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Recent Cornell Chronicle stories:

Marty PetrovicJenny Kao-KniffenExperts help schools meet new state pesticide mandates [11/29/2011] – Cornell experts from the Department of Horticulture — including Jenny Kao-Kniffin and Marty Petrovic (right) — and the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYS IPM)New York’s 700 school districts had to find alternatives to using pesticides on their grass, playgrounds and playing fields.

Cornell Plantations, 92nd Street Y host educational lectures [11/29/2011] – Nina Bassuk will deliver the first Plantations-themed lecture of the ‘Changing Earth series, titled “Why Do We Need Trees?,” Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.

Special seminar Dec. 1: The peach genome

The peach genome: a model for fruiting and forest tree genetics and genomics

Dr. Albert Abbott
Professor of Genetics and Biochemistry and Coker Chair in Plant Molecular Biology
Department of Genetics and Biochemistry
Clemson University

3:30 PM, Thursday, December 1, 2011
A-134 Barton Lab, Geneva
Via polycom to Ithaca Plant Science Room 404

Video: Orchard ground management seminar

If you missed Monday’s Department of Horticulture seminar featuring Amaya Atucha, PhD candidate, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University, on Effects of Ground Management Systems in an apple and avocado orchard, it’s available online.

New online botanical illustration course

Pastel by Marcia Eames-SheavlyMarcia Eames-Sheavly has added a third online botanical illustration course to the distance learning courses offered by the Department of Horticulture: Botanical Illustration III: Advanced Techniques.

The 7-week course (as well as the next sessions of Botanical Illustration I: Basic Drawing Techniques and Botanical Illustration II: Working With Watercolor), begins January 23, 2012.

Techniques covered in the new course include technical drawing with pen and ink, charcoal, chalk, pastels, colored pencil, and mixed media. Other topics include textures and dimensions found in nature, geometric forms, and identification and portrayal of plant characteristics.

There will also be an online Organic Gardening course offered this winter, beginning January 10. Garden design, school garden, and plant propagation courses are planned for spring.

For information on all these courses, visit the Department of Horticulture’s Distance Learning website.

Hortus Forum poinsettia sale Dec. 5 & 9

Hortus Forum, Cornell’s student horticulture club, will be holding its annual poinsettia sale on December 5 and 9, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kenneth Post Labs Greenhouses on Tower Road. (Near the Vet School. View map.)

For more information or to preorder at a reduced price, visit the sale preorder form. Questions? Email Chris at

Poinsettias at the Kenneth Post Lab Greenhouses

Why Do We Need Trees? at 92nd St. Y in NYC

Nina BassukLecture at New York City’s 92nd Street Y:
“Why Do We Need Trees?”
Nina Bassuk, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University
12/07/2011 – 7:00pm

Even with all of the best of intentions, anyone trying to plant a tree in the inner city needs to have more than just a desire to be ‘green’ if the tree is to attain its envisioned size and function. It is only through efforts that recognize and provide for the needs of the tree, will we gain the benefits for which we planted these plants in the first place — whether it is for shade, pollution reduction, reduced storm water runoff, increased property values,erosion control, habitats for wildlife, windbreaks, blocking undesirable views, creating parks for recreation and providing a link between our increasingly urban existence and the natural world-a very human need.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how trees survive in their concrete coffins. We need to approach planting trees in human impacted landscapes as rigorously as we engineer the urban environment into which we place them. No one would think of building a house without adhering to sound construction principles from a solid foundation through sturdy walls and a non-leaky roof. Yet with trees in the urban context, we seem to feel that they will take care of themselves. Learn about how trees can thrive in the city and why it’s important that they do.

Cornell Plantations has partnered with the 92nd Street Y in New York City for its “Changing Earth” lecture series. This unique series of seven lectures will take place monthly from November 2011 to May 2012, and is part of the Y’s First Class Science adult education program. The year-long series kicked off on November 16th and features diverse topics and speakers from Cornell University and other organizations.

Restoration ecology students to present Cayuga Inlet dredging findings Dec. 1

Detail from invitation flyer

This is what dredge material would look like if piled in Schoellkopf Field.

Every fall, students in Restoration Ecology (HORT 4400) take on a real-world project in the local community, working together to gather data, analyze the issues and report their findings. (See To dredge or not to dredge: Class analyzes inlet options, Cornell Chronicle, Nov. 7, 2011.) You can find out what they discovered at:

Cayuga Inlet Dredge Material:
Opportunities for Restoring Ecosystem Functions & Services

Sponsored by: Tompkins County Environmental Management Council
Thursday, December 1, 2011
7:00-9:00 PM
Tompkins County Public Library
Borg Warner Room

Students of Cornell University Restoration Ecology (Hort 4400) and Associate Professor Tom Whitlow will present their findings of local dredging needs and possibilities for the Cayuga Inlet. Come and learn about these potentials and their trip to see Poplar Island – An artificial island created from dredged materials in the Chesapeake Bay.

View event poster.

Video: Beginning farmer panel discussion

If you missed Thursday night’s screening of The Greenhorns, you can at least catch the panel discussion featuring Violet Stone (CCE Small Farm Program), Dan Flerlage (Localvores Committee Coordinator at Lehman Alternative Community School and staff at the Ithaca Youth Farm Project), Noa Wesley and Rane Bullion (students at Lehman Alternative Community School), Devon Van Noble (Incubator Development Coordinator at the Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming) and Melissa Madden and Garrett Miller (beginning farmers from the Good Life Farm in Interlaken, N.Y.).

Event cosponsored by; The New World Agriculture and Ecology Group at Cornell, groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming, Dilmun Hill Student Organic Farm, Cornell Orchards, Cornell Gourmet Club, Department of City and Regional Planning, Department of Development Sociology, and Mann Library.

Video: Life Sciences Core Resources at Cornell seminar

If you missed Monday’s Department of Horticulture seminar featuring George Grills, director of operations, Core Facilities in the Life Sciences, it’s available online.

Zeltmann receives NOAA award

Gerard ‘Rod’ Zeltmann

Via eCALSconnect:

Gerard ‘Rod’ Zeltmann, field assistant at the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center (LIHREC) received the John Campanius Holm Award by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The award honors cooperative observers for outstanding accomplishments in the field of meteorological observations. From hundreds of nominations each year, no more than 25 of these awards are presented annually to the volunteer observers. Rod, who lives on the LIHREC property, has faithfully collected weather data every day for the past 30 years in Riverhead, N.Y. The award was presented at LIHREC’s annual Plant Science Day, which was attended by more than 130 growers, politician and members of industry.

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