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Grad program

Osatuke honored as outstanding Teaching Assistant

Osatuke is congratulated by Don Viands CALS Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs

Osatuke is congratulated by Don Viands CALS Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs

Anya Osatuke, MS student in the Graduate Field of Horticulture, was one of 28 recognized as Outstanding CALS Graduate Teaching Assistants by the Office of Academic Programs at a ceremony held May 11 in the Biotechnology Building.

The students are selected by individual units based on important contributions they have made to the instructional program of the college. Awardees were each presented with a certificate signed by their department chair, an inscribed golden apple and $100 deposited into their Bursar accounts.

Cornell research is growing the hard cider industry in New York

Gregory Peck, assistant professor of horticulture, tags apple trees as part of a research trial at Cornell Orchards.

Gregory Peck, assistant professor of horticulture, tags apple trees as part of a research trial at Cornell Orchards.

Cornell Chronicle 2018-05-15:

To say that hard cider has been making a comeback is an understatement. In the U.S. alone, the hard cider market has increased more than 10-fold in the past decade, with sales reaching $1.5 billion in 2017. And Gregory Peck, assistant professor of horticulture, has been paying attention.

Taking advantage of this upward trend, Peck has been tapping cider’s full potential to grow New York state’s apple market. Now he’s at the forefront of a hard cider renaissance.

“The industry has been booming because cider producers are innovative,” Peck said. “Consumers want to experience something different in their food and drinks. Cider has a rich depth of flavor and range of products that appeal to a large and growing consumer base.”

Read the whole article.

Seminar video: Grapevine Winter Survival Guide

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, Grapevine Winter Survival Guide with Al Kovaleski, Graduate Field of Horticulture, it is available online.

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Sciences Undergraduate Symposium May 11

flyer click for pdf

  • May 11, 2018 – 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.
  • 233 Plant Science Building
  • Sponsored by the School of Integrative Plant Science.
  • All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

Program:

1:00 to 2:30 p.m. – Student presenters:

  • Grant Thompson (PhD candidate)
  • Zeran Lin
  • James Winans
  • Cairo M. Archer
  • Samantha Hackett
  • Allison Coomber
  • William Dahl
  • Jeffrey Yen

2:30 to 3:00 p.m.  – Student poster session:

  • Braulio Castillo
  • Yuqi Chen
  • Felix Fernandez-Penny
  • Annika Gomez
  • Harris Liou
  • Jonathan Price
  • Alan Zhong

3:00 to 4:30 p.m. – Student presenters:

  • Ben Sword
  • Kellie Damann
  • Patrick O’Briant
  • Kady Maser
  • Natalie Roche
  • Patricia Chan
  • Megan Dodge
  • Matthew A. Siemon

Questions? Contact Leah Cynara Cook lcc2@cornell.edu

Restoration ecology class surveys Lake Treman

Students Stevanica Augustine, left, and Jonas Soe examine invertebrates along the streams that feed into Lake Trema

Students Stevanica Augustine, left, and Jonas Soe examine invertebrates along the streams that feed into Lake Trema

Cornell Chronicle/CALS News [2018-02-06]

Far above Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca sits a reservoir dam impounding Lake Treman. Hiking trails wend through the area, which for eight decades has slowly accumulated enough sediment to turn the lake into plodding marsh. Sometime in the next 30 years, it will completely fill and become a riparian marsh.

Cornell students in Tom Whitlow’s Restoration Ecology class spent the fall semester examining Lake Treman’s many components, and they worked with the New York State Department of Parks and Recreation to develop a plan for managing it.

The students presented their research to state parks officials in December. (View presentation video.) Generally, the class found no compelling reason to remove the dam, in spite of the increasing sediment, said Audrey Stanton ’19, a teaching assistant for the course.

Read the whole article.

Plant exploration in China with Michael Dosmann

The Arnold Arboretum’s Michael Dosmann with a Rodgersia leaf and plumes of Astilbe grandis (Photograph: Jonathan Shaw)

Michael Dosmann, PhD ’07 and keeper of living collections at the Arnold Aboretum, with a Rodgersia leaf and plumes of Astilbe grandis (Photograph: Jonathan Shaw)

Hat tip to Nina Bassuk for passing along the article Botanizing in the “Mother of Gardens” – Pursuing seeds and specimens in Sichuan which appeared in the January-February 2018 issue of Harvard Magazine.

Michael Dosmann, PhD ’07 and keeper of living collections at the Arnold Arboretum, led a team that braved terrestrial leaches, rockslides and other hazards while collecting plants in China for two weeks last fall.

Why explore for plants in China? The Harvard Magazine article points out:

“Though it might seem like a commission from another century, the hunt to locate and collect rare plants from around the globe so they can be grown for scientific study and long-term observation is very much alive, and carries new urgency. One in five plant species on Earth is endangered. Changing patterns of temperature and rainfall, competition from invasive species, and loss of habitat are spurring new exploration—particularly in biologically rich areas.”

Read the whole article.

