Source: UMass News and Media

The 2020 Best Global Universities guide published by U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Massachusetts at Amherst No. 4 in the comprehensive subject area of Agricultural Sciences. The rankings consider the top 1,500 universities across 81 countries. For the fifth consecutive year, UMass-Amherst has also been named to the Princeton Review’s list of Top 50 Green Colleges.

Agricultural Sciences Ranking

The field of agricultural sciences  for the survey encompassed a range of subjects related to how humans use and develop natural resources for their benefit, including horticulture, food science, nutrition, dairy science, and agronomy. At UMass-Amherst, several departments and programs contribute to its   strong reputation, including the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Food Science, and Environmental Conservation in the College of Natural Sciences, as well as the Department of Nutrition in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences

“We are pleased, of course, to see this recognition of the important work in agricultural sciences happening across the college,” said Tricia Serio, dean of the College of Natural Sciences. “It’s gratifying to see the reputation of our programs continue to grow worldwide.. UMass is truly a destination of choice for students who want to become change-makers and problem-solvers for the world’s agricultural challenges.”

U.S. News used “various bibliometric measures, including publications and citations, as well as indicators for global and regional reputation” to arrive at its rankings.  Three of UMass Amherst’s most highly cited researchers are in departments under the agricultural sciences : Eric Decker and Julian McClements of food science and Baoshan Xing of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Their impact is an important factor in the global ranking, as is the strong international reputation of the food science department, as well as the research contributions of the nutrition department. 

From improving agricultural productivity and minimizing the effects of pests on crops and animals to studying animal breeding, genetics and nutrition, publications within this category deal with the tools, methods and technology  of agriculture. 

Green Campus

UMass Amherst was named to the list included in the new 2019 edition of “The Princeton Review Guide to 413 Green Colleges” and was ranked number 30 this year out of the 413 schools profiled. UMass Amherst was also among the Top 50 in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The Princeton Review  relied on data from its institutional survey of college students and administrators.. Ten data points were factored into the assessment,  including student ratings of three factors: influence of sustainability issues on their education and life on campus; administration and student support for environmental awareness and conservation; and the visibility and impact of student environmental groups.

Last year, the UMass campus was part of the launch of an electric assist bike-sharing program called ValleyBike, part of a larger regional program with 500 bikes at 50 stations throughout the Pioneer Valley. The campus also has more than 1 million square feet of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) -certified building space.

Sustainability is  a main goal of the university’s No. 1 ranked dining service, which serves 60,000 meals a day and purchases 23 percent of all food and beverage products from third-party verified (organic or humane) or community-based sources.  It is one of the largest in-house dining programs to sign the “Real Food Challenge Commitment.”  UMass-Amherst has the largest campus solar project in New England at 5.5 MW and more than 15,000 photovoltaic panels, generating about 6 million kWh annually.

The Princeton Review also cited the university’s AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) STARS gold rating; its formal sustainability committee; and the free campus shuttle.

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