Tag Archives: kellogg biological station

Extension educator is lead author in prestigious journal article

Dr. Wendy Powers, director of the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute, and I received an email from Douglas A. Landis, professor and interim chairperson in the Michigan State University Department of Entomology. The email called attention to MSU Extension educator Ben Werling as the lead author on a study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The article, “Perennial Grasslands Enhance Biodiversity and Multiple Ecosystem Services in Bioenergy Landscapes,” related to postdoctorate work Ben led in Dr. Landis’ lab working on a Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) project. Ben and Dr. Landis led a large group of collaborators (the GLBRC Biodiversity Team) studying the impacts of bioenergy cropping systems on biodiversity and ecosystem services. This synthetic work combines information on plant, insect, microbe and bird biodiversity and the services that flow from their presence (biomass, pest suppression, pollination, GHG mitigation, and bird watching opportunities) in bioenergy crops. It’s hoped that this information further informs policy and the roll-out of the most sustainable systems.

Dr. Landis said, “Ben led a 1.5 yearlong effort to synthesize the data, conduct the analyses and write the paper. My guess is that he is too humble to have mentioned this, so I just wanted to let you know what a fine job he has done!”

Papers published in the PNAS are remarkable achievements, and require a recommendation by a National Academy of Sciences member to be accepted. That distinction is reserved for particularly significant findings. It is especially rare for a paper in PNAS to be authored by an Extension educator.

Others authors on the paper who receive support from MSU Extension include Rufus Isaacs and Julianna Wilson, both in the Department of Entomology, and Katherine Gross, director of the Kellogg Biological Station.

Congratulations to Ben and the rest of the team for this synthetic work and the recognition they have received!

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Extension educator and Extension specialist receive distinguished university awards

Douglas A. Landis, Michigan State University Extension specialist and professor in the Department of Entomology, received the Distinguished Faculty Award, and Jane M. Herbert, senior MSU Extension educator, received the Distinguished Academic Staff award Feb. 12 at the annual Awards Convocation in the Pasant Theatre in the Wharton Center. The awards presentation followed President Lou Ann K. Simon’s State of the University Address.

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) honored the awardees with a reception in the Agriculture Hall Atrium just prior to the Awards Convocation.

Dr. Landis was one of 10 faculty honored for a comprehensive and sustained record of scholarly excellence in research and/or creative activities, instruction and outreach. Dr. Landis has had joint funding from MSU Extension and MSU AgBioResearch throughout his service at MSU.

Douglas A. Landis, Michigan State University Extension specialist and professor in the Department of Entomology, received the Distinguished Faculty Award Feb. 12, 2013.

Douglas A. Landis, Michigan State University Extension specialist and professor in the Department of Entomology, received the Distinguished Faculty Award Feb. 12, 2013, at the annual Awards Convocation in the Pasant Theatre in the Wharton Center.

Dr. Landis came to MSU as an assistant professor in entomology 25 years ago. Since that time, he has strived to help people work with rather than against nature. He is author or co-author of numerous refereed research publications in wide-ranging journals as well as author or co-author of many book chapters. He is sought after as a keynote speaker on the topics of conservation biology and the redesign of agricultural landscapes. Dr. Landis has an outstanding granting record notable for its wide-ranging collaborations. He provides inter-disciplinary granting leadership at the highest levels of national competition.

As an international authority on the delivery of biocontrol services in agricultural landscapes, his contributions to a fundamental understanding of how landscape patterns structure insect abundance and distributions across entire watersheds has paved the way toward using this knowledge for pest management.

Beginning with his initial assignment of having extension responsibility for entomological aspects of field crops, Doug has done stellar work in outreach. In this work, Doug has always been dedicated to connecting with growers and
understanding their needs. He’s also been innovative in his approach, including the adoption of emerging technologies and helping us to continue improving Extension.

Doug has provided leadership to many collaborations over his career. He shaped the Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education (SARE) program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And he has been a member of the management team for the Long-Term Ecological Research program at the Kellogg Biological Station, a remarkable collaboration that began when Doug first arrived at MSU.

Jane Herbert was one of four people honored for the award that recognizes the outstanding achievements of academic specialists and MSU Extension academic staff members who serve the university in advising, curriculum development, outreach, extension, research and teaching.

