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What I did on break

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.

Exploring native plants in Valle Nevado.

Exploring native plants in Valle Nevado.


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.

Students try their hand at video (left). Duff interviews students waiting for class (right).

Students try their hand at video (left). Duff interviews students waiting for class (right).


Marvin Pritts
traveled to Myanmar with other faculty and students in IARD 6020 – International Agriculture in Developing Nations.

Temple-studded landscape.

Temple-studded landscape.

Click on thumbnails below to see more scenes from Myanmar:

New course teaches cutting-edge food production

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].

New botanical arts display in Plant Science Building

New botanical arts display in case west of the foyer on the first floor of the Plant Science Building.

New botanical arts display in case west of the foyer on the first floor of the Plant Science Building.

 

What comes to mind when you think of botanical arts?

A new display in the cabinets west of the first-floor foyer in Plant Science Building may challenge your notions.

“Many just think of floral design and botanical illustration,” says Marcia Eames-Sheavly, senior lecturer and senior Extension associate in the Horticulture Section.  “They’re important examples, but there’s so much more!”

For the display, Eames-Sheavly drew largely on works by students in her Art of Horticulture and Intensive Study in Botanical Illustration courses, and sprinkled in a few of her own.

“This display highlights just some of the expressions of the intersections of art and horticulture including works in cloth, concrete, gourds, pressed flowers and wood, as well as more traditional media such as pencil, acrylic, and watercolor,” she notes.

Undergraduates (who are not Plant Sciences majors) interested in pursuing the Horticulture Minor with a Focus in the Botanical Arts should visit the minor’s webpage or contact Eames-Sheavly: ME14@cornell.edu.

Class travels to Chile to study biodiversity

Alstroemeria in Valle Nevado, Chile

Alstroemeria in Valle Nevado, Chile

Today, students in Special Topics in Horticulture: Plant Biodiversity (PLHRT 4940) arrive in Chile. For the next 10 days, they will follow-up on their classroom experiences last semester learning about how biodiversity is perceived, valued, measured, monitored, and protected with hands-on study and exploration of wild and native plants, commercial breeding programs, and botanical gardens and arboreta.

“The biodiversity of Chile is rich and precious, and its plants are valued highly throughout the world,” notes Mark Bridgen, professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, who is leading the trip. “Of the 5,100 species of flora and fauna found in Chile, more than 2,500 are endemic – that is, found nowhere else on Earth.”

In fact, Bridgen has developed two ornamental cultivars of the native Chilean Inca Lily (Alstroemeria): ‘Tangerine Tango’ and ‘Mauve Majesty’.

If you’d like to follow the class’s adventures, visit and/or subscribe to the class blog, Biodiversity in Chile. The site is already populated with profiles of fascinating plants — including the alien-looking Yareta (Azorella compacta) from the high desert and the national tree of Chile Araucaria araucanabetter known as the Monkey Puzzle Tree — and posts on other biodiversity topics.

View additional pictures from Chile on Mark Bridgen’s Facebook page.

Art of Horticulture final projects

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.

Clockwise: Floral equine (watercolor pencil), Nature room (detail), Insects from plant parts, Concrete leaf cast placesettings, table. Click image for larger view.

Clockwise: Floral equine (watercolor pencil), Nature room (detail), Insects from plant parts, Concrete leaf cast place settings and table. Click image for larger view.

Dreer Award offers opportunities to pursue horticultural interests abroad

From Nina Bassuk:

The Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science offers a wonderful opportunity once a year, the Frederick Dreer Award, that allows one or more students to spend 4 months to up to a year abroad pursuing his or her interests related to horticulture.

See the application and instructions that spell out the procedure for applying. Basically it is quite simple. Submit a written proposal to the Dreer Committee by the deadline (March 6, 2017 in this cycle), which is followed by an informal interview, generally in a week or two. The faculty receives the recommendation of the Dreer Committee and votes on the nominee.

The only obligation of the Dreer award winner is to write to the Dreer Committee monthly while overseas, and upon return to the United States, give a presentation about their time abroad to students and faculty.

Please look into this opportunity seriously. It can be taken as a summer and a semester’s leave or a year’s leave of absence during school or upon graduation. If you would like to talk over a potential idea for the Dreer with a member of the Committee (and we encourage you to do so), please contact Nina Bassuk (Horticulture) Josh Cerra (Landscape Architecture) or Marvin Pritts (Horticulture).

