The Greedy Institution
Contemporary marriage leads to fewer connections in the community, say sociologists Naomi Gerstel of UMass Amherst and Natalia Sarkisian of Boston College. In their paper “Marriage: the Good, the Bad, and the Greedy,” they present evidence that married couples spend less time socializing with friends, neighbors, and families than do singles. The married couples studied were also less likely to provide emotional support and offer help with chores outside of their own households. Critics of the paper say raising children, not marriage in and of itself, cuts into time for community-oriented events.
Working Moms Don’t Do Windows
The more money a married working woman earns, the less housework she does, says Sanjiv Gupta, a sociologist at UMass Amherst, in a recent study. Published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, Gupta’s study breaks new ground for researchers examining the complex relationship between money, domestic work, and marriage. His research indicates that for every $7,500 earned annually, a married woman working full-time does one hour less routine housework per week. Gupta emphasizes that what’s significant is how much a woman makes to the exclusion of the spouse’s income. “It’s only about the amount the woman earns,” says Gupta. “If she has a big paycheck, she’s going to spend less time doing housework.”
Sands of Time
For some researchers, the Grand Canyon is a giant clock. UMass Amherst geologist Mike Williams is helping build the “Trail of Time,” a 4.9-kilometer self-guided walk along the canyon’s South Rim. The canyon’s striations and formations naturally display two billion years, but the trail will reveal all 4.6 billion years of the earth’s age via a combination of rocks, plaques, and tourist guides. “One of the goals is for it to be dynamic,” says Williams. “We want to keep adding to it as the science is discovered.” The trail opens in 2009.
Muzzles in the Crowd
Computer vision technology will soon be available to identify individual animals using digital photographs. Much like the FBI’s facial pattern recognition systems, the software will help track migrations of large populations and aid the study of habitat patterns. The National Science Foundation awarded $750,000 to natural resources professor Kevin McGarigal and Sai Ravela ’02G (now at MIT) to develop the software, using algorithms to identify and catalog unique features.