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October 2021 Edition of the Official Newsletter of the
School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences
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Register now for UMES' Small Farm Conference
UMES Extension Small Farm Conference slated for November 5-6
USDA Senior Advisor for Racial Equity to keynote Small Farm Conf.
UMES receives $30M to continue training a diverse NOAA workforce
VIDEO-47 abc interview Dr. Paulinus Chigbu on NOAA $30M grant
New genus of hooded shrimp discovered and named after UMES
UMES receives $1.35 million from USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
Message from the SANS Dean
UMES doctoral student's research featured on PBS NOVA 
VIDEO-Edible Insects, PBS NOVA, Season 48, Episode 14
Nepali student come to UMES to study food and agricultural sciences
Chemistry professor recognized by ACS as outstanding mentor
Braxton recognized by STEM non-profit as "Best Community Partner"
UMES physics professor to speak at prestigious institutions
UMES Extension 4-H STEM to host Maryland STEM Festival
VIDEO-UMES Extension's 4-H STEM Festival coming back in Nov.
UMES Pre-Vet students volunteer at spay and neuter clinic
Agricultural & Environmental Law Conference
UMES Extension collaborates on free Poultry Field Day 
UMES Land-grant Scholarship Program
COVID-19-UMES Updates & CDC Fact Sheet
Subscribe to Extension's Connections newsletter
Summer 2021-The Living Sea-LMRCSC newsletter
October is a time of harvest and bounty! 

Agricultural research taking place at UMES and fellow land-grant universities is vital to discover innovative solutions that help farmers and ranchers produce safe, affordable and nutritious food for our communities, nation and world. 
Register now for UMES' Small Farm Conference
Click the image below
UMES Extension Small Farm Conference
slated for November 5-6
UMES Extension is setting the stage for its 18th annual Small Farm Conference—a premier event for agricultural stakeholders in the Mid-Atlantic.  This year’s production is slated for November 5-6 and features demonstrations on UMES’ Research and Education Farm, bus tours to private farms nearby, workshops, vendor exhibits and knowledgeable guest speakers.

“Like many events, the Small Farm Conference was forced to a virtual format last year due to the pandemic,” said Berran Rogers, coordinator of UMES Extension’s Small Farm Program.  “We are fortunate that circumstances have allowed for an in-person experience this year with the appropriate safety protocols in place.” 

Indoor sessions will be limited to 25 people, bus tours will be limited to 50 people and masks and social distancing will be required.
Register for UMES Small Farm Conference HERE!
USDA Senior Advisor for Racial Equity to keynote UMES Extension Small Farm Conference

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Senior Advisor for Racial Equity will be the keynote speaker at UMES Extension’s Small Farm Conference.  His address will be during a luncheon on November 6, the second day of the conference, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Dr. Dewayne Goldmon was appointed by the Biden-Harris administration in March to serve in the advisory post to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on a broad range of matters related to racial equity and justice.

“We need to accelerate a transformation of our food system, and that begins with embracing a call for racial justice and equity across food, agriculture and rural America,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “With Dewayne’s guidance, we will build a USDA that represents and serves all Americans—a USDA that is committed to ensuring equity across the Department, removing barriers to access and rooting out systemic discrimination, and building a workforce that reflects all of America.”


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UMES receives $30 million to continue training a diverse NOAA workforce
Pictured, (Top left), Teemer Barry is a UMES senior and NOAA scholar studying environmental science.  (Top right), Detbra Rosales is a 2020 MEES doctoral grad who is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the National Science Foundation CREST-CISCEP at UMES.
NOAA announced recently that it will continue its two-decade commitment to support the next generation of marine scientists and researchers at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  The agency, through its Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions, renewed an agreement that will provide $30 million in grants over five years to support the Living Marine Resources Science Center at UMES.

“These grants will strengthen the federal workforce by promoting and advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility,” said Dr. Rick Spinrad, NOAA administrator. “This funding will directly benefit students at minority serving institutions who we hope will join the future NOAA workforce and who will contribute to U.S. global economic competitiveness.”

“We are excited about this new center award and are deeply grateful to NOAA for its continued confidence in this endeavor,” said Dr. Heidi M. Anderson, UMES President. “This investment will be invaluable in enabling the University of Maryland Eastern Shore together with its partner institutions to build on its excellent record of training and graduating a diverse future STEM workforce, particularly in marine and fisheries science."

