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Viticulture and enology research and outreach featured in periodiCALS

Drones collect detailed measurements of grape growing operations. Justine Vanden Heuvel, associate professor in the Horticulture Section, is providing New York growers with the tools to understand and make use of the rich data. Photo by Chris Kitchen.

Drones collect detailed measurements of grape growing operations. Justine Vanden Heuvel, associate professor in the Horticulture Section, is providing New York growers with the tools to understand and make use of the rich data. Photo by Chris Kitchen.

The rich history and current cutting-edge viticulture and enology research and outreach is featured in  Perfect pairing: From vine to glass, our science has elevated how grapes are grown—and enjoyed in the latest issue of periodiCALS.

“For decades, our researchers have been transforming how grapes are bred and grown as well as how wine is crafted. From nurturing promising new grape hybrids to shaping the aroma of the wine that fills a glass, our scientists have affected nearly every piece of the grape growing and winemaking process.”

Read the whole article.

Restoration Ecology video: Restoring ecosystem functions and services at Lake Treman

Students in Restoration Ecology (PLHRT 4400) presented findings from their semester-long study of Lake Treman, constructed outside Ithaca in 1930 but now mostly a sediment-filled wetland. The class, led by Tom Whitlow, professor in the Horticulture Section, spent the fall mapping the site and gathering and analyzing soil, sediment and biodiversity data in partnership with the New York State Parks Department.

“Some of their recommendations ranged from large-scale major projects for us, as far as financial and resource commitment, and other recommendations were just very simple things that we could implement just with our existing maintenance crews and things like that,” New York State Park Manager 3 Jim Brophy told the Ithaca Journal after the presentation. “We feel like we have a much better understanding of the resource now because of that, and not only the diversity of the organisms but also soil types and the history.”

More information:

Miller receives USDA National Teaching Award

 

Chad Miller Ph.D. '11

Chad Miller Ph.D. ’11

From Greenhouse Product News [2017-11-22]:

Chad Miller (Ph.D.  Horticulture ’11) , Associate Professor of Landscape Horticulture at Kansas State University,  was one of two educators honored with the USDA’s 2017 Best New Teacher Award for Food and Agricultural Sciences at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities 130th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The New Teacher Award recognizes a faculty with no more than seven consecutive years of experience in higher education teaching who has demonstrated a commitment to a career in teaching, has exhibited meritorious teaching through scholarship of teaching and learning, and exemplary service to students.

Miller teaches several undergraduate horticulture courses in the KSU horticulture program including an orientation course, plant propagation, and two plant identification courses. In addition, Miller assists with developing and leading departmental international study abroad course experiences. He advises an average of 25 undergraduate students each year and is also the co-advisor for the Horticulture Club.

Miller has been previously recognized for his teaching and advising, receiving the Perennial Plant Association Academic Award; North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Educator Award; K-State College of Agriculture Advisor of the Year; K-State College of Agriculture Teaching Faculty of the Semester; the Gamma Sigma Delta Teaching Award; KState College of Agriculture Innovative Teaching and Learning Award; Association of Public Land Grant Universities Innovative Teaching Award; Big 12 Faculty Fellow and was a recipient of the Greenhouse Product News Top 40 under 40 award.

Congratulations Chad!

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.

Reminder: Hortus Forum Poinsettia Sale Friday through Sunday

hofo crew with poinsettias
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

Art of Horticulture final projects

Barn quilt flower designs.

Barn quilt flower designs.

If you’d like to catch a glimpse of students’ final projects in Marcia Eames-Sheavly’s Art of Horticulture class, you can sneak a peek online.

You can also see previous classes’ work (as well as other class projects and videos) by visiting the Art of Horticulture’s gallery page.

And in another end-of-the-semester tradition, students in  Frank Rossi’s Horticultural Science and Systems class spent their last lab of the semester on a  hands-on/take-home activity on producing indigo dye from Indigofera tinctoria.

“We’ve been exploring the culture, history and chemistry of indigo dye, culminating in this week’s lab where students used indigo dye to to create a class banner and turn a piece of clothing into a work of art to take home,” says Rossi. “The course introduces students to plants grown for foods, beverages, fiber, aesthetics and recreation, and this artistic endeavor was a perfect ending to a semester exploring the art and science of horticulture.”

Update [2011-12-01]: Friday’s lab section …

 

 

Dec. 5 global soil painting competition illustrates soil’s vital role

By mixing soils with water and clear gesso, a liquid binder, Kirsten Kurtz creates unique paints similar to acrylic that retain the quality and texture of the soil. Here she touches up a painting she made with soils in Bradfield Hall. Photo by Matt Hayes / College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The finished painting from 2015 World Soil Day community soil painting project organized by Kurtz.

The finished painting from 2015 World Soil Day community soil painting project organized by Kurtz.

Reposted from CALS news [2017-11-28]:

The soil under our feet may not be top of mind, but it provides the foundation for everything we need to live – and it’s disappearing. Kirsten Kurtz is on a mission to save this essential resource by turning our attention to its natural beauty.

Kurtz, manager of Cornell’s Soil Health Testing Laboratory and a graduate student in the field of natural resources, does this in a profound way: by painting with it.

“You can see how I became inspired,” she says, pulling out soil samples ranging in hue from reddish brown to tan to yellow ochre. “It was being in the lab and seeing all the colors come in.”

By mixing soils with water and clear gesso, a liquid binder, she creates unique paints similar to acrylic that retain the quality and texture of the soil. Kurtz, who first started experimenting with soil painting in 2014, says it’s an effective tool for communicating with the public about the importance of soil.

And thanks to her creativity, the whole world will get the message on World Soil Day, which will feature a global soil painting competition Dec. 5 organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The competition, inspired by an event Kurtz and the Soil Health Lab hosted in 2015 for World Soil Day, aims to showcase creativity in illustrating soil’s crucial role in sustaining life.

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.

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.

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