I am involved with research and extension education supporting maple sugar production. Acer saccharum is an important species ecologically and economically in northeastern North America. Sustaining this resource requires improving understanding of conditions that affect the success of this species under natural and managed conditions. Ecological research is addressing the habitat conditions affecting establishment, regeneration, and growth rates under environmental change. Management-oriented research deals with genetic improvement for increased sap sugar content, managing vertebrate populations for reduced pest pressure, and improvements in sap collection and processing technologies.
Starting this fall, students can choose the new minor, which takes a multidisciplinary approach to help students understand the broad role of ag and food systems in feeding humans and impacting the natural environment.