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Dreer Award Seminar December 4: Raquel Kallas

Kallas measuring midday water potential during a 40-degree C (104 F) heatwave last week.

Kallas measuring midday water potential during a 40-degree C (104 F) heatwave.

Dreer Award Seminar:
Active Canopy Cooling Strategies to Mitigate the Negative Effects of Heatwaves on Grapevines

Raquel Kallas, MPS Horticulture ’16
Monday, December 4, 2017
12:20 to 1:10 p.m.
Plant Science Building, 404

Kallas traveled to Australia to work with Vinay Pagay (PhD ’14 Horticulture). Hear about her travels and her research. “His lab is on the cutting-edge of vineyard technologies that will allow us to better understand and manage the effects of climate change on vines and wine quality,” says Kallas. While a student at Cornell, Pagay helped develop a microfluidic water sensor within a fingertip-sized silicon chip that is a hundred times more sensitive than current devices.

Visit Kallas’s Dreer Award blog Grapes of Raq detailing her travels.

Administered by the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, the Frederick Dreer Award provides a wonderful opportunity each year for one or more students to spend 4 months to up to a year abroad to pursue interests related to horticulture. Read more about the Dreer Award.

Plant Sciences Majors showcase ePortfolios

Students majoring in the Plant Sciences show their ePortfolios to faculty members

Students majoring in the Plant Sciences show their ePortfolios to faculty members

Reposted from the SIPS blog, Discovery that Connects [2017-11-21]:

Students majoring in Plant Sciences and enrolled in PLSCI 1110 presented their ePortfolios on November 16 at an afternoon open house in 404 Plant Science. PLSCI 1110 “Collaboration, Leadership, and Career Skills in the Plant Sciences”, taught by Marvin Pritts and Leah Cook, provides students with opportunities to meet other students and faculty associated with the Plant Sciences Major; develop collaboration, leadership, and career skills in the discipline; and make connections with the world beyond the campus.  Thirty-one students are currently enrolled in the class.

Students at the Thursday event come to the Plant Sciences Major from diverse backgrounds, but all reflected enthusiastically upon their experiences at Cornell. Grace Hageman, a freshman from Wisconsin, described how her high school experiences with Future Farmers of America and international travel had contributed to her interest in ethnobotany and decision to minor in Spanish.  Katherine Cooke, a sophomore transfer from University of Vermont double majoring in Plant Sciences and Environmental and Sustainability Sciences, discussed her interest in ecological sustainability and climate change adaptation.  Several, including Cooke, Martha Williams, and Drew Gustafson, emphasized their commitment to communicating science and the importance of plants to youth and the wider community.

Drew Gustafson shows his ePortfolio to SIPS Director of Undergraduate Studies Marvin Pritts

Drew Gustafson shows his ePortfolio to SIPS Director of Undergraduate Studies Marvin Pritts

ePortfolios function as an online curriculum vitae, capturing student training, experiences and interests using a variety of media. Students in the Plant Science Major are required to add to their ePortfolios throughout their course of study, including information on courses, papers, and projects, a reflection on an out-of-class experience, seminar summaries, and research experience where relevant. Each student’s final portfolio is presented to their faculty advisor to show that learning objectives have been achieved.

Leah Cook commented that one of the main goals of PPLSCI 1110 is to build a sense of community among the students before they move through the core curriculum together. Students reflected that the process of creating ePortfolios was useful for reflecting on what they had done and identifying areas in need of attention. With regard to their Cornell experience, several commented that the Plant Sciences Major felt like a small school where faculty know and care about you in an environment having all the opportunities and resources of a big research university.

 

Chris Smart elected 2017 AAAS fellow

From CALS News [2017-11-20]

Smart

Smart

Three Cornell CALS faculty members — including SIPS director Christine Smart — have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society.

Smart is the Andrew J. and Grace B. Nichols Professor in the Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section and director of the School of Integrative Plant Science. She was honored for contributions to the science and practice of plant pathology, and for inspiring and introducing children, youth and adults to science. She divides her time between research and extension activities, including elementary school science education outreach. Her research into the diseases of vegetable crops such as cucurbits, cabbage and tomatoes focuses on population genetics, detection and disease management under field conditions in New York. She develops novel disease management options that promote sustainable agricultural practices for conventional and organic growers.

Read the whole article.

Smart welcomes attendees at Cornell industrial hemp field day, August 2017.

Smart welcomes attendees at Cornell industrial hemp field day, August 2017.

Cornell group explores future of indoor farming

Reposted from CALS News and the Cornell Chronicle [2017-11-21]

Doctoral student Jonathan Allred, center, leads a tour of Cornell greenhouses in November. Photo by R.J. Anderson / Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Horticulture doctoral student Jonathan Allred, center, leads a tour of Cornell greenhouses in November. Photo by R.J. Anderson / Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Indoor farming entrepreneurs and experts came to Cornell in early November with a goal: leverage the innovation at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to create viable businesses for local vegetables and produce grown indoors.

Known as controlled environment agriculture (CEA), the systems combine greenhouse environmental controls such as heating and lighting with hydroponic and soilless production, enabling year-round production of fresh vegetables. The process extends the growing season through a range of low-tech solutions – such as row covers and plastic-covered tunnels – to such high-tech solutions as fully automated glass greenhouses with computer controls and LED lights.

Neil Mattson, director of Cornell CEA and associate professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science, at left, explains lighting trials during a tour of Cornell greenhouses in November. Photo by R.J. Anderson / CCE

Neil Mattson, director of Cornell CEA and associate professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science, at left, explains lighting trials during a tour of Cornell greenhouses in November. Photo by R.J. Anderson / CCE

Led by Neil Mattson, director of Cornell CEA and associate professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell has become a world leader in CEA research. In early November, the Cornell CEA Advisory Council, which was formed in 2015 to expand the retail and food service markets for products grown using CEA, hosted on campus more than 80 entrepreneurs and stakeholders from across the Northeast to discuss the state of the indoor farming industry, urban agriculture, supermarket trends and new technology.

