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BioBlitz highlights region’s diversity

Scott LaGreca, left, curator of the Plant Pathology Herbarium, examines lichens retrieved from upper tree limbs by Nathaniel Farrington of Cornell Outdoor Education. Photo: Magdalen Lindeberg

Scott LaGreca, left, curator of the Plant Pathology Herbarium, examines lichens retrieved from upper tree limbs by Nathaniel Farrington of Cornell Outdoor Education. Photo: Magdalen Lindeberg

Reposted from CALS News [2017-09-04]:

Biodiversity is not just a feature of the Amazon rainforest or other exotic locales. Hidden multitudes of species inhabit the Ithaca region, as participants in the inaugural School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS) BioBlitz discovered Sept 8-9.

A dozen teams tallied 1,250 species of higher organisms and more than 23,000 microbes during the 24-hour event to document as many species as possible. Held on the grounds of the Cayuga Nature Center (CNC) and Smith Woods, the event was the first in the region. The series started in 1996 in Washington, D.C., and has since spread around the world.

The 2017 SIPS BioBlitz opened Sept. 8 with remarks by Chief Samuel George of the Cayuga Nation Bear Clan; Warren Allmon, director of the Paleontological Research Institution; and Kathryn J. Boor ’80, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“At Cornell, it’s part of our jobs to be curious – which means I have one of the best jobs around,” Boor told participants at the launch of the event. “Like you, I’m inspired by what I can discover in the world around me, how to collect data and then share it with others.”

Boor and other speakers emphasized the importance of collaborations between universities and community members in preserving local lands and their biological diversity.

Read the whole article.

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Entrepreneur Conference Nov. 1-2

cea greensFrom Neil Mattson, Director, Cornell CEA and Associate Professor, Horticulture Section, School of Integrative Plant Science:

Do you have a serious interest in developing a business plan for a New York state based commercial CEA vegetable operation? This conference is for you.

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) enables year-round production of fresh vegetables through greenhouse environmental control (heating, lighting) combined with hydroponic/soilless production systems. While CEA is an increasingly popular method of meeting consumer demand for locally grown food, many factors must be considered when developing a business plan and assessing its viability. This conference is intended to provide more detailed knowledge of CEA production systems, economics, marketing, and ways to access financing and state resources. It will also help guide new or transitioning operations through the process of developing a business plan for a CEA greenhouse vegetable business.

Read more about the conference and view the full agenda.

If you think this is for you, you’ll need to apply to attend. But if selected, the program is free. (You’ll need to cover travel and lodging expenses.)

Applications are due by September 29 and must be completed online here. If selected to attend you will be notified by October 3.

If you have questions, please contact me:  nsm47@cornell.edu

cea lighting system

Tour Brandywine Valley gardens with Pi Alpha Xi September 15-17

Leading the tour at Chanticleer will be the garden's public programs manager Erin McKeon, 2013 graduate of Cornell's Public Garden Management Program.

Leading the tour at Chanticleer will be the garden’s public programs manager Erin McKeon, 2013 graduate of Cornell’s Public Garden Management Program.

From Patricia Chan & Myles Collinson, Pi Alpha Xi co-presidents:

Feel the need to get off campus? The desire to surround yourselves with plants? The urge to learn the workings of a meticulously cultivated botanical garden?

Cornell University’s chapter of Pi Alpha Xi, the national honor society for horticulture and plant sciences, has organized a weekend trip to three southeast Pennsylvania public gardens September 15-17, featuring special behind-the-scenes tours at each location.:

This trip is open to all undergraduates, grad students, staff and faculty.

For only $50/person, this is a very affordable package trip that includes bus transportation to/from Ithaca, breakfasts, guided tours, and admission to the gardens.  Lunch and dinners are on-your-own, and hotel accommodations for two nights are available at a discounted rate. Important: You are responsible for booking your lodging, available for a special block rate, only if you make your hotel reservation by this Friday, 9/8.

Download trip details and registration form.

Questions? Contact Dr. Mark Bridgen, Advisor to Pi Alpha Xi, at mpb27@cornell.edu or 631-921-4941.

Inaugural SIPS BioBlitz Launches Sept. 8-9

The SIPS BioBlitz connects the public with scientists and students as they work together to count as many species as possible in a predetermined area for 24 hours.

The SIPS BioBlitz connects the public with scientists and students as they work together to count as many species as possible in a predetermined area for 24 hours.

Reposted from CALS News [2017-09-01]:

Nature enthusiasts of all ages are invited to the 2017 SIPS BioBlitz—an action-packed scientific endeavor, competition, festival and educational programming Sept. 8-9 at Cayuga Nature Center.

