Nancy Gainer named CANR communications manager

November 25, 2013 under CANR News

Nancy Gainer named CANR Communications ManagerNancy Gainer has been named the communications manager for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Delaware.

Gainer brings a breadth of knowledge to the college, having more than 25 years of public relations and marketing experience in higher education.

After receiving her undergraduate degree in English from Regis College in Weston, Mass., Gainer went on to earn her master’s in business and organizational communications at Emerson College in Boston.

She began her career at Arnold Public Relations Inc. before transitioning into a career focused on higher education, beginning with a job as a public relations consultant at Bridgewater (Mass.) State College.

“I’ve always been interested in higher education,” said Gainer. “My dad is a concert pianist and professor emeritus of music at Bridgewater State. I essentially grew up on the campus. At the age of 16, I had my first job there, everyone knew me, and we were always at the events. When I left the agency, I said, ‘Maybe higher education public relations is something I want to do.’”

After moving into the role of media relations contact/advertising manager at Bridgewater State College, Gainer took a role as the associate director of public information at Simmons College in Boston, where she eventually worked her way up to the position of director of public information.

Gainer would go on to serve as the director of college relations and the executive director of marketing and communications for Cabrini College in Radnor, Pa., before working as the director for external relations for the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, which administers the Fulbright Scholar Program for the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Of the Fulbright Scholar Program, Gainer said, “It was really melding academic higher education with politics, which is what I love, too. I was able to get a position where I was in charge of the marketing and public relations and I was also in charge of the recruitment.”

Gainer enjoyed the job, but realized how much she missed working in a campus atmosphere and decided to head back into the collegiate world, working as the executive director of public relations and marketing for Howard (Md.) Community College before arriving at UD.

Of the position at UD Gainer said, “It struck me and really resonated with me. It’s something I believe in. I’ve been up and down the Eastern seaboard but I grew up in a little town where there are farms down the street, the industry is cranberries, and that’s the focus of my town: the agriculture. I was in 4-H from the time I was 7, so the message of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is something that I could connect with.”

Gainer continued, saying, “Anything that I do in terms of PR and marketing, I have to feel it. I have to believe it; otherwise it’s not going to be a good fit. This felt right.”

Article by Adam Thomas

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

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USDA deputy secretary visits College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

November 22, 2013 under CANR News

Krysta Harden visits CANRKrysta Harden, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), visited the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) on Thursday, Nov. 21.

Harden met with University officials, distinguished alumni and students, took a tour of the UDairy Creamery and participated in a discussion with students on issues such as the need for Congress to pass a comprehensive food, farm and jobs bill to support a strong U.S. agricultural sector.

Harden, who was raised in Camilla, Ga., and comes from generations of southwest Georgia farmers, said it is important for students to get hands-on experiences and step outside of their comfort zones in order to become well-rounded individuals.

“There’s nothing like testing yourself,” said Harden. “Learning, dealing with challenges yourself is so different from the classroom. It’s good to have that foundation that you really don’t know how you’re going to react until it’s you making the decisions. So I think it’s very important to make sure you have good practical experience.”

Harden said she was impressed with CANR, saying, “It is a wonderful campus. I just felt right at home immediately. Folks are very welcoming and encouraging. There’s a great energy here, a good dynamic with the students. Everybody is smiling — maybe it’s the ice cream, I don’t know, but people are in a good mood here. It’s great.”

She was also impressed with the UDairy Creamery and the creamery’s ice cream truck, the Moo Mobile, which came to UD’s campus through a partnership with CANR and the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. “I love the Moo Mobile,” Harden said. “I think that was a great idea, and I love the marketing. I love how it ties the business school and (CANR). It’s a great opportunity.”

Harden said these types of interdisciplinary collaborations are important to universities, especially to students studying agriculture.

“That’s one thing about agriculture and all aspects of the food chain, from production through marketing of products, you have to know about business,” Harden said. “Having the two disciplines together at these early stages is great.”

She added that it is beneficial to have students learning about management and marketing issues, as well as financial planning and budgeting.

Of the flavors she tried at the UDairy Creamery, Harden singled out the sweet potato pie, saying she had never had that flavor before.

Before leaving, Harden said that she had a great time visiting UD and the CANR campus. “It was wonderful to be here. I’m very excited about the future of all the students I’ve met. I think you have something good going on here. I really do.”