Jane M. Herbert, senior Michigan State University Extension educator, received the Distinguished Academic Staff award Feb. 12, 2013

Jane M. Herbert, senior Michigan State University Extension educator, received the Distinguished Academic Staff award Feb. 12, 2013, at the annual Awards Convocation in the Pasant Theatre in the Wharton Center

Jane is a nationally recognized expert on inland lake management with an emphasis on natural shoreline landscaping and bioengineered shoreline erosion control.

She has been a major asset to Extension in the development, delivery and evaluation of regional and statewide water resource Extension programming since joining MSUE in 1996.

As a district water quality educator with the Extension Land and Water Unit at Kellogg Biological Station (KBS), she served the citizens of 17 southwest Michigan counties with innovative water resource programming. Now located at the Kalamazoo County MSU Extension office, she provides statewide leadership for water resource programming within the Greening Michigan Institute and serves as a water resource educator across Michigan.

She assumed a leadership role in the creation of the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership (MNSP), bringing together academia, industry representatives, regulatory agencies and nonprofits to develop and deliver innovative natural shoreline education. She also provides leadership for the development, delivery and evaluation of required continuing education for MNSP-certified contractors, including the creation of advanced bioengineering field construction experiences and training videos.

In collaboration with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, she led a multi-agency effort to develop a publication (MSUE Bulletin WQ60) to help large quantity water users and others understand the basis for Michigan’s new online Water Withdrawal Assessment Process – the mechanism by which Michigan complies with the Great Lakes Compact.

She has published in a variety of natural erosion control and landscape trade magazines, bringing national attention to the technical and community development model of Certified Natural Shoreline Professional (CNSP). She served as lead author and coordinating editor of the CNSP training curriculum, (MSUE Bulletin E3109), which received the 2012 Gold Award for a Long Publication from the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals.

She has co-authored successful grants totaling nearly $1 million to develop and deliver water resource management programming.

Congratulations to Doug and to Jane!

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Distinguished service awards presented at ANR luncheon

Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) honored Charlotte Louise Wenham and John Amos with distinguished service awards at the annual Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Week luncheon held March 8 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center.

Charlotte Louise Wenham is an MSU alumna, having earned a bachelor’s degree in speech and a master’s in English. She also earned a doctorate in education administration from Western Michigan University. She has served as teacher, middle school principal, curriculum director and assistant superintendent in the St. Joseph Public Schools. She currently is a partner in Wood, Wenham & Henderson, through which she acts as a consultant, working with Michigan school districts, small businesses and non-profits.

Charlotte served as president of the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph Rotary Club, a member of the Berrien County MSU Extension Council and a member of the Michigan State Extension and Experiment Station Council, representing Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties, along with the Southwest Research and Extension Center, the Kellogg Biological Station and the Kellogg Experimental Forest.

In the last six years, she has volunteered as a citizen advocate for MSUE, AgBioResearch and the CANR as a Michigan delegate to the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET), which meets annually in Washington D.C. to learn about national impacts of Cooperative Extension programs and research from land-grant universities and how federal policies and funding affect the land-grant systems. She is a very effective advocate for our programs and can cite a number of programs and impacts that have made a difference in Michigan. She also contacts congressional offices at other times of the year to discuss the importance of MSUE and AgBioResearch programs and issues ranging from annual United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) budget bills to farm program legislation and special grant appropriations requests.

Charlotte has received the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph Rotary Club; both state and local Outstanding Leader citations from the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, a professional society for women in education; an Above and Beyond Award from the rotary club and the Volunteer of the Year Award from Planned Parenthood of Mid-Michigan. Thanks, Char for all you do to support our work!

John Amos is owner of Amos Farms, a fruit-growing operation in the Williamsburg/Elk Rapids area. He and his family assisted the research of MSU Extension and the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station (now MSU AgBioResearch), by supplying trees, application equipment and crews to collect harvest data for a six-year study of the chemical, ethephon. John went so far as to adjust his harvesting program to accommodate the researchers’ needs. Data collected from the research were the basis for ethephon’s eventual commercial use. John continuously offers his farm for studies and contributes to MSU’s research programs.

He and his wife, Pat, have hosted numerous foreign students, having them gain experience interning on their farm.

