Articles about people and animals interacting with their natural and built environments.

Iconic Old Chapel Needs Millions in Renovations to Reopen Its Doors

When Marla Miller came to western Massachusetts from Wisconsin in the summer of 1987, she hiked up Mount Sugarloaf. At the summit 650 feet off the ground, she looked out into the vast Pioneer Valley, the Connecticut River meandering through hills and farmland. In the distance, she could see a cluster of tall buildings peaking up from the otherwise rural landscape. Miller asked someone what the name

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Massachusetts Dairy Farmers Look Beyond Milk to Make Ends Meet

Cows in the main barn at Barstow's Longview Farm in Hadley.

Cows in the main barn at Barstow’s Longview Farm in Hadley.

On a late July morning in 2007, a group of dairy farmers, state legislators and various government officials met at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst to discuss a crisis. After the attendees introduced themselves, the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, Scott Soares, described the “perfect storm” that drove the dairy industry into its dire

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Study Shows Homeowner Associations Can Support Native Species in Suburban Neighborhoods

AMHERST, Mass. – Although it’s known that construction of homes in suburban areas can have negative impacts on native plants and animals, a recent study led by University of Massachusetts Amherst ecologist Susannah Lerman suggests that well- managed residential development such as provided by homeowners associations (HOA) can in fact support native wildlife.

For their recent study published in Ecology and Society, Lerman and her colleagues Kelly Turner and Christofer

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Racer to Advocate: An Astronomy Professor’s Life on Two Wheels

James Lowenthal looks like a typical college professor. In his office at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, he is well dressed in tan corduroy pants and a gray sweater pulled over a plaid shirt. Dark, round glasses sit on the bridge of his nose. His hair is short and neat. At 48 years old, you might expect to see a few gray strands sprouting from his scalp or some faint

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