Article by Adam Thomas

Photos by Danielle Quigley

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UD students look at possible contamination of irrigation water

November 21, 2013 under CANR News

students look for contaminants in irrigation waterStudents in the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) are using a plot of land on the campus farm to help study possible contaminants in soil and irrigation water used to grow leafy greens and tomatoes in order to help inform new regulations on growers that will be going into effect next year as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

The study is part of a $9 million U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Specialty Crops Research Initiative (SCRI) grant titled “Developing Consensus Produce Safety Metrics for Leafy Greens and Tomatoes.” The project is led by the University of Maryland and is taking place at seven different universities and industry liaisons across the country.

Signed into law in 2011 by President Barack Obama, the food safety act has been implemented in stages over the past two years.

Kali Kniel, associate professor of animal and food sciences, explained that part of the law includes regulations for growers of fruits and vegetables, noting that this is the first time there have ever been specific regulations for growing fruits and vegetables.

“There have been guidelines and marketing agreements before but not regulations in terms of environmental aspects that are difficult to control,” Kniel said, “so growers are anxious and nervous about this.”

The rules are not yet finalized and include some fairly complicated aspects in terms of metrics, use of irrigation water and soil amendments. Delaware extension agents have been working with growers over the past two years to make the transition more manageable.

To help inform these regulations, researchers from the seven universities will meet with representatives of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to report on their findings.

UD research team

At UD, the research team used a plot of land next to the Allen Laboratory and has been growing tomatoes, romaine lettuce and spinach on the plot for the past two years.

Angela Ferelli, a senior double majoring in biochemistry and food science, worked on the project during the first summer and said that it was interesting to get hands-on experience outside of the lab.

Because it was her first time working in a garden and growing plants for a project, she said that it was a “labor of love. We really wanted to tackle it head on and we didn’t know what the best way was to keep the weeds out and keep the plants growing and happy. And if you looked down the rows the first time we planted, we had four rows — they started out straight and then they went crooked, but you could definitely tell that we were doing it, and it was great.”

Ferelli said that the next year, the group tested a new variable plasticulture for tomatoes, putting down plastic tarps to keep the weeds out. This is also a means of potential control for splash from rainfall for growing produce and for the protection from plant contact with soil.

Patrick Spanninger, a doctoral student in Kniel’s lab who has been working on the project since the beginning, explained that after the students grew the plants, they ran trials by pouring water mixed with manure that contained different levels of E. coli on the plants to monitor bacterial persistence on the fruit. “We wanted to see if the bacteria in the manure that we started with survived after we put it on the plants,” said Spanninger. This is a controlled way modeling how irrigation water may become naturally contaminated in real-life situations.

The students then harvested the tomatoes and leafy greens by hand and used random sampling strategies to look at the levels of generic E. coli on the plants.

Explaining that because the outdoors is a complicated, unsterile environment, Kniel said that they tested for generic E. coli because it is an indicator organism, meaning that if increased levels of generic E. coli show up, there could be a potential risk associated with the irrigation water. This is the current industry standard and part of a grower’s best practices.

The problem with rain

Another part of the research on which the students worked was the development of water safety metrics to help decide how many generic bacteria — nonpathogenic bacteria — can be found in water used for irrigation.

students look for contaminants in rain water“They’re associating the levels of bacteria in the water with climactic changes with rainfall and wind and relative humidity and temperatures to try and understand what puts produce at risk for having higher bacterial levels or potential pathogens,” said Kniel.

Ultimately, Kniel said that rainfall more than anything else poses a problem for growers when it comes to bacterial contamination on fruit that may have originated in irrigation water. Using DNA fingerprint analysis on the recovered E. coli, Spanninger was able to trace bacteria coming from the manure through the tomatoes on different plants.

“We actually are seeing that the initial amounts of generic bacteria in the water are not really the biggest issue. Bacterial decay on plants occurs within a couple of days. Rainfall seems to really affect fresh produce,” Kniel said. “We think that rain close to harvest dates is an important consideration and should be part of a Food Safety Plan, so we’re sharing with the FDA that aspects other than strict water metrics should be considered. At this time meeting the water standards the FDA is suggesting is difficult for produce growers around the country, in particular those that use surface water for irrigation.”

Spanninger agreed with that assessment. “From what we saw, the greatest influence on bacterial presence and persistence was big rain events, which we’ve been getting more of in recent years.” He explained that the research was conducted last fall during Hurricane Sandy and in the summer when the area was doused with a large amount of rainfall.

