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New Plant Sciences majors tour local natural areas

More than 20 new Plant Sciences majors hiked gorge trails and explored local natural areas including — Buttermilk Falls and Robert H. Treman State Parks Saturday led by Director of Undergraduate Studies, Marvin Pritts Undergraduate Program Coordinator Leah Cynara Cook, finishing up the day with a cookout at Pritts’s.

New Plant Sciences majors at Treman State Park.

New Plant Sciences majors at Treman State Park.

Join ESS majors for Minns Garden ‘Art Intervention’ Sept. 29

Marion Wilson

Marion Wilson

More than 70 Environmental and Sustainability Sciences (ESS) majors will take part in an ‘Art Intervention’ in Minns Garden (map) under the leadership of Philadelphia-based artist Marion Wilson, Friday, September 29 starting at 12:20 p.m.

“The students in the ESS colloquium (ESS 2000) will observe and draw the biodiversity of the garden from three perspectives: standing, kneeling and lying down,” says Johannes Lehmann, professor in the Soil and Crop Sciences Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, who co-teaches the colloquium with Susan Riha, Charles L. Pack Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

“Then we’ll hang their works throughout the garden, together creating an ephemeral artists’ herbarium and installation of this small natural world on campus,” adds Lehmann.

The Cornell community is invited to join in the process from 1:15 to 3 p.m.

Wilson is known for her frequent collaborative partnerships with students and botanists as well as, homeless people, real-estate developers, grocers, and government officials. In her own studio, she uses the lens of ecology to capture endangered landscapes and overlooked plant species, in particular moss.

Photo: MLAB blog.

Plant Sciences majors make trail improvements

trailhead

Taking advantage of a break in the rain showers Thursday afternoon, students in Collaboration, Leadership, and Career Skills in the Plant Sciences (PLSCI 1110) engaged in a service-learning project making improvements to the Habitat Trail outside of Trumansburg, N.Y.

In addition to clearing paths of vegetation and downed trees, teams of Plant Sciences majors erected a trailhead sign, assembled a picnic table, affixed identification tags to trees, and soaked in the beauty of the flora and fauna on the site. The activity was organized by Leah Cook, Plant Sciences major coordinator, and Marvin Pritts, director of undergraduate studies, who teach the course.

Students affixed identification tags to trees.

Students affixed identification tags to trees …

... cleared vegetation from the trail ...

… cleared vegetation from the trail …

... enjoyed the local fauna (in this case, jewelweed, Impatiens capensis) ...

… enjoyed the local fauna (in this case, jewelweed, Impatiens capensis) …

… and assembled a picnic table.

 

Art of Horticulture students create sod sofa

sod sofa

Taking advantage of the great weather this afternoon, students in the Art of Horticulture (HORT 2010) installed a crescent-shaped sod sofa in front of Fernow Hall on Tower Road. The experience is as much about building teamwork among the students as it is creating a living work of botanical art says  Marcia Eames-Sheavly, Senior Extension Associate and Senior Lecturer in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, who teaches the course.

“It’s got a great view of the sculpture in front of Fernow, alumni field and the hills beyond campus,” she says.

Frank Rossi, associate professor and turf specialist in the Horticulture Section, provided additional coaching, and shared lively guidance that ranged from the science of working with turf, to how to lay sod. Cornell Grounds Department collaborated to have the materials on site, and supported the work in numerous ways.

The sofa needs a few days to firm up and dry out. So best to test feel the sod with your hand before testing it out.

View pictures and video of previous sod sofa installations.

Shaping the compost and topsoil that make up the base of the sofa.

Shaping the compost and topsoil that make up the base of the sofa.

Frank Rossi, associate professor and turf specialist in the Horticulture Section

Frank Rossi, associate professor and turf specialist in the Horticulture Section coaches students in shaping the base.

Art of Horticulture students install sod over the base.

Art of Horticulture students install sod over the base.

Testing comfort after sod installation.

Testing comfort after sod installation.

Time lapse of the installation:

Tour Brandywine Valley gardens with Pi Alpha Xi September 15-17

Leading the tour at Chanticleer will be the garden's public programs manager Erin McKeon, 2013 graduate of Cornell's Public Garden Management Program.

Leading the tour at Chanticleer will be the garden’s public programs manager Erin McKeon, 2013 graduate of Cornell’s Public Garden Management Program.

From Patricia Chan & Myles Collinson, Pi Alpha Xi co-presidents:

Feel the need to get off campus? The desire to surround yourselves with plants? The urge to learn the workings of a meticulously cultivated botanical garden?

Cornell University’s chapter of Pi Alpha Xi, the national honor society for horticulture and plant sciences, has organized a weekend trip to three southeast Pennsylvania public gardens September 15-17, featuring special behind-the-scenes tours at each location.:

This trip is open to all undergraduates, grad students, staff and faculty.

For only $50/person, this is a very affordable package trip that includes bus transportation to/from Ithaca, breakfasts, guided tours, and admission to the gardens.  Lunch and dinners are on-your-own, and hotel accommodations for two nights are available at a discounted rate. Important: You are responsible for booking your lodging, available for a special block rate, only if you make your hotel reservation by this Friday, 9/8.

Download trip details and registration form.

Questions? Contact Dr. Mark Bridgen, Advisor to Pi Alpha Xi, at mpb27@cornell.edu or 631-921-4941.

Leadership Minor to Make Major Impact

The new leadership minor from Cornell CALS is aimed at developing skills in community engagement, service learning and leadership. The new minor is directed by Professor Marvin Pritts, right, pictured with Leah Cook, plant sciences major coordinator, in the School of Integrative Plant Science.

