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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Issue March/April 2013
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Issue: March/April 2013 
 

 

ARS lab invited to participate in MT Tribe’s Earth Day event for kids

MT ARS scientists invited to speak at leadership meeting

MT Botanist named as ARS rep on Federal Interagency Committee

MT ARS scientists invited to speak at weed coordinator training

ARS lab invited to participate in MT Tribal College’s Ag & Science Expo

MT ARS Plant Ecologist speaks at Riparian Restoration Conference


 

 

 

ARS lab invited to participate in MT Tribe’s Earth Day event for kids

NPARL Agricultural Science Research Technician Joy Barsotti and NPARL Safety Officer Jackie Couture have been invited to represent the Sidney, MT ARS lab at a pair of Earth Day celebrations at local high schools in Poplar and Wolf Point, MT on April 22-23. The events, held throughout the school day, are sponsored by the Fort Peck Tribes and coordinated by Environmental Educator Vina Smith and include invitations to area elementary and high schools to attend and learn more about how climate and climate change affects their lives. For her part, Barsotti will discuss soils and soils research at the lab in a segment entitled “What does climate change and greenhouse gases have to do with the soil in my backyard?”  She will discuss the carbon and nitrogen cycle and its contributions to both the release of greenhouse gases and the storage of greenhouse gases in the soil, and how it varies with different crops and management techniques, particularly tillage. Couture, who initiated the successful “E-rase your E-waste” campaign in her rural community in 2005, will discuss “Why recycle e-waste?” To connect with both younger and older students, Couture plans to have electronic toys, as well as laptop computers and other electronic devices, on display to explain to students why those items should be recycled. Other topics being addressed include weather, wind, prairie plants, fossils, and climate change impacts on grassland life.

 

(Joy Barsotti, 406.433.9477, joy.barsotti@ars.usda.gov)

(Jackie Couture, 406.433.9422, jackie.couture@ars.usda.gov)

 

 

MT ARS scientists invited to speak at leadership meeting

NPARL Botanist John Gaskin, Research Agronomist Brett Allen and Insect Ecologist Robert Srygley were invited to speak at the Sidney (MT) Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture Leadership Class’ Ag Issue Day on Wednesday, April 10 in Sidney, MT. Dr. Gaskin, head of NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit and acting Research Leader of NPARL’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit, provided class members with information on the importance of ag research and the contributions made by NPARL researchers on issues of importance to the state and nation. Following his overview, Dr. Allen, a member of the ASRU, gave a presentation entitled “Jet Fuel Oilseed Research” in which he discussed the unit’s participation in a national project with ARS researchers in 9 other states and private industry to make bio-based jet fuel affordable and readily available. Certified hydrotreated renewable jet fuels from plant oils have already been successfully certified for aviation use, but full-scale implementation has been hampered by higher costs compared with petroleum fuels, primarily due to limited supply chains. The ARS project is designed to address those supply barriers through identification of existing oilseed varieties and development of new varieties better suited to various growing regions around the country. Dr. Srygley, a member of the PMRU, discussed “U.S. Agriculture in a Changing Climate.”  Dr. Syrgley was a coauthor on a USDA technical report to Congress released earlier this year entitled “Climate Change and Agriculture: Effects and Adaptation.” He shared his insights into the report with the class, discussing changes in temperature and precipitation that are predicted to occur this century in the U.S. and their expected impacts on agriculture in this region and across the western U.S.

