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Horticulture Graduate Student Awarded First Place at K-State Graduate Research Forum

BraunPoster2017K-State HNR graduate student, Ross Braun competed in the poster competition against other K-State graduate students at the 2017 Kansas State Graduate Research, Arts, and Discovery Forum in Manhattan, KS. Ross placed 1st in the Agricultural Sciences poster session and was awarded a $500 scholarship prize, the title of his poster was “Nitrous Oxide Emissions in a Turfgrass Environment.”  Congrats Ross!

Two Hort Students Present Posters

PostersSusi Algrim and Tyler Cribbs presenting their research posters at the George Wright Society conference in Norfolk, Virginia.

Google Maps as a Plant Identification Study Tool

HortTechCheck out the latest cover of HortTechnology! Former graduate student, Dr. Matt Wilson's scholarship of teaching and learning work, with Dr. Miller on Google Maps for the landscape plants courses is featured on the cover. Congratulations!

Fishing's Future Clinic held at Throckmorton

FishingFuture1FishingFuture2Stevenson (PMC faculty) and Bill Horvath (Master Angler, Leavenworth) and the KDWPT hosted a Fishing's Future youth instructor training clinic here in Throckmorton, on Saturday, Feb 25. Approximately 60 participants, including a dozen PMC or WOEM students, were certified (pending background checks) as a result of the workshop. Fishing's Future is a national program with substantial Kansas participation. One of the master angler instructors (far right) is the programs founder, Shane Wilson, who flew in from South Padre Island, TX.

K-State Hort Alum's Interiorscaping Business Provides Plants for Super Bowl Coverage

SuperBowlPlants1SuperBowlPlants2Hort alum Joanne Rush, located in Houston, TX, provided plants for ESPN's coverage of the 2017 Super Bowl. Rush's interiorscaping business, Thriving Botanicals, got the call a couple weeks before the big game to contract with ESPN for the set decorations. Wildcat Pride!

PMC Students Receive Award at Kansas Recreation and Park Association Annual Conference

StudAwardKRPAConf20172017 starts off with PMC students clinching award at Kansas Recreation and Park Association annual conference. PMC undergraduate and graduate students were out in force at this year's KRPA conference, held in Manhattan. Our students won the annual student leadership event and many volunteered throughout the 3-day conference as session moderators, registration/welcome assistants and general support.

Drs. Cable, Skibins, and Stevenson were there too. They were asked by the KRPA executive director to present keynote lectures on interpretation and connecting people to parks.

Three Kansas Arborist Association Scholarships Awarded

KAA_2017ScholarWinersThe Kansas Arborist Association (KAA) awarded three $2000.00 scholarships to three tree-loving students. Students received the checks first-hand at the KAA awards banquet, January 12 at the Shade Tree Conference. From left to right, Dr. Cathie Lavis, Horticulture Scholarship Coordinator, Bruce Moore, Wichita, KS; Lauren Walz, Garden City, KS and Caitlin Carlson, Falun, KS.




Fall 2016 Horticulture Graduates


December 2016 horticulture graduates gather for a photo prior to receiving their diplomas. All are headed to careers in various parts of the country in a variety of areas within the green industry. The range of employment is as diverse as the industry is broad, from greenhouse production, golf course management and sports turf, to landscape companies and vegetable production within urban environments. Most of these graduates had several job offers to select from before settling on their ideal situation and location, salaries range from the $35,000 to $55,000 this includes benefits.

K-State faculty contribute to LED Lighting book

MillerWiliamsNov2016_300pxKim Williams and Chad Miller, with former graduate student Joshua Craver, have co-authored a chapter about the physiological disorder intumescence in a recently-released book about using LED lighting published by Springer [Kozai, Fujiwara and Runkle, eds. LED Lighting for Urban Agriculture]. Williams and Miller have been studying this disorder since 2007. Their chapter is titled "Light Quality Effects on Intumescence (Oedema) on Plant Leaves."

