Popular Mechanics [2017-03-20] talked to Marvin Pritts, professor in the Horticulture Section of Cornell’s School of Integrative Plant Science, about some of the more drastic techniques professional growers use to protect their plants — and the rest of us can use to survive the weird weather this winter.
The helicopters might have worked.
From Mark Bridgen, Professor and Pi Alpha Xi advisor:
Pi Alpha Xi (PAX), the national honor society for horticulture, inducted 29 new members at a March 6, 2017 ceremony held in the H. H. Whetzel Room in the Plant Science Building on the Cornell University campus.
This set a record for the number of inductees in a single year since the chapter was revived at Cornell in 2013. Only the best students in the plant sciences are invited to join this national honor society.
Pi Alpha Xi was founded in 1923 at Cornell University and Cornell is the Alpha Chapter. Originally, it was the national honor society for floriculture, landscape horticulture and ornamental horticulture. In recent years it has changed and now honors excellence in all aspects of horticulture.
Since its founding, PAX has grown to 36 chapters at baccalaureate-granting institutions. Its mission is to promote scholarship, fellowship, professional leadership, and the enrichment of human life through plants. PAX was very active at Cornell University for many years, peaking in the 1970s. But the chapter went dormant for several years until its revival in 2013.
2017 PAX inductees:
- Cairo Archer
- Jessica Barbini
- Hauk Boyes
- Nana Britwum
- Yuqi Chen
- Myles Collinson
- Allison Coomber
- Kellie Damann
- Aliza Doyle
- Emily Follett
- Hannah Fuller
- Garrett Giles
- Catherine Hanss
- Sarah Hetrick
- Bailee Hopkins-Hensley
- Elizabeth Lamb
- Margaret Lovier
- Sarah Marino
- Kady Maser
- Roxana Padilla
- Jonathan Price
- Nina Sannes
- Tommi Schieder
- Samantha Schultz
- Cynthia Sias
- George Stack
- Amanda Sudilovsky
- Benjamin Sword
- James Winans
- Xuying Zheng
If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar Chilean Plant Biodiversity with Mark Bridgen, professor, Horticulture Section, and students from PLHRT 4950 (Plant Biodiversity), it is available online.
Learn more about the group’s trip at the Biodiversity in Chile blog.
Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club is holding their blowout sale today (February 25) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kenneth Post Lab Greenhouses (map). They’re selling a huge variety of houseplants from 4″ to fully grown.
Update [10 a.m.]: Early sales are brisk. But there are still tons of interesting and unique plants to be had.
From Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club:
Saturday, February 25
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kenneth Post Lab (map)
Selling a huge variety of houseplants from 4″ to fully grown.
More information, email: email@example.com
Hortus Forum: cultivating a positive community which fosters a passion for plants and teaches the value of horticulture
For the first time, 29 students in the International Agriculture in Developing Nations course had the opportunity to undertake a field study tour of Myanmar Jan. 1-16. It was the 49th class trip, through which students have visited Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras and India.
“We decided to go to Myanmar this year because of the enormous changes underway in the country,” said Ronnie Coffman, international professor of plant breeding at Cornell and director of International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Agriculture plays an important part in this emerging economy, and this trip enabled students to see, firsthand, the challenges and opportunities faced by farmers.”
The group surveyed a range of agroecologies and production environments, traveling throughout the central dry zone, Inle Lake and Ayerwaddy Delta. Meetings with farmers gave students insight into various cultivation systems, from hydroponic tomato farming to small-scale melon production, while visits to agribusinesses highlighted the increasing trade and knowledge exchanges between Myanmar and its neighbors. The group also learned about alternative livelihoods, such as lotus weaving and lacquerware manufacturing, and engaged in Myanmar culture with visits to pagodas, temples and traditional puppet shows.
Marvin Pritts, Horticulture Section Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Plant Sciences Major was among the Cornell faculty leading the trip.
2016 Dreer Award recipient Raquel Kallas (MS Horticulture ’16) is pursuing her interest in viticulture in Australia with the help of a familiar face to many: Vinay Pagay (PhD Horticulture ’14), now viticulture researcher and educator based at the Waite Campus of the University of Adelaide.
“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.
Kallas’s collaborations with Pagay are funded through the Frederick Dreer Award. The Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science offers this wonderful opportunity once a year that allows one or more students to spend 4 months to up to a year abroad pursuing horticulture interests. Deadline for application this cycle is March 6, 2017.
If you’d like to keep up with Kallas’s travels, visit her Dreer blog, Grapes of Raq.
Many in the Cornell horticulture community embarked on expeditions of note over the break:
Mark Bridgen and Betsy Lamb led students in Special Topics in Horticulture: Plant Biodiversity (PLHRT 4940) on a trip to Chile for hands-on study and exploration of wild and native plants, commercial breeding programs, and botanical gardens and arboreta to supplement their classroom experiences last fall. See more pictures from the trip on their class blog.
Bryan Duff and 13 undergraduates traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where they spent all day every day for a week embedded in an elementary school that is turning to project-based learning to boost student motivation and performance. Bryan and the students taught the children to use video-making equipment and then guided them in making music videos for songs celebrating Black History Month.
Marvin Pritts traveled to Myanmar with other faculty and students in IARD 6020 – International Agriculture in Developing Nations.
Click on thumbnails below to see more scenes from Myanmar:
To better prepare Cornell students to thrive in the growing hydroponic industry, associate professor Neil Mattson initiated a course last fall, Hydroponic Food Crop Production and Management, to teach the principles and practices of commercial food crop production in controlled environment agriculture (CEA). Read more in the Cornell Chronicle [2017-01-19].