‘An exemplary teacher in every sense of the word’

OSU CFAES Mazeika S.P. Sullivan, PhD Assistant Professor of Aquatic-Riparian Ecology School of Environment and Natural ResourcesMazeika Sullivan, assistant professor in CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, spent part of the morning March 28 collecting study samples, knee deep in the nearby, still cold Olentangy River. He returned to the college’s Kottman Hall that afternoon, where he met a warmer, drier, unexpected welcome … (Photo: K.D. Chamberlain.)

CFAES prof to testify before U.S. House on water quality

Moore_RichardRichard Moore of CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources will testify before the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment tomorrow (March 25) in a hearing titled “The Role of Water Quality Trading in Achieving Clean Water Objectives.” His achievements include leading the Sugar Creek Headwaters Ecosystem Study, which produced the Sugar Creek Method, a community-based approach to watershed management emphasizing local action and decision-making based on scientific data. He also serves as executive director of Ohio State’s Environmental Sciences Network. U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs of northeast Ohio is the subcommittee’s chairman. Watch the live stream here.

A recycling cycle that’s shaped like an O

OSU studentsOhio State’s Office of Energy Services and Sustainability works to make the campus more sustainable, especially by encouraging recycling and composting. If you’re a student or staff or faculty member, you can see what you can recycle here and, for lab materials, here. You can follow the office at @OSUrecycles and are welcome to tweet them your questions. Fun fact: Ohio Stadium is the country’s largest stadium to achieve zero waste. That means at least 90 percent of the hot dog buns, soda bottles, etc., thrown out by fans on a football Saturday, instead of being landfilled, are recycled or composted and put back to use. (Photo: University Communications.)

Helping farmers in East Africa protect and improve their tomato crops

OCFAES scientists have been working for five years in Kenya on a problem that has plagued local farmers. Mark Erbaugh, Office of International Programs in Agriculture, Sally Miller, Department of Plant Pathology, Luis Cañas, Department of Entomology, and Matt Kleinhenz, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, all have been engaged with the Kongai Tisa Farmer Association in Kirinyaga County, Kenya, to help improve their production and manage critical pests and diseases of tomato, the community’s most important cash crop. This project, which is conducted through the U.S. Agency for International Development-supported Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab (IPM-IL) in East Africa, began five years ago when Kenyan farmers indicated a variety of diseases and insect pests were reducing their tomato harvest. These diseases include bacterial wilt, late blight and tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), a disease commonly vectored by whitefly, the American bollworm and thrips.

The CFAES scientists, in close collaboration with scientists from the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) in Thika, developed and introduced an integrated package of management options that includes grafting a market-preferred variety onto a bacterial wilt-resistant rootstock, constructing high tunnels to exclude pests and diseases, using soil solarization heat-treatment to eliminate bacterial wilt in the soil, and the use of other sound agricultural practices.

Local farmers have been participating in the research trials and, through a series of workshops, have learned how to graft the plants (pictured above), manage the high tunnels and recognize common tomato diseases themselves. Some have even turned grafting into small-scale businesses by selling grafted seedlings to other farmers. According to the farmers, the package has helped them improve yields while simultaneously lowering costs of production through pesticide reduction and improved efficiency of water usage.

Farmers also claim that they are now developing their own IPM strategies for other crops and taking advantage of higher prices in some markets, as local consumers are now aware of the harmful effects of consuming pesticides harbored and have a greater willingness to pay. While the research team is currently in the process of assessing the project’s impact, similar projects are ongoing in Uganda and Tanzania — the two other countries that IPM-IL scientists are focused on. The Kirinyaga County project is just one of many projects led by IPM-IL in East Africa to improve pest management, which will undoubtedly improve agricultural production and local livelihoods.

For more information, contact Beau Ingle, program manager, Office of International Programs in Agriculture, at ingle.16@osu.edu or 614-292-4221.

Thursday: About the new Jewish food movement

nigel-savageNigel Savage, founder of the nonprofit group Hazon, presents “The New Jewish Food Movement: Reflections on Its First Ten Years” from 4-5:30 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday, March 20) on Ohio State’s Columbus campus with a video link to the Wooster campus of CFAES’s research arm, OARDC; and “Omnivore’s Dilemma: Eating Jewishly in the 21st Century” at 6 p.m. at Ohio State’s Melton Center for Jewish Studies in Columbus. His first talk is hosted by CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources. (Photo: Hazon.)

Great Lakes forests and climate change: A new way to show how to deal with it

climate change webinarStephen Handler of the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science presents a free webinar, “Adaptation and Forest Management in Great Lakes Forests: Custom-made, Real-world Examples,” from noon to 1 p.m. March 25. Click here for more information and to register. Handler coordinates the Northwoods Climate Change Response Network. His talk is part of a series sponsored by Ohio State’s Climate Change Outreach Team.

Soybean rust never sleeps … so team of scientists stands guard against it

soybean rustThere’s rust on some soybeans, though preferably not, but none on the scientists fighting it. Experts from more than 30 U.S. and Canadian institutions, including CFAES, continue to battle soybean rust, a big yield robber elsewhere in the world that invaded the U.S. 10 years ago. Two new videos are their latest steps forward. (Photo: Soybean leaves infected with soybean rust by Christine Stone, USDA-ARS.)