K-State Shotgun Sports Team at the ACUI Eastern Super Shoot

JamesNorinCongratulations to James Norin (Left), Kyle Colnar (Right), and James Scheer (not pictured) for their performances with the K-State Shotgun Sports Team at the ACUI Eastern Super Shoot hosted by Delta Resort and Spa. James Norin, a WOEM student, won American Skeet and took 2nd in International Skeet, Kyle won the Sporting Clays competition, and James Scheer took 4th place in International Trap. With their placing in the international events, James Norin and James Scheer qualified for the International Shootout at the ACUI National Championship in San Antonio, TX this spring where they will compete for $1000 scholarships

K-State Horticulture Graduate Student Awarded First Place at 2016 ASA, CSSA, and SSSA International Annual Meeting

RossB300pxThree K-State HNR graduate students competed in the oral and poster competitions out of 90+ other C5 division graduate students at the 2016 ASA, CSSA, and SSSA International Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ (https://www.acsmeetings.org/). Ross Braun, Ph.D. candidate placed 1st in the Golf Turf Management graduate student oral session, the title of his presentation was "Performance and Recovery of Four Turfgrass Species Subjected to Golf Cart Traffic during Prolonged Drought." Ross also participated in the Turf Ecology and Management graduate student poster session, the title of his poster was "Nitrous Oxide Emissions in a Turfgrass Environment." Mingying Xiang and Jake Reeves participated in the Turf Ecology and Management graduate student oral session, the title of Mingying's presentation was "Evaluating Zoysiagrass-Tall Fescue Mixtures in the Transition Zone" and the title of Jake's presentation was "Glyphosate Application Timing Affects Tall Fescue Conversion to 'Sharp's Improved II' Buffalograss."

Horticulture Faculty Assist at National FFA Convention

FFAconv2016Drs. Kim Williams and Chad Miller helped plan and judge the national floriculture career development event (FLOR CDE) at the National FFA Convention, held in Indianapolis, October 18-22, 2016. As a member of the planning committee, Dr. Williams designed and ran the ‘growing procedures’ practicum where students demonstrated their potting technique.  Also participating as a judge in that event was a former K-State horticulture graduate student, Joshua Craver, who is now completing his Ph.D. at Purdue University.  Dr. Miller served as a judge for the ‘selling one-on-one’ component of the CDE in which students were evaluated on their ability to professionally sell a floral design, and he assisted with the plant identification portion of the competition. 

After the event was finished, the floral designs created by the contestants were donated to the Richard Roudebush VA Hospital in Indianapolis.  About 150 FFA FLOR participants and faculty distributed hundreds of floral arrangements to the facility and patients.  It was a great opportunity to share in the impact that floriculture has on peoples’ lives.

This work with FFA National is an outgrowth of Williams’ and Miller’s on-going research to understand how the career development events in horticulture correlate and influence participants’ choice to pursue a career in the field.

Class Visit to Fort Larned National Historic Site

SharpFtLarnedDr. Sharp and his FORS 741 Outdoor Recreation Behavior class recently went on a trip to Fort Larned National Historic Site in west/central Kansas. The students were there to complete a class project that will assist park managers understanding of the amounts and types of use at the park. The site is notable for the frontier fort and the location along the historic Santa Fe Trail.

Miller Presents at International Society for Horticultural Science Symposium

ChadMiller#3Chad Miller, assistant professor of ornamental horticulture, presented research findings from two projects at the 12th International Society for Horticultural Science Flower Bulb and Herbaceous Perennial Symposium in Kunming, China, this summer.

Miller's first presentation, "Effects of pre-plant bulb soaking in flurprimidol and paclobutrazol on growth and development of three amaryllis (Hippeastrum) cultivars," built on his previous collaborative work to improve production and product handling protocols for amaryllis growers. His second presentation was a poster titled "Effects of planting depth and mulching on the perennialization of several small geophytic species."


