Study finds urban warming increases scale insect populations and reduces tree health

A study published this past March revealed that urban warming increases the abundance of some tree pests, while decreasing tree health.

North Carolina State University researchers Adam Dale and Steven Frank tested the hypothesis that warm temperatures stimulates the reproduction of herbivorous pests such as armored scale insects (Melanaspis tenebricosa), while also increasing water stress and decreasing tree health. They studied several populations of red maple (Acer rubrum) trees in the city of Raleigh, NC.

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EPA Seeks Nominations for Prestigious Annual Environmental Quality Awards

Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honors individuals, businesses and organizations that have contributed significantly to improving the environment and protecting public health in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight federally recognized Indian Nations. The period for the awards is 2013. EPA is now seeking nominations for this annual award. Winners will be honored at an awards ceremony in April 2014. Each winner will be recognized for his or her environmental achievement at a ceremony during Earth Week. The Agency is accepting nominations for its Environmental Quality Awards until February 18, 2014.

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American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using IPM to reduce children’s exposure to pesticides

Increased support for IPM adoption is one of the recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics in a position paper on pesticides published in Pediatrics this month. The article also expresses concern about children’s exposure to pesticides and makes several recommendations overseeing pesticide marketing, labeling and usage.

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Designing buildings to be pest-free

Pest Prevention By Design Guidelines is a new free resource for designing buildings to be resistant to common pests, such as rats, mice, pigeons and cockroaches. San Francisco’s Integrated Pest Management Program initiated the project after initial pesticide use reductions achieved by the program began to level off.  Program participants suspected poor design was a key barrier to further reductions.

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Emerald ash borer now in Great Smoky Mountains

The first backcountry emerald ash borer infestation has been confirmed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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EPA seeks applications for school asthma management awards

New this year! The U.S. EPA is seeking school-based asthma management programs to apply for the U.S. EPA National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management, the nation’s highest honor for comprehensive asthma management programs.  Deadline is February 12 at 11:59 PM EST.

Apply today if your school-based asthma program:

  • Addresses environmental triggers as part of a comprehensive asthma program.
  • Promotes healthy indoor learning environments in schools that improve the lives of those with asthma.
  • Fosters high-performing collaborations with a diverse set of partners to improve asthma management in schools.
  • Demonstrates results in improved academic performance based on asthma control strategies implemented in the school.

See the web page for more information.

American chestnut is back, say Western NC scientists

From the Asheville Citizen-Times

Today, they are practically extinct, these giant living things that once called the mountains of Western North Carolina home. But, thanks to a grand experiment that sounds almost like something out of a real-life version of “Jurassic Park,” a mighty species once thought to have vanished from the world is making a comeback.

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