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June 2015 (Vol. 14, No. 11)

  • UVM’s Home State Ranked #5 in the Nation for Start-Ups
  • Food Systems Leaders Talk Power, Policy, Politics at UVM Summit
  • $17.8 Million Grant to Vermont Genetics Network
  • 2015 Medical Alumni Association Awards
  • Great Lakes Conference Draws Scientists from Around the World
  • Many Endangered Species Are Back — But Face New Struggles
  • Flies Released to Attack Hemlock-Killing Pest
  • Surprisingly Few ‘Busy Bees’ Make Global Crops Grow
  • Athletics Update
  • Campus Kudos
  • In Memoriam

UVM’s Home State Ranked #5 in the Nation for Start-Ups
In the just released Kauffman Index of Startup Activity, the Kauffman Foundation has ranked the University of Vermont’s home state of Vermont #5 in the country for business start-ups. The new accolade comes on the heels of Burlington’s #9 ranking in a Feb. 2015 Forbes list of the country’s top ten most innovative tech hubs. A recent story in Atlantic Monthly on the city’s growing technology sector called Burlington a “Silicon Valley in Vermont.” The University of Vermont is both a driver and a beneficiary of Vermont’s and Burlington’s growing reputation for entrepreneurship and technology innovation, said UVM provost David Rosowsky. Read more here.

Food Systems Leaders Talk Power, Policy, Politics at UVM Summit
For the first time, UVM partnered with Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems on this year’s University of Vermont Food Systems Summit, the fourth annual, titled “The Right to Food: Power, Policy & Politics in the 21st Century.” Summit sessions explored solutions and obstacles to combating hunger and addressed several themes: the biophysical constraints to feeding the world’s population, the geopolitical context of the global food system and the implications of behavior and culture. The summit, said Doug Lantagne, dean of Extension and director of the UVM Food Systems Initiative, is an opportunity to bring together diverse participants to discuss how to provide adequate and nutritious food to the world. About 300 people — scholars, farmers, scientists, business leaders and other food-system stakeholders — attended June 16-17 in the Davis Center’s Grand Maple Ballroom. Read more here.

$17.8 Million Grant to Vermont Genetics Network
Sen. Patrick Leahy, University of Vermont president Tom Sullivan, and representatives from seven Vermont colleges and universities gathered in Burlington June 12 to announce that the Vermont Genetics Network (VGN) will receive a five-year $17.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for cutting-edge biomedical research. The grant comes from NIH’s Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program. Since 2005, Leahy has helped the Vermont Genetics Network to secure $56.3M in federal funding. The Vermont Genetics Network is funded by NIH under the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Read more here.

2015 Medical Alumni Association Awards
The University of Vermont College of Medicine has announced the winners of the 2015 Medical Alumni Association Awards presented during its annual Medical Alumni Reunion, June 12, on the UVM College of Medicine campus. Read about the honorees here.

Great Lakes Conference Draws Scientists from Around the World
Antidepressants end up in fish. Tiny shards of plastic end up on beaches and in waters. Invasive mussels end up in lots of places they’re not wanted. These problems are pressing in the Great Lakes and in Lake Champlain, “our pretty darn good lake,” as Deb Markowitz called it. And there’s “a lot we don’t know,” said Markowitz, a UVM alumna and secretary of Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources, in her opening remarks to the 58th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research, hosted by UVM and the International Association for Great Lakes Research. More than 600 lake scientists and policymakers spent four days, May 25-29, on the UVM campus — and on the shores and waters of Champlain — digging into how some of these problems might be better understood and addressed. Read more here.

Many Endangered Species Are Back — But Face New Struggles
A study of marine mammals and other protected species finds that several once endangered species, including the iconic humpback whale, the northern elephant seal and green sea turtles, have recovered and are repopulating their former ranges. The research, published in the June edition of Trends in Ecology and Evolution, suggests that some species, including humpback whales, have reached population levels that may warrant removal from endangered species lists. But returning species create an urgent new challenge for policymakers and communities, the study suggests. “Most people support the idea of saving endangered species,” says lead author Joe Roman of the University of Vermont’s Gund Institute for Ecological Economics. “But when native species return, it can be a struggle for communities. After generations away, these forgotten species can suddenly be seen as newcomers — or even pests.” Read more here.