Spanninger also added that possible contamination from animals — such as geese, dogs, and groundhogs in the field — is another issue that the group is investigating. Wildlife intrusion into produce fields is an important area of study along with irrigation water standards.

In addition to looking for E. coli, the group — along with the research teams at other universities involved in the project — also set out to identify potential hot spots for growers, areas where they would have the most success growing crops without high risk of contamination.

Ferelli explained, “The overarching implications of this research are going to be for the growers to be able to have a better grip on where the risk is in the field. So if a grower goes out now with this risk in mind and he or she see’s there has been a rain event, or observes that an animal has come in and left it’s signature, instead of just taking out that one plant that has been affected, the grower will be better equipped with knowledge to recognize the possibility to section off several plants in that area.’”

Article by Adam Thomas

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Electronic Recycling Day

November 20, 2013 under CANR News, Events

In an effort to reduce the amount of electronic refuse sent to landfills, The Longwood Graduate Program will collect unwanted and broken mechanical and electronic items for recycling on Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Townsend Hall Commons and the front drive of Townsend Hall facing South College Avenue.

The Longwood Graduate Fellows will be on hand to receive and take the items to UD Recycling.

Used cell phones will be sent to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) for their “Donate a Phone Program.”  NCADV is certified with a “Seal of Excellence” by Independent Charities of America and has been in existence for over 34 years to raise awareness and assist affected families.

For questions regarding Electronic Recycling Day please email kpw@udel.edu

Click here for a list of items that can be recycled.

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CANR alum hikes “Long Trail” for a cause

November 19, 2013 under CANR News

Matt Grasso treks long trail for a causeMatthew Grasso, a 2013 wildlife conservation graduate from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), embarked on an 80-mile “Trek for Cancer” this fall in order to raise awareness and funds for pancreatic cancer research and the Lustgarten Foundation. Accompanying him on the excursion was Erin Cordiner, a fellow University of Delaware graduate and organizational and community leadership major.

“For me it originated as just a mental and physical challenge I wanted to experience. Then I become more passionate about raising money afterwards,” said Grasso. “For Erin it was more geared towards raising money. Her grandmother died of pancreatic cancer and so it was originally her idea to start collecting donations.”

The nine-day hike, which ran from September 29-October 7, began at Pine Cobble trail in Williamstown, Massachusetts and took Grasso and Cordiner up through Vermont, bypassing many towns along the way including Stamford, Bennington, Stratton, and Manchester Center.

Grasso described his journey with Cordiner as being truly incredible and the result of a shared love for the outdoors and a passion for helping others in need.

“Not only were the sites and fall foliage breathtaking, but we learned a ton about ourselves, each other and the mental and physical challenges of backpacking,” said Grasso. “We also had the pleasure of meeting a bunch of unforgettable fun and quirky people.”

Grasso said that a typical day on the hike began by waking at first light, quickly making breakfast consisting of oatmeal and tea, and then setting off with 34-38 pound packs through sunshine or rain. “Even though we had rainproof gear, the rain still finds a way into your backpack, jacket and shoes,” he said.

The hike had the pair traversing over and through boulders, beaver dams, bogs, streams, and rugged peaks, although they always took time to stop and enjoy lookout points over the mountains. Dinner involved macaroni and cheese, ramen, or stuffing. “We were lucky enough to have fun people hiking the same way as us with whom we could talk and joke around with during dinner,” said Grasso.

Grasso said he and Cordiner had planned to complete the entire trail, which encompasses 273 miles, but after Cordiner received a marketing and public relations position in Manhattan, they had to cut the trip short.

“I considered finishing the trail by myself, but realized this was something we started together and thus had to end together. It simply wouldn’t have felt right going on without her,” said Grasso. The pair plans to complete the full trail in the near future. For more information, contact Grasso at matthewPgrasso@gmail.com or Cordiner at cordinererin@gmail.com.

For now, Grasso is working with an arborist as well as aiding William Macaluso, a master’s level student in CANR, to reintroduce Northern Bobwhite quail to Long Island until he and Cordiner decide to re-embark and finish their journey.

Article by Angela Carcione

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UD statistics students spend summer getting real world experience

November 12, 2013 under CANR News

Three University of Delaware students studying statistics spent the summer interning with financial and medical research institutions, gaining invaluable real world experience and, for some, job offers.

Tom Ilvento, professor in the Department of Applied Economics and Statistics (APEC) in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), said that internship opportunities are important for every student but especially for statistics majors, as it “opens the students’ eyes to a bigger vision of what their field is about and what they can do and what kind of skills they really have.

