Sustainability & Environment

UMass Extension Sustainable Greenhouse Management

The Sustainable Greenhouse Management project applies research and educational opportunities to address key problems and opportunities facing the industry and the public. Programs on greenhouse crop production, integrated pest management, water and nutrient management, waste management and energy are delivered through a variety of newsletters, websites and message board, publications, workshops, conferences, training programs, diagnostic services and applied research. Applied research considers organic growing media and fertilizers for ornamental greenhouse crops.

UMass Extension Sustainable Fruit Production

UMass Extension provides farmers with access to current research on new and alternative species and varieties, horticultural management techniques, marketing and business management strategies, pest-ecology, and pest-management procedures. Research on pest ecology and management informs approaches that optimize control, reduce chemical use and increase fruit quality. The resources provided by Extension forge successful partnerships with Massachusetts’s fruit producers that in turn foster a more secure, diverse and healthful food supply for the Commonwealth.

Wildlife Conservation

The Wildlife Conservation project engages in applied research and provides information, educational materials and programs based on current research to promote wildlife conservation including efforts to better understand the impacts of roads and highways on wildlife and ecosystems and to develop and evaluate techniques for mitigating those impacts.

Wetlands Conservation

Wetlands Regulations and Protection is part of a broader effort to provide training and information to municipal officials. This initiative provides workshops and materials for conservation commissions in the implementation of the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act.

River and Stream Continuity

The River & Stream Continuity Project focuses on the impact of road-stream crossings (culverts, bridges, fords) on fish and other aquatic organism passage by providing technical guidance and standards, field surveys, and other tools and approaches for setting priorities for culvert upgrade or replacement. A number of groups use methods developed as part of the Project to assess bridges and culverts and set priorities for restoring river and stream continuity in targeted watersheds in five of the six New England states.

Conservation Assessment & Prioritization System

The Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System (CAPS) is a computer software program and an approach to prioritizing land for conservation that provides an objective, dynamic, and flexible tool to support decision-making for land conservation, land management, project review and permitting to protect habitat and biodiversity. CAPS serves as the centerpiece of the state’s comprehensive wetlands monitoring and assessment program and a potential model for use at the regional scale.

Sustainable Turf Management Project

The UMass Extension Sustainable Turf Management Project helps turf managers and other interested businesses, professionals, individuals, organizations and communities meet environmental, social and business challenges by providing research-based information on building and using the skills and knowledge needed for maintaining and enhancing turf landscapes. The principal focus of the project is on environmental sustainability and economic vitality, with emphasis on protecting human health and conserving water and other natural resources.

Land Protection and Community Preservation

The Land Protection and Community Preservation project encourages sustainable growth by providing the residents of the northern towns of the Quinebaug Shetucket watershed corridor with outreach, education and facilitation that encourages capacity-building and the consideration of land, water and other sustainability issues in the day-to-day decision making processes of the towns and the region.

Sustainable Landscape Management

To foster and prolong the growth of the Green Industry in Massachusetts, the Sustainable Landscape Management project teaches integrated pest management practices and environmental stewardship strategies to municipal and private landscape professionals, nursery growers and home gardeners. Participants learn to be responsive to client horticultural problems and to find workable short and long term solutions to pressing problems. Participants also focus their role as environmental stewards on reducing negative environmental impact by using best management practices.

Forest Conservation

The Forest Conservation program helps family forest owners make informed decisions about the future of their land, to meet the needs of their families and the Commonwealth. In addition to developing the “Your Land, Your Legacy” publication— the cornerstone for workshops, webinars, and web-based outreach—the Forest Conservation program is also a founding partner in the Family Forest Research Center (FFRC). The Keystone Project also directs education and reference materials towards people who can be a local source of information to landowners, communities, and organizations.

UMass Extension Pesticide Education Program

The Pesticide Education Program works closely with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources to educate pesticide users about safe application, state regulation and proper use of pesticides. The project team is also part of a New England Pest Management Network that collaborates to gather information on pest management and pesticide use for important crops and sites throughout New England, and to identify pest management needs and inform state regulations. This project helps agricultural and green industry businesses stay competitive and relevant.

UMass Extension Plant Diagnostic Lab

The University of Massachusetts Amherst recognizes the importance of reliable and prompt diagnosis of plant problems for the turf, floriculture, vegetable, nursery, urban forestry and landscape industries. The UMass Extension Plant Diagnostic Lab provides diagnosis of plant problems for farmers, horticulturists, landscape contractors, turf managers, arborists, nurseries, and others in agriculture and the green industries.