New Greenhouse Industry Internship Video Features 5 K-Staters

HilaryWoodardCheck out the new video that encourages students to apply to the prestigious Ball internship-scholarship program through the American Floral Endowment! Dr. Kim Williams collaborated on the effort that features recent program alum, Hilary Woodard, who was hired by her Ball internship employer, and 2016 Ball Interns from K-State: Rachel Peterson, Matt Briggs, and Kendell Lolley. Interested? Apply to the program today! Go Wildcats! 

K-State Horticulture Alumni - Thriving Botanicals

JoanneRushCheck out an interior plantscaping business owned and operated by K-State horticulture alumni Joanne (Rayer) Rush and Ryan Rush! Thriving Botanicals (http://www.thrivingbotanicals.com) specializes in interior plant design and maintenance in the Houston, Texas, area. It's great to see where K-State Horticulture can take you!

PMC Students Attend Park Management Leadership Summit

PMCLeadershipSummitPark Management and Conservation graduate and undergraduate students, represented Kansas State University at the inaugural George Wright Society Student Summit at Glacier National Park in July. The George Wright Society promotes protected-area stewardship and is dedicated to the protection, preservation and management of cultural and natural parks and reserves through research and education.

John Kelly (undergraduate) "The Student Summit was so much more than I thought it was going be. The friendly and inviting atmosphere of the students was only surpassed by the magnificence of the surrounding landscape. It was truly one of the best experiences I have been a part of."

Brooke Mechels (graduate) "Words like beautiful and breathtaking don't come anywhere close to doing this wild, mountainous land justice, nor can a frame capture the profound awareness and humility of the expanse. The amiable and relaxed atmosphere of the students, and the unforgettable adventures shared, made the Student Summit an intrinsically and extrinsically rewarding experience."

Horticulture Students Recently Recognized by the Perennial Plant Association


When asked about their experience, Miranda said that "The Perennial Plant Association symposium was an eye opener for me. It reminded me of why I chose this career path and has truly inspired me to want to learn more as our industry changes from day to day. I highly encourage everyone within the horticulture industry to attend at least once in their lifetime."

And Karen said that she "was able to meet industry leaders in the field of horticulture I am most interest in. It helped me define the path I want to take a little more clearly and it gave me incredible contacts for my future in the green industry."

Congratulations, Miranda and Karen! You did a wonderful job representing K-State and the Horticulture and Natural Resources Department!

McNair Scholar Presents Her Research

AmandaWoolley300pxCongratulations to Amanda Woolley, a McNair Scholar and an undergraduate researcher working with C. B. Rajashekar, Professor in Food Crops and Phytochemicals. She presented her research on 'Nutritional Quality of Lettuce and Spinach in High Tunnels and Open Field' at the McNair Final Research Presentations. The research is on-going and is being conducted at the Willow Lake Student Farm.

Bear Cam Gives Researchers Insights into Human-Wildlife Connection

BearcamJeff Skibins and Ryan Sharp, both Assistant Professors in Park Management & Conservation, are making national news with their 'Bear cam' study in Katmai National Park, Alaska. A new study centers on Katmai bears, but it's the people watching them both in the park and online who are the focus. Researchers are looking at how watching wildlife changes attitudes toward conservation. Click here for full story and links to the bear cams.

Research Along the Minnesota/Canada Border


Max Larreur, a graduate student working with Adam Ahlers, Assistant Professor of Wildlife & Outdoor Management, is conducting research along the Minnesota/Canada border. He and his undergraduate assistant (Spencer Wesche) are investigating how active wetland management (including hybrid cattail removal) affects wetland wildlife in the boundary waters.