“We preach a lot that as a stat major, you’re different, you have a lot of skills. But I don’t know that they appreciate it until they get into a setting where they have to start using it.”

Using their skills were seniors Heather Bowman and Zachary Baine, who completed internships with financial institutions, and Qiuming (Mark) He, who worked with a medical research organization.

Ilvento said he was pleased with the students’ work over the summer, pointing out that they went out on their own and actively sought out the internship opportunities and then excelled in their respective positions.

“I was impressed with all three finding positions and I was really happy for the experience they had. They were all involved in real world problems in groups, and they were participating members, so these weren’t internships where they went and got the coffee — they really got involved and were able to do things and contribute to their teams.”

The undergraduate internship program in statistics is not as developed as the statistics master of science internship program, which has up to 17 students each class in year-long internships with local companies such as DuPont, Conde Nast, Chase, Bank of America, and PNC Bank. However, Ilvento noted that APEC would like to head that way with undergraduate internships and this past summer was a great start in that direction.  “Ultimately, we would like to see more undergraduate statistics majors intern each year,” he said.

Heather Bowman undergraduate statistics majorHeather Bowman

Bowman spent her summer interning at Chase Bank in Wilmington, working with a marketing manager on a partner credit card for the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), a brand that owns facilities such as the Holiday Inn.

“Every week I would do acquisitions reports — looking at how many new card members we had from in a hotel and how many we got from various sites or emails — and then I would present that on a phone call to our partner,” said Bowman.

She also explained that she looked at the net promoter score, which told her how pleased current card members were with their card and the reasons why, from which she could report on whether changes the credit card company had made recently were making card members more or less happy.

Bowman said that having an analytical background from her undergraduate courses at UD helped her as she applied what she learned in the classroom to the world of work. “Having the analytical background and thinking came in handy when I looked at the data and tried to figure out what to do with a gigantic spreadsheet and how to make sense of the numbers.”

Another thing that helped was her knowledge of Statistical Analysis Software (SAS), a program that she learned how to use in class. “I took a master’s level statistics class that taught SAS and that’s something that a lot of companies like to see, so I thought that helped because I actually used that this summer at Chase to work on a couple of reports.”

Zachary Baine Undergraduate statistics majorZachary Baine

Baine interned at American Express in New York City. He explained that his main project was researching card member data, trying to find certain trends and looking at metrics. “I was analyzing those metrics and trying to figure out how we could predict them and use the information to try to generate more revenue growth.”

Baine said that the people at American Express were hands-off, trusting that he would get his work done, which he did thanks to the foundation he gained in UD’s statistics program.

“Some statistics classes for regression analysis really helped me and I used that often,” said Baine.

He added that the computer science and programming classes that he took as a requirement for his statistics major helped him understand some of the coding language.

“The statistics courses built a foundation for me so that I could stare at all this data and try to figure out what was going on.”

As for his favorite part of the internship, Baine said that was easy: the end when he was given a job offer.

“I was lucky enough to receive a job offer and for the interns that did get a job offer, they brought us all up to the top floor, the CEO’s floor, with this luxurious conference room,” he said. “They put us all in there and had the CEO of the company come in and congratulated us, so that was a good way to end the internship and left the most lasting impression on me.”

Qiuming (Mark) He undergraduate statistics majorQiuming (Mark) He 

He spent the summer working at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Mo.

The facility had many individual labs, but He explained that he worked for the core facility for bioinformatics, helping to process data and provide consultation for scientists.

“They came to us if they had any questions,” He said. “Usually they could handle their data by themselves but if they had some difficulty, they came to us and we figured it out or gave them advice on how to approach the data.”

He worked with a program called R, software with which he had no previous experience prior to the internship. “I heard the name R but I never touched it and then in the first two months, I was doing some tasks and practicing, and in the last month I did my project just using the R software.”

He said that all of the skills learned in the statistics program at UD came in handy, as he had experience programming in other languages and only had to adjust to the syntax changes. He also said that the skills he learned at UD, such as critical thinking and ways to approach data, helped him out, as well.

As for statistics in general, He said that he loves how the practice allows him to help people. “We can really talk to people and see what they want and then we have the data as the backup. We can come up with the result and then we have to back that up so it’s really solid, and I like the feeling of making people happy when they see what they think is actually statistically significant. I really like seeing that they meet their expectations.”

