Kurt Knebusch

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Organic farming and gardening; sustainable agriculture; natural resources/ecology; forestry; wildlife; Wooster campus news.
  1. Picture of Olentangy River Wetland Research Park.

    Renovations at Ohio State Wetland Aim to Ramp Up Its Programs and Impact

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State University’s renowned Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, which opened its doors 20 years ago, is now in the process of opening them wider. The 52-acre Columbus facility is undergoing $75,000 in renovations to its main teaching and research building as part of a broader effort to increase the park’s access, use and impact. Programs in the park focus on how wetlands function, how to create and restore them, and how they benefit the environment and people. Water from the adjacent Olentangy River fills two main experimental wetlands at the site, which are each about the size of two football fields. Ohio State officials call it the only facility like it on a university campus. “The Schiermeier is uniquely positioned to...
  2. Image of income tax form

    OSU Income Tax Schools Set for November, December

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State University Extension has announced its annual schedule of OSU Income Tax Schools, which last year drew more than 800 participants. The schools are offered at eight locations around Ohio, are designed for people who prepare income tax returns, and cost $335. The teaching team for the schools includes three OSU Extension faculty and two current and two retired employees of the Internal Revenue Service. Three of the seven will be at each location. “We’re in our 49th year of offering these schools,” said OSU Extension’s David Marrison, the interim director and one of the instructors for the schools. “Our blend of Ohio State faculty and IRS professionals allows us to offer one of the highest-rated income tax continuing education...
  3. Image of smart phone

    New App Lets You Report Invasive Species

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Now there’s a new tool for fighting alien invasions. Your smart phone. Ohio State University Extension has released a new app for spotting and tracking invasive species -- non-native organisms such as Asian carps, purple loosestrife and Asian longhorned beetle -- to try to keep them from setting up beachheads and hurting the economy and environment. By using the free Great Lakes Early Detection Network app, a person can take pictures of suspected invasive species -- whether of farm, forest or water -- and upload the pictures and locations for verification. Based on this early warning, scientists can send out alerts, map the spread and figure out a battle plan. Early detection gives us a greater chance of being able to handle infestations before they become...
  4. Image of environmental professionals

    Ohio State Announces New Network for Environmental Professionals

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- “At this point, we have just one planet to share.” So said David Hanselmann, a lecturer in Ohio State University’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, in announcing a new Ohio-based professional network for people whose work helps keep the planet green. The Environmental Professionals Network, which launched on Aug. 7, “is for a broad range of people who are professionally engaged in managing, protecting and using our environment and natural resources -- people who really should be connected but often are not, and sometimes are even at odds,” said Hanselmann, who is the network’s coordinator. Participants will be better able to serve clients, community and society. -- David Hanselmann, Coordinator, Environmental...
  5. Stan Gehrt, a wildlife ecologist at Ohio State University, inspects a coyote captured in the greater Chicago area as part of a long-running study on this increasingly common urban resident. (Photo courtesy of Stan Gehrt.)

    Urban Coyotes Never Stray: Study Finds 100 Percent Monogamy

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Coyotes living in cities don’t ever stray from their mates, and stay with each other till death do them part, according to a new study. The finding sheds light on why the North American cousin of the dog and wolf, which is originally native to deserts and plains, is thriving today in urban areas. Scientists with Ohio State University who genetically sampled 236 coyotes in the Chicago area over a six-year period found no evidence of polygamy -- of the animals having more than one mate -- nor of one mate ever leaving another while the other was still alive. This was even though the coyotes exist in high population densities and have plenty of food to eat, which are conditions that often lead other dog family members, such as some fox species, to stray from their...
  6. Image of walnuts

    Thousand Cankers Coming? How to Spot New Walnut Disease

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Now you can get a free wallet-size ID card for spotting thousand cankers disease, which is a new, deadly walnut tree illness. It’s close to but not in Ohio yet. And while state officials hope it never gets here, they want to find it quickly if it does. At risk: $1.2 billion -- the estimated value of lumber from Ohio’s black walnuts -- and tons of edible nuts. By using the new card, “Landowners can help us find infestations early,” said Kathy Smith, forestry program director for Ohio State University Extension. “Early detection hopefully means that an infestation would be found inhabiting a smaller area and would be easier to eradicate.” OSU Extension co-produced the card with the Ohio Division of Forestry and Ohio Department...
  7. Image of OARDC scientist Charles Goebel

    OARDC Scientist Leads New Great Lakes Fire Science Consortium

    WOOSTER, Ohio -- Jack pines, which are common in parts of the northern Great Lakes, need fire to thrive. So does the rare and endangered Kirtland’s warbler, which nests only in burned or otherwise disturbed young jack pine stands in a handful of locations in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario -- and nowhere else on Earth. Both are part of the same “fire-dependent ecosystem,” a type of biological community that needs occasional fires in order to persist. And both and more should benefit from a new federal project based at Ohio State University in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station. The Lake States Fire Science Consortium, a knowledge exchange network, has been started to connect scientists who...
  8. Image of parking lot test plots.

    Clever Rabbits or Not, Parking Lot Farm Is Seeing Results

    WOOSTER, Ohio -- Even a garden in the middle of a parking lot can have a problem with rabbits. “They were coming through part of the gate,” said a rather amazed Joe Kovach, an Ohio State University scientist who has set up a lushly growing and ostensibly fenced-off fruit and vegetable test garden on an old asphalt parking lot in Wooster in northeast Ohio. “I actually saw one leave (the garden),” Kovach said. “It pushed its way right out. They were using the wire on the gate as a trap door.” He fixed the hole with some Plexiglass. The rest of the fence, meantime, is working, he said. Deer and woodchucks, too, have lately been spotted around but not inside the garden. As Kovach talks, a wren sings from a tree nearby. A robin chirps in apparent alarm...