Energy education: Time to ‘embrace conflict,’ mobilize, keep eye on future

Energy education needed“Issues related to energy development are often emotionally charged, with the potential for conflict.” So writes CFAES’s Eric Romich in “The Role of Extension in Energy Education,” published this month in the Journal of Extension. Romich is an OSU Extension energy development specialist. “Looking forward to the next 100 years,” he continues, “it is time for Extension to adapt and mobilize research and educational programming to address critical energy issues facing our nation.” Read the article. (Photo: Creatas.)

Martin to lead Field to Faucet, has ‘ability to bring people together’

Teaming up for water qualityCFAES’s Jay Martin, an ecological engineer, has been picked to lead Ohio State’s new Field to Faucet water quality program. A response to last summer’s Toledo water crisis and ongoing algal bloom problems in Lake Erie and other lakes, the $1 million program aims to ensure safe drinking water while maintaining productive, profitable farming. “Solving the water quality problem in Ohio will take many minds,” said CFAES Dean Bruce McPheron. “Jay has the ability to bring people together.” Read the story …

8 ways a city’s vacant lots can be good for the environment

Greening vacant lotsIn Cleveland, CFAES’s Mary Gardiner and her team are doing a large-scale, never-tried-before study. They’re evaluating eight different landscape treatments on 64 vacant lots in eight Cleveland neighborhoods. Why: To see how the treatments affect biodiversity and ecosystem function in the lots — and hopefully to come up with cheaper, greener options to just planting the lots with grass. Read more. (Find a New York Times story on the work here.)

$4 million to go to Lake Erie water quality research

Funding for Lake Erie water quality researchThe Ohio Board of Regents and a consortium of Ohio universities (including Ohio State and specifically CFAES) and state agencies are investing $4 million in 18 research and development efforts aimed at solving water quality and algal toxicity issues in western Lake Erie. Read the story. (Photo: Marblehead Lighthouse, iStock.)

April 22: Ecosystem stewardship and rapid climate change

Managing forests for climate changeThe Climate Explorations series continues on Wednesday, April 22, with “Ecosystem Stewardship in an Era of Rapid Climate Change.” The subject: Science-based ways to help forests and other ecosystems adapt to climate change. Ohio State plant ecologist Peter Curtis is the speaker. Free at 7 p.m. in the Franklin Park Conservatory, 1777 E. Broad St. in Columbus. The program will also be streamed online; to watch, register here.

April 22: Transgene flow into rice wild relatives

Transgenes and riceOhio State’s Xiao (Peter) Yang presents “Evolutionary Impacts Caused by Transgene Flow into Rice Wild Relatives” from 11:30 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, in the spring seminar series by CFAES’s Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. Learn more. Yang is a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Allison Snow, Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology.

Food security needs water security

CFAES Dean Bruce McPheron spoke April 16 at OARDC’s 2015 annual research conference, whose theme was “Water Quality: Sustaining a Vital Resource.” You can watch his talk, called “CFAES’s Role in Solving Today’s Challenges for a Better Tomorrow,” above. His comments on water quality come near the end, around 22:10. “When we talk about food security,” he said, “we have to have water security first or there is no food.” OARDC is CFAES’s research arm.