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Grad program

Grape bud imaging

Al Kovaleski, PhD student in the Graduate Field of Horticulture, School of Integrative Plant Science, used X-ray phase contrast imaging to create this video of a grapevine bud.

Kovaleski is using the technology to visualize the inner portions of buds to observe how they are damaged by freezing temperatures, a critical issue with the increase in extreme weather events — like late spring frosts — brought on by climate change.

Imaging was performed at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source which is supported by the NSF & NIH/NIGMS via award DMR-1332208.

Geneva recognitions

Photos from Thomas Björkman from NYSAES horticulture recognitions June 3:

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PhD student Archana Khadgi won the 2016 Perrine Award. The Perrine award recognizes excellence in pomological research by a graduate student. Archana is studying with Professor Courtney Weber (right), using genomic techniques to create phythophthora-resistant raspberries.

 

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The Nelson Shaulis scholar for 2016, Corrigan Herbert (right), is congratulated by her supervisor for the summer, CCE Viticulturist Hans Walter-Peterson. Corrigan is a student in the wine program at Finger Lakes Community College. The FLCC wine program operates from a new dedicated building at the Ag Tech Park adjacent to the Station.

 

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Jim Ballerstein, Research Support Specialist, received a 30-year service award from Horticulture Chair Steve Reiners. Jim runs one of the premier vegetable variety trial programs in the country. The program brings in substantial funding, and takes Jim on trips to conferences and company visits at home and abroad.

 

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The Horticulture Section’s Summer Scholars arrived at the Station this week. The Geneva Summer Scholar program brings in excellent undergraduates from around the country for six weeks of research experience and a field course in agriculture. Many go on to graduate programs at Cornell and elsewhere.  Left to right: Brianna Moore (William Smith College/Smart Lab), Lisa Kime (Penn State/Griffiths Lab), Anna Agloro (Saint Martin’s University/Smart Lab), Sofia Gonzalez-Martinez (University of Puerto Rico/Brown Lab), Alexi Nystrom (Newberry College/Xu Lab), Ari Heitler-Klevans (Oberlin College/Smart Lab), Catharina Ortiz-Thomazella (University of Wisconsin-River Falls/Taylor Lab), Carlie Leary (The New School/Smart Lab).

Scenes from Commencement 2016

Frank Rossi, Marvin Pritts and Justine Vanden Heuvel cook up breakfast for Plant Science graduates and their families.

Frank Rossi, Marvin Pritts and Justine Vanden Heuvel cook up Commencement breakfast for Plant Science graduates and their families.

Don Viands recognizes the top three Plant Sciences seniors with the Ring Memorial Award.

Don Viands recognizes the top three Plant Sciences seniors with the Ring Memorial Award.

Breanna Wong (second from left) poses with friends before procession.

Breanna Wong (second from left) poses with friends before procession.

Dhruv Patel shoots a selfie.

Dhruv Patel shoots a selfie.

Christian Lesage and Patrick McLoughlin during procession to commencement ceremony.

Christian Lesage and Patrick McLoughlin during Commencement procession.

Alan Collmer, director of the School of Integrative Plant Science, welcomes graduates and their families to the Plant Science Recognition Ceremony.

Alan Collmer, director of the School of Integrative Plant Science, welcomes graduates and their families to the Plant Science Recognition Ceremony. (Photo: Jenn Thomas-Murphy.)

Director of Undergraduate Studies Marvin Pritts (left) and SIPS section chairs Steve Reiners, Gary Bergstrom, Jeff Doyle, Tim Setter and William Crepet at the ceremony.

Director of Undergraduate Studies Marvin Pritts (left) and SIPS section chairs Steve Reiners, Gary Bergstrom, Jeff Doyle, Tim Setter and William Crepet at the ceremony. (Photo: Jenn Thomas-Murphy.)

Commencement prelude

Volunteers fashion commencement boutonnières from orchids for graduating Plant Science Majors and graduate students from the five Graduate Fields associated with the School of Integrative Plant Science.

Clock wise from upper left: Violet Stone, Magdalen Lindeberg, Marvin Pritts, Leah Cook, Bridget Cristelli, Karin Jantz and Steve Reiners.

Clockwise from upper left: Violet Stone, Magdalen Lindeberg, Marvin Pritts, Leah Cook, Bridget Cristelli, Karin Jantz and Steve Reiners.

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Some of the soon-to-be-graduating Plant Science Majors gathered Wednesday for the annual ‘exit luncheon’ – an informal chance for them to share feedback about the program and make suggestions on how to improve the experience for future Majors. They took time out for a group shot in the Palm Room of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory.

Left to right: Jason Gregory, Ryan Walker, Patrick McLoughlin, Plant Sciences Undergraduate Program Coordinator Leah Cook, Breanna Wong and Katharine Constas.

Left to right: Jason Gregory, Ryan Walker, Patrick McLoughlin, Plant Sciences Undergraduate Program Coordinator Leah Cook, Breanna Wong and Katharine Constas.