2015 Dreer Award winner Adam Karl, now a PhD student in the Graduate Field of Horticulture, traveled to Spain to study dryland viticulture.

2015 Dreer Award winner Adam Karl, now a PhD student in the Graduate Field of Horticulture, traveled to Spain to study dryland viticulture.

Hortus Forum Poinsettia Sale Dec. 5-6

From Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate plant club hortusforum@gmail.com:

poinsettias

It’s that time of year again! Hortus Forum is going to be having its annual poinsettia sale. We’ve spent the semester growing a diverse variety of really lovely plants, and now they’re ready to find new homes in time for the holidays!

We’ll be having the sale on:

  • December 5, 11:30-5:30 at Guterman Bioclimatic Laboratory Greenhouses (map).
  • December 6, 11:30-5:30 at Kenneth Post Laboratory Greenhouses (map).

We are also accepting orders for poinsettias. Just fill out this form!

The poinsettias are $12 for a 6-inch pot, and we can arrange for delivery anywhere in Ithaca for an extra $15!

Please email us at hortusforum@gmail.com for more information.

Hortus Forum: Cultivating a positive social community which fosters a passion for plants and teaches the value of horticulture

Please visit us on Facebook

New Plant Sciences majors tour local natural areas

Twenty three new Plant Sciences majors hit the trifecta Saturday, exploring the gorge trails at three local state parks — Buttermilk Falls, Robert H. Treman, and Taughannock Falls — led by Director of Undergraduate Studies, Marvin Pritts Undergraduate Program Coordinator Leah Cynara Cook.

As a bonus, the group toured Henry A. Smith Woods — a rare stand old-growth forest outside Trumansburg, N.Y. — before finishing up the day with a cookout and bonfire at Pritts’s.

Upper Treman.

Upper Treman.

Upper Treman.

Upper Treman.

Obligagory Taughannock Falls shot.

Obligatory Taughannock Falls shot.

Garlands crafted at Smith Woods.

Garlands crafted at Smith Woods.

Reminder: Dilmun Hill’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Saturday

dilmun 20th banner

From the Dilmun Hill Student Farm farm managers:

Join us on the Farm to help celebrate Dilmun Hill Cornell Student Organic Farm’s 20th year in existence!

Activities, demonstrations, farm tours, food, drinks, live music & more!

We will be joined by a vareity of other on-campus organizations including Beekeeping Club, Fantastic Fungi Fanatics, Snodwigs, and many more. Stay tuned to here about all our special guests.

This event is FREE, open to the public, and kid-friendly.

Parking is available at the Cornell Print Services Parking lot on the SE corner of Pine Tree Rd and Dryden Rd; at the Oxley parking lot across Dryden Rd from the Humphrey Facilities Plant; and at the O lot on Campus Rd near the intersection of Judd Falls and Campus Rd. All three lots have pedestrian paths that lead to the four way stop intersection of Dryden Rd and Pine Tree Rd. Please cross in the marked pedestrian cross walks and follow the pedestrian path across the new bridge over Pine Tree Rd. The entrance to Dilmun is on the left side of the Recreation Path just over the bridge. If you need accommodations to park in the designated handicap space in the driveway, please contact Mandy Economos @ (607) 255-3332 or email mse55@cornell.edu prior to the event this Saturday, 10/29.

More information.

Dilmun Hill Student Farm celebrates 20 years

Alena Hutchinson ’18 works in a high-tunnel she designed and helped construct over the summer at Dilmun Hill.

Alena Hutchinson ’18 works in a high-tunnel she designed and helped construct over the summer at Dilmun Hill.

Cornell Chronicle [2016-10-06]

It started as a simple idea: Cornell students learning about farming should have someplace to actually farm. Thus was born Dilmun Hill.

In the 20 years since students tilled those first three acres, the farm has expanded and improved, provided opportunities for research and experimentation, started students on a path toward agricultural careers and fostered lifelong friendships. Today, Dilmun Hill Student Farm encompasses 12 acres of land, and it produces organically grown vegetables for its community-supported agriculture program and on-campus restaurants.

To celebrate the anniversary of the farm’s founding in 1996, students will welcome the community to a farm tour Oct. 29, 1-4 p.m., at 705 Dryden Road (Route 366), Ithaca. There will be booths and exhibits plus activities from many agriculture-related clubs on campus, such as the Bee Club and the Cornell Fantastic Fungi Fanatics. The party is a chance to learn more about agriculture, the joys and challenges of growing food, and the dedication it takes to be a student farmer.

Read the whole article.

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