 

 

In the news

Kalenga Banda and professor emeritus Chris Wien, M.S. ‘67, Ph.D. ‘71 in the Kenneth Post Laboratory Greenhouse complex. Photo by Matt Hayes.

Kalenga Banda and professor emeritus Chris Wien, M.S. ‘67, Ph.D. ‘71 in the Kenneth Post Laboratory Greenhouse complex. Photo by Matt Hayes.

Some recent articles of horticultural interest:

The sweet gift of knowledge [periodiCALS 2017-11-28] – A gift in 2006 from professor emeritus Chris Wien created the Cornell Assistantship for Horticulture in Africa (CAHA), which provides a doctoral assistantship to one student from sub-Saharan Africa who completes coursework at Cornell but conducts dissertation research in the region. The position is contingent upon the student returning to his or her home country after their doctoral degree is complete. “Too often you see students get really involved in some fascinating project at Cornell and lose sight of the fact that they came from a country that could really use their help,” says Wien, who in the 1970s spent time working in Africa at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture. That experience awakened him to the continent’s need for greater support in horticulture education.

Cornell program trains new farm owners for business success [CALS News/Cornell Chronicle 2017-12-12] – The Cornell Small Farms Program is preparing the next generation of farmers and ranchers to scale up their operations and reach key business milestones by preparing them to hire, manage and retain skilled employees, thanks to a USDA grant. “Our long-term goal is to ensure that all new farmers in our region can access high-quality information, supportive networks and proven tactics essential to starting and scaling viable farms,” said Anu Rangarajan, director of the Cornell Small Farms Program (CSFP) and senior extension associate in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science

Northeast farmers weigh warm climate, drenched fields [CALS News/Cornell Chronicle 2017-12-13] – Farmers in the Northeast are adopting production habits tailored to longer, warming climate conditions, but they may face spring planting whiplash as they confront fields increasingly saturated with rain, according to a new Cornell-led paper in the journal Climatic Change, November 2017. Climate change in the Northeast could present two faces. “Climate change can easily intensify agricultural susceptibility, but also present fresh, surprising opportunities,” said David Wolfe, professor of plant and soil ecology and senior author of the paper.  Earlier this fall, Wolfe also delivered the prestigious 2017 John MacLeod Lecture at the Royal Horticultural Society in London, where he detailed how gardeners can adapt to climate change as well as help mitigate its effects. View video.

Herbs From the Underground [New York Times 2017-12-06] – A hydroponic garden in a TriBeCa basement is growing rare herbs and edible flowers, and many prominent chefs are flocking to it. “People who find it weird to eat food grown in a basement have no reason to worry, said Neil Mattson, associate professor and greenhouse extension specialist at Cornell University. ‘There is nothing icky about it. Plants don’t care whether they get light from the sun or the lamps. It’s the same thing.’”

Honeynut Squash Is a Tiny Squash with a Big History [Bon Appétit 2017-11-30] – The fascinating story of how Cornell plant breeder Michael Mazourek created the shrunken butternut squash that’s increasingly popular in farmers’ markets and elsewhere. “Whether it’s farmers, chefs, or food enthusiasts talking about it, it’s clear that word of mouth is what boosted the popularity of the Honeynut. Two years ago, half the farms in the Northeast that grew squash had it, Mazourek revealed. ‘Now 90 percent of the farms grow it—you see it moving beyond regional to Cleveland going west and Virginia going south,’” he added.

Trees – the True Urban Warriors [Scientia 2017-12-12] – Trees benefit cities in many often-overlooked ways. They not only beautify concrete backdrops, but also improve the quality of our urban lives by providing shade, reducing storm runoff, filtering air and providing homes for birds and insects. Trees face big challenges, however, growing up in cities, largely because of drought and poor soils. To help trees survive these concrete deserts, Nina Bassuk and her colleagues at Cornell University have been evaluating trees and shrubs for their ability to adapt, including developing resilient hybrid oak trees. A parallel research track aims at remediating urban soil conditions to reduce urban tree stress.

 

Hop growers face challenges to meet rising brewery demands

Cornell plant disease experts Bill Weldon, left, and David Gadoury inspect a hop plant at a greenhouse at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y.

Cornell plant disease experts Bill Weldon, left, and David Gadoury inspect a hop plant at a greenhouse at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y.

CALS News [2017-11-30]:

The New York craft beer industry is really hopping. From 2012 to 2016, the number of breweries more than tripled, from 95 to 302, according to the New York State Brewers Association, and the industry contributes $3.5 billion to the state’s economy annually.

Lawmakers seeking to tap into the industry’s economic potential have passed new policies that provide incentives for New York hop growers to jump on the bandwagon and supply the growing demand for local ingredients. As these growers have learned, cultivating hops has its challenges, mainly from pests and two pervasive diseases, and Cornell researchers are lending a hand.

Plant disease experts David Gadoury and doctoral student Bill Weldon, both at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, are providing expertise to help everyone from hops hobbyists to professional farmers through outreach materials, public presentations and field visits.

Read the whole article.

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.

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.

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