Archive for the “Undergrad” Category

From Marvin Pritts, Horticulture Section chair:

Last Monday, 15 interns from Cornell Plantations and Cornell Orchards visited the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y., to learn more about the research conducted there, including the berry, grape and apple breeding programs and the USDA germplasm repository. Interns also toured the food science processing plant, walked the station grounds to learn about the landscaping, and were joined for lunch by about 20 summer interns from the experiment station.

Cornell Orchards and Cornell Plantations interns sample  berries growing in high tunnels at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y., June 30.

Cornell Orchards and Cornell Plantations interns sample berries growing in high tunnels at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y., June 30.


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Hill harvest cardDilmun Hill, Cornell’s student-run farm, will have their first market of the season this Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Ag Quad. (This will also be the farm’s regular market day for the season.)

New this year is the Hill Harvests email list. To be added to the list, send a message to the Dilmun Hill student farm managers at and they’ll send you weekly messages listing what produce will be available.

You can also place orders in advance for pick up either at market or at the farm.

The student farm managers also host work parties Wednesdays and Sundays, 4 to 7 p.m.

Additional plans for the summer include a ‘Fire Fly Field Movie Night.’

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From Thomas Björkman:

On May 30, faculty, staff and students gathered at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva for the annual awards celebration:

Meredith Persico and Alan Lakso

Meredith Persico (left) is a junior Viticulture major at Cornell who will be doing a viticulture research project at the Station this summer thanks to a Shaulis scholarship. This scholarship was established in memory of Geneva viticulture professor renowned for developing the principles and practices of vine balance. Professor Alan Lakso introduced her on his last official day of work after more than 40 years on the faculty.







Benjamin Gutierrez

Ben Gutierrez (right) was awarded the Perrine scholarship to support his graduate studies. Ben in a PhD student with Susan Brown and Ganyuan Zhong, studying the genetics of antioxidants in apples. The Perrine Endowment was created to support students’ research in pomology.









Bill Srmack

Bill Srmack was recognized for 40 years of service at the Station. He has been with the clonal repository since just before it was officially founded! He now is responsible for maintaining the thousands of accessions in the orchard of the national germplasm collection. Here he receives congratulations from PGRU Research Leader Ganyuan Zhong and curator Thomas Chao.

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A May 16 reception recognized award-winning Plant Science majors and Class of 2014 graduates. The awards included:

  • Zilu Zhou: 2013-2014 H.R. Schenkel Award winner
  • Matthew Bond: 2014 ASHS Collegiate Scholar, Ken Post Foundation Scholar
  • Celine Jennison: 2013 ASHS Collegiate Scholar
  • Brett Morgan: 2013 ASHS Collegiate Scholar
  • Nick Biebel: 2014 Cornell Outstanding Horticulture Student, Ken Post Foundation Scholar
  • Justin Kondrat: 2013 ASHS Collegiate Scholar
  • David Harris: 2014 ASHS Collegiate Scholar
  • Maddy Olberg: 2014 ASHS Collegiate Scholar, Ken Post Foundation Scholar

Conagratulations all!

2014 Plant Science award winners

Above, award winners, from left: Zilu Zhou, Matthew Bond, Celine Jennison, Brett Morgan, Nick Bibel, Justin Kondrat, David Harris, Maddy Olberg.

Plant Science graduates

Class of 2014 Plant Science majors who attended the reception. Back row, from left:  Andrew Morris, Matthew Bond, Brett Morgan, Nicholas Biebel, Justin Kondrat, Jeff Neyhart. Front row, from left: Elizabeth Simpson, Celine Jennison, Paige Roosa, Maddy Olberg.



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franny-with-diplomaWhether you were there or you missed out, you’ll want to check out Carol Grove‘s album from the Plant Science Breakfast and Degree Ceremony.

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Reposted from CALS Notes.
Celine and Christian

Guest Post from Christian Shaw ’14 and Céline Jennison ‘14

“Having both grown up enjoying water sports, we feel a responsibility to work towards protecting our playground for generations to come. Along with a group of three other friends who are athletes and devoted conservationists like us, we will travel to Bermuda for a ten-day, muscle-powered, stand-up paddle expedition to be launched on June 8, World Oceans Day. This expedition – named Plastic Tides – is dedicated to raising awareness about coastal plastic pollution. As part of our mission, we will collect scientific data for the marine microplastics project sponsored by Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation. We also ultimately hope to inspire other passionate watermen and women to get out there and stand up for the environment!

Plastic Tides was conceived in the fall of 2012 at a National Geographic Young Explorers workshop at Cornell University. The workshop really opened our eyes to what was possible, and that afternoon the ideas began to flow. Bermuda’s location in the Sargasso Sea and North Atlantic Trash Gyre makes it the perfect place for documenting breathtaking natural beauty alongside the ever-growing presence of coastal plastic pollution.

The expedition will include seaweed documentation in collaboration with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science (BIOS), as well as local school visits.” Plastitides graphic

Check out the Plastic Tides website, or follow the effort on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to learn more and find out how you can become involved in saving our precious coastal waters from pollution.

Celine and Christian

And as part of their fundraising campaign for camera equipment and backcountry living gear for the expedition, Christian and Céline have organized a friendly stand-up paddle race and BBQ on Cayuga Lake on May 18th that is open to all. Ithacans and Cornellians are invited to join the fun! You can register here.  

