The Fall 2012 issue of periodiCALS (formerly CALS News) is available online. Some items of horticultural interest include:
Evolution of the Land Grant Mission – Feature story quotes Anu Rangarajan: “Our Northeast Beginning Farmers Project offers interactive, online courses on topics for those just beginning to think about farming—such as ‘Square One’ and ‘Markets and Profits’—to more advanced courses on marketing and financial planning that benefit even more experienced farmers. I’ve been impressed by the inspiration and enthusiasm for agriculture in the small-farms community.” Erica Frenay ’98, coordinator of the project and is pictured displaying a brood of bees on her family’s Shelter Belt Farm in Brooktondale, N.Y. The article also lauds “innovations like the compaction-resistant soil mix for street tree roots developed by horticulture professor Nina Bassuk [that] have brought science to sidewalk shade,” and features a sidebar on The Land Grant Mission and Democracy by Scott Peters.
Breeding Better Biofuels – Around the Quad blurb: “The commercialization of shrub willow as a bioenergy crop could be years closer thanks to a $1.37 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The project, led by associate professor of horticulture Larry Smart ‘87, will identify the genes that trigger vigorous growth and biomass production in willow hybrids.”
Geneva Summer Research Program Brings Science Careers into Focus – Since 2009, the Geneva Summer Research Scholars program has grown from eight students to 28, boasts three Cornell graduate students who were former scholars, and is self-sustaining thanks to participation from the Departments of Horticulture, Entomology, and Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology.
Goodness Grapeness! Student-Run Vineyard is Certified Organic – The planting of about 500 grapevines – enough to produce over 200 cases of wine – is used in the course Sustainable and Organic Grape and Wine Production taught by assistant professor of viticulture Justine Vanden Heuvel and food science lecturer Kathy Arnink.
Plantations Pilot Program Aims to Cure ‘Plant Blindness’ – “Our goal is to engage local high school students in a participation-based program that will raise ecological awareness and teach skills that will cultivate an environmental ethic for future actions,” says Donna Levy ’81, environmental education outreach coordinator at Cornell Plantations.