Article by Adam Thomas

Photos by Danielle Quigley

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

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CANR pre-veterinary medicine major conducts equine research at UPenn

November 5, 2013 under CANR News

UD student Meredith Bonnell interns at UPENN's New Bolton CenterMeredith Bonnell, a junior pre-veterinary medicine and animal biosciences major in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at the University of Delaware, spent her summer conducting a research-based internship at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center at the Havemeyer Barn.

Bonnell’s research project, which she designed with Sue McDonnell, focused on the genetic effects on the learning abilities of ponies. McDonnell received her doctorate in reproductive physiology and behavior from UD and now heads the Equine Behavior Program at UPenn.

The center, located in Kennett Square, Pa., includes 700 acres of pastureland and exposure to experts in equine-based medical and surgical techniques. “The ponies that occupy some of that land are a part of a semi-feral herd used for equine research,” Bonnell said. “They undergo annual vaccinations and de-worming, in addition to blood work and basic handling when they are foals.”

The New Bolton Center is a large facility that specializes in many different types of veterinary care practices for horses and other large animals. The facility serves to generate data for medical specialists including cardiologists and orthopedists as well as for trainers seeking performance evaluations.

Bonnell’s research at the Havemeyer Barn utilized target training on a 100-count semi-feral Shetland-type pony herd to test learning ability, using performance scores generated to examine correlations between them and genetics, or known family lineage.

“Target training is relatively new to the equine industry and is connected with clicker training,” Bonnell said. “We’re typically familiar with its use on marine animals, like those we might see at SeaWorld.”

Bonnell said in order to test how she would collect data and gather equipment lists, she did extensive research and conducted preliminary tests on ponies removed from the semi-feral herd to be used on rotation for studies by the veterinary students at UPenn.

All of her sessions, she said, were videotaped and used as a reference in order to collect sufficient and accurate data.

Bonnell said she was excited to find this internship with McDonnell through a friend working in the neonatal intensive care unit at the center. She is currently working toward publication of her work and will continue research as independent study.

Bonnell said she hopes to pursue a career in equine veterinary field and plans to apply to veterinary school after graduating from UD.

Article by Angela Carcione

Photo by Danielle Quigley

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

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CANR recognizes the George M. Worrilow Award winner and Distinguished Alumni Award recipients

October 30, 2013 under CANR News

Three graduates of the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) were presented with the college’s Distinguished Alumni Awards, while Robin L. Talley was presented with the George M. Worrilow award at a ceremony held on Friday, Oct. 11, as part of Homecoming festivities.

The awards are given based on a clear record of outstanding career accomplishments, service and leadership to the profession, and community service, including service to UD.

George M. Worrilow Award

Robin L. Talley received her bachelor of science degree, with distinction and Cum Laude, in Agricultural Economics from the University of Delaware in 1984. She went on to receive her master’s of Business Administration from the University of Delaware in 1996.

Talley currently serves as the District Director for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency. As the District Director, Talley is responsible for administration of federal farm programs delivered by three field offices in Delaware. She provides leadership to field office managers in planning, managing and carrying out program responsibilities and provides training for all field personnel. She also evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of program operations, advises management on the need to adapt or revise national policies and procedures to meet needs within the state and trouble-shoots program and management issues and institutes change management.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

John Cantello received his undergraduate degree (B.S.) and graduate degrees (M.S., Ph.D.) from CANR. His graduate work focused on molecular virology. Cantello pursued post-doctoral training in gene therapy at the California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, CA. Cantello currently serves as Vice President, at Worldwide Business Development in GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) R&D organization. In this role, he leads the business development activities for the Metabolic Pathways & Cardiovascular Therapy Area and the newly created Bioelectronics R&D Unit.

Bernie Murphy received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware in 1975 in animal science.  He subsequently attended the University of Arkansas and Iowa State University where he obtained his master’s and doctorate degrees in poultry science and meat and poultry products technology respectively.

Murphy currently serves as President of the Jones-Hamilton Co.  Murphy worked internationally for 7 years supporting the development and marketing of animal health products.  Murphy’s career has been closely aligned with the poultry industry having managed business related to nutrition, primary genetics, processing, food safety and air quality.  Murphy was instrumental in the development and ongoing support of the University of Delaware Environmental Research facility in Georgetown, DE.

Distinguished Young Alumnus

Zaiqi Pan, who received his Masters degree in 2008 from the CANR statistics program, currently works as a research scientist at DuPont Pioneer. He joined DuPont in December 2007, working in the Insect Resistance Management Science group.  His major role is to develop insect population genetics models with biologists and simulate insect resistance development on Bt crops by using statistical tools and computer modeling techniques.