Northeast Climate Science Center

The Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CSC) is created to provide scientific information, tools, and techniques that parties interested in land, water, wildlife and cultural resources can use to anticipate, monitor, and adapt to climate change in the Northeast region. The NE CSC Strategic Science Agenda, which determines the research priorities of the NE CSC, is developed in consultation with federal and state agencies, Tribes, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, NGOs, landowners, and business groups with concerns about regional climate impacts.

Marine Biological Laboratory

Collecting and documenting the history of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Wood's Hole, including the community active in establishing the program is the focus of this program. A digital database and oral history interviews as part of the project of documenting the 125 year anniversary of the MBL, one of the most important scientific research stations in world, will be produced.

Sustainability Round Table - American Library Association

SustainRT is a sustainability group under the American Library Association (ALA). This professional forum develops programs of interest from all types of libraries and all forms of library service, including opportunities for continued learning, leadership training, professional involvement and networking, and, active engagement in the ALA and library community. Activities include the exchange of ideas and opportunities regarding sustainability in order to move toward a more equitable, healthy and economically viable society.

Clean Energy Forum

Professor Boyce spoke on a panel organized by Environment America, along with a state senator, a local clean-energy entrepreneur, and the director of Environment America's energy program.

Movable Feast

Movable Feast is a socially engaged art and food project to promote “Food System Change,” and a literal and metaphoric vehicle that advocates for building a healthier regional food system. The project provides a visual and culinary catalyst for discussing, highlighting and disseminating information about healthy community-based food practices in Western Massachusetts’ diverse communities. The retrofitted mobile food service trailer at the center of this project is an advocacy tool for healthy eating, local food production and sustainability.

Sustainable Knowledge Corridor Civic Engagement

This civic engagement project supports a regional planning effort—the “Sustainable Knowledge Corridor Project”—which aims to create a foundation of opportunity in housing, education, transportation, employment, health, environment and community resources throughout Hampden and Hampshire counties. Inclusive public involvement is an important part of this project, with a focus on engaging under-represented communities in discussions about the opportunities and obstacles to create an equitable and sustainable future for their cities, towns and neighborhoods.

Architecture + Design: Design 6 (Design Engagement Studio)

This capstone design studio is offered each Spring as part of the Architecture + Design curriculum. Working with a different community based organization each semester student teams engage in reflective research on sustainability, social engagement and innovative design practices as they respond to a design need defined by the local organization. The projects and proposals that emerge from this studio promote social transformation through innovative design.

Zube Series - Spring 2013

The Zube lecture series is named for Ervin Zube, former head of LARP from 1974 to 1980. Professor Zube is internationally known for his leadership in developing a culture of academic research in the profession of landscape architecture. His research made numerous seminal contributions to landscape planning theory and practice.****

Corporate Toxics Information Project

The Corporate Toxics Information Project analyzes and disseminates information from the US Environmental Protection Agency on corporate releases of toxic chemicals and the resulting exposures of communities to air and water pollution hazards. The Project aims to help community-based activists and socially responsible investors to translate the right to know into the right to clean air and water.

Toss: Habitat Design for Beneficial Birds

Toss is a participatory urban ecology strategy to support beneficial bird populations in urban environments which can, in turn, mitigate the threat of dangerous mosquito-borne illnesses by supporting their habitat. Through its outreach partner, Crookedworks, Toss! units - whimsical, lightweight, rapidly-deployable bird habitats – are built, from materials scavenged from local urban environments, and installed in the urban infrastructure. Toss!

Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning: Pathways to Sustainability

The Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning is held every three years to bring together experts who are influencing landscape planning, policy making and greenway planning from the local to international level. It is intended to highlight recent trends and expand the literature about landscape and greenway planning. This year, speakers from 26 countries will be coming to share how they have approached greenway planning and to communicate how greenways have been tailored to each county’s unique geographical, cultural, and political circumstances.

The Arsenic Project

Chemical contamination from arsenic is a major environmental problem. The Arsenic Project gives students the chance to address meaningful questions about this pollutant, while also adding to our knowledge of the extent of the problem in their communities. Middle and high school students learn relevant chemistry topics and conduct group investigations of the possible presence of arsenic. Later, students work in small groups on original environmental arsenic studies, on topics such as the removal of arsenic from ground water by low-cost technologies.

Massachusetts Pesticide Analysis Laboratory

The Massachusetts Pesticide Analysis Laboratory (MPAL) provides analytical services and scientific expertise for the regulation and enforcement of pesticide use in Massachusetts. MPAL is able to analyze most commonly used pesticides including insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and in many cases, their metabolites. Its analytical staff have immediate access to the most up-to-date methodologies and equipment, as well as to other chemists, biologists, toxicologists, and scientists with related expertise. MPAL is able to accept samples from the public on a fee for service basis.