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Department News

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Dr. Sandra Wilson, ASHS Vice President for Education

Dr. Sandra Wilson, associate professor, was recently elected as the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (ASHS) Vice President for Education. ASHS is a premier worldwide organization for leadership in the science and application of horticulture with over 50 specialty working groups. Wilson said her mission will be to continue the land-grant institution tradition to combine education, research and outreach and to adapt new technologies for the advancement of the science of horticulture for all people in all nations. To accomplish this goal, she will encourage the association's continued creative embracement for student involvement, scholarship, leadership and diversity. She believes these factors will lead the organization and its worldwide influence into the new century.

Related News Article: UF/IFAS prof to lead horticulture science group’s education efforts

Dr. Hector Perez, NACTA National Award Recipient

Dr. Hector Perez, associate professor, was awarded a NACTA Teacher Fellow Award at the Annual Conference of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) in June. According to a letter from NACTA President Rick Rudd, Perez’s selection as a NACTA Teacher Fellow “is an international recognition of [his] excellence in teaching and [his] commitment to the scholarship of teaching and learning in agriculture.” The conference was held at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls from June 26 to June 29. Here participants were able to share their various teaching styles, methods, and philosophies surrounding the conference theme of “Celebrating and Sustaining Agriculture.”

New FloraGator application is now available for iPhonesFloraGator iPhone app logo

After two years of design, development, and testing, the Plant Family Identification Application, also known as FloraGator, is now available for iPhones. First developed as an online web-based tool, the interactive plant key was created with the specific goal of improving student learning of botanical vocabulary, plant morphology, and plant families. Users input known characteristics and features, and FloraGator will provide a list of possible species.

The plant key database consists of 196 angiosperm families, each with up to 220 botanical characters, and includes all of the plant families found in Florida.

This versatile tool can be used to supplement in-person laboratory courses or distance education classes in horticulture, botany, systematics, and biology. The FloraGator application is available for free at the iTunes App Store.

Dr. Terril NellDr. Terril Nell named 2011 Floral Marketer of the Year

Dr. Terril Nell, professor and former chairman of University of Florida’s Environmental Horticulture Department, was recently named the 2011 Floral Marketer of the Year by the Produce Marketing Association (PMA). The award recognizes outstanding floral professionals who have served the mass-market floral industry with dedication and distinction. Dr. Nell was selected for the award in part for helping key suppliers with problem solving quality issues and handling procedures and for never losing sight of the realities industry members work with each day.

He was presented with the award by 2010 winner Bill Byland at PMA's Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga., USA.

"Dr. Nell has tirelessly dedicated his career to the growth of the floral industry and is recognized among his peers as a great guide post for the industry he obviously loves," Byland told general session attendees. "He has turned no project or challenge away if its ultimate outcome would benefit floriculture. In this same vein, he's the perfect gentleman always willing to share his vast knowledge with anyone seeking information or assistance."

Connie JohsonUF Horticulture graduate students receive national and state awards

Connie Johnson has been awarded the Kenneth Post Award from the American Society for Horticultural Science. This award is given in recognition of outstanding floriculture research by a graduate student. It is jointly awarded by the ASHS Floriculture Working Group and the Kenneth Post Foundation. Johnson is the lead author on the HortScience paper along with coauthors P. Fisher, J. Huang, R. Vetanovetz and W. Argo entitled: "Quantifying the Acidity of an Ammonium-based Fertilizer in Containerized Plant Production." The paper can be found in HortScience 45(7):1099-1105 and was published in 2010.

And this summer, fellow UF horticulture student Rosa Raudales placed first in the graduate student competition for her presentation to the Florida State Horticulture Society Annual Conference. Connie Johnson placed second for her presentation.

Sandra WilsonDr. Sandra Wilson selected for Roche professorship

Dr. Sandra Wilson has been selected for the prestigious Marion C. and Virginia T. Roche Professorship. She will spend two years working to enhance distance education for UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences faculty and students. Dr. Wilson is an associate professor of environmental horticulture at the Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce, teaching plant propagation, native landscaping and plant identification, and her research focuses on the invasive potential of ornamental plants, native plant physiology, propagation and production. She oversees two botanical gardens used by students, hundreds of garden club members from around the state, and local extension agents. In 2008, Dr. Wilson was inducted into the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences' Academy of Teaching Excellence.


