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New Farming Strategies Can Help Prevent Soil Runoff While Maintaining High Crop Yields

June 30, 2016

Soil and nutrient loss and runoff from agricultural fields are major problems environmentally and economically in the U.S. and globally. After heavy spring rains, soil and water runoff containing fertilizer and pesticides is washed downstream, carrying the sediment and chemicals to the Gulf of Mexico. This process creates a large oxygen-starved area which is toxic to aquatic organisms and damages the commercial fishing and tourism industries. Tree-based buffers are an effective method for preventing runoff, however they can negatively affect crop yields. Based on years of research, University of Missouri scientists suggest farmers use buffers between crops and trees; this technique reduces soil runoff and maintains good growing conditions, creating economic benefits for farmers and, ultimately, for society in general.  Full Story
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Preliminary Research Findings Show Gender, Not Race, a Factor in College Students Dropping Out of Engineering Fields

Methods developed could help keep vulnerable populations in the engineering pipeline retain students

June 29, 2016

According to recent studies, in colleges and universities up to 60 percent of students drop out or transfer from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, and more than 50 percent of students pursuing STEM in community colleges never graduate. Researchers from the University of Missouri and partner institutions are exploring how ethnic and gender variables affect retention rates, goal setting and satisfaction among engineering students. Preliminary findings in the middle of this five-year study found no differences in retention between Latino and white engineering students, but did show differences between men and women. Their study could help shape methods needed to retain students in engineering fields.  Full Story
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