VIDEO-Click on the image above for 47 abc's interview with Dr. Paulinus Chigbu, director of the NOAA Living Marine Resources Science Center at UMES, and Teemer Barry, a UMES senior and NOAA Scholar studying environmental science.
New genus of hooded shrimp discovered and named after UMES 
A new genus and species of bodotiid cumacean (commonly called hooded shrimp) has been discovered in tidal waters of the Maryland Coastal Bays thanks to researchers working through the National Science Foundation CREST Center for the Integrated Study of Coastal Ecosystem Processes and Dynamics at UMES.  The microscopic crustacean was duly named Carinacuma umesi.

Dr. Andrés G. Morales-Núñez, (above) a research assistant professor in the NSF CREST-CISCEP Center, made the discovery supported by Dr. Paulinus Chigbu, director of the center and director of the NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center at UMES.

Cumaceans are small (1-35 mm) crustaceans from the superorder Peracarid that live in the sandy or muddy bottoms of brackish waters, nine species of which had previously been found in the Chesapeake Bay. The new species identified closely resembles Spilocuma watling, which is native to the northeast Gulf of Mexico, but differs in that the males lack pleopods (swimming legs).  Type material (the specimens that serve as exemplars for the species) has been deposited in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
UMES receives $1.35 million from USDA AMS to help socially disadvantaged agricultural community capitalize on its grant programs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service has enlisted the help of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University to help Black, indigenous and people of color, rural and other underserved communities apply for, successfully compete for and implement its grants.  The two institutions will split an award totaling $2.7 million ($1,350,000 each) in a coordinated effort that will enable UMES to conduct activities in the Northern states, FAMU to conduct activities in the Southern states.

Grant programs funded through USDA AMS are “designed to support the economic development for communities and commodities by funding projects that enhance the marketability and competitiveness of U.S. agricultural products.” To achieve this goal, all agricultural producers in the nation, regardless of race and ethnicity, need to have knowledge of, access to and a desire to take advantage of federal grants that are available to them.


Dear SANS Stakeholders,

We continually strive to provide a nurturing environment in which our students can thrive and grow. The same is true for our faculty and staff, and a key element in this equation is the support provided by mentors at different levels. October 27 is National Mentoring Day, therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to give a big shout out to the many individuals who serve as mentors in various capacities. In this month’s Digest, you will read about a few of them. Across campus, many others make a significant difference every day through their service as mentors. If you are not already doing so, please consider serving as a mentor. We all have something we can offer.
At the end of September, my tenure as the chair of the Experiment Station Section of the Board of Agriculture Assembly of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities came to an end. It was truly an honor to serve in this national leadership capacity for Agricultural Experiment Stations across the nation. This opportunity provided me the chance to not only see the important role that land-grant universities play in conducting critical research and extension in the food, agricultural and natural resource sciences, but to also see the important role that UMES faculty and students play as part of the national framework. These functions will be more critical as we strive to develop and implement strategies to address today’s challenges, such as those posed by climate change.
The implementation of our work would be nigh impossible without the many partners who support our activities. This month, I would especially like to express our deep gratitude to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for continuing to support the work of UMES’ Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center. NOAA’s investment in UMES, together with our partner universities, has ensured that the Center is now a significant producer of graduates in marine sciences. We will continue to strive to deliver excellent outcomes in research and education.

On the UMES Extension side of SANS, I am particularly grateful to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. The agency has entered into a cooperative research agreement with UMES to help socially disadvantaged agricultural community members capitalize on its grant programs. UMES Extension will honor the agreement with its ever-increasing commitment to working for the good of the underserved in our communities. 

With very best wishes for a productive November.

Moses T. Kairo
SANS Professor and Dean

October 27 is National Mentoring Day!
UMES SANS has many dedicated and enthusiastic mentors among its faculty.  Thank you for all that you do for our students every day and for your recruitment efforts showing prospective students how UMES could be the perfect fit for their academic goals.

Enjoy the following recent mentoring moments by SANS faculty members!
UMES doctoral student's research featured on PBS NOVA documentary
What tastes like shrimp or seafood?  It might have a “citrusy flavor” or be “oily and salty like popcorn.”  Could be crunchy like a “Frito or chip” or “smushy like pudding.”  They come in all shapes and sizes and if you guessed edible insects, a world food protein source on the rise, you guessed correctly.

