Pulling mussels from the … now no longer underwater river bottom

Rick Livingston, associate director of Ohio State’s Humanities Institute, says the rescue of mussels stranded by the 5th Avenue dam removal has actually already started:

“I spent the day pulling mussels from just below the site — we moved close to 400 downstream, to just below Harrison Park. For better or worse, that wedge of river between the dam and the bend has been unbelievably productive; hopefully they’ll like the site downriver as much.

“Also, the folks at Stantec (the company in charge of the dam removal) were really grateful for all the enthusiastic volunteers; unfortunately, they’re only equipped to handle two volunteers per Stantec worker, so there’s a bit of a bottleneck.”

Answer: Pretty great. ‘Bivalve-tastic’ is also acceptable

From an update this morning by Ohio State’s Facilities Operations and Development department on the 5th Avenue soon-to-be-ex-dam: “The second and final phase of the dam removal is anticipated to begin on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Once the pool level starts coming down after this phase, rescue of stranded mussels from newly exposed areas will begin” (emphasis added). How great is this? Including, say, if you’re a mussel? Side note: Check out The Freshwater Mussels of Ohio (pdf) courtesy of The Ohio State University Press.

Ahead of the curve: Something in the way you move me

If you’re interested in humane, efficient livestock care based on the best available science (and some amazing insight), are thinking about majoring in livestock science or livestock management at ATI, which is the two-year associate degree-granting program within our college, and/or know who Temple Grandin is, then this is very cool.

There’s an HBO movie about Grandin (played by Claire Danes). Watch the trailer (video, 1:52).

Mind you don’t get your feet wet

The 5th Avenue dam removal project in Columbus heads down the home stretch, in a picture taken this morning by Greg Hitzhusen of our School of Environment and Natural Resources. Heavy construction equipment helped breach the dam, he said, and “in 2-3 days they will be done notching it 3.5 ft lower over 180 ft of the dam.” Why: Water quality and public safety. Students of his have done and will be doing research projects related to removing the dam and to restoring the Olentangy River, which flows through our campus.

Update: More good shots of the action (scroll down).

Of cover crops, filter strips, no-till, and walleye

Here’s what a farmer in northwest Ohio’s Ottawa County is doing to reduce fertilizer runoff from his farm. On a regional scale, such runoff can cause harmful algal blooms in nearby Lake Erie. Jeff Reutter, director of Ohio Sea Grant and our college’s Stone Lab, is one of the people quoted.

‘Going home’: Welcome (back) to Bruce McPheron

We welcome Kenton, Ohio, native and Ohio State alumnus Bruce McPheron as our new dean, effective Nov. 1, pending approval by Ohio State’s Board of Trustees. Dr. McPheron is currently dean of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Bobby Moser, whom you see in the video at the top of this blog and who has been dean of our college since 1991, last year announced his plans to retire.

Tuesday: ‘Oil and gas drilling in public water well fields’

Julie Weatherington-Rice, a geologist, soil scientist, and adjunct assistant professor in our Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering, discusses “Oil and Gas Drilling in Public Water Well Fields” this coming Tuesday (8/28) at 1:50 p.m. Free and open to the public. 219 Agricultural Engineering Building, 590 Woody Hayes Drive, Columbus, with a video link to 108 Administration Building, OARDC, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster.

Update: Weatherington-Rice presented “Mineral Exploration and Extraction in Public Water Well Fields: An Ohio Legal and Public Policy Perspective” at an Ohio Environmental Council meeting last month. Here’s the slideshow from her presentation.