Barden Continues International Exchange


K-Staters at Smith Gardens in Aurora, Oregon

KendellLolleyIntershipAndresAlmilloWilliamsKendell Lolley, senior in Horticulture Production, is wrapping up her 6-month Vic and Margaret Ball Internship at Smith Gardens production facilities in Aurora, Oregon. During a recent visit to her internship site, Kim Williams also had a chance to catch up with Andres Alamillo, K-State Horticulture alum, who is Inventory Control Manager at the site. Andres manages a dizzying amount of plant inventory and is currently leading the operation's efforts to adopt lean-flow manufacturing processes. Wildcat Pride!

Costa Rica President visited K-State

CostaRica1CostaRica2On May 19, President of Costa Rica Luis Guillermo Solís visited KSU, invited by the prestigious Landon Lecture Series.  He talked about current trends related to security and democracy in Central America.  Two HFRR graduate students, Marisol Mayorga and Kenny Artavia participated with the Costa Rican Students Association in this event.  In addition, Marisol and her family were invited to meet with Costa Rican Ambassador Román Macaya and President Solís for a breakfast hosted by the office of President Myers for Costa Rican students, faculty, staff and their families at the President's Suite in the Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium.  Upon completing her Ph.D., Marisol and her family expect to return to Costa Rica, where she will join a university faculty.

Two Hort Students begin their Internships in Dallas

EgyptConnerFirstdayKSU Horticulture students, Egypt Edwards and Conner White, begin their summer internships at Southern Botanical in Dallas. Southern Botanical is one of the Top 50 Landscape Design, Build, and Management firms in the U.S.

Rourke Wins All-expense Paid Trip

AlanRourkeAlan Rourke, senior in Landscape Design, won an all-expense paid trip to the American Society of Irrigation Consultants 2016 Regional Conference in San Luis Obispo in mid-May. Alan was awarded this opportunity for earning first place in Landscape Irrigation Design at the National Collegiate Landscape Competition at Mississippi State University in March. Alan gained the National title by receiving first place out of thirty-one competitors.

Ahlers select as Participant in the Wildlife Society Leadership Institute

AdamAhlersDr. Adam Ahlers was one of 10 individuals selected from North America to participate in the 2016 The Wildlife Society Leadership Institute. Individuals were chosen based on their demonstrated leadership capability, academic record and current leadership roles within The Wildlife Society and their professional position.  Read more...

A Day of Service at Tallgrass Prairie

TallGrassPrairieSaturday, April 23, the Tallgrass Chapter of the George Wright Society Student chapter spent a day of service at Tallgrass National Prairie and Preserve. The students were accompanied by club co-advisor Jeffrey Skibins. Students spent the morning painting bison stalls and the afternoon on an interpretive outing on the prairie. The club is planning many additional service days and several trips for 2016-17 academic year. Everyone is welcome!

PMC Students Win Awards at National Conference

NAIRegion6_2016Earlier this semester, Tuesday Meredith won First Place and Anastasia Slough won Second Place in the Collegiate Interpretation Competition at the National Association for Interpretation Conference in Springfield, MO. Tuesday presented a talk on the Flint Hills and Anastasia presented a talk on Sunflowers. Marisol Mayorga won First Place in the non-personal interpretation category for interpretive signs designed to be used at Rock Springs 4-H Camp. Ten students from the Advanced Interpretation class (PMC 741) attended this conference.

Braun Recipient of Graduate Student Teaching Award

BraunCOAawardRoss Braun was one of four recipients of the Richard Elmore Brown Outstanding College of Agriculture Graduate Student Teaching Award. The Richard Elmore Brown Agriculture Endowment for Graduate Student Teaching Awards in the College of Agriculture provides funding for these awards. A cash award is awarded to each winner. Dr. Don Boggs recognized each winner at the Graduate Student Awards and Recognition Reception on April 5, 2016.

K-State Landscape Contracting Team

LandscapeTeam2016CONGRATULATIONS to the K-State Landscape Contracting Team who took 8th place out of 63 schools and brought home a check for $500.00 for winning the Career Development Series with 25+ team members. The event took place this year at Mississippi State over spring break.



