Lovley, head of the microbiology department at the University of Massachusetts, and Robert T. Anderson, microbiology graduate student at UMass, have found that bacteria living just below the earth''s surface can be coaxed to rapidly convert oil to methane gas in oil-rich soil. Their findings, which are spelled out in an article in this week''s issue of Nature, could change the way the oil exploration industry operates, according to Lovley.
AMHERST, Mass. - A team of University of Massachusetts researchers has found a way to make molecules that are too tiny to be seen, under even the strongest microscopes, behave in a predictable and orderly way. The finding should have major implications in the development of faster computers and ultra-sensitive sensors, such as electronic "noses" that locate land-mines and diseases. The team, led by professor of chemistry Vincent Rotello, reports the details in the April 13 issue of the journal Nature.
AMHERST, Mass. - M.J. Alhabeeb, of the department of consumer studies at the University of Massachusetts, will report on his study of teen employment, its impact on schools and society, and how teen-agers spend their money, at a special seminar Wed., March 29. The talk, which will be held in Room 217 of Skinner Hall, is free and open to the public.