Flies Released to Attack Hemlock-Killing Pest
A tiny fly from the Pacific Northwest may provide new hope for towering hemlock forests dying along the East Coast. Deep-green hemlock forests stretch from Georgia to southern Canada. Or at least they used to. Over the last few decades an invasive insect has killed millions of these trees as it spreads north and south along the spine of the Appalachians — leaving behind only ghostly acres of gray trunks. But now a team of scientists, co-led by Kimberly Wallin with the University of Vermont and U.S. Forest Service, and Darrell Ross at Oregon State University, have shown that two species of silver flies from the Pacific Northwest will attack and eat adelgids not just on western hemlock, but also on eastern and Carolina hemlocks. Read more here.

Surprisingly Few ‘Busy Bees’ Make Global Crops Grow
A major international study finds that surprisingly few bee species are responsible for pollinating the world’s crops. The paper, published in Nature Communications, suggests that only two percent of wild bee species pollinate 80 percent of bee-pollinated crops worldwide. The study is one of the largest on bee pollination to date. “This study shows us that wild bees provide enormous economic benefits, but reaffirms that the justification for protecting species cannot always be economic,” says Taylor Ricketts of the University of Vermont’s Gund Institute For Ecological Economics, a study co-author. “We still have to agree that protecting biodiversity is the right thing to do.” Read more here.


Schedules for the 2015 season for field hockey, men's soccer and women's soccer are available online at UVMathletics.com
or by clicking on the links below:

Field Hockey
Men's Soccer
Women's Soccer

Men's Basketball
Sophomore Drew Urqhuart is playing with the Canadian U19 Men's Basketball team at the FIBA U19 World Championships in Greece. Read more about him and the schedule, click here.

Women's Hockey
Senior Amanda Pelkey signed a professional contract with the NWHL's Boston Pride. Read more, click here.

Skier Stephanie Kirk and track and field athletes Alicia Clark and Martin Kallur were named Capital One Academic All-District honorees. It marks the 13th straight year a Catamount has earned the honor. Clark and Kallur went on to earn national Academic All-America honors, and Kallur was named the America East Scholar-Athlete for men's outdoor track and field.


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Connell Gallagher, library professor emeritus, was given the Center for Research on Vermont’s Lifetime Achievement Award in May. Gallagher served as university archivist and curator of manuscripts for 36 years and then as director of Research Collections (1989-2006). Since retiring, he’s consulted at Vermont libraries, including at Marlboro College, the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, Champlain College and at the Underhill Historical Society. He’s served as president of the Vermont Academy of Arts & Sciences since 2012. Read more about the Center for Research on Vermont awards.

Senior lecturer of English emeritus Daniel Lusk's genre-bending short essay, "Bomb," which first appeared 2014 in the literary journal NEW LETTERS (University of Missouri-Kansas City), has been awarded a Pushcart Prize and will appear in the 2016 anthology Pushchart Prize XL: Best of the Small Presses.


Professor of Radiology Kenneth Najarian was struck by a car and killed while riding his bicycle in Ferrisburgh June 17. Professor Najarian graduated from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in 1980 and completed a diagnostic radiology residency in 1984. He joined the University of Vermont faculty in 1985. Professor Najarian served the University and surrounding community for over 30 years. Under his leadership as division director of Cardiovascular Interventional Radiology from 1988 to 2008, Interventional Radiology came to be in Vermont and grew into what it is today:  a regionally unsurpassed service that combines the highest level of medical expertise with world-class, cutting-edge technology. Professor Najarian was also passionate about education, serving as Director of the Vascular Interventional Radiology Fellowship Program and on numerous College of Medicine committees, including the Admissions Committee. He was nationally regarded as an expert in Vascular Interventional Radiology, serving as principal investigator on a number of multicenter studies, with professional societies and committees, and as a journal reviewer.

Dateline UVM Would Like to Hear from You: Send comments, questions, and address changes to Dateline UVM Editor Jay Goyette (jay.goyette@uvm.edu)