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Signs of spring: Hortus Forum at KPL

Members of Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club, visited Kenneth Post Lab greenhouses Wednesday, where Bill Miller explained the work of the Flower Bulb Research Program.

HoFo at KPL

Could a Platoon of Helicopters Have Saved Washington, D.C.’s Cherry Blossoms?

Popular Mechanics [2017-03-20] talked to Marvin Pritts, professor in the Horticulture Section of Cornell’s School of Integrative Plant Science, about some of the more drastic techniques professional growers use to protect their plants — and the rest of us can use to survive the weird weather this winter.

The helicopters might have worked.

Read the whole article.

Nina Bassuk (right) coaches Marvin Pritts and pupils on late-winter pruning techniques.

Nina Bassuk (right) coaches Marvin Pritts and pupils on late-winter pruning techniques.

Horticulture honor society inducts 29 new members

pax key

Phi Alpha Xi key

From Mark Bridgen, Professor and Pi Alpha Xi advisor:

Pi Alpha Xi (PAX), the national honor society for horticulture, inducted 29 new members at a March 6, 2017 ceremony held in the H. H. Whetzel Room in the Plant Science Building on the Cornell University campus.

This set a record for the number of inductees in a single year since the chapter was revived at Cornell in 2013.  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 Cornell 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 aspects 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.

2017 PAX inductees

2017 PAX inductees

PAX members graduating in May -- Lauren Fessler, Jeremy Pardo, and Karl Kunze -- received their honor cords.

PAX members graduating in May — Lauren Fessler, Jeremy Pardo, and Karl Kunze — received their honor cords.

PAX faculty advisors Mark Bridgen, Neil Mattson, Betsy Lamb and Tom Weiler.

PAX faculty advisors Mark Bridgen, Neil Mattson, Betsy Lamb and Tom Weiler. Lamb was a 2017 inductee.

2017 PAX inductees:

  • Cairo Archer
  • Jessica Barbini
  • Hauk Boyes
  • Nana Britwum
  • Yuqi Chen
  • Myles Collinson
  • Allison Coomber
  • Kellie Damann
  • Aliza Doyle
  • Emily Follett
  • Hannah Fuller
  • Garrett Giles
  • Catherine Hanss
  • Sarah Hetrick
  • Bailee Hopkins-Hensley
  • Elizabeth Lamb
  • Margaret Lovier
  • Sarah Marino
  • Kady Maser
  • Roxana Padilla
  • Jonathan Price
  • Nina Sannes
  • Tommi Schieder
  • Samantha Schultz
  • Cynthia Sias
  • George Stack
  • Amanda Sudilovsky
  • Benjamin Sword
  • James Winans
  • Xuying Zheng

Seminar video: Chilean Plant Biodiversity

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar Chilean Plant Biodiversity with Mark Bridgen, professor, Horticulture Section, and students from PLHRT 4950 (Plant Biodiversity), it  is available online.

 

Learn more about the group’s trip at the Biodiversity in Chile blog.

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Reminder: Huge houseplant sale today

Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club is holding their blowout sale today (February 25) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kenneth Post Lab Greenhouses (map).  They’re selling a huge variety of houseplants from 4″ to fully grown.

Patty watering plants

Patty Chan ’18 waters plants in preparation for the sale.

Update [10 a.m.]: Early sales are brisk. But there are still tons of interesting and unique plants to be had.

hofo plant sale

Hortus Forum giant greenhouse houseplant sale February 25

From Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club:

Greenhouse Sale
Saturday, February 25
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kenneth Post Lab (map)

Selling a huge variety of houseplants from 4″ to fully grown.