Pan is one of the key members in the Optimum® AcreMax® execution team.  The team developed and implemented an innovative method to deploy refuge for Bt corn. Their creative approach allowed DuPont Pioneer to claim the first position in insect control trait product offerings in the company’s history.

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Sarah Weiskopf places third at the National Wildlife Society Meeting

October 28, 2013 under CANR News

Sarah Weiskopf and Shannon Kachel present their posterSarah Weiskopf, an honors student in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology (ENWC), presented her poster earlier this month at the National Wildlife Society Meeting in Milwaukee, WI.

The poster, titled, “What do snow leopards really eat? Using genetics to reduce bias in food habit studies,” placed third place at the conference amongst undergraduate presenters.

Weiskopf is completing her senior thesis in Kyle McCarthy’s Rare and Elusive Species Lab, where she works closely with Shannon Kachel, graduate student in ENWC, on snow leopard ecology.

As for the specifics of her research, Weiskopf explained that knowing what snow leopards—an endangered species that live high in the mountain areas of central Asia–eat is critical to their survival. “One of the reasons they’re endangered is lack of natural prey species so it’s really important to have accurate information on what they’re eating for management plans and conservation initiatives.”

Weiskopf, who is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) EPSCoR program, and the ENWC department and works with data from Panthera– a global wild cat conservation group–and samples collected by Kachel, said that their research found that snow leopards’ diet consists mainly of large mammals. “When we looked at all the samples that we collected, we found that small mammals like hares and Pikas were not as important in snow leopard diet as we previously thought, and they were actually eating a lot more large mammals like Ibex and Argali.”

The problem with the snow leopards’ diet consisting mainly of these two species is that they are both in danger as well, with both being targets of hunting and poaching and Argali being classified as an endangered species.

“They’re competing with domestic livestock for the food resources in the area and so when you have less natural Ibex and Argali populations, the snow leopards will turn more to eating domestic livestock which creates problems with humans in the area,” said Weiskopf.

Weiskopf said that she is very thankful that she gets to work with Kachel and McCarthy, assistant professor in ENWC, on the project, saying that they both have been very supportive and helpful, even allowing her to work in the lab on her own which she said was a great learning experience.

She also said that the conference was a great experience because she got to listen to a lot of wildlife biologists talk about their respective projects and had the opportunity to present her own work.

As for her work with snow leopards, Weiskopf said that if she continues to study the species, she would love the opportunity to travel to central Asia to study them in the wild, something she might not have known about herself had she not gotten this opportunity.

“It wasn’t something that I thought about before. I didn’t think, ‘Oh, I really want to study snow leopards’ but it was definitely a really cool project to get involved in.”

Article by Adam Thomas

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Titus Awokuse Accepted for the APLU national Food Systems Leadership Institute

October 25, 2013 under CANR News

Titus Awokuse Accepted for the APLU national Food Systems Leadership InstituteTitus Awokuse, chair of the Department of Applied Economics and Statistics (APEC), was accepted for the Fall 2013 Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI), an executive leadership development program for academia, industry, and government. The FSLI enhances personal and professional development by emphasizing leadership competencies, skills for organizational change, and a broad, interdisciplinary perspective of food systems. The FSLI experience prepares scholars for upper-level leadership roles in food system programs, and to assume broader leadership responsibilities within their organizations.

During the FSLI program, scholars work with expert instructors, leadership development coaches, and an upper level mentor to help increase their leadership abilities. They meet with leaders of universities, political leaders, industry leaders and others who have advanced to the highest levels of leadership. Leadership theory is combined with practical experience, often in the context of food systems and higher education.

The FSLI is a two year program. Year one includes intensive executive education-style residential learning sessions at three university locations. Scholars perform assessments to increase their self awareness of their leadership style, and the results are used to develop and implement a personal development plan, prepared with the assistance of a professional coach. Interactive distance learning is used between residential sessions. During year two participants work, applying what they have learned, to develop and carry out an individual leadership project.

Additional information is available at www.fsli.org.

FSLI is dedicated to advancing and strengthening food systems by preparing a set of new leaders with the skills and knowledge necessary to invent and reinvent the food systems of the future. It is a program of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (A-P-L-U), with the initial funding provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. North Carolina State University is the host site with The Ohio State University and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo being residential sites responsible for implementation of the program.

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