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Kenneth Kurtulik

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Throughout the year, Rutgers Cooperative Extension holds composting training classes for local residents at its agricultural experiment station. In addition to teaching individuals how to implement composting into their homes and businesses, the program provides key information on the benefits and specifics of the practice.

Rutgers outreach program provides composting training to local community

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension offers composting and horticultural training classes to area residents this month and year-round. The program takes place on part of Davidson's Mill Pond Park, which was granted by the federal government in 1862 and currently serves Middlesex and Union counties.  It is an agricultural experiment station that disseminates research, science and technology information from Rutgers to local farms and industry, said Michele Bakacs, an associate professor at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. The Cooperative Extension is responsible for 4-H youth programs, stormwater runoff management, the state organic land care program for professional landscapers, the Rutgers environmental steward program, training master gardeners and the master gardener helpline, she said. Composting is the breakdown of organic materials such as leaves, kitchen scraps and grass clippings, Bakacs said. “There’re so many benefits to composting, it’s amazing,” she said.

The oil spill, seen here, is being invesigated by the Coast Guard after it was reported in the vicinity of South Pass, La. April 6, 2010.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jesse Kavanaugh.

Rutgers professor conducts study on long-term effects of oil spills

A shift in microbes caused by an unconventional oil and gas wastewater spill requires further study, according to a Rutgers professor's research. The study, led by Nicole Fahrenfeld, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, examined water and sediment from the nearby Wolfcreek in West Virginia. Unconventional oil and gas production is when deep wells extract shale gas, coal bed methane or oil from tight rock formations through methods like hydraulic fracturing, Fahrenfeld said. The spill in West Virginia happened at a site that disposes of the wastewater used at such facilities, Fahrenfeld said.

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