More information, email: hortusforum@gmail.com

flyer

Hortus Forum: cultivating a positive community which fosters a passion for plants and teaches the value of horticulture

Historic Cornell trip explores new frontiers in Myanmar

A farmer on Inle Lake in Myanmar explains hydroponic tomato farming methods to Cornell and Burmese students. (Photo: Emma Quilligan)

A farmer on Inle Lake in Myanmar explains hydroponic tomato farming methods to Cornell and Burmese students. (Photo: Emma Quilligan)

Cornell Chronicle [2017-01-30]:

For the first time, 29 students in the International Agriculture in Developing Nations course had the opportunity to undertake a field study tour of Myanmar Jan. 1-16. It was the 49th class trip, through which students have visited Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras and India.

“We decided to go to Myanmar this year because of the enormous changes underway in the country,” said Ronnie Coffman, international professor of plant breeding at Cornell and director of International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Agriculture plays an important part in this emerging economy, and this trip enabled students to see, firsthand, the challenges and opportunities faced by farmers.”

The group surveyed a range of agroecologies and production environments, traveling throughout the central dry zone, Inle Lake and Ayerwaddy Delta. Meetings with farmers gave students insight into various cultivation systems, from hydroponic tomato farming to small-scale melon production, while visits to agribusinesses highlighted the increasing trade and knowledge exchanges between Myanmar and its neighbors. The group also learned about alternative livelihoods, such as lotus weaving and lacquerware manufacturing, and engaged in Myanmar culture with visits to pagodas, temples and traditional puppet shows.

Read the whole article.

Marvin Pritts, Horticulture Section Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Plant Sciences Major was among the Cornell faculty leading the trip.

Dreer blog: Raquel Kallas pursues viticulture in Oz

Kallas measuring midday water potential during a 40-degree C (104 F) heatwave last week.

Kallas measuring midday water potential during a 40-degree C (104 F) heatwave last week.

2016 Dreer Award recipient Raquel Kallas (MS Horticulture ’16) is pursuing her interest in viticulture in Australia with the help of a familiar face to many: Vinay Pagay (PhD Horticulture ’14), now viticulture researcher and educator based at the Waite Campus of the University of Adelaide.

“His lab is on the cutting-edge of vineyard technologies that will allow us to better understand and manage the effects of climate change on vines and wine quality,” says Kallas. While a student at Cornell, Pagay helped develop a microfluidic water sensor within a fingertip-sized silicon chip that is a hundred times more sensitive than current devices.

Kallas’s collaborations with Pagay are funded through the Frederick Dreer Award. The Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science offers this wonderful opportunity once a year that allows one or more students to spend 4 months to up to a year abroad pursuing horticulture interests. Deadline for application this cycle is March 6, 2017.

If you’d like to keep up with Kallas’s travels, visit her Dreer blog, Grapes of Raq.

What I did on break

Many in the Cornell horticulture community embarked on expeditions of note over the break:

Mark Bridgen and Betsy Lamb led students in Special Topics in Horticulture: Plant Biodiversity (PLHRT 4940) on a trip to Chile for hands-on study and exploration of wild and native plants, commercial breeding programs, and botanical gardens and arboreta to supplement their classroom experiences last fall. See more pictures from the trip on their class blog.

Exploring native plants in Valle Nevado.

Exploring native plants in Valle Nevado.


Bryan Duff
and 13 undergraduates traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where they spent all day every day for a week embedded in an elementary school that is turning to project-based learning to boost student motivation and performance. Bryan and the students taught the children to use video-making equipment and then guided them in making music videos for songs celebrating Black History Month.

Students try their hand at video (left). Duff interviews students waiting for class (right).

Students try their hand at video (left). Duff interviews students waiting for class (right).


Marvin Pritts
traveled to Myanmar with other faculty and students in IARD 6020 – International Agriculture in Developing Nations.

Temple-studded landscape.

Temple-studded landscape.

Click on thumbnails below to see more scenes from Myanmar:

New course teaches cutting-edge food production

To better prepare Cornell students to thrive in the growing  hydroponic industry, associate professor Neil Mattson initiated a course last fall, Hydroponic Food Crop Production and Management, to teach the principles and practices of commercial food crop production in controlled environment agriculture (CEA). Read more in the Cornell Chronicle [2017-01-19].

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