Vermont Research News: Wild bees, acupuncture, civil discourse and more…

Vermont Research News: Wild bees, acupuncture, civil discourse and more…

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Wild bees mean better berries

Recent research suggests that wild bees can significantly improve the yield and quality of blueberries on farms. The study indicates that wild bees improve blueberry yields and the quality of the crop, including larger and more berriesand earlier harvestsby two and a half days, improving farm revenues.  The study, conducted in nine berry farms across the state, highlights the importance of wild bees to global agriculture and the need to protect wild bee populations. Read more about the study here.

Discourse surrounding LGBTQ issues

A recent study looked at the discourse used in same-sex marriage court cases and its relation to heteronormative discursive frames. The study draws from Vermont newspaper discourse during the debate over legalizing same-sex marriage in Vermont, finding that LGBTQ voices were missing from the newspaper discourse.

Vermont and Acupuncture

Vermonters it turns out, are fond of acupuncture. A new study finds that Vermont is one of 20 states with an acupuncturist density of more than 10 per 100,000 populationVermont has 30.79 acupuncturists per 100,000 people. Read more here.

GMO label recognition

How effective is GMO labeling? A study of Vermont consumer habits finds that the presence of these labels influenced consumer decisions for 13% of the consumers who saw the label.  The also study finds that label recognition directly correlates to younger consumers belonging to a higher income bracket.

Agricultural economy of Hardwick

New research examines Hardwick as a model community for sustainable local-based agricultural economy. Researchers find that the emphasis on jobs and an economy built on local agriculture has decreased poverty, increased jobs, and increased the town’s mean income since 2000.

‘Hub-and-spoke’ system

Vermont uses a ‘hub-and-spoke system’ for opioid treatment, which includes designated ‘hubs’ where patients have access to methadone and buprenorphine and designated ‘spokes,’ or primary care settings. According to a new study, Vermont’s system is highly effective in reducing opioid dependency and should be looked at as a model system for opioid dependency treatment nationwide. Read more here.

Biases in ranking education systems

A recent study claims that Vermont’s education system isn’t as effective as previously thought. Claiming that there are biases in ranking reports by U.S. News and World Report and other organizations, the study looks at expenditure in relation to test scores and argues that New England rankings are actually declining compared with southern states. The authors also maintain that the rankings are skewed to favor regions with less diverse populations.

Rutland hospital earns an “A”

The Rutland Region Medical Center was one of 855 U.S. hospitals to receive an “A” grade from the Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Grade. The report utilizes the standard letter grading system to evaluate hospitals across the country based on their ability to prevent medical errors, infections and other issues among patients. Vermont ranked 40th in terms of hospital performance, with just 16.67 percent of the state’s hospital earning an “A.”

Ragweed allergies on the rise

Allergic reactions from ragweed may increase due to a warming climate. A recent study from the Universities of Washington and Massachusetts has found that ragweed, a common plant, is shifting its habitat northward to Vermont as the climate warms. Ragweed produces copious amounts of pollen, causing runny noses, itchy eyes, itchy throats and even headaches for people with hay fever.

Childhood trauma treatment

Should childhood trauma be treated as a public health crisis with the same actions taken as serious health outbreaks such as AIDS or Hepatitis A? Researchers from UVM worked with a team of international health scientists in a recent study finding that the effects of childhood trauma are closely correlated to mental illness and addiction in adulthood.

New Books
The so-called “Back-to-the-Landers”—those droves of people who moved to Vermont in the ‘60’s and ‘70s to pursue an agrarian, self-sufficient lifestyle—are the predecessors of today’s foodies, says author Jonathan Kauffman. In Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat, Kauffman journeys back in time to chronicle how that era’s Vermont farm collectives, California vegetarian restaurants, midwestern organic food store owners and counterculture farmers changed how we eat today. Hippie Food was recently named one of the New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2018; read a review here.
Erratic Wandering: An Explorer’s Hiking Guide to Astonishing Boulders in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont by Jan and Christy Butler takes hikers and walkers to 123 sites in Northern New England, including Cantilever Rock on Mt. Mansfield in Vermont.
David Vermette examines the role of a million French-Canadians who migrated to the northeastern U.S. for textile jobs between 1840 and 1930 in his new book, A Distinct Alien Race: The Untold Story of Franco-Americans, Industrialization, Immigration, Religious Strife. By recounting the stories of individuals and families, Vermette draws parallels to contemporary issues like nativism and the fall of manufacturing—and offers compelling details about the eugenics movement that occurred near UVM in the start of the 20th century.
Copyright © 2018 Center for Research on Vermont, All rights reserved.
The Vermont Research News is a bi-monthly curated collection of Vermont research — focused on research in the Vermont “laboratory” — research that provides original knowledge to the world and research that adds to understanding of the state’s social, economic, cultural and physical environment.

Send your news items to Newsletter Editor Kirsti Blow or Richard Watts
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