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Sweep of Light: Scanner Photography and the Art of Horticulture at Mann Library Gallery

cyclamenA collaboration between the Horticulture Section of CALS’ School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS) and Mann Library, A Sweep of Light celebrates the intricate beauty of botanicals through the medium of scanner photography. Scanners can be used to produce distinctive, high-resolution images rich in both color and texture. A Sweep of Light features stunning, often large-scale works by photographer Ellen Hoverkamp, SIPS communications specialist Craig Cramer, students from Marcia Eames-Sheavly‘s course The Art of Horticulture, and Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club.

The exhibit runs through the end of March, is available for viewing during normal library hours and is free and open to the public. A special reception will be held on Wednesday, February 21st at 4 p.m. where guests will be able to view contributing artist Craig Cramer demonstrate his technique of botanical scanner photography.

Mann Gallery

Restoration ecology class surveys Lake Treman

Students Stevanica Augustine, left, and Jonas Soe examine invertebrates along the streams that feed into Lake Trema

Students Stevanica Augustine, left, and Jonas Soe examine invertebrates along the streams that feed into Lake Trema

Cornell Chronicle/CALS News [2018-02-06]

Far above Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca sits a reservoir dam impounding Lake Treman. Hiking trails wend through the area, which for eight decades has slowly accumulated enough sediment to turn the lake into plodding marsh. Sometime in the next 30 years, it will completely fill and become a riparian marsh.

Cornell students in Tom Whitlow’s Restoration Ecology class spent the fall semester examining Lake Treman’s many components, and they worked with the New York State Department of Parks and Recreation to develop a plan for managing it.

The students presented their research to state parks officials in December. (View presentation video.) Generally, the class found no compelling reason to remove the dam, in spite of the increasing sediment, said Audrey Stanton ’19, a teaching assistant for the course.

Read the whole article.

‘Three Sisters in Soil’ wins global soil painting competition

Three Sisters in Soil

Soil, it turns out, can be a work of art — and a team of Cornell artists and scientists proved just that. A painting they created with soil captured first prize in the university division of the global soil painting competition sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Kirsten Kurtz, manager of the Cornell Soil Health Lab and a graduate student in the field of natural resources, organized the public event Dec. 5, 2017 in the lobby of Mann Library as part of World Soil Day. There, supporting artists and members of the Cornell community created two large canvases from more than 50 paints formulated from soils from around the world.

“It’s amazing the range of colors you can get from soil,” says Kurtz, who started using the technique four years ago. “Of course you have the usual browns and tans, some tinged with yellow and red. But some yield pigments from jet black to light gray and even green.” In addition, soil particles in the paint from gritty sands to fine clays give the works a unique texture not possible with other media.

Supporting artists Patty Chan (Plant Sciences major) Fatma Rekik (Soil and Crop Sciences graduate student), Emily Detrick (Cornell Botanic Gardens) and Shujie Li (Scanlon Lab technician) work on Three Sisters with Kurtz (right).

Her recipe includes pulverizing dried soil and mixing it with water and a gesso binder. Kurtz also led a similar event in 2015 that inspired FAO to take the idea worldwide.

On the main canvas, Kurtz and supporting artists affiliated with the School of Integrative Plant Science used soil paints to honor the Three Sisters of agriculture — corn, beans and squash — used by Native American communities. The scene they painted was based on Ringelreihen, a 1910 work by the German artist Franz von Stuck, which shows three women spinning arm-in-arm.

“We added three baskets filled with corn, beans and squash,” says Kurtz. “These are the crops used in the traditional ‘Three Sisters’ polyculture used by the Haudenosaunee here in the Finger Lakes for centuries, a technique that is a model of sustainable farming.”

The community canvas

Other members of the Cornell community tried their hand at soil painting on the second canvas, completing a mosaic-like design. Plans are to hang the works in the entrance of Bradfield Hall.

“My main goal for these events is to inspire people to think about soil,” says Kurtz. “It is as an essential natural resource – as important as clean water and air. We depend on healthy soil to provide us with food and fiber, and we can use soil to help fight climate change.

“We’ve got lots of great reasons to celebrate soil,” she adds.

See also:

Restoration Ecology video: Restoring ecosystem functions and services at Lake Treman

Students in Restoration Ecology (PLHRT 4400) presented findings from their semester-long study of Lake Treman, constructed outside Ithaca in 1930 but now mostly a sediment-filled wetland. The class, led by Tom Whitlow, professor in the Horticulture Section, spent the fall mapping the site and gathering and analyzing soil, sediment and biodiversity data in partnership with the New York State Parks Department.

“Some of their recommendations ranged from large-scale major projects for us, as far as financial and resource commitment, and other recommendations were just very simple things that we could implement just with our existing maintenance crews and things like that,” New York State Park Manager 3 Jim Brophy told the Ithaca Journal after the presentation. “We feel like we have a much better understanding of the resource now because of that, and not only the diversity of the organisms but also soil types and the history.”

More information:

Reminder: Hortus Forum Poinsettia Sale Friday through Sunday

hofo crew with poinsettias
More than 20 cultivars to choose from at the Hortus Forum Poinsettia Sale!

  • December 1 – 1 to 5 p.m.
  • December 2 – 12 to 4 p.m.
  • December 3 – 1 to 4 p.m.

Location:

  • The Livestock Pavilion on the Cornell Campus. [Map]

Prices:

  • 6-inch pots $10 each
  • 10% off 5
  • 15% off 10

More information or to pre-order or to arrange delivery, email hortusforum@gmail.com

Download order form.

 

Download poster

Art of Horticulture final projects

Barn quilt flower designs.

Barn quilt flower designs.

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.