Read the whole article.

Hortus Forum Poinsettia Sale December 1-3

More than 20 cultivars to choose from at the Hortus Forum Poinsettia Sale!

  • December 1 – 1 to 5 p.m.
  • December 2 – 12 to 4 p.m.
  • December 3 – 1 to 4 p.m.

Location:

  • The Livestock Pavilion on the Cornell Campus. [Map]

Prices:

  • 6-inch pots $10 each
  • 10% off 5
  • 15% off 10

More information or to pre-order or to arrange delivery, email hortusforum@gmail.com

Download order form.

 

Download poster

Seminar video: Adventures in apple breeding and genetics

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, Adventures in apple breeding and genetics with Susan Brown, professor in the Horticulture Section, it is available online.

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Urban Eden students plant trees along Cayuga Lake Inlet

‘Urban Eden’ students planting crabapples along Cayuga Lake Inlet. (Photo: Carol Eichler)

‘Urban Eden’ students planting crabapples along Cayuga Lake Inlet. (Photo: Carol Eichler)

Students in Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment (PLHORT/LA 4910) planted 15 disease-resistant crabapple trees along the Cayuga Lake Inlet November 9.

The Ithaca Garden Club donated the trees as part of an on-going, seven-year effort to re-establish a deteriorated grove the club donated to the City of Ithaca in 1970. The club planted its first of more than 300 crabapples along the inlet in 1922 – the year of its founding – and have donated several hundred thousand dollars to landscaping projects in the area during its long history.

The City of Ithaca’s Shade Tree Advisory Committee will fence and care for the trees under guidance of Jeanne Grace MS ’10.

Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick stopped by to check on the tree planting, along with ‘Urban Eden’ instructor Nina Bassuk (left) and Ithaca Garden Club members Beverly Hillman and Beatrice Szekely. (Photo: Carol Eichler)

Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick stopped by to check on the tree planting progress, joining ‘Urban Eden’ instructor Nina Bassuk (left) and Ithaca Garden Club members Beverly Hillman and Beatrice Szekely. (Photo: Carol Eichler)

Planting participants. . (Photo: Carol Eichler)

Planting participants. . (Photo: Carol Eichler)

Cover crop meeting draws big crowd

SIPS director Chris Smart welcomes the cover crop crowd to Cornell

SIPS director Chris Smart welcomes the cover crop crowd to Cornell

More than 170 researchers, educators, farmers, and agricultural service providers attended the Northeast Cover Crops Council’s (NECCC) Annual Meeting at The Statler Hotel on November 8 for a day-long program featuring more than 40 speakers and an evening poster session.

Speakers reported on the latest research and farmer-proven practices on a wide range of topics including techniques for establishing and terminating cover crops, their benefits, and how to get more farmers interested in cover cropping. Bianca Moebius-Clune (MS ’06, PhD ’09), Director of the USDA-NRCS Soil Health Divisiondelivered the opening keynote address. Moebius-Clune was formerly a Senior Extension Associate in the Soil and Crop Sciences Section.

“The great turnout we had is more evidence of the growing interest in using cover crops to prevent erosion, manage nutrients, suppress weeds, and increase both soil health and farm profits,” says Matt Ryan, assistant professor in the Soil and Crop Sciences Section and head of the Cornell Sustainable Cropping Systems Lab, who helped organize and hosted the meeting.

The second day of the meeting featured a field tour of the cover crop demonstrations at the USDA-NRCS Big Flats Plant Materials Center, Big Flats, N.Y.

The meeting was the first for the NECCC, whose mission is to support the successful implementation of cover crops to maximize economic, environmental, and social benefits.  The group facilitates regional collaboration between farmers, researchers and the public to foster the exchange of information, inspiration, and outcome-based research, and serves as a central clearinghouse for cover crop research in the Northeast.

Big Flats field tour at the NECCC Annual Meeting

Big Flats field tour at the NECCC Annual Meeting

Bulb planting made easy

Cornell’s Flower Bulb Research Program made short work of planting more than 30,000 bulbs into sod in demonstration strips totaling more than 2,000 feet at The Cornell Botanic Gardens and the NYSIP Foundation Seed Barn.  The entire job was completed in less than 3 hours on November 3.

How’d they do it? They used a tractor-drawn bulb planter imported from The Netherlands that slices open the sod, drops in the bulbs and then replaces the sod over them.  In these “naturalized” plantings, the bulbs will push up through the turf before the grass begins to grow in spring. The bulb mixes included daffodils, crocus, camassia, chionodoxa, allium and muscari.

“This machine greatly reduces the labor required to establishing naturalized bulb plantings,” says Bill Miller, the program’s director and a professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science. Miller was assisted by Dutch intern Jos Kroon and Bluegrass Lane field assistant Jonathan Mosher.

“Some people might be concerned about the lack of precise placement of the bulbs,” notes Miller. “But our research has shown that most bulbs are forgiving about how deep they are planted, despite what you might see on the labels. They also do fine if not planted right side up.”

Miller hopes that planters like this might catch on with commercial landscapers and municipalities and result in more naturalized bulb plantings.  A benefit of this approach can be less mowing of turf areas due to the need to let the bulb foliage die back naturally.  In such areas, landscapers could substantially reduce carbon emissions from maintenance activity leading to a more sustainable landscape, Miller says.

 

Seminar video: Hortus Forum: Turning a New Leaf

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar Hortus Forum: Turning a New Leaf with Hauk Boyes ’18 and Sarah Hetrick ’18, officers, Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club, it is available online.

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

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