The new leadership minor from Cornell CALS is aimed at developing skills in community engagement, service learning and leadership. The new minor is directed by Professor Marvin Pritts, right, pictured with Leah Cook, plant sciences major coordinator, in the School of Integrative Plant Science.

CALS News [2017-08-23]:

Every day across campus, students are developing the knowledge and technical expertise they need to succeed in their chosen fields. But a new minor available this fall will focus on the skills they need to attract employers across all disciplines.

The leadership minor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences addresses key skills aimed at helping students excel professionally and in their personal life by enhancing their abilities to understand their own strengths, collaborate with others and build a team, and act as positive role models.

The minor provides opportunities for direct, hands-on experience, said Marvin Pritts, professor of horticulture and director of the new minor program. Through a capstone course, students can practice leadership skills in real time, working in their field alongside a faculty member who provides feedback. Students can earn this credit for leadership roles in extra-curricular activities, such as serving as captain of a sports team.

Pritts said the idea for the minor grew out of a desire to formally provide integration and academic credit for the many leadership opportunities that exist at Cornell, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Read the whole article.

Cornell students shine at weed competition

From Toni DiTommaso, professor in the Soil and Crop Sciences Section and  director.

Front row from left to right: Liang Cheng, Aleah Butler-Jones, Cynthia Sias, Toni DiTommaso (coach), Patricia Chan, Roxana Padilla, Isabella Swyst, Nina Sannes.   Back row from left to right: Elsa de Becker, Eugene Law, Kristy Perano.

Front row from left to right: Liang Cheng, Aleah Butler-Jones, Cynthia Sias, Toni DiTommaso (coach), Patricia Chan, Roxana Padilla, Isabella Swyst, Nina Sannes. Back row from left to right: Elsa de Becker, Eugene Law, Kristy Perano.

Cornell students did a great job at this year’s Northeastern Collegiate Weed Science Contest held on July 25 at the ACDS Research facility, North Rose, N.Y. Teams came from Cornell University, North Carolina State University, The Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Virginia Tech, and the University of Guelph — which traditionally dominates the competition.

But this year, we bumped Guelph off the medal stand. One of our undergraduate teams — Patty Chan (Plant Sciences), Elsa de Becker (Plant Sciences), Roxana Padilla (Plant Sciences), Cynthia Sias (Agricultural Sciences/Plant Sciences) — placed third denying Guelph a clean sweep.

Patty also placed second in the individual undergraduate category, which is a huge feat. Way to go Patty!

Cornell participants this year included:

  • Graduate Team: Liang Cheng (Horticulture),  Eugene Law (Soil & Crop Sciences),  Kristy Perano (Biological & Environmental Engineering)
  • Undergraduate Team (1): Patricia Chan (Plant Sciences), Elsa de Becker (Plant Sciences), Roxana Padilla (Plant Sciences), Cynthia Sias (Agricultural Sciences/Plant Sciences)
  • Undergraduate Team (2): Aleah Butler-Jones (Agricultural Sciences), Nina Sannes (Plant Sciences), Isabella Swyst (Environmental & Sustainability Sciences)

Need produce? Get a Dilmun Hill Student Farm CSA share

From Erin Kehoe, CSA Coordinator, Dilmun Hill Student Farm:

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Members pay at the start of the season for a share of the farm’s harvest and pick up vegetables once a week.

This season we will be offering a 12-week summer share that begins on Thursday, June 15th and ends on August 31st.  Shares will be picked up on the farm between 4 and 7.

We are offering two sizes this year:

  • A full share costs $350 and provides plenty of vegetables for a small family.
  • A half share costs $185 and provides half the amount of vegetables, which should be reasonable for an individual.

A limited number of “work of share” options are also available to students.

Interested? Have questions? Contact me at emk267@cornell.edu.

dilmun csa

 

Congratulations Class of 2017!


Dean Kathryn Boor and CALS Class of 2017 Degree Marshals Jeremy Pardo (Plant Sciences, left) and Nola Booth (Biology and Society, right) lead CALS graduates to Commencement ceremony at Schoellkopf Stadium May 28, 2017.

Senior luncheon, symposium videos

On Thursday, May 18, some of the soon-to-be-graduating Plant Sciences Majors gathered for the annual ‘exit luncheon’ – an informal chance for them to share feedback about the program and make suggestions on how to improve the experience for future Majors.

Students were joined by SIPS Interim Director Chris Smart, Director of Undergraduate Studies Marvin Pritts, and  Plant Sciences Undergraduate Program Coordinator Leah Cook.

From the left: SIPS interim director Chris Smart, Zacky Ezedin, Jeremy Pardo, Lindsay Chamberlain, Lauren Fessler, Yoon Joo Lee, Nicholas Glynos, Karl Kunze, Benjamin Dillner, Director of Undergraduate Studies Marvin Pritts, and Plant Sciences Undergraduate Program Coordinator Leah Cook.

From the left: SIPS interim director Chris Smart, Zacky Ezedin, Jeremy Pardo, Lindsay Chamberlain, Lauren Fessler, Yoon Joo Lee, Nicholas Glynos, Karl Kunze, Benjamin Dillner, Director of Undergraduate Studies Marvin Pritts, and Plant Sciences Undergraduate Program Coordinator Leah Cook.

On Monday, May 15, several Plant Sciences Majors and others delivered presentations about their honors research at the first SIPS Senior Symposium. If you missed it, you can view them on the SIPS Senior Symposium YouTube playlist.

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