Top 10 winners in their events:
Eric Grant: 3D Exterior Design (3rd)
Beau Fick and Simon Loose: Arboriculture Techniques (9th)
Conner White: Business Management (2nd)
Nate Snethen and Ty Lutz: Hardscape Installation (9th)
Alan Rourke and Justin Malone (2nd): Irrigation Assembly
Alan Rourke and Jonathan Jessen: Irrigation Troubleshooting (5th)
Alan Rourke: Irrigation Design (1st National Champion!)
Brooke Evans and Karen Schneck: Employment Development (4th)
Paul Knackendoffel: Sales Presentation (9th)
Ty Lutz: Skid Steer Operation (10th)
Jesse Gilmore: Turf and Weed ID (8th)

Former Student Wins Army Recreation Award

MattEnochMatt Enoch was a 2001 PMC graduate. He just returned to Fort Riley in the last couple of years; serving in the capacity of community program coordinator for the Post's MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) program. He was just awarded Employee of the Year for Excellence in Army Recreation. "I've brought Matt into my Administration class recently," indicates Sid Stevenson. "He shares the MWR's budgeting approach and a unique agency management perspective. Congratulations Matt!

A Neighbor's Gift Inspires


Trash bags full of bulbs inspired Chad Miller’s love for horticulture at a young age.
By Kelli Rodda

Chad Miller and his family had just moved to Amery, Wis., and the family had made friends in the neighborhood, including a woman who was about to move from her farm. It was clear even to the 12-year-old Miller that she was more than a gardening hobbyist.

“When I’d go to her house, I’d flip through her stacks and stacks of flower catalogs. Her gardens were full of cannas, gladiolus, hollyhocks and iris,” he recalls.

But when it was time to auction off the property, the neighbor couldn’t bear to see her precious flower bulbs stay with the house, fearing the new owners would not take care of the garden. So she began digging up hundreds and hundreds of bulbs — despite the fact that it was not the proper time of the year — and she gave Chad several trash bags full of them.

“I planted them, watched them grow, and that was the catalyst for it all. When most young teens at that time were buying CDs, I was buying dahlias, tulips and daffodils,” he says.

Miller didn’t come from a farming background, although his father’s family had a long legacy of farming.

“My dad grew up on a dairy farm, but he didn’t choose that as a career. Instead, he became a mechanic. But I did enjoy spending time on my uncles’ farms. I just didn’t think that’s where my career path would lead me,” he says.

Miller continued caring for his many bulb gardens, wondering if there was a chance he could start a landscape or greenhouse business.

“In high school I remember taking an aptitude test, and I ranked high in sciences and ag with art close behind,” he says.

Once his counselor convinced him to pursue a horticulture degree at college, Miller enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

“I thought I’d get my degree, go back home and open my own greenhouse, but my advisor and mentor Terry Ferriss encouraged me to think bigger,” he says.

Miller participated in an internship in the Netherlands, which started a fire for international travel and fueled his love for bulbs.

Ferriss suggested that Miller consider becoming a college professor and pursue a master’s degree and attend a Ph.D. program. It’s something Miller had been considering. After all, in a short time his neighbor had helped teach him about bulbs, and it was his desire to honor that special memory and teach others.

Miller received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University, and studied under Mark Bridgen and Bill Miller. He also participated in another program in the Netherlands.

And in 2011, he began teaching at Kanas State Univeristy, where he leads the Landscape Plants 1 and 2 courses, the plant propagation course, and he co-teaches an orientation-type course that prepares students on how to be a successful horticulturist.

“I basically see every undergrad that comes through the horticulture program at Kansas State,” he says.

He’s fortunate to continue his love for travel by teaching courses abroad. He’s taken horticulture students to Australia, England, Wales, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. He’s also accompanied colleagues at Iowa State to South Africa.

Taking students to other countries not only teaches them about different production methods and plants, but it also introduces them to new cultures.