And in another end-of-the-semester tradition, students in  Frank Rossi’s Horticultural Science and Systems class spent their last lab of the semester on a  hands-on/take-home activity on producing indigo dye from Indigofera tinctoria.

“We’ve been exploring the culture, history and chemistry of indigo dye, culminating in this week’s lab where students used indigo dye to to create a class banner and turn a piece of clothing into a work of art to take home,” says Rossi. “The course introduces students to plants grown for foods, beverages, fiber, aesthetics and recreation, and this artistic endeavor was a perfect ending to a semester exploring the art and science of horticulture.”

Update [2011-12-01]: Friday’s lab section …

 

 

Plant Sciences Majors showcase ePortfolios

Students majoring in the Plant Sciences show their ePortfolios to faculty members

Students majoring in the Plant Sciences show their ePortfolios to faculty members

Reposted from the SIPS blog, Discovery that Connects [2017-11-21]:

Students majoring in Plant Sciences and enrolled in PLSCI 1110 presented their ePortfolios on November 16 at an afternoon open house in 404 Plant Science. PLSCI 1110 “Collaboration, Leadership, and Career Skills in the Plant Sciences”, taught by Marvin Pritts and Leah Cook, provides students with opportunities to meet other students and faculty associated with the Plant Sciences Major; develop collaboration, leadership, and career skills in the discipline; and make connections with the world beyond the campus.  Thirty-one students are currently enrolled in the class.

Students at the Thursday event come to the Plant Sciences Major from diverse backgrounds, but all reflected enthusiastically upon their experiences at Cornell. Grace Hageman, a freshman from Wisconsin, described how her high school experiences with Future Farmers of America and international travel had contributed to her interest in ethnobotany and decision to minor in Spanish.  Katherine Cooke, a sophomore transfer from University of Vermont double majoring in Plant Sciences and Environmental and Sustainability Sciences, discussed her interest in ecological sustainability and climate change adaptation.  Several, including Cooke, Martha Williams, and Drew Gustafson, emphasized their commitment to communicating science and the importance of plants to youth and the wider community.

Drew Gustafson shows his ePortfolio to SIPS Director of Undergraduate Studies Marvin Pritts

Drew Gustafson shows his ePortfolio to SIPS Director of Undergraduate Studies Marvin Pritts

ePortfolios function as an online curriculum vitae, capturing student training, experiences and interests using a variety of media. Students in the Plant Science Major are required to add to their ePortfolios throughout their course of study, including information on courses, papers, and projects, a reflection on an out-of-class experience, seminar summaries, and research experience where relevant. Each student’s final portfolio is presented to their faculty advisor to show that learning objectives have been achieved.

Leah Cook commented that one of the main goals of PPLSCI 1110 is to build a sense of community among the students before they move through the core curriculum together. Students reflected that the process of creating ePortfolios was useful for reflecting on what they had done and identifying areas in need of attention. With regard to their Cornell experience, several commented that the Plant Sciences Major felt like a small school where faculty know and care about you in an environment having all the opportunities and resources of a big research university.

 

Hortus Forum Poinsettia Sale December 1-3

More than 20 cultivars to choose from at the Hortus Forum Poinsettia Sale!

  • December 1 – 1 to 5 p.m.
  • December 2 – 12 to 4 p.m.
  • December 3 – 1 to 4 p.m.

Location:

  • The Livestock Pavilion on the Cornell Campus. [Map]

Prices:

  • 6-inch pots $10 each
  • 10% off 5
  • 15% off 10

More information or to pre-order or to arrange delivery, email hortusforum@gmail.com

Download order form.

 

Download poster

Urban Eden students plant trees along Cayuga Lake Inlet

‘Urban Eden’ students planting crabapples along Cayuga Lake Inlet. (Photo: Carol Eichler)

‘Urban Eden’ students planting crabapples along Cayuga Lake Inlet. (Photo: Carol Eichler)

Students in Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment (PLHORT/LA 4910) planted 15 disease-resistant crabapple trees along the Cayuga Lake Inlet November 9.

The Ithaca Garden Club donated the trees as part of an on-going, seven-year effort to re-establish a deteriorated grove the club donated to the City of Ithaca in 1970. The club planted its first of more than 300 crabapples along the inlet in 1922 – the year of its founding – and have donated several hundred thousand dollars to landscaping projects in the area during its long history.

The City of Ithaca’s Shade Tree Advisory Committee will fence and care for the trees under guidance of Jeanne Grace MS ’10.

Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick stopped by to check on the tree planting, along with ‘Urban Eden’ instructor Nina Bassuk (left) and Ithaca Garden Club members Beverly Hillman and Beatrice Szekely. (Photo: Carol Eichler)

Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick stopped by to check on the tree planting progress, joining ‘Urban Eden’ instructor Nina Bassuk (left) and Ithaca Garden Club members Beverly Hillman and Beatrice Szekely. (Photo: Carol Eichler)

Planting participants. . (Photo: Carol Eichler)

Planting participants. . (Photo: Carol Eichler)

Thinking about graduate school in Plant Sciences?

From Patty Chan, Pi Alpha Xi horticulture honor society:

Here’s your chance to learn the ropes.

Pi Alpha Xi horticulture honor society will host a Plant Sciences Grad School Panel for all CALS students on Wednesday, November 8th, 5:00-6:30 p.m. in 404 Plant Science.

The program is specifically tailored to students currently applying, or considering applying to grad school for programs related to plant sciences.  This panel will feature members of faculty and staff involved with graduate programs and admissions in the field as well as current graduate students studying in plant sciences.

This will be a great opportunity for anyone with questions about the application process or wondering whether graduate school would be a good fit for them.

Refreshments will be served. Come join us.

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