Tim JohnsonTim Johnson receives Grebe-Wahlberg Memorial Scholarship for 2009-2010

Tim Johnson was recently awarded the Grebe-Wahlberg Memorial Scholarship. The Grebe-Wahlberg Memorial Scholarship is awarded to students at UF that are outstanding leaders academically and in organizations, and is based on GPA, leadership ability, service and extracurricular activities. Tim is a PhD student working with Dr. Mike Kane in the Plant Restoration, Conservation and Propagation Biotechnology Lab. His research focus includes several projects related to plant conservation and restoration in Florida, specifically Bletia purpurea (pine-pink; Orchidaceae). Other than research, Tim is also active in the Environmental Horticulture Graduate Student Association, and is involved with teaching for the Environmental Horticulture department.

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Dr. John CisarDr. John Cisar, Turfgrass Science Faculty at Ft. Lauderdale campus, named ASA Fellow

Dr. John L. Cisar was recently named a Fellow at the Crop Science Society of America’s annual meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania November 2, 2009. Dr. Cisar is a Professor of Turfgrass Management and Water at the University of Florida. He earned his B.A. degree from Rutgers University, his M.S. degree from Cornell University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Cisar’s research and extension focus on the environmental impacts of turfgrass management on pesticide fate, nutrient leaching, soils, and water. Dr. Cisar served as Board Representative for the C-5 Division and committees, is treasurer of the International Turfgrass Society and is technical editor for the Florida Turf Digest and Turf News. Dr. Cisar is also a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and a recipient of the Florida Turfgrass Association’s Wreath of Grass Award

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daniela dutra and dr. mike kane featured in a publication by UF/IFASDaniela Dutra receives Award of Excellence for Best Master's Thesis

Congratulations to Daniela Dutra, who received the 2008 Award for Excellence for Graduate Research--Best Master's Thesis. She and her advisor, Dr. Mike Kane, were recognized at the second annual UF/IFAS Florida Agricultural Experiment Station awards ceremony. Daniela's thesis title was 'Reproductive Biology and Asymbiotic Seed Germination of Cyrtopodium punctatum, An Endangered Florida Orchid'. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Botany Department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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More News

Candy Palmer honored with a 2009 Superior Accomplishment Award

candy palmer with department staff and facultyCandy Palmer was recently recognized by CALS and UF with an Adminstrative/Supervisory Superior Accomplishment Award. Palmer was nominated by fellow staff and her direct supervisor, and her nomination was then evaluated along with others from the college and university.
This program recognizes staff members who contribute outstanding service, efficiency and/or economy, or to the quality of life provided to students and employees. Recognition by one’s peers is the highest point of achievement.

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emily eubanksEmily Eubanks chosen as 2009 Outstanding Young Alumna

Emily Eubanks, the communications coordinator for the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology, was recently honored by the UF Alumni Association at the 2009 Outstanding Young Alumni Awards on April 18 at Emerson Alumni Hall.
The Outstanding Young Alumni Award honors alumni age 35 and younger who have excelled in their professions and communities.
Recipients are selected by their respective colleges, usually by their dean or development officer. Colleges are asked to select up to two recipients.

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conference displayGraduate Students take third place at World Orchid Conference

Daniela Dutra, Tim Johnson, Phil Kauth, and Scott Stewart, graduate students in the Plant Restoration, Conservation, and Propagation Biotechnology Lab, managed by Dr. Mike Kane, received the third place exhibit award at the 19th World Orchid Conference in Miami for their educational display on native orchid conservation in Florida. The 100 square foot display included twelve species of Florida native orchids--including one aquatic species, native bromeliads, and information about current research methods being used at the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.

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Water Education Alliance for Horticulture in the news

The Water Education Alliance for Horticulture, co-led by Dr. Paul Fisher, has recently been awarded with a research grant from the National Foliage Foundation. The Water Education Alliance for Horticulture is a partnership of universities and companies and is hosted by the University of Florida. Dr. Anne Frances, an Environmental Horticulture graduate, recently joined the Alliance. Check the Alliance Web site for information on upcoming events and workshops.

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Congratulations Lisa Hall!

hallLisa won the 2008 CALS and University of Florida Undergraduate Adviser of the Year awards. In her role as the academic program coordinator for Environmental Horticulture, she recruits and advises students, coordinates course scheduling, and manages the scholarship and internship program. Lisa teaches Floral Art and promotes the department at trade shows. She uses her industry experience and connections, positive attitude and unflagging energy to provide students with support and guidance.

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Dr. Laurie Trenholm recognized by Turfgrass Producers International

trenholmTurfgrass Producers International (TPI) presented their first Turfgrass Educator Award of Excellence to Dr. Trenholm for her dedication and positive influence on the turfgrass industry. Kirk Hunter, Executive Director of TPI, commented, "Dr. Trenholm's insight, knowledge and contributions to our industry are greatly appreciated. The TPI Board and all of our members worldwide are extremely honored to present this award to such a deserving recipient as Dr. Laurie Trenholm."

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