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Student research opportunities at Dilmun Hill.

dilmun logoDilmun Hill, Cornell’s student-run farm,  is currently looking for students who would like to conduct research at the farm. This is a great opportunity for students interested in agroecology, soil science, horticulture, agronomy or other related fields.

If interested, please fill out the application and submit to Betsy Leonard by Friday, March 13th.

Any way you cut it, 2014 was a very good year for NYSAES

CALS Communications

Greenhouse ribbon-cutting at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, N.Y., October 2014. Photo: Rob Way, CALS Communications.

Reposted from CALS Notes [2015-02-24]

It was a year of promises and deliveries, of new partnerships and the research and outreach results those relationships fuel. For Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, 2014 will be remembered as a very good year.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • The Northern Grapes Project, led by senior extension associate Tim Martinson, received a $2.6 million USDA grant to continue developing grape growing, wine making and marketing resources for cold climate grape growers.
  • Susan Brown, incoming Station director and faculty in the Horticulture Section, was named a 2014 “Women of Distinction” in a ceremony at the State Capitol.
  • Sarah Pethybridge was hired as an assistant professor in the Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section, Steve Reiners assumed the position of associate chair of the Horticulture Section, Anna Katharine Mansfield was promoted to associate professor in the Department of Food Science, and Jennifer Grant was named director of the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program.
  • The Station completed its 10th year of boosting science literacy through a plant science program for the Geneva City School District’s third and fourth graders.
  • The Summer Research Scholars Program hosted 27 students from top universities around the country for immersion in agricultural research.

And that’s just a start.

Read all the highlights in the Station’s “2014 Year in Review” available online on the NYSAES homepage:

Seminar video: Saving the King’s kitchen garden of Versailles

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, Saving the King’s kitchen garden of Versailles: respecting the past and creating a future, featuring M. Antoine Jacobsohn, Director, Le Potager du Roi, Versailles, it’s available online.

SIPS recruitment weekend poster session

Saturday morning, graduate students from all five sections helped the School of Integrative Plant Sciences put its best foot forward to prospective graduate students at a poster session in Stocking Commons hosted by SIPS and the Field of Food Science.

The enthusiastic presenters included Michael Schmidt, Soil and Crop Sciences …

Michael Schmidt

… and Maria Gannett, Horticulture.

Maria Gannett


Signs of spring (1)

Flower Bulb Research at Kenneth Post Lab Greenhouses.

Flower Bulb Research at KPL



UnBelizeable! Student tropical plant presentation March 2

Hort 4940 students with bananas.Mark your calendar:


A botanical exploration through the Toledo District of southern Belize

Monday, March 2, at 4:30, in Rm. 404 Plant Science Building.

Join Hort 4940: Tropical Plants Extravaganza students as they offer a lively presentation about their January 2015 excursion through the Toledo District of southern Belize.

Intensively experiential, with forays which include explorations into forests, a national park, and cacao plantation, the students will offer insights into their thinking about a sustainable future, and conclude their presentation with a hands-on cacao experience.

Hot chocolate and light foods will be served.

Toward Sustainability Foundation: 2015 projects

For more than 15 years, CALS has bolstered its sustainability research with a steady stream of gifts from the Toward Sustainability Foundation (TSF), a Massachusetts-based organization founded by an anonymous, eco-minded Cornell alumna.

Since 1999, TSF provided more than $1.1 million in funding for more than 100 faculty and student projects that examine the technological, social, political, and economic elements of sustainable agriculture.

Projects funded for 2015 include research and outreach topics ranging from soilless media for rooftop farms to growing organic grains for local markets to using vermicompost to grow tomatoes.

View full list of funded projects and contact information for each.

A 2014 TSF grant aided Horticulture graduate student Miles Schwartz-Sax's study on long-term urban soils remediation using organic amendments.

A 2014 TSF grant aided Horticulture graduate student Miles Schwartz-Sax’s study on long-term urban soils remediation using organic amendments.

California reunion

On February 13, Don Rakow visited with recent graduates Justin Kondrat (BS ’14) and Lourdes (Luly) Rios (BS ’14), along with former graduate student Sarah Hulick (BS ’11, MS ’13) at the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, CA. Justin is interning at the garden in February, before starting his new position as assistant orchid curator at the U.S. Botanical Garden. Luly is currently employed by Driscoll’s Berries, where she has been developing a technical manual for blueberry growers, and is supervised by Sarah, who is responsible for all education and trouble-shooting efforts.

Rakow, Hulick, Kondrat and Rios.

Rakow, Hulick, Kondrat and Rios.

Seminar video: How New York fruit growers are addressing farm labor challenges

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, How New York fruit growers are addressing farm labor challenges with Tom Maloney, Senior Extension Associate, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, it’s available online.

View more Horticulture Section seminars.

Online organic gardening course starts March 11

Raised bed vegetable gardenThe Horticulture Sections’s online Organic Gardening course is designed to help new gardeners get started and help experienced gardeners broaden their understanding of organic techniques for all kinds of gardens.

The course runs March 11 to April 24, 2015, and covers one topic each week. (See course outline below.) With a strong foundation in soil health and its impact on plant health, we then explore tried-and-true and cutting-edge techniques for all different kinds of garden plants including food plants, trees and shrubs and lawn.

Participants view recorded presentations, read assigned essays and book excerpts, participate in online group discussions with other students, complete reflective writing/design work and take part in some hands-on activities. 
Most students spend 3 to 4 hours each week with the content, though there are always ample resources and opportunity to do more.

Please contact the instructor, Elizabeth Gabriel, for information:

Course outline:

  • Week 1:Introduction: What is Organic Gardening?  Knowing Your Site.
  • Week 2: Soil, Compost, and Mulch
  • Week 3: Vegetables and Flowers: Site Design & Planning for the Season
  • Week 4: Vegetables and Flowers: Early, Mid, Late Season Crops; Harvesting, Herbs
  • Week 5: Maintenance a & Managing Pests Organically
  • Week 6: Trees, Shrubs, and Herbaceous Perennials: The Long-Term Landscape
  • Optional Extra Readings: Advanced Topics for the Adventurous Gardener
More information:
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