“Many of our students come from a rural area — they come from high school graduating classes of 50 people. So the benefits of them traveling abroad are multifold. They’re learning more about the world around them, and seeing the many different sectors of horticulture and how they all fit together,” he says.

It’s that international aspect that may attract more students to choose horticulture as a career. Connecting with the global horticulture community and the idea of helping to change the world could be the hook the industry needs to get more young people involved, Miller says.

But closer to home, Miller is on a task force at Kansas State with Kim Williams, professor of greenhouse management, to come up with ideas on how to get in front of younger people at an early age and get them interested in horticulture.

“One idea is to partner with the Future Farmers of America organization more often because they’re well established and they have a horticulture and floriculture component,” he says.

Upland Gamebird Management Class

WOEMClassTraining400pxWOEMClassTraining3_400pxWOEM's Upland Gamebird Management class had the opportunity to learn dog-training skills from Jeff Morris Thursday, March 4.


New Green Wall in the Lobby Area

GreenWallLobbyA new green wall was recently added to HFRR's lobby area on the first floor. The wall of living plants has transformed the lobby environment and offers hands-on learning for students taking the HORT 377 Interior Plantscaping course. A beautiful new addition--swing by to check it out!




PMC Faculty to Travel to Africa

This January Jeff Skibins and Ryan Sharp, assistant professors of Park Management & Conservation will be traveling throughout Kenya in conjunction with the Human Dimensions of Wildlife conference. The PMC program is an official sponsor of the event and Dr. Skibins is serving on the advisory council. Both Skibins and Sharp will be presenting research papers at the conference. Additionally, Skibins and Sharp will be meeting with several community conservation program leaders, including the Il Ngwesi EcoLogde and the Melako Conservancy program. Developing these networks will provide opportunities to graduate and undergraduate students for research, travel courses, and exchange programs.

PMC Faculty Awarded National Park Service Research Grant

Ryan Sharp and Jeffrey Skibins, both assistant professors of Park Management & Conservation have been awarded a research grant to study resource and visitor management at Ozark National Scenic Riverways, a unit of the National Park Service, in southwestern Missouri.  The research will focus on recreational use patterns of hikers and horseback riders; recreation ecology; and the impact of psychosocial constructs such as experience use history and sense of place.  The research will provide park managers and legislators vital information for the development of a long-term management plan. The grant also includes provision for a new graduate student. The research team will begin data collection in the spring of 2016.

Pilot International awards $1500 scholarships to K-State international graduate students



The 2015 scholarship recipients are:

  • MarisolMayorgaCastro, Costa Rica, completing a doctoral degree in Heritage Interpretation in the Department of Horticulture, Forestry, and Recreation Resources.
  • PrashantWani, India, completing a doctoral degree in Biochemistry.

Pilot International transforms communities by developing youth, providing service and education, and uplifting families. Founded in Macon, GA in 1921, Pilot International has been dedicated to serve for almost a century. The historic inspiration for the name was the riverboat pilot who would steer a true course through calm or troubled waters, thus, for almost 100 years, Pilots have served under the motto "True Course Ever."

Miller Invited to Judge International Proflora Floriculture Show in Colombia

ChadMillerProfloraChad Miller, assistant professor of landscape horticulture, was one of three international judges recently invited to participate in the 2015 Proflora Exposition in Bogota, Colombia. Proflora is an international floriculture event held every two years and is organized by Asocoflores, the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters. Colombia is a significant exporter of cut flowers to the United States, with this year marking the 50th anniversary of the first flower exports to the US.

Cut flower producers, plant breeders, and floriculture product suppliers from 15 countries showcased their products at this year's exposition. As a part of the judging competition, flower growers and breeders submit cut flower entries to be judged and recognized as having outstanding varieties. This year there were over 450 different entries, including cut roses, chrysanthemums, alstroemeria, carnations, and other flower species. In addition to judging, the organizers provided a guided visit to a nearby cut flower producer of roses and alstroemeria.

