Welcome to the HNR Department
The people of the Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources at Kansas State University are dedicated to improving lives through dynamic, diverse education and research programs. If you have any questions that cannot be answered via our website, Contact Us. We are eager to assist you.
We are delivering the news to you! Find out what the HNR faculty, staff and students are doing and major events that are coming up. If you missed one of our news stories that you would like to review, all news stories can be found on the HNR News Page.
Now accepting nominations for our Distinguished Alumni Award. The deadline is May 1. Go here to learn more.
Students and Faculty in the News
GPN/Nexus Intern of the Year Award - Growing Plants and Relationships
Karen Schneck is a senior K-State and the 2018 GPN/Nexus Intern of the Year. Her love for flowers and gardening was passed down to her from her mother and grandmother. After learning about horticulture and greenhouses through 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America), "something just clicked" for Schneck and she realized she wanted to have a career working with plants. Her time at K-State has repeatedly confirmed she chose the right path.
Lavis Irrigation & Green Industry Close-up
Cathie Lavis, an associate professor in the department of Horticulture and Natural Resources, teaches landscape maintenance, arboriculture and horticultural irrigation. Lavis has taught and nurtured hundreds, if not thousands, of students during her almost thirty years in the department.
In addition to teaching, mentoring, and advising the Horticulture Club, she co-coaches students to compete at the National Collegiate Landscape Competition. She also runs her own small landscape business—something she's done since 1990. These days, she only has a handful of clients, but the major bonus is that these properties offer her real landscapes that she can take her students to, for learning and practice.
Congrats to our Fall 2017 Graduates
Pictured are Horticulture (1st picture), Wildlife & Outdoor Enterprise Management (2nd) and Park Management & Conservation (3rd).
Alumna Robyn Schmitz wins Award
Alumna Robyn Schmitz, owner of High Prairie Landscape Group, LLC. has been selected as a winner of the 17th annual 25 Under 25 Awards. This is the first time a horticultural company has been recognized for this award. Robyn graduated in 2009 from Kansas State University, specializing in Landscape Design. Her success comes as no surprise, while a student, Robyn was keenly involved in the Horticulture Club and Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), which is now called the National Collegiate Landscape Competition. During her years in our program, Robyn’s enthusiasm and passion for horticulture was contagious. She is now recognized for promoting the green industry as a truly professional business that offers quality products and services, employing several of our former students—thank you, Robyn! Read more....
Horticulture Faculty Wins USDA National Teaching Award
Chad Miller, Associate Professor of Horticulture, was recognized as one of two recipients of the 2017 U.S. Department of Agriculture's Best New Teacher Award for Food and Agricultural Sciences. The New Teacher Award recognizes a faculty, with no more than seven consecutive years of experience in higher education teaching, who has demonstrated a commitment to a career in teaching, has exhibited meritorious teaching through scholarship of teaching and learning, and exemplary service to students. The award also includes a $2,000 stipend for the purpose of strengthening the honoree's teaching and advising program. Read more....
Ph.D. Student wins Research Competition
Stuart Sprague, Ph.D. candidate advised by Dr. Park in Horticulture, was selected as a top 10 presenter at Research and the State Graduate Student Poster Session on November 9 by K-State faculty and post-doc judges. He will present his poster, Expression of AtGRXS17 in Maize increases yield under heat stress, at the Capital Graduate Research Summit being held in Topeka in February. Congratulations Stuart!
PMC Masters Student wins Graduate Research Competition
Ashley Kelly, MS student in PMC who was one of 10 winners in last week's Graduate Research Competition. Ashley's poster, entitled, "Inspiring Future Conservationists through a Junior Zookeeper Program" will represent K-State at the Capitol Graduate Research Summit in February.
Ashley's research project, led by Dr. Skibins, is a 2 year study at Manhattan's own Sunset Zoo examining the impacts of youth programming. Fellow PMC graduate student Susi Algrim contibuted to the project. Congratulations Ashley!
Graduate Student Earns National Turfgrass Science Award
Mingying Xiang, Ph.D. Graduate Student in Turfgrass is one of this year's recipients of the prestigious Chris Stiegler Travel Award. She will formally receive the award at the annual meeting of the Crop Science Society of America/American Society of Agronomy/Soil Science Society of America.
Congratulations Mingying! She is recognized for her academic achievements in the classroom, research accomplishments, and leadership activities.
Mingying's research is focused on evaluating zoysiagrass breeding lines for cold hardiness, quality, and resistance to the disease large patch along with studying the potential for tall fescue-zoysiagrass blends to reduce the disease brown patch while maintaining overall summer quality.