“Five years ago I was deathly afraid of insects, so I went from running from them, to chasing them, to eating them—now that’s revenge!,” said Ebony Jenkins (above), a food and agricultural sciences doctoral student at UMES.

Jenkins is a budding entomophagist.  No, it’s not misspelled.  The field is not entomology, more commonly known, it’s entomophagy—the study of rearing insects for human consumption, feed and biological controls.  She and her research advisor and mentor, Dr. Simon Zebelo, an associate professor of entomology and plant biology, tout cicadas, crickets and mealworms among others as a safe, economical and nutritious source of protein. 

Their thoughts and research have gained national attention.  The Public Broadcasting System’s premiere science series, NOVA, featured Jenkins on its Season 48, Episode 14 “Edible Insects,” which aired for the first time on Wednesday, October 20.

“I didn’t know it was showing, I just ran across it,” Jenkins said.  “I couldn’t believe it! I have watched it 10 times since airing.  I’m still in shock and grateful for the opportunity. They could have chosen anyone, but they choose me.”

Jenkins weighed in on the documentary on her work focusing on improving insects as a source of nutrition and modifying what they eat.

Take a tasty look at insect foods that could benefit our health and our warming planet!
VIDEO-Check out this Maryland Public Television NOVA segment on edible insects from its Premier Science Series with input from UMES food and agricultural sciences doctoral student Ebony Jenkins.  
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves"
Nepali student comes to UMES to study food and agricultural sciences
Samata Bhetwal (above left), a first-year grad student, came across the world from Kathmandu, Nepal, to work in Dr. Byungrok Min's (above right) food chemistry lab and pursue a master's degree in food and agricultural sciences at UMES.

She traveled 7,700 miles to make her dream of pursuing a degree at an American college a reality.  Bhetwal, who is fluent in English, arrived in Philadelphia in early August a year later than planned because of travel restrictions implemented to fight the pandemic.

Two months into the semester, Bhetwal is growing more comfortable in her new environs, starting with Min’s food chemistry lab.

“We don’t have the fancy equipment back home,” she said. “I’m getting used to it.”

It was Min whom she contacted electronically when she was ready to resume her education after earning a bio-technology degree from the Study of Ancient and New Nepal (SANN) International College.  She is the first in her immediate family to earn a college degree.

A food science course in her junior year at SANN provided clarity on her career path.  Fueled by her desire to come to America and armed with a computer connected to the Internet, she focused on finding the right fit to study food science.  She clicked with Min, who has done research on food irradiation, bioactive components of eggs and egg products as well as heat and oxidative stress to poultry production and meat quality, who encouraged her to apply to UMES' graduate program.

Above is a summarization of a UMES PR Office article.  Click link below to read full article.
Chemistry professor recognized by ACS as outstanding mentor
The American Chemistry Society’s Project SEED program is thriving at UMES, and Dr. Victoria Volkis is behind its success.  Volkis is one of two inaugural recipients of the Outstanding Project SEED Mentor Award.  She and Dr. Arthur Tinoco from the Puerto Rico ACS local section were selected from a pool of seven national finalists for the honor.  The award, presented virtually during ACS’ 2021 National Meeting August 22-26 in Atlanta, recognizes the dedication of mentors to the program and its students.

The 2021 chair of ACS’ committee on Project SEED, Dr. Bryan Boudouris, attributed the success of the program to its “mentors and coordinators who are dedicated to ensuring the success of the students and the (program) alumni,” something that has held true for the 50-year history of the program.  He pointed to Volkis’ long-standing commitment to the program, impactful interactions with the students she has mentored and selfless service as factors that made her a standout.

“This program plays a life-changing role for students from financially disadvantaged families interested in a career in chemistry and related disciplines, providing them with experience that they cannot get otherwise,” Volkis said.  “It also serves as an important tool in recruiting high quality students to UMES.”

