Skip to main content

McLoughlin awarded LIFGA scholarship

Patrick McLoughlin

Patrick McLoughlin

Patrick McLoughlin ’16 was one of 17 students nationwide awarded scholarships from the American Floral Endowment. The senior Plant Sciences major received the Long Island Flower Growers Association (LIFGA) Scholarship.

McLoughlin is interested in the application of tissue culture for ornamental production, specifically in Impatiens. He plans to start his own business in the future. “I would also like to use local farmers to start a hops breeding program to find novel forms of disease resistance to mildew,” McLoughlin said.

The LIFGA Scholarship was established in 2010. LIFGA members represent growers and retailers promoting research, education and sales of ornamentals in the local market. The scholarship is intended for students in the Long Island/New York area studying ornamental horticulture at a community college or a four-year institution.

Fall 2015 issue of periodiCALS

Larry Smart examines a willow seedling from his breeding program. Photo: Robyn Wishna

Larry Smart examines a willow seedling from his breeding program. Photo: Robyn Wishna

The Fall 2015 issue of periodiCALS. Some of the articles of horticultural interest include:

Eden’s gardens of broccoli become poster child for farm-to-table movement

Thomas Björkman

Thomas Björkman

The Buffalo News [2015-10-23]:

…California has long been the top producer of the nutritiously dense and once maligned vegetable. That state produces more than 95 percent of all broccoli grown in the United States.

But agricultural experts and farmers are working to develop a year-round broccoli industry on the Eastern United States, from Florida to Maine. And Eden farmers are poster children for what agriculture experts want do in New York State and the East Coast.

“We hope to replicate parts of that in other locations,” said Thomas Björkman, a Cornell University professor. “This is a great thing right here in Western New York.”

Read the whole article.

New publication: CU-Structural Soil® – A Comprehensive Guide

CU-Structural Soil® installation at Zuccotti Park, New York City

CU-Structural Soil® installation at Zuccotti Park, New York City

CU-Structural Soil® – A Comprehensive Guide is a new 56-page publication that covers the why’s and how’s of using CU-Structural Soil® to support trees, turf and porous pavement, and includes six case studies.

CU-Structural Soil® (also known as CU-Soil®) was developed at by Nina Bassuk, director of Cornell’s Urban Horticulture Institute, as a way to safely bear pavement loads after compaction and yet still allow root penetration and vigorous tree growth. It was patented and trademarked to insure quality control.

Read more about CU-Soil® at the Urban Horticulture Institute website.



Dreer Award offers opportunities to pursue interests abroad

Plant breeding graduate James Keach, one of three 2015 Dreer Award winners, will study impatiens Thailand.

Plant breeding graduate student James Keach, one of three 2015 Dreer Award winners, is studying impatiens Thailand.

From Nina Bassuk:

The Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science offers a wonderful opportunity once a year, the Frederick Dreer Award, that allows one or more students to spend 4 months to up to a year abroad pursuing his or her interests related to horticulture.

See the application and instructions that spells out the procedure for applying. Basically it is quite simple. Submit a written proposal to the Dreer Committee by the deadline (March 1, 2016 in this cycle), which is followed by an informal interview, generally in a week or two. The faculty receives the recommendation of the Dreer Committee and votes on the nominee.

The only obligation of the Dreer award winner is to write to the Dreer Committee monthly while overseas, and upon return to the United States, give a presentation about their time abroad to students and faculty.

Please look into this opportunity seriously. It can be taken as a summer and a semester’s leave or a year’s leave of absence during school or upon graduation. If you would like to talk over a potential idea for the Dreer with a member of the Committee (and we encourage you to do so), please contact Nina Bassuk (Horticulture) Josh Cerra (Landscape Architecture) or Marvin Pritts. (Horticulture).

Grape research boosted by $6 million USDA grant

A vineyard map image showing data layered on Google Earth.

A vineyard map image showing data layered on Google Earth.

Cornell Chronicle [2015-10-22]:

The ancient art of grape growing is getting a high-tech boost thanks to Cornell University research and a $6 million federal grant.

The grant money, part of the USDA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative, will fund a four-year project to develop and implement digital mapping technology. The project aims to bring precision viticulture technology to growers of various scales, cultivating all grape species, with the potential to spur gains for the U.S juice, wine, raisin and table grape industries.

The project will be led led by Terry Bates, director of the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Lab in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).

Project leaders plan to utilize a suite of mobile sensors that measure conditions related to the soil, canopy and crop. Software developed by the project team will crunch thousands of data points to produce digital maps layered with information detailing specific conditions.

Read the whole article.

New class: Wine Culture

wine-cultureComing Spring 2016:

Wine Culture
2 credits
TR 3:35-4:25


An informative and entertaining look at the complex interactions between wine and culture:

  • What role does wine play in the creation of culture, from ancient times to the world of today?
  • How has culture influenced wine production and appreciation?

Includes wine tastings. No minimum age for enrollment.

Revamped ‘Willowpedia’ website delivers bioenergy info

shrub-willowx400Just in time for National Bioenergy Day, the shrub willow bioenergy research program based at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva has launched a revamped version of its Willowpedia website.

The new version of the website is chock full of information for growers, researchers and the general public, including factsheets, videos,  links to research publications and more. The new also features ‘responsive design’ making it much easier to navigate on phones or tablets.

And if you’d like to stay up on the latest in shrub willow bio-energy research and be notified when major new resources are added to the the website, be sure to sign up for the project’s e-newsletter.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions, contact Larry

Help crowdfund ‘Healing Plants and the People Who Use Them’ class


For millennia, plants have been used for healing.

As older generations of traditional healers pass away, much of their knowledge of medicinal plants and their uses is in danger of disappearing. Even as these practices ebb in indigenous communities around the globe, there is a growing interest in reconnecting with the natural world, as well as an appreciation of the breadth and depth of these traditional bodies of knowledge.

At Cornell, students will be exploring the relationship between plants, healing, and the community elders who use plants to heal in an exciting spring semester class, PLHRT 4940: Healing Plants and the People Who Use Them.

View video, read more, and support the effort on the crowdfunding site.

Toward Sustainability Foundation grant deadline is Dec. 4

For more than 15 years, CALS has bolstered its sustainability research with a steady stream of gifts from the Toward Sustainability Foundation (TSF), a Massachusetts-based organization founded by an anonymous, eco-minded Cornell alumna.

Since 1999, TSF provided more than $1.1 million in funding for more than 100 faculty and student projects that examine the technological, social, political, and economic elements of sustainable agriculture.

The deadline for proposals for the 2016 round of funding is December 4, 2015

Read more about TSF grants, download the full Request for Proposals, and view titles and contacts of recent projects.

A 2014 TSF grant aided Horticulture graduate student Miles Schwartz-Sax's study on long-term urban soils remediation using organic amendments.

A 2014 TSF grant aided Horticulture graduate student Miles Schwartz-Sax’s study on long-term urban soils remediation using organic amendments.

Skip to toolbar