UNH Research Digest ‒ June 2014

UNH Research Digest ‒ June 2014

Aug 06, 2014
June 2014 issue of the UNH Research Digest

The UNH Research Digest collects research news stories from across the University and provides brief summaries that showcase the breadth and depth of our research, scholarly activity, and artistic endeavors.

Preview a few of June’s stories below. Find the rest of the June Digest articles at the UNH Research Office web site: http://www.unh.edu/research/unh-research-digest.

Finally, a Mug Shot for a Crop-Killing NH Pest

Researchers at the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at UNH have identified and catalogued New Hampshire’s nearly 600 leafhoppers for the first time. Entomologist Don Chandler, a zoology professor who curates the University’s insect collection, oversaw the three-year project to assist New Hampshire farmers in distinguishing the “good” leafhoppers from the “bad” ones, some capable of devastating crops and causing millions of dollars in damage. To control crop-threatening leafhoppers, Chandler offers advice to farmers such as mowing regularly, removing red clover and mulch from under trees, or using herbicide strips to reduce the habitat of the invasive leafhoppers.




Credit: Lori Wright, NH Agricultural Experiment Station

Weight Watchers: A New Product that will Help Measure Rooftop Snow Loads

Six UNH Manchester students led by Mihaela Sabin, associate professor of computer science, and Christopher LeBlanc, assistant professor of electrical engineering, are working with civil engineering alumnus and entrepreneur Chris Dundorf '02 during the summer of 2014 to adapt his company's SnowScale ‒ a system designed to measure water content in snow loads in industrial settings—for commercial rooftop use. Based in UNH Manchester’s Engineering and Technology Laboratory, which was launched by LeBlanc, the project is funded by grants awarded by the New Hampshire Innovation Research Center and the New Hampshire EPSCoR program.


Snow scale team at UNH Manchester

UNH engineering and computing technology students work with Chris Dundorf '02 (second from right) to create a device to help measure dangerous snow loads on rooftops.

Credit: Mike Ross

Hope on the Halfshell: The Humble Mollusk: Superhero

Ray Grizzle, research professor of zoology, and Ray Konisky '03G, marine conservation ecologist for The Nature Conservancy's Oyster Conservationist Program, are on a mission to help the declining oyster population along the Great Bay Estuary ‒ as are about 58 local "oyster sitters" who have volunteered to help. The citizen oyster program restores oyster beds by creating a layer of shells to act as a foundation for a living reef and then placing on it disease-resistant oysters that have been raised in Grizzle’s laboratory. With this head start, the mollusks will rebuild a reef, creating a giant natural water-filtering machine, helping to bring the Bay ecosystem back into balance.



Oyster bed in the Great Bay, NH

Credit: Ben Kimball


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