Braxton recognized by STEM non-profit as
"Best Community Partner" 
Dr. Kimberly Braxton was recognized as the “Best Community Partner” out of the pool of professional speakers during STEM Career Prep’s 2020-21 year of programming.  Braxton conducted a two-day, interactive veterinary workshop for students in grades 6-10. Youth experienced what being a veterinarian would be like by learning how to examine pets, listen to heartbeats, interpret radiographs and even participate in interactive science projects that related to antimicrobial resistance. Of course, the UMES alumna also discussed the next steps in their academic plan, including considering coming to UMES!

"As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others,” Braxton said.  “I have always put stock in the fact that no matter what happens in my life, I try to help those coming up behind me and even some that are coming up next to me. I remind myself daily that it’s not about what I have, it’s about who I've lifted up and who I've made better because I can never forget those that lifted me up and made me better.”
Braxton was presented a keepsake beaker.  In a congratulatory letter, STEM Career Prep's Executive Director Kristin Sampson wrote:  "We hope that this small token of appreciation will be a reminder of how you have 'poured' into the lives of our participants by exposing them to careers in STEM!"
UMES physics professor to speak at
prestigious New England institutions
Dr. Kausik Das will share his research as an invited speaker this month at two prestigious institutions.  He will be the Charles C. Jones Seminar speaker for the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, on October 29. The next day, he will present a 2 p.m. symposium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as the guest speaker for the department of mechanical engineering.

Das will present, “Fostering Critical Thinking and Innovation—A Design Thinking Approach,” at the 3:30 p.m. engagement at Dartmouth. The seminar discussion involves outlining a “holistic student development model that starts in the classrooms using custom made cartoon clicker questions to enhance student engagement and real time feedback, followed by guided, discovery-based labs and finally, immersive modular interdisciplinary research projects.”  Das is known for excellence in mentorship and involving undergraduates in his research activities.

Hosted by a colleague, Dr. Aaron Persad, a research scientist in MIT’s Microfluidics and Nanofluidics Research Laboratory, Das will present, “Microwave Plasma to Passive Microfluidic Mixing and Solid Body Rotation in Zero-g: Connecting the Dots,” on October 30.  Das received the USM Regents' Faculty Award in 2021 for scholarship, research or creative activity. 

Both seminars are free and open to the public as optional Zoom meetings. 

UMES Extension 4-H STEM to host
Maryland STEM Festival
UMES Extension’s 4-H STEM Festival returns this year after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic.  The free event takes place November 13 as part of the seventh annual Maryland STEM Festival, a month-long celebration October 15 through November 14 focused on “fun, interactive science learning opportunities.”  This year’s theme, “Health & Wellness,” draws attention to COVID-19 and the importance of healthcare fields and careers.
Participants aged K-12 can take part in hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outdoors at the Engineering & Aviation Science Complex at UMES.  Exhibitors from STEM-related organizations will offer information on the different areas of STEM and related careers.  The event has attracted upwards of 300 participants, said Bradley Hartle, a 4-H STEM educator with UMES Extension and coordinator for the event.
VIDEO-Click image above for 47 abc's interview with Bradley Hartle (pictured at top), a UMES Extension 4-H STEM educator and coordinator for its 4-H STEM Festival.
UMES Pre-Vet students volunteer at
Snip Tuck spay and neuter clinic
UMES Pre-Vet students gained valuable hands-on experience in shelter medicine and surgery by volunteering at a Snip Tuck clinic in Secretary, Maryland, October 23.  Shamia Onley (top left, on left), a sophomore transfer student, works monthly with the clinic and was joined this month by five additional UMES students.  They were able to practice shelter medicine, including small animal exam and restraint, surgical prep, aseptic surgery techniques and monitoring and recovery.  Pictured top left, from left, are Onley and freshman Charnae Jackson providing a feline patient with oxygen and anesthesia.  Pictured top right, junior Eryn Barnett listens to a patient's heartbeat in recovery.
UMES Extension collaborates on free Poultry Field Day for stakeholders
UMES Extension is a partner for a Poultry Field Day on November 3 at Walton Farms LLC in Georgetown, Delaware.  The full-day event (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) features speakers on topics such as winter ventilation, heater repair, litter management and generator maintenance along with demonstration stations on Solair-Green Energy, composting and recent developments in energy savings.

The event is free for poultry growers on Delmarva, but registration is required prior to November 1.  Lunch will be provided.  COVID-19 protocols for Delaware and Sussex County will be followed.

