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Botanical illustration exhibition May 10

botanical illustrationFrom Marcia Eames-Sheavly:

Please mark your calendars for May 10, from 12:30 – 1:00, Rm. 141 Plant Science, for an informal exhibit of student work in PLHRT 3250: Botanical Illustration Intensive.

This small but mighty group of 5 students has produced some very fine pieces!

Come peruse their work and celebrate their hours and hours of hunching over drawing tables these past months.

 

 

 

‘Urban Eden’ students plant campus landscapes

Urban Eden students plant along Garden Avenue outside Teagle Hall.

Urban Eden students plant along Garden Avenue outside Teagle Hall.

Every year since 2001, students in Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment (HORT/LA 4910/4920) have taken on real world projects, designing and installing gardens on campus each spring.

This year’s projects include a strip along Garden Avenue west of Teagle and Comstock Halls, areas behind Warren Hall, and a planting at the entrance to Plant Science Building just west of the new Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory.

For that project, the low-growing plants were specifically selected so as not to shade the Conservatory or to attract pests that might move from the planting inside, says Nina Bassuk, Horticulture Section professor who teaches the course along Landscape Architecture professor Peter Trowbridge.

The plants include a mix of evergreen and deciduous woody plant species with a variety of foliage colors that provide year-round interest and discourage browsing by deer. “We’ve used a lot of new cultivars so that we can introduce them to future classes as part of our teaching program,” says Bassuk, who is also the director of the Urban Horticulture Institute.

The students also tried a new planting technique using smaller plugs that are easier to handle and plant but will quickly fill the space.

New planting outside the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory at the entrance of the Plant Science Building.

New planting outside the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory at the entrance of the Plant Science Building.

 

 

 

 

Dean’s Awards recognize Plant Sciences Majors, teachers

Dean Kathryn Boor honored a select group of CALS students, faculty and staff during this year’s Dean’s Awards Dinner held April 18 at the Statler Hotel. The annual event recognizes outstanding faculty, staff and students; with a focus on undergraduate education, teaching and advising.

Five members of the plant sciences community were recognized:

Student awards:

  • CALS Academic Excellence – Plant Sciences: Joshua Kaste
  • SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence: Sarah Nadeau (Biological Engineering & Plant Sciences) and Dhruv Patel (Biological Sciences & Plant Sciences)

Faculty awards:   

  • Faculty Service: William L. Crepet, Plant Biology Section
  • Teaching:  Kevin C. Nixon, Plant Biology Section

Congratulations all!

Clockwise from upper left: Joshua Kaste, Dhruv Patel, Kevin C. Nixon, William L. Crepet. Not pictured: Sarah Nadeau.

Receiving congratulations from Dean Boor are (clockwise from upper left) Joshua Kaste, Dhruv Patel, Kevin C. Nixon, William L. Crepet. Not pictured: Sarah Nadeau.

‘Urban Eden’ students put a price tag on trees for Arbor Day

Urban Eden teaching assistants Huan Liu and Miles Schwartz Sax tag a sugar maple outside of Roberts Hall.

Urban Eden teaching assistants Huan Liu and Miles Schwartz Sax tag a sugar maple outside of Roberts Hall.

What’s a tree worth?

In what has become an annual tradition, students in Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment (HORT/LA 4910/4920) are helping to make people more aware of why trees are worth hugging by hanging bright green “price tags” on trunks around the Ag Quad.

The students entered data about the trees, such as species, diameter and location, into i-Tree — a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service. The application then calculates monetary benefits from reduced stormwater runoff, improved air quality,  carbon dioxide sequestration and energy savings to nearby buildings by blocking wind in winter and providing shade in summer.

“It’s really quite eye-opening for people who think that trees are just nice to look at and don’t have any other value,” said Nina Bassuk, professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, who leads the class alongside Peter Trowbridge, professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture.

There are also benefits that are not easily quantified, such as wildlife habitats and emotional responses, added Bassuk, who is also director of the Urban Horticulture Institute.

Urban Eden tree taggers spread out across the Ag Quad tagging trees ...

Urban Eden tree taggers spread out across the Ag Quad tagging trees …

... until it was time to go prune and mulch landscapes installed by previous Urban Eden classes.

… until it was time to go prune and mulch landscapes installed by previous Urban Eden classes.

Hortus Forum Easter bulb sale

From Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club:

Don’t miss out on your chance to grab Hortus Forum’s beautiful selection of bulbs for the holiday weekend!

  • 12” Hyacinths, Tulips, Daffodils, Muscari – $10
  • 5” Cyclamen – $6
  • 6” Cyclamen – $8

Pre-orders will be taken only! Please contact, Christian Lesage, at cdl64@cornell.edu or Sarah Hetrick, at seh255@cornell.edu to confirm your order. Flowers may be picked up at the Kenneth Post Laboratory Greenhouse from noon to 5pm on Friday, March 25th.

Can you smell the hyacinths?

Can you smell the hyacinths?

