CFANS in the news
Minnesota corn growers have faced some chilly spells and rain and are still working at an impressive pace. "Planting progress is on track," says Jeff Coulter , a University of Minnesota Extension specialist. "Fields are drying out now, so it should be completed rapidly."
Are drones truly unbearable? Mark Ditmer, a wildlife researcher at the University of Minnesota, has been asking himself that question a lot lately...Ditmer's first study raised more questions than answers, but he's designed a new experiment, literally launched last week, to gather more evidence about bears' relationship with drones.
"It really is a temperature thing," said Entomologist Jeff Hahn, from the University of Minnesota Extension. Hahn says there are 10 different kinds of ants that can be found in a home. Like us, they begin to move around more when the weather warms up. And also like us, they are looking for food.
The finding is notable for its simplicity: one equation to understand tree mechanics. Several outside experts have concerns about this very quality, however. For example, Lee Frelich , director of the University of Minnesota Center for Forest Ecology, says that modeling trees as branchless cylinders neglects the streamlining of branches in the wind, which in turn changes the relation between force on the trunk and wind speed. In other words, the setup did not reflect the complex interactions of real-life biology, weather and physics.
The long-term effects of zebra mussels on Lake Minnetonka are still unknown but the study's findings could help other Minnesota lakes faced with infestations. "It's much safer to use this information from a lake right here than it is to use information from a lake in New York state," said Michael McCartney, research professor for the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center at the University of Minnesota.
Here's some good news for New York vineyard operators who specialize in cold-hardy grapes. Yet another has been added to the list, a new white wine grape variety called Itasca. Dr. Matthew Clark, assistant professor of grape breeding and enology at the University of Minnesota, announced the Itasca name, the fifth new variety created by the school's breeding program. All of the grape varieties from the university breeding program have names related to Minnesota places. Itasca a state park in northern Minnesota.
After more than 75 years at the heart of the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus, the Bell Museum of Natural History is moving on. It will officially break groundFriday for a new $79.2 million complex near the State Fairgrounds that will be a northern gateway to the U's St. Paul campus.
The study looked at variations in monarch populations, starting in 1993, and analyzed what the chances were of the butterfly hitting a population level too small to be able to recover, Dr. Karen Oberhauser, a professor in the department of fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology at University of Minnesota and co-author of the study, explained. "It fluctuates a lot from one year to the next which makes it more vulnerable to reaching a low point," she said.
According to Marla Spivak, a MacArthur Fellow, Distinguished McKnight Professor and Extension Entomologist with the U of M's Bee Lab, honey bees forage three miles or more, on average, around their colony every day when temperatures are above 55 degrees. "It is important beekeepers and farmers have an open line of communication about insecticide use," Spivak said.
While most climate change research takes the stark global view, scientists at the University of Minnesota are thinking smaller. Like: What's going to happen on the North Shore? And even more specifically: How will it affect the people who love the North Shore? Mae Davenport , an associate professor at the U, is finishing a three-year project on how climate change will affect tourism in places like Two Harbors, Grand Marais and inland from the rocky Lake Superior coast.
News that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is ramping up the number of hours an inspector will be stationed at a heavily used Koronis boat ramp is a positive. In addition, the agency will again chemically treat the starry stonewort near this launch, and it is working with the U's aquatic research center to identify best practices to contain the algae.
Water quality has been a hot topic from the statehouse to the farmhouse and everywhere in between as of late... At the Worthington BiO Conference Friday morning, Jeff Peterson, director of the Water Resources Center at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, explained a number of the tools available to improve area waters and the value they have.