 For 20 years, he has volunteered for the Weather Service Cooperative Program, recording temperature and rainfall measurements. This valuable work allows growers to make educated decisions regarding applying sprays, irrigating and other tasks. The information he collected was recently incorporated into the MSU Agricultural Weather Network. He received the Outstanding Service Award from the Department of Commerce and National Weather Service Program.

John is a long-term active member of the MSU Horticulture Society, a member of the Whitewater Township Board and chair for the Elk Rapids Fire Department. Thanks, John, for helping to support our research and Extension programs and for opening your farm to our scientists and educators!

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NCR-SARE meeting creates opportunity to see positive impact of sustainable agriculture in Detroit

The annual fall meeting for the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) Professional Development Program (PDP) and Administrative Council (AC) took place Nov. 15–18, 2010, in Detroit, Mich.

 SARE’s mission is to strengthen rural communities, increase farmer and rancher profitability, and improve the environment by supporting research and education. NCR-SARE consists of 12 North Central Region states, and each state in the region was represented at the meeting.

 Dr. Dale Mutch, Michigan State University Extension specialist and senior district Extension educator, and Dr. Dean Baas, visiting research associate at the KBS (Kellogg Biological Station) and Extension Land & Water Unit, are co-coordinators of the Michigan NCR-SARE PDP Program. Tom Rorabaugh, retired MSUE County Extension Director and educator, is assistant coordinator. Drs. Mutch and Baas, and Tom Rorabaugh, with assistance from a planning committee from NCR-SARE, developed an educational program for the meeting built around the work being done with sustainable agriculture in Detroit. The meeting presented an opportunity to not only share national and internationally known speakers doing great work in sustainable agriculture, but to also take participants directly to places in Detroit where sustainable agriculture is being put into practice.

 On Tuesday morning, Dr. Mike Hamm, C.S. Mott Sustainable Agriculture Chair, made a presentation about the future of sustainable agriculture highlighting the outstanding programs his C. S. Mott group is doing in Michigan.

 Also that morning, Mike Score, an MSUE educator currently on leave of absence, spoke to the group about Hantz Farms, an urban agriculture initiative in Detroit that would be part of a tour that afternoon.

 In addition to the business meeting and presentations, the group took a bus tour on Tuesday afternoon that highlighted Detroit urban agriculture. Tour stops included Detroit’s Eastern Market, Earthworks Urban Farm, Gleaners Community Food Bank, Hantz Farms’ project sites, a Greening of Detroit greenhouse and Hacienda Mexican Foods. On the tour, participants met some high-energy people putting as much as 80 hours a week into these urban projects – people who are passionate about sustainable agriculture. Participants could see firsthand the empty buildings and the blight of the city, and then see alongside that the positive work being done through sustainable agriculture.

 Four Michigan farmers joined the PDP/AC group for lunch and the bus tour. Henry Miller, St. Joseph County; Pam Bosserd, Calhoun County; Chris Bardenhagen, Leelanau County; and John Simmons, Lapeer County; interacted with the group before and after the tour of Detroit.

 On Wednesday, Dr. Rick Foster, MSUE institute director for the Greening Michigan Initiative and W. K. Kellogg Endowed Chair and professor, spoke to the group highlighting the restructuring of MSUE, climate change, dependence on energy and food production.

 Also on Wednesday, Dr. Julie Doll, outreach coordinator for Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER), facilitated a session on adapting NCR-SARE programs to the changing land-grant system.

 NCR-SARE state coordinators met on Monday and Tuesday to share and increase their knowledge of NCR-SARE state initiatives, discuss outcomes of the Local Foods Regional Training Program, share concerns related to the impact of the current budget and the economy on their PDP programs, and address other issues.

 State coordinators met with AC members on Wednesday to get to know more about each other and about NCR-SARE programs and to set future directions for NCR-SARE. They also discussed a range of topics including diversity efforts, committees and grants.

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MSUE contributes to the award-winning Michigan Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool (WWAT)

The Michigan Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool (WWAT) recently won two national awards. The application won the Outstanding Achievement Award for 2010 from the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation. It also was one of four innovations to receive the State Program Innovation Award from the Environmental Council of States.