The free event from the School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS) connects the public with scientists and students from local universities as they work together to count as many species as possible in a predetermined area for 24 hours. Participation for the event, which is the first of its kind in the area, is open to both students and local citizens.

Co-sponsored with the Cayuga Nature Center, the BioBlitz will include taxon-themed walks, demonstrations and educational programs for everyone, giving the public an opportunity to learn from scientists as they identify and catalog organisms. join the hunt for species, and use the iNaturalist app to upload their sightings to the species list. Admission is free to the Nature Center during the event.

“This is a great opportunity for people from all walks of life to get back to nature and learn about the amazing plants and animals in their own backyard,” says Scott LaGreca, SIPS BioBlitz coordinator and curator of the Cornell Plant Pathology Herbarium.

The opening ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, with remarks by Kathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Christine Smart, professor of plant pathology and SIPS director; Warren Allmon, director of the Paleontological Research Institution; Elizabeth Thomas, Ulysses Town Supervisor; and Chief Samuel George, Cayuga Nation Bear Clan’s Sachem.

The BioBlitz starts at 5 p.m. on Friday as teams of scientists spread out across the Cayuga Nature Center’s grounds and nearby Smith Woods, one of the few old-growth forests left in the area, to take a census of everything from deer to microbes. Each team will have its headquarters at the Cayuga Nature Center, where members will show off their findings and answer questions from the public.

Schedule of Events

Friday, September 8

  • 4 p.m. – Opening Ceremonies
  • 5 p.m. – Start of BioBlitz!
  • 5-9 p.m. – Displays open in Nature Center
  • 5 p.m. – Interesting Fall Insects at the Nature Center
  • 6 p.m. – Snails and Slugs of the Forest
  • 7 p.m. – Nighttime Bat Extravaganza
  • 8 p.m. – Spiders by Flashlight
  • 9 p.m. – Moth Trapping and Nighttime Insects

Saturday, September 9

  • All Day – Taxa Tables displays and information
  • 10 a.m. – Native and Non-Native Plants and their Histories
  • 11 a.m. – Fungus Among Us Walk
  • Noon – Animal Feedings
  • 1 p.m. – Fun with Microbiology DNA
  • 2 p.m. – Walk with the Pollinators
  • 3 p.m. – Mapping Vegetation Using Drones
  • 5 p.m. – End of 24-hour BioBlitz collecting
  • 6 p.m. – Species tally announcement

More information can be found online. For questions, contact Scott LaGreca at bioblitz@cornell.edu or 607-255-2777.

 

Students report on research progress at Graduate Field Review

Ph.D. candidate Grant Thompson explains his research on soil bacterial communities in residential lawns during a poster session at the Fall 2017 Horticulture Graduate Field Review.

Ph.D. candidate Grant Thompson explains his research on soil bacterial communities in residential lawns during a poster session at the Fall 2017 Horticulture Graduate Field Review.

The Graduate Field of Horticulture gathered in Jordan Hall at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES), Geneva, N.Y. for the Fall 2017 Graduate Field Review. A dozen graduate students gave 2-minute “poster pitches” ahead of poster sessions where they detailed their research progress to faculty, staff and fellow students.

Topics ranged from root exudates and reviving nut trees to post-harvest fruit- and flower-quality and Reisling grape clone trials. Two students gave longer talks on their research into grape cold hardiness and apple acidity genetics.

The Horticulture Graduate Field Review is held twice a year just ahead of the start of Spring and Fall Semester classes.

Graduate Field of Horticulture, August 17, 2017, Jordan Hall, Geneva.

Graduate Field of Horticulture, August 17, 2017, Jordan Hall, Geneva.

 

Shrubs and Ground Covers for Bioswales and Tough Sites September 15

Tower Road bioswale

Tower Road bioswale

Nina Bassuk, professor, Horticulture Section, and Peter Trowbridge, professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, will lead a course for landscape architects September 15, 2017, on the Cornell University campus.

The participants will learn about best plants for challenging site conditions, plant selection for specific sites, site assessment techniques, and key resources for plant selection and design considerations. They will also tour the Cornell campus to see successful plantings, examples of site remediation and incorporation of research results in the landscape.

Class size is limited to 25. Cost is $185 and participants can earn up to 4 LA CES Learning Units.

Questions? Contact  Joann Gruttadaurio at jg17@cornell.edu

More information | Registration form

Field day season

The School of Integrative Plant Sciences has hosted three field days in the last two days.

August 1 was the Floriculture Field Day, which attracted 90 growers, educators and others to a morning of presentations on campus followed by lunch, tours of annual trials and perennial flower plantings, and hands-on workshops at the Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Center.

Entomologist Scott McArt lead session on pollinator-friendly gardens at Bluegrass Lane.