Visit the newly built commercial chicken house to see the latest in construction.  Nutrient Management credits for Maryland (up to two) and Delaware (up to four) are available.
Register for Poultry Field Day HERE!
The health and well-being of our campus and the community is our highest priority. The University's Task Force is working diligently to stay informed of changing dynamics in the coronavirus outbreak. 
UMES Updates
CDC Guidelines

UMES Extension launched its e-newsletter Connections in November last year! 

Subscribers will be privy to opportunities available to the public as well as those only available to our subscribers.

To get your copy, subscribe today!
The NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC) trains and graduates students from underrepresented communities in marine science for careers in research, management, and public policy that support the sustainable harvest and conservation of our nation's living marine resources. With its partner institutions, the LMRCSC conducts research on marine and estuarine systems congruent with the interests of NOAA Fisheries. The Center is supported by the NOAA Education Partnership Program with Minority-Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI). Click on the image to read its latest newsletter.
Upcoming Events
Grazing Strategies for Resilience and Profitability
Wednesday, October 27, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Pop's Old Place, 4657 Skinners Run Road, Hurlock, MD
$15 includes lunch
Register HERE!

Poultry Field Day-FREE!
Wednesday, November 3, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Walton Farms LLC, 18299 Walton Mount Lane, Georgetown, DE
Open house new construction, speakers, networking, complimentary lunch.

Register HERE!

UMES Small Farm Conference
"Positioning Small Farms for Success"
Friday, November 5 & Saturday, November 6

Field demonstrations, off-site mini farm tours, interactive workshops, afternoon training clinics, speakers and more!
$60 both days, $35 one day, plus nominal registration fee
Register HERE!

UMES Extension hosts 4-H STEM Festival-FREE!
Saturday, November 13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
UMES Engineering and Aviation Science Complex

Outdoor STEM activities for youth K-12.
No registration required--just show up!

Agricultural & Environmental Law Conference
Wednesday, November 17, 1-4 pm.
Thursday, November 18, 9 a.m.-noon

The virtual 2021 conference features six sessions for $35.

SANS in the News

UMES 4-H STEM Fest set for Nov. 13
Delaware State News, Bay To Bay News, October 22, 2021

Edible Insects, Season 48, Episode 14
MPT, PBS NOVA, October 20, 2021

UMES Extension 4-H STEM Festival slated for Nov. 13
The Star Democrat, October 16, 2021

UMES Extension's 4-H STEM Festival coming back this November, giving kids hands-on activities
WMDT, October 15, 2021

UMES Small Farm Conference set for Nov. 5-6
Cape Gazette, October 14, 2021

UMES Extension Small Farm Conference slated for Nov. 5-6, October 11, 2021

UMES Receives $30M NOAA Grant to Diversify Marine Sciences Workforce
WBOC, October 11, 2021

New Research Publications

Morales-Núñez, A.G., and Chigbu, P. 2021., Carinacuma umesi, a new genus and species of bodotriid cumacean (Crustacea: Malacostraca: Peracarida) from shallow waters of the Maryland Coastal Bays, Mid-Atlantic region, USA. PeerJ. DOI 10.7717/peerj.11740

Pokoo-Aikins, A., Timmons, J.R., Min, B.R., Lee, W.R., Mwangi, S. N., Chen, C., 2021., Effects of Feeding Varying Levels of DL-Methionine on Live Performance and yield of Broiler Chickens. Animals.  DOI 10.3390/ani11102839

Previous Editions . . .

The SANS Monthly Digest-September 2021
The SANS Monthly Digest-August 2021
The SANS Monthly Digest-July 2021
The SANS Monthly Digest-June 2021
The SANS Monthly Digest-May 2021
The SANS Monthly Digest-April 2021
The SANS Monthly Digest-March 2021
The SANS Monthly Digest-February 2021
The SANS Monthly Digest-January 2021

The SANS Monthly Digest-December 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest-November 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest-October 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest-September 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest- August 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest - June 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest- May 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest - April 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest- March 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest - February 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest - January 2020

The SANS Monthly Digest - December 2019
The SANS Monthly Digest - November 2019
The SANS Monthly Digest - October 2019
The SANS Monthly Digest - September 2019
The SANS Monthly Digest - August 2019
The SANS Monthly Digest - July 2019
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