Pi Alpha Xi horticulture honor society inducts new members

pax keyFrom Mark Bridgen, Professor and Pi Alpha Xi advisor:

Pi Alpha Xi (PAX), the national honor society for horticulture, inducted new members on March 13, 2015. (See photo caption below.) 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.

In 2015 PAX organized a spring bus trip to Canada to visit the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture in Ontario and Highland Park in Rochester, N.Y.  And in 2014, the group helped with the Rooted art installation, planted spring-flowering bulbs around CALS and rejuvenated the planters in the foyer of Plant Science Building. This semester, plans are underway to visit the New York Botanical Garden and other gardens in the New York City area.

2016 PAX inductees

2016 PAX inductees: Aaron Waybright (junior, Plant Sciences), Benjamin Jablonski (junior, Plant Sciences), Isabel Branstrom, (PhD candidate, Graduate Field of Horticulture) Patricia Chan (sophomore, Plant Sciences), Felix Fernández-Penny (sophomore, Plant Sciences), Breanna Wong (junior, Plant Sciences), and Dr. Mark Bridgen, Professor and PAX advisor.

Signs of Spring 1

Isabel Branstrom

Isabel Branstrom

Isabel Branstrom, MS candidate in the Graduate Field of Horticulture and teaching assistant for Hands-On Horticulture for Gardeners (PLHRT 1102), prunes shrubs along with the class in a landscape outside of Roberts Hall designed and planted by students in Creating the Urban Eden … (PLHRT 4920/4920) in 2011. More class pruning pictures on CALS Facebook.

Internship application deadlines coming up fast

summer-scholarsLooking for a summer internship? Application deadlines are coming up fast.

Here are some especially attractive Cornell internship opportunities you should check out:

  • Summer Research Scholars Program – Based at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. Undergrads participate in exciting lab- or field-based research projects in Entomology, horticulture, plant pathology/plant-microbe biology or food science.
  • Summer internship, Cornell Small Farms Program – Assist with communications activities including Small Farms Update, Small Farms Quarterly, social media, website as well as hands-on field work at MacDaniels Nut Grove agroforestry demonstration site
  • Cornell Plantations internships – Interns become a member of the Plantations’ professional team and work with staff in natural areas, wildflower garden, botanical garden, youth education programs or marketing and communications.
  • Cornell Orchards Internships – Get hands-on research (field and lab) and field experience with a variety of fruit crops (grapes, apples, peaches, berries). Opportunities to interact closely with faculty and local vineyards and orchards
  • Campus landscape internships – Work with Nina Bassuk and the staff of the Urban Horticulture Institute to plant and tend Minns Garden and other campus landscapes and assist in research at Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Facility.
  • Organic Vegetable Farming Research Assistant – Get applied research experience on campus and at the Thompson Research Farm in Freeville.  Help manage vegetable crops from planting to harvest, learn plant and soil sampling methods, organize data, and summarize results.
  • Plant Genome Research internships – An incredible opportunity to work side-by-side with experts at the Boyce Thompson Institute in the fields of biology/biochemistry, biotechnology, genetics and development, plant sciences, genomics, and bioinformatics.
  • Annual flower trials/greenhouse technician – Work outside early June to mid-August. Contact koh4@cornell.edu for details.
  • Agriculture and Food Science Internship Hebei Province, China – Conduct field trials and sensory evaluations for fast-growing organic food business in China.

Visit the Plant Science Internships blog to view more opportunities.

What I did on winter break

Marvin Pritts, professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Sciences, is spending winter break in India, where he is assisting students in the Agriculture Systems Group in the class Agriculture in Developing Nations (IARD 6020 ) along with K.V. Raman in the Plant Breeding and Genetics Section.

“There are also groups exploring rural infrastructure, adding value to crops and textiles,” says Pritts. “So it’s quite a complex logistical operation as we all do different activities during the day.” Pritts’s elephant ride came at a working farm sponsored by the Indian government to take care of elephants and provide them with meaningful work.

You can view more images on Pritt’s Facebook page.

pritts-india-elephantx620

‘Soil art’ in Mann Lobby Thursday

Aubrey Fine, Kirsten Kurtz and Kelly Hanley prepared the soils to make the paints.

Aubrey Fine, Kirsten Kurtz and Kelly Hanley prepared the soils to make the paints.

Need a study break?  Swing by the Mann Library Lobby on Thursday anytime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and contribute to a mural created with paints made from soil.

“To celebrate World Soil Week this year, we thought it would be appropriate to do something fun and help relieve a little exam-time stress,” says Kirsten Kurtz, manager of the Cornell Soil Health Testing Laboratory who spearheaded the project.

Kurtz is an artist herself who has experimented in the past with extracting pigments from soils to make paint. Last weekend, she and volunteers crushed and sieved soils ranging from light tan to reddish brown to near black. If you join in Thursday, part of the activity will be turning those soils into paint.

“Or you can just grab a brush for a few minutes and help us fill the in the scene we’ll have sketched out on the canvases,” says Kurtz.

click image for .pdf version of poster

.pdf version of poster

 

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