 What’s the WWAT? The WWAT is an application designed to estimate the likely impact of a water withdrawal on nearby streams and rivers. Use of the WWAT is required of anyone proposing to make a new or increased large quantity withdrawal (more than 70 gallons per minute) from Michigan waters, including all groundwater and surface water sources, prior to beginning the withdrawal.

 Why the WWAT? In coordination with the signing of the Great Lakes Compact, Michigan and the other Great Lakes states were charged with the mission of developing a statewide program to manage and regulate new and expanding large water withdrawals. Michigan responded by enacting new laws, several of which called for the development and use of a Water Withdrawal Assessment Process to manage large quantity water withdrawals. Using science as the basis for policy development, a team of scientists and agency personnel developed the process to assist individuals in determining if their proposed large capacity water withdrawal will likely cause an adverse resource impact to a nearby river or stream.

 Who’s responsible for the WWAT? That’s a complex question since so many people and organizations worked together to make the WWAT a reality. A number of individuals were associated with the development and “roll out” of the WWAT including members of the U.S. Geological Survey, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and scientists from the University of Michigan and others. A Legislated Ground Water Advisory Committee worked on this effort for several years. Our own Michigan State University Institute of Water Research (IWR) has played a key role in several steps of the legislation and assessment process. Prior to the legislation on the Water Withdrawal Assessment Process being passed, Jon Bartholic, director of the IWR, provided testimony to the state Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Policy committee and worked with Senator Patty Birkholz’s committee on public hearings throughout the state. Jeremiah Asher, IWR, created the Web-based tool. Following the development of the tool, David Lusch, senior research specialist, MSU Center for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Science and IWR, and Jeremiah Asher were the two main presenters at a series of workshops throughout the state. Lois Wolfson and Ruth Kline-Robach, Michigan State University Extension state water quality coordinators, organized and evaluated the meetings.

 Lyndon Kelley, MSU Extension, and Steve Miller, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, organized and presented another series of workshops. Dave Hamilton and Frank Ruswick, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and Paul Seelbach, Department of Natural Resources, provided outside assistance for these workshops

 In addition, MSU Extension educators were hard at work presenting other educational meetings and programs. Roberta Dow held a meeting on the WWAT as part of the MAEAP Phase I. Lyndon Kelley and Christina Curell presented WWAT information as part of four separate Extension education programs. Others who held meetings on the tool included Terry Gibb and Bindu Bhakta.

Jane Herbert, MSU Extension at Kellogg Biological Station, and Luke Reese, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at MSU, organized a webinar with David Lusch as the speaker.
Paul Seelbach, formerly with Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Jane Herbert developed a bulletin of frequently asked questions (Extension Bulletin WQ60) concerning the Water Withdrawal Assessment Process, Considering Aquatic Ecosystems: The Basis for Michigan’s New Water Withdrawal Assessment Process.

So as you can see, it took a considerable team across multiple agencies and with a variety of expertise to make this award-winning process and application possible.

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KBS Research Station Field Day planned for Sept 8

Mat Haan, KBS pasture-based dairy project manager, Julie Doll, KBS LTER (Long-Term Ecological Research) outreach and education coordinator, and Dennis Pennington, Michigan State University Extension bioenergy educator, are putting forth a great effort to market one of our programs. The three are planning the Kellogg Biological Station Agricultural Research Field Day. The event will be Wednesday, September 8, at the KBS Farming Systems Center in Hickory Corners and will showcase some of the sustainable agriculture and bioenergy research being conducted on site.

 In the morning, participants will choose between a tour of the dairy or the crop plots. In the afternoon, everyone will tour the bioenergy plots at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center.

 The cost is $5 per person, and this includes a barbecue lunch and research poster session. Registration begins at 8:30; the event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 I was especially impressed with their use of video on YouTube to promote the event. You can find a full complement of details on the event at http://kbs.msu.edu/.

 For more information, contact Julie Doll at jedoll@msu.edu.

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Professor keeps us up to date on oil leak

A major regional pipeline began leaking Sunday, July 25, into the Tallmadge Creek south of Marshall, Mich. The creek carried the crude oil into the Kalamazoo River. The leak is potentially one of the largest oil spills in the Midwest. In this video, Dr. Steve Hamilton, professor at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, explains what happened, the response, the short-term and long-term effects, what people living in the area need to be aware of and how they can help.

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