Two K-State Horticulture Students Awarded Winners in Highly Competitive Programs

AndreaJohnsonAlanRourkeOnce again this year, two horticulture students were selected among top students and programs throughout the country allowing them to gain unique learning experiences.

The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) LANDSCAPES is the largest yearly landscape industry educational event and trade show offering educational and networking opportunities for industry professionals. Held in conjunction with the GIE+EXPO, landscape professionals from all over the country gather to learn about the newest industry trends, technology, products, and services. As part of this convention, NALP invites top-level students to participate in the Student Ambassador program. Students go through a competitive application process, which includes recommendations from faculty, and a personal essay about how their skills and experience qualified them for the position. Ambassador applicants are then ranked based on qualifications and experience in the green industry. Those with the highest scores are then narrowed down to the top candidates.

This year, Andrea Johnson, senior in Landscape Design from Olathe, KS was selected as a student ambassador. Andrea spent four-expense paid days in Louisville, KT. Responsibilities included moving inventory, setting up and staffing the conference registration area, introducing speakers prior to educational sessions, collecting forms after the completion of sessions, and packing and loading materials to be shipped. The opportunity to interact with industry professionals is the ultimate reward.

Alan Rourke, senior in Landscape Design from Russell, KS., was by the Irrigation Foundation as a winner of the 2015 Irrigation E3 Learner Program. E3 stands for education, exposure and experience with the idea of students learning more about the irrigation industry, this program was initiated by generous donation and started four years ago by the Irrigation Foundation. The highly competitive selection process awards winners with an all-expenses-paid trip to the Irrigation Show & Education Conference; this year in Long Beach, CA., November 8-14. This is the fourth year a K-State Horticulture student has been awarded the title of an Irrigation E3 Learner allowing Alan to gain further irrigation knowledge while networking with irrigation professionals, job opportunities abound in the irrigation field.

Congratulations and high-five to you both!

Six WOEM Students Win Scholarships

WOEM has six winners for the 2015 Flint Oak $1,000 scholarship. Congratulations to Blake Ball, Logan Erickson, Asa Lee, Matt Marker, Kody Molzahn and Breck Winter.

Photo Contest Winner

RBraunPhotoContestRoss Braun, Ph.D. student in Turfgrass Science won second place among 190 entries in the Agronomy, Crop, Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting Photo Contest. His photo, along with 11 others, will be part of the photo contest display at the November 15-18 Annual Meeting (https://www.acsmeetings.org/) near Society Center in the Exhibit Hall in Minneapolis, MN. The winners and honorable mentions will be part of a looping PowerPoint during Exhibit Hall hours. It will also be on the three Societies' web sites at the end of this year.

2015 Chris Stiegler Turfgrass Science Student Travel Award

RBraun_StieglerAwardRoss Braun, Ph.D. student in Turfgrass Science has been selected as a recipient of the 2015 Chris Stiegler Turfgrass Science Student Travel Award. His application was one of the top 6 out of many highly qualified applicants. The award check for $1,000 will be presented to him during the Division C-5 Turfgrass Science Business Meeting, which is on Wednesday, November 18, 10:00 am in Room 101DE in the Minneapolis Convention Center.

WOEM Students Visit Whittington Center in New Mexico

WhittingtonCtrNewMexico2015Students participated in a week-long course in shooting, ballistics, and range design at the Whittington Center in New Mexico. We were lucky enough to hit the elk rut and had plenty of opportunities to hear and see bugling bulls. Also students participated in a weekend crash course in bow hunting and archery equipment. Dale Larson, owner and CEO of Bruiser Whitetail, spent the weekend communicating his vast knowledge on the subject and answering questions related to deer hunting, guiding, and deer management.

WOEM Student Awarded Scholarship

NoahParsonAwardedNoah Parsons was