Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment

The Coast is Clear

At the Universities of Connecticut and Rhode Island, a team of Extension and Sea Grant educators is addressing coastal preparedness with funding from the Smith-Lever Special Needs Competitive Grants Program. UConn Extension has created a preparedness education program to help people, including those with pets and livestock, prepare for storm emergencies.

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite

With NIFA funding, Alvaro Romero, a scientist from the New Mexico State University is working with other researchers to educate the public about using an integrated pest management approach to detect and prevent bed bugs.

Clean Water Act Dramatically Cut Pollution in U.S. Waterways

The 1972 Clean Water Act has driven significant improvements in U.S. water quality, according to the first comprehensive study of water pollution over the past several decades, by researchers at UC Berkeley and Iowa State University.

Family Tree of Forestry

A recent Pennsylvania State University project looked at the issue of intergenerational land transfer to help land-owning families preserve forests and address other challenges, such as invasive species.

Kelp, Commerce, and Cleaner Water

Over time, the wetland is being affected by development and harmful algal blooms, like the brown tide that devastated the local scallop industry in 1985. The Cornell Cooperative Extension in Suffolk County, New York, is investigating whether sugar kelp can be grown commercially and help improve local water quality.

Farm Ditch is Home, Sweet Home, to Tiny Aquatic Species

Seasonal agricultural streams and flooded ditches, remnants of when the Willamette Valley was one big wetland, are full of aquatic life. Scientists at Oregon State University (OSU) ventured into farmers’ flooded fields in southern Williamette Valley and discovered that this biodiversity persists.

A Multistate Hive Mind of Research

Bees provide essential pollination for many of the nut, berry, fruit, vegetable, and seed crops grown in the U.S. To supplement wild bee pollination, farmers often rent managed honey bee colonies. Demand is skyrocketing, but catastrophic die-offs are threatening the supply of healthy honey bee colonies.

Almonds, Wildflowers, Bees, Oh My!

Some almond growers have started planting wildflowers on the edges of managed fields as a way to help bees do their jobs in the face of pollinator pressures. There are, however concerns that the wildflowers may pull valuable pollination services away from the almond crops. New research reveals that almond growers can put this particular concern aside.

Pollen Power

Bumble bees have discriminating palettes when it comes to their pollen meals, according to researchers at Penn State. With NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative funding, the researchers found that bumble bees can detect the nutritional quality of pollen, and that this ability helps them selectively forage among plant species to optimize their diets.

What Wild Bees Need

A new national assessment estimates that wild bees declined in 23 percent of the contiguous United States between 2008 and 2013. The team of Project ICP researchers, led by Insu Koh at the University of Vermont, found that the decline was generally associated with conversion of natural habitats to row crops. Areas of intense agriculture (e.g., the Midwest Corn Belt and the Central Valley of California) have among the lowest levels of predicted wild bee abundance.