Christian Shaw ‘14 is a CALS Interdisciplinary Studies graduate. He’s also a professional kiteboarder and avid waterman from Ithaca, NY. He recently graduated from Cornell where he studied sustainability and business. While at Cornell, he pursued his passion for watersports and founded the SUP, Surf, and Kiteboarding clubs on campus. His lifelong goal is to combine watersports with environmental education and awareness in pursuit of a sustainable future. Christian is the team leader of the Plastic Tides project. 

Céline Jennison ’14 is a Plant Science major whose passion for plants is truly engrained within her. At the age of ten she developed an immune deficiency and an herbalist restored her balance within a year, opening her eyes to the power of plants. As a windsurfer and Sorbonne University intern, her passion for terrestrial flora now encompasses marine flora, namely seaweed. Celine has been actively engaged on campus. She founded the undergraduate windsurfing club, is president of the Cornell Permaculture Club (creating the Trillium permaculture garden), and serves as student director of the CALS Alumni Association.

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Matthew and Maddy with rejuvenated planter in Plant Science foyer.

Matthew and Maddy with rejuvenated planter in Plant Science foyer.

Members of the horticulture honor society Pi Alpha Xi and Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club, have teamed up to rejuvenate the long-neglected planters in the foyer of Plant Science Building.

Matthew Bond ’14 and Maddy Olberg ’14 took time out from studying for finals Tuesday to pull out the dusty old plants and replace them new Spathiphyllum (Peace Lilies), Peperomia, and creeping Ficus — chosen because they can weather the low-light and otherwise unfriendly conditions in the foyer.

Other society and club members will help maintain the planters.

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As the semester winds down, many HORT classes have been engaged in special activities, including …

Urban Eden students at 'Rice Bowl' site

Students from Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment (HORT/LA 4910/4920)  pose after winding up planting and mulching water retention swales east of Rice Hall. Dubbed the “Rice Bowls,” the structures are designed to reduce runoff and increase infiltration of water from adjacent parking lots. Students selected species that can tolerate periodic flooding, such as Shining Sumac, Bayberry, Blackhaw, Spirea, Sea Buckthorn and Willow. Cornell has been recognized as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation every year since 2009. Requirements for recognition include effectively managing campus trees in coordination with the surrounding community, engaging students in service-learning forestry projects, and providing outreach on the value of trees and urban forests through programs such as Arbor Day celebrations.


Students in the new course, Intensive Study in Botanical Illustration (HORT 3250) — taught via 3 robust auto-tutorial online courses developed by Marcia Eames-Sheavly showed their works at a May 6 reception. This course is only available for students enrolled in the Minor in Horticulture with a Focus in the Botanical Arts.

HORT 2150 poster session

Students in the new course, Coffee, Cloves and Chocolate: Plant Explorers and Thieves (HORT 2150) present posters on the history and biology of important culinary, medicinal, industrial, and ornamental crops.

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PAX_Key_color2From Mark Bridgen, Professor and Pi Alpha Xi advisor:

Pi Alpha Xi (PAX), the national honor society for horticulture, inducted new members on April 23, 2014. 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 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 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. This semester, the students hosted and organized a weekend bus trip to visit three major gardens in the Brandywine Valley: Longwood Gardens, Winterthur Gardens, and Chanticleer Gardens. The students also participated in the ROOTED project on campus and have organized a “Wellness Day” activity.

During the induction ceremony, honor cords of cerulean blue and Nile green (the society’s colors) were presented to graduating senior and graduate student members to wear during commencement: Rowan Bateman, Matthew Bond, Justin Kondrat, Madeline Olberg, Miles Schwartz-Sax, and Elizabeth Simpson.

Learn more about Pi Alpha Xi at the American Society for Horticultural Science website.

2014 Pi Alpha Xi  inductees

Front Row (L to R): Patrick McLoughlin, Andrew Harner, Jason Gregory, Jonathan Namanworth, Joshua Kaste, Danielle Park, Justin Kondrat, Sarah Odell

Back Row (L to R): Bryan Denig, Adam Karl, Miles Schwartz-Sax, Jeffrey Janusz , Christian Lesage, Kaitlyn Anderson, Dr. Mark Bridgen, Advisor

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When Justin Kondrat ’14 transferred to Cornell from SUNY Morrisville, it didn’t take long for him to feel rooted. Among the ivy, he found fertile ground to thrive and grow, through an anchoring network of teachers, mentors and friends who cultivated his creativity and passion for plants.

The brainchild of Justin Kondrat ’14, the independent project conveys that Cornell "you can really be inclusive and come together as a community" at Cornell. (Jason Koski/University Photography)

The brainchild of Justin Kondrat ’14, the independent project conveys that Cornell “you can really be inclusive and come together as a community” at Cornell. (Jason Koski/University Photography)

That passion has been transformed into a living tribute to the power of nature to foster well-being and captivate a community: a display of more than 50,000 golden daffodils, white narcissus and purple hyacinth flowers spelling out the word “rooted” in 10-foot letters along the steep side of Libe Slope below the bell tower.

The installation glows red and white at night, thanks to solar-powered lights that have been woven between the flowers.

Although it started as Kondrat’s independent project under the guidance of senior lecturer of horticulture Marcia Eames-Sheavly, more than 100 people ended up taking part, from planting 13,000 bulbs to transporting, arranging and staking 350 pots.

Read the whole article and view more photos. [Cornell Chronicle 2014-04-24]

See also:

Aerial view

Aerial view.

Special thanks to Chris Kitchen Photography and Design and East Hill Flying Club.

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