Other Class of ’16 Plant Science Majors not pictured: Julian DeLellis-Mitch, Josh Kaste, Christian Lesage, Zach Lingskoog, Justin Lombardoni, Catherine Migneco, Sarah Odell, Dhruv Patel, Yuanhan Wu, Qiuchen Yang.

Good luck, graduates!

Dreer seminar video: Impatiens and Vegetables in Thailand

If you missed Friday’s Dreer Award Seminar video Impatiens and Vegetables in Thailand  featuring James Keach, Ph.D. ’16 (Plant Breeding), it’s available online.

Visit Keach’s Dreer Award blog PhytoRealism detailing his 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.

Student exploration: Healing starts with everyday plants

Laura Lagunez '16, left, and Camila Martinez, a graduate student in the field of plant biology, examine plants in Belize during their spring break. (Photo: Sierra Murray)

Laura Lagunez ’16, left, and Camila Martinez, a graduate student in the field of plant biology, examine plants in Belize during their spring break. (Photo: Sierra Murray)

Cornell Chronicle [2016-05-19]:

Stretching beyond the “apple a day” adage, Cornell students explored a natural area in Ithaca and villages in Belize to learn how common plant life helps alleviate ailments.

“In Belize, use of healing plants is a centuries-old tradition that’s being lost because fewer young people are pursuing plant medicine,” said senior lecturer Marcia Eames-Sheavly, who teaches Healing Plants and the People Who Use Them.

Said Eames-Sheavly, “It’s fascinating that here in the U.S., the interest in healing plants seems to be exploding.”

Read the whole article.

More information:

Dreer Seminar May 20: Impatiens and Vegetables in Thailand

Dreer Award Seminar Impatiens and Vegetables in Thailand
James Keach PhD Graduate, Plant Breeding
Minors: Horticulture & International Agriculture
Friday, May 20 at 12 noon in 404 Plant Science

Keach will share his experiences abroad including stints at the Tropical Vegetable Research Center (a national vegetable germplasm preservation organization), Chia Tai Co. (a Thai-founded vegetable seed company) and in the Department of Pharmacognosy at Prince of Songkla University.

Visit Keach’s Dreer Award blog PhytoRealism detailing his 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.

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View full sized poster.

Schwartz-Sax named outstanding teaching assistant

From Steve Reiners, Horticulture Section chair:

It is my pleasure to announce that Miles Schwartz-Sax has been named the 2016 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Horticulture Section in the School of Integrative Plant Science.  Miles was the TA for the classes  “Creating the Urban Eden” and “Woody Plant ID and Use in the Landscape.”  Both classes were taught by his advisor, Nina Bassuk.

Nina praised Miles for his willingness to work one-on-one with students and always willing to give an extra effort.  Miles shared his own research with the classes, which so interested the students that several have signed up to do independent research with him.

Miles created dichotomous keys for the class, allowing students to break into small groups to key out plants.  This took a great amount of time but will be used by many classes in the future.

Miles received his MPS in Public Garden Management at Cornell in 2014 and is now pursuing his PhD with research focused on the micropropagation of hybrid white Oaks. He will receive the award at a luncheon on Friday, May 13.

Congratulations Miles!

Schwartz-Sax hangs tag on tree showing the value of its ecosystem services on Arbor Day.

Schwartz-Sax hangs tag on tree showing the value of its ecosystem services on Arbor Day.

SoHo host Horticulture Outreach Day May 5

From Juana Muñoz Ucros, Society of Horticulture for Graduate Students (SoHo):

Take a break and get inspired by a variety of horticultural activities including plant propagation, cyanotypes, soil painting and more:

Horticulture Outreach Day
Thursday, May 5
2 to 5 p.m.
114 Plant Science Building

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‘Urban Eden’ students put a price tag on trees for Arbor Day

Urban Eden teaching assistants Huan Liu and Miles Schwartz Sax tag a sugar maple outside of Roberts Hall.

Urban Eden teaching assistants Huan Liu and Miles Schwartz Sax tag a sugar maple outside of Roberts Hall.

What’s a tree worth?

In what has become an annual tradition, students in Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment (HORT/LA 4910/4920) are helping to make people more aware of why trees are worth hugging by hanging bright green “price tags” on trunks around the Ag Quad.

The students entered data about the trees, such as species, diameter and location, into i-Tree — a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service. The application then calculates monetary benefits from reduced stormwater runoff, improved air quality,  carbon dioxide sequestration and energy savings to nearby buildings by blocking wind in winter and providing shade in summer.

“It’s really quite eye-opening for people who think that trees are just nice to look at and don’t have any other value,” said Nina Bassuk, professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, who leads the class alongside Peter Trowbridge, professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture.

There are also benefits that are not easily quantified, such as wildlife habitats and emotional responses, added Bassuk, who is also director of the Urban Horticulture Institute.

Urban Eden tree taggers spread out across the Ag Quad tagging trees ...

Urban Eden tree taggers spread out across the Ag Quad tagging trees …

... until it was time to go prune and mulch landscapes installed by previous Urban Eden classes.

… until it was time to go prune and mulch landscapes installed by previous Urban Eden classes.

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