 

(John Gaskin, 406.433.9444, john.gaskin@ars.usda.gov)

(Brett Allen, 406.433.9402, brett.allen@ars.usda.gov)

(Robert Srygley, 406.433.9420, robert.srygley@ars.usda.gov)  

   

 

MT Botanist named as ARS rep on Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds

NPARL Pest Management Unit Research Leader and Botanist John Gaskin was named the new Agricultural Research Service representative on the Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic weeds, and was introduced at the group’s monthly meeting on March 27. The FICMNEW, established in August 1994, represents an unprecedented formal partnership between 16 federal agencies with direct invasive plant management and regulatory responsibilities spanning across the United States and territories. During monthly open meetings, FICMNEW members interact on important national and regional invasive plant issues and share information with various public and private organizations participating with the federal sector to address invasive plant issues. It develops and shares scientific and technical information, fosters collaborative efforts among federal agencies, provides recommendations for national and regional level management of invasive plants, and sponsors technical/educational conferences and workshops concerning invasive plants. At Sidney ARS’ Pest Management Research Unit, ongoing research programs are focused on the biological control of invasive rangeland weeds and reclamation of infested areas.

 

(John Gaskin, 406.433.9444, john.gaskin@ars.usda.gov)

 

MT ARS scientists invited to speak at weed coordinator training

NPARL Botanist John Gaskin and Plant Ecologist Erin Espeland were invited to speak at the Montana Weed Control Association’s Eastern Spring Coordinator Training held March 27-28 in Miles City, MT. Dr. Espeland spoke on “Reclamation after Russian Olive Removal and Pipelines,” while Dr. Gaskin discussed “Bio Control Updates and Information.” Both are members of NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit, which Gaskin heads. The training targeted weed coordinators, weed managers, vegetation management personnel, landscapers, and anyone else working on or interested in noxious weed control. Other speakers included representatives from state government, universities and industry discussing new invaders, new products, weed resistance, sprayer maintenance, and more.

 

(John Gaskin, 406.433.9444, john.gaskin@ars.usda.gov)

(Erin Espeland, 406.433.9416, erin.espeland@ars.usda.gov)

 

 

ARS lab invited to participate in MT Tribal College’s Ag & Science Expo

NPARL Biological Science Technician Kimberly Mann represented the Sidney, MT ARS lab at the 2nd Annual Little Big Horn College Ag & Science Expo Tuesday, March 19th, in Crow Agency, MT. The event is intended to introduce high school students to careers in science and agriculture and participating organizations and agencies are encouraged to provide hands on demonstrations for students. NPARL’s booth provided students the opportunity to do their own DNA extractions from strawberries under Mann’s supervision. Mann works in the Sidney location’s molecular laboratory. The booth attracted a lot of interest from students curious about the process and what DNA actually “looks like.” More than 2 dozen tried their hands at the actual extractions, while others took brochures outlining the procedure to experiment in their classrooms or even at home. This is the second year NPARL has been invited to participate in the event, which attracts more than 100 students from surrounding high schools.

 

(Kim Mann, 406.433.9428, kim.mann@ars.usda.gov)

 

 

MT ARS Plant Ecologist speaks at Riparian Restoration Conference

NPARL Plant Ecologist Erin Espeland participated in “River Crossings: Linking River Communities,” a weeklong, interagency river management workshop and research conference presented by the Bureau of Land Management, River Management Society, Tamarisk Coalition, The Water Center at Colorado Mesa University (CMU), and International Submerged Lands Management Conference. The session was held Mar. 11-15 at CMU in Grand Junction, CO. Dr. Espeland’s presentation was entitled “Tracking Ecosystem Recovery in Response to Invasive Tree Removal and Restoration” and discussed her work on a collaborative project with USDA NRCS and USDA-ARS scientists at Miles City, MT looking at restoration of river bottom land following removal of thousands of Russian olive trees that had invaded the area. The researchers are examining the effects of Russian olive removal and subsequent revegetation on ecological communities (soil health, birds, insects, weeds) and cottonwood establishment.  In addition to Dr. Espeland’s presentation, NPARL Entomologist Kevin Delaney had a poster at the event entitled “MT and WY Tamarix Soil Properties that Influence Germination and Early Growth of Three Native Grass Species.” Both scientists are members of NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit.

 

(Erin Espeland, 406.433.9416, erin.espeland@ars.usda.gov 

  


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Last Modified: 6/25/2013
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