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What is an Agronomist?

Friday, August 28th, 2015

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CALS researchers deploy insect ‘birth control’ to protect cranberries

[caption id="attachment_17826" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Sundance cranberries at a farm near Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. Photo: Jeff Miller[/caption] It's no fun being a male moth in one of Shawn Steffan's cranberry research plots in central Wisconsin. When the time comes to mate, it's tough to find a partner. Here's why: Using an approach known as pheromone-based mating disruption, Steffan and his team dot their test fields with hundreds of dollops of pheromone-infused wax — known as SPLAT for short — that give off the scent of female moths ready to mate. The males can't tell the difference between the pheromone plume emanating from the SPLAT versus the real thing — and many die before they are able to home in on a real partner. "We throw a wrench into their communication system with lots of false plumes. In essence, it's moth birth control," explains Steffan, a UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences professor of entomology and a USDA entomologist. Wisconsin is the nation's leading producer of cranberries, growing more fruit than all other states combined. Insect pests are a perennial problem, and while growers have insecticide sprays that largely ...
Thursday, August 20th, 2015
-20150820
food-systems
10
CALS researchers deploy insect ‘birth control’ to protect cranberries

Researchers study Wisconsin’s deepest lake to help preserve ‘an ecological jewel’

[caption id="attachment_17822" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Green Lake. Photo: David Drexler[/caption] UW-Madison researchers have teamed up with community leaders to analyze Green Lake, Wisconsin's deepest inland lake and a crucial habitat for lake trout and other cold water species. In 2014, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources designated the lake as "impaired" because it failed to meet water quality standards due to low levels of dissolved oxygen at certain depths, which can happen when increasing amounts of phosphorus, sediment and algae alter the lake's ecology. When oxygen levels fall below a certain point, many native species die out. This summer, three faculty members specializing in agriculture and water quality are leading an interdisciplinary analysis of the lake and its watershed to better understand what's happening - and to find some possible solutions. Chris Kucharik, a professor of agronomy and environmental studies and an affiliate of the Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, is working with Anita Thompson, a professor of biological systems engineering and incoming chair of the Nelson Institute's Water Resources Management program, and Jake Vander Zanden, a professor of zoology with ...
Monday, August 10th, 2015
-20150810
healthy-ecosystems
10
Researchers study Wisconsin’s deepest lake to help preserve ‘an ecological jewel’
CALS in the Media

Saliva-based fertility test wins Madison pitch contest

Wisconsin State Journal
-20150902
cals-in-the-media
10
Saliva-based fertility test wins Madison pitch contest

Celebrate Agriculture game set for September 12 against Miami University

University of Wisconsin Athletics is proud to once again partner with the state’s agriculture industry for the third annual “Celebrate Agriculture” game on Saturday, Sept. 12, when the Badgers host the Miami University Redhawks at Camp Randall Stadium. Game day festivities will celebrate Wisconsin agriculture and its deep connections to the University of Wisconsin. Agriculture will be everywhere throughout the game, including promotions, special graphics and fun agriculture facts. Commemorative game day posters will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. “For the third year in a row, we are pleased to join UW Athletics in celebrating Wisconsin’s $88 billion agricultural industry. We are proud of our partnerships with Wisconsin agricultural producers and the scientific contributions we make to this diverse industry,” says Kate VandenBosch, dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at UW-Madison. Presenting sponsors include Cleary Building Corporation; CROPLAN by Winfield; Badgerland Financial; Case IH; Accelerated Genetics; DeLaval; Dairyland Seed; Culver’s; and DuPont Pioneer. Kickoff time has been set for 11 a.m. and the game will be televised nationally on ESPNU. Tickets for the game are available for ...
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015
-20150902
uncategorized
10
Celebrate Agriculture game set for September 12 against Miami University
Health and Wellness

Morgridge Institute selects Pagliarini to lead campus metabolism initiative

[caption id="attachment_17871" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Dave Pagliarini. Photo by Courtni Kopietz.[/caption] Dave Pagliarini, a University of Wisconsin-Madison associate professor whose departmental home put metabolism research on the map worldwide, will help define the future of Wisconsin metabolism science as a lead investigator at the Morgridge Institute for Research. Pagliarini joins Morgridge from the UW-Madison Department of Biochemistry, which is home to some of the foundations of metabolism discovery, from vitamins and enzyme function to mitochondria’s role as a cellular engine. He emerged from a national search conducted this year and will help build community across as many as 200 UW-Madison scientists conducting metabolism related research. In partnership with UW-Madison, Morgridge leaders identified metabolism as an area of vast potential for growth and partnership. Known as the “chemistry of life,” metabolism is not only a core driver of how cells survive or falter, but is linked to debilitating diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer. As Morgridge’s metabolism director, Pagliarini will be charged with hiring cutting-edge new research talent, creating a central hub for collaboration across the field, and ensuring core campus research facilities and technologies ...
Monday, August 31st, 2015
-20150831
health-wellness
10
Morgridge Institute selects Pagliarini to lead campus metabolism initiative
Healthy Ecosystems

Sustainable nanotechnology center lands new $20 million contract

The Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, a multi-institutional research center based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has inked a new contract with the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will provide nearly $20 million in support over the next five years. Directed by UW-Madison chemistry Professor Robert Hamers, the center focuses on the molecular mechanisms by which nanoparticles interact with biological systems. Nanotechnology involves the use of materials at the smallest scale, including the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules. Products that use nanoscale materials range from beer bottles and car wax to solar cells and electric and hybrid car batteries. If you read your books on a Kindle, a semiconducting material manufactured at the nanoscale underpins the high-resolution screen. While there are already hundreds of products that use nanomaterials in various ways, much remains unknown about how these modern materials and the tiny particles they are composed of interact with the environment and living things. “The purpose of the center is to explore how we can make sure these nanotechnologies come to fruition with little or no environmental impact,” explains Hamers. “We’re looking at nanoparticles ...
Monday, August 31st, 2015
-20150831
healthy-ecosystems
10
Sustainable nanotechnology center lands new $20 million contract
Food Systems

UW Organic Vegetable Field Day features veggie tasting event

Do you love your veggies? Would you like to help plant breeders make them taste even better? Members of the public who attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Organic Vegetable Field Day on Sept. 8 will have the opportunity to sample a wide variety of vegetables being grown, evaluated and improved by UW researchers for—and with the help of—area farmers, farmers’ market vendors and restaurateurs. This free event will take place from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the university’s West Madison Agricultural Research Station, which has more than 10 acres of certified organic land. [caption id="attachment_17856" align="alignright" width="350"] Julie Dawson (far right) at last year's Vegetable Field Day[/caption] “We’re looking for feedback that can help inform our plant breeding efforts,” says event organizer Julie Dawson, a UW-Madison assistant professor of horticulture and UW-Extension urban agriculture specialist. “We’ll have varieties on hand that the chefs we’ve been partnering with have really liked so far, including some of the successes from last year and some of the newer varieties that are looking promising.” Farmers and gardeners who attend the event will have the opportunity to learn about ...
Thursday, August 27th, 2015
-20150827
food-systems
10
UW Organic Vegetable Field Day features veggie tasting event