Entomologist Scott McArt leads a session on pollinator-friendly gardens at Bluegrass Lane.

Floriculture Field Day participants used flags to vote for their favorite flowers.

Floriculture Field Day participants used flags to vote for their favorite flowers.

Growers check out container plantings at Bluegrass Laned

Growers check out container plantings at Bluegrass Lane.

Also August 1, more than 100 people attended the Cornell Industrial Hemp Field Day at the NYSIP Foundation Seed Barn on Dryden Road. They got a close-up look at trials featuring  17 grain, fiber and dual-purpose industrial hemp varieties, and heard the latest from experts from Cornell and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets on potential pests and diseases, seed quality and other topics. Visit the Cornell Industrial Hemp website for more information.

Growers inspect variety trials.

Chris Smart, director of the School of Integrative Plant Science, shares Cornell's plans for industrial hemp research and outreach.

Chris Smart, director of the School of Integrative Plant Science, shares Cornell’s plans for industrial hemp research and outreach.

August 2, horticulture researchers at Bluegrass Lane hosted an informal collaborative open house for nearly 100 SIPS, CUAES, NYSAES, and Grounds staff, students, interns and volunteers. Attendees viewed trials of annuals and perennials, hybrid oaks, tree drought evaluation, David Austin Roses, and more.

Collaborative open house visitors tour annual and perennial plantings at Bluegrass Lane. (Photo: Anja Timm)

Collaborative open house visitors tour annual and perennial plantings at Bluegrass Lane. (Photo: Anja Timm)

Overwintered Agapanthus in the perennial plantings at Bluegrass Lane. (Photo: Anja Timm)

Overwintered Agapanthus in the perennial plantings at Bluegrass Lane. (Photo: Anja Timm)

Bluegrass Lane and the Hemp Field Trials are managed by the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (CUAES).

Reduced Tillage Field Day August 14

mulched cabbageReduced Tillage Field Day:
Tools and Tactics for Organic Vegetables at Any Scale

August 14, 2017, 4 p.m to 7 p.m
Freeville Organic Research Farm at the Cornell HC Thompson Vegetable Research Farm
133 Fall Creek Road, Freeville NY

Join the Cornell Reduced Tillage Team for a field tour and discussion of practices to build soils and manage weeds in organic vegetables. Can tarps help replace tillage? How can we integrate cover crops with reduced tillage? What tools can be used for more strategic tillage and cultivation? Hear about the latest research and share experience from your own farm.

  • Tour research plots on tarping in direct seeded crops, cover crop mulching for summer transplants, and practices for permanent beds
  • View demos of strip till and cultivation tools in high residue
  • Learn how in-row cultivation tools work with Integrated Weed Management Specialist Bryan Brown (NYS IPM)

This event is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is preferred here but walk-ins are welcome. Co-sponsored by NOFA-NY. Email Ryan Maher at rmm325@cornell.edu with questions and visit the Cornell Small Farms Program website for more on the project.

NYSIPM Program hosts 9th annual greenhouse workshop

Horticulture associate professor Neil Mattson demonstrates the latest in greenhouse lighting systems at the greenhouse workshop.

Horticulture associate professor Neil Mattson demonstrates the latest in greenhouse lighting systems at the greenhouse workshop.

More than 40 greenhouse producers, educators and others gathered in Plant Science Building July 25 for the 2017 IPM In-Depth Hands-On Workshop sponsored by the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYSIPM).

Many brought plant samples from their operations so workshop leaders could help them identify pest, disease and nutrient problems. And participants rotated through sessions on the latest in greenhouse lighting, biological aphid control, and managing diseases in edible crops.

“The IPM In-Depth is a great way to learn new information in a very interactive and hands-on way,” says Betsy Lamb, NYSIPM greenhouse specialist and adjunct assistant professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science. “The program really allows all of us to learn from each other — from those who have attended all nine summer In-Depths to the brand new grower whose jaw dropped when she saw a parasitoid wasp lay an egg in an aphid!”

Lamb organizes similar programs around the state during the year. Contact her to be notified of future workshops: eml38@cornell.edu.

Video: 2017 Liberty Hyde Bailey Lecture

If you missed last Friday’s Liberty Hyde Bailey Lecture, From Farm to Fork: How CALS Is Leading the Food Revolution, it’s available online.

This year’s line-up included:

  • Kathryn J. Boor, Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
  • Christine Smart, Professor, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology and Interim Director, School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Michael Mazourek, Assistant Professor, Plant Breeding and Genetics and Horticulture Sections, School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Thomas Björkman, Associate Professor, Horticulture Section, School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Courtney Weber, Associate Professor, Horticulture Section, School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Carmen Moraru, Associate Professor, Food Science
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