Jackie Nettles working at Girl Scouts of Gateway Council.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Jackie Nettles, who graduates this week from the University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, is poised to work in a job she’s prepared for her whole life: community engagement manager for the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council.
Nettles grew up in Gainesville, volunteered as a soccer coach and as a youth leader at her church. She worked as a nanny and later interned at the ACORN clinic, a nonprofit medical and dental clinic in Brooker, Florida, where North Florida healthcare professionals volunteer to help rural residents.
“I did a lot of things with helping people,” said the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences (FYCS) senior. “The quote for FYCS is, ‘We’re not a beaker science; we’re a people science.’”
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Diet and exercise can help people lead more effectively, a new University of Florida research project shows.
Chris Mott, a UF doctoral student in agricultural leadership development, investigated how food and lifestyle impact emotional intelligence, an idea that calls for people to manage feelings so they can express them appropriately and effectively.
“We know that prior research separately links the food we eat and exercise (or the lack thereof) with the brain, triggering neurogenesis and affecting moods,” Mott said. “But this study is the first of its kind that ties diet, exercise and emotional intelligence together. Emotional intelligence is about knowing one’s true self and using awareness to best respond and relate to others ─ vital for a trusted and effective leader.”
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Five years after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 men and sent at least 210 million gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, people along the coast are gathering for a three-city regional forum Thursday. Participants will discuss the spill’s effects on their communities, its lasting impacts and how to prepare for another major disaster.
The regional forum will include the release of results from a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences survey of Gulf Coast residents from Baldwin County, Ala., to Cedar Key, Fla. The survey looked at coastal residents’ opinions of the status of their recovery five years after the DWH disaster.
Findings indicated that respondents’ levels of satisfaction were lower five years after the spill than before it in several topic areas. This included levels of satisfaction with their community’s economy, community leadership and programs, local media, Gulf coast seafood industry, faith-based organizations and emergency response efforts. (more …)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Some people are changing their attitudes about the meat industry after taking the popular online course, “The Meat We Eat.”
The course, intended to give the consumer a more educated view of the meat industry, started up again April 20, and so far, about 5,000 people are registered. Chad Carr, a UF/IFAS animal sciences associate professor and meat Extension specialist, hopes that number rises above last year’s enrollment of 20,000 – students from around the world.
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A sampling of more than 1,000 Gulf of Mexico fish, shrimp, oysters and blue crabs taken from Cedar Key, Fla., to Mobile Bay, Ala., between 2011 to 2013, shows no elevated contaminant levels, according to a seafood safety study conducted by Dr. Andrew Kane and colleagues at the University of Florida. In fact, some 74 percent of the seafood tested showed no quantifiable levels of oil contaminants at all.
“Seafood appears as safe to eat now as it was before the spill,” said Kane, associate professor of environmental and global health and director of the Aquatic Pathobiology Laboratory at UF’s Emerging Pathogens Institute. (more …)
Jeong, left, and Folta, right
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida scientist will try to figure out how antibiotic-resistant microorganisms get into cattle. Another will study how to get tomatoes and strawberries to retain their flavors and last longer.
The two vastly different questions will be the focus of separate studies led by UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty members. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has awarded KC Jeong $2.19 million to study the cattle antibiotic question. NIFA also has awarded Kevin Folta and Thomas Colquhoun $500,000 to investigate the strawberry/tomato issue.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — As cap and gown season kicks off, one group of people is being recognized for its dedication to Florida’s environment. The University of Florida’s Natural Resources Leadership Institute, Class XIV, ends this weekend, with a graduation and practicum presentation scheduled for today.
NRLI is an eight month professional development program. Each intensive, three-day session is held in a different part of the state. Class XIV focused on the topic of “Water and Land Use: Managing Water in a Changing Landscape.” (more …)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Do you know kids who can’t get enough of spiders, crickets and lightning bugs? Do they keep creepy-crawly things in glass jars in their bedroom?
They might just want to grow up to be an entomologist, a fancy word for a person who studies insects. The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is here to help your budding bug enthusiast follow their passion with a host of activities featured during Bug Week 2015, taking place May 18-23. (more …)
UF/IFAS Food Science and Human Nutrition Professor Sue Percival
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Could a mushroom a day help keep the doctor away?
A new University of Florida study shows increased immunity in people who ate a cooked shiitake mushroom every day for four weeks.
Of the thousands of mushroom species globally, about 20 are used for culinary purposes. Shiitake mushrooms are native to Asia and are cultivated for their culinary and medicinal value.
In a 2011 study led by UF Food Science and Human Nutrition Professor Sue Percival, 52 healthy adults, age 21 to 41, came to the Gainesville campus, where researchers gave them a four-week supply of dry shiitake mushrooms. Participants took the mushrooms home, cleaned and cooked them. Then they ate one, 4-ounce serving of mushrooms each day during the experiment.
Through blood tests before and after the experiment, researchers saw better-functioning gamma delta T-cells and reductions in inflammatory proteins.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — St. Lucie County ranchers have saved an estimated $850,000 a year, thanks to University of Florida experts who taught them how to release a beetle to eat an invasive plant that normally elbows out valuable cattle forage.
“Using the Tropical Soda Apple beetle has resulted in significant cost savings for ranchers while at the same time protecting the environment by reducing the need to use herbicides,” said St. Lucie County Extension agent Ken Gioeli, part of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
The program, which uses beetles to biologically control the Tropical Soda Apple (TSA) on St. Lucie County ranches, has won the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals National Innovative Program Award. That’s the fourth straight year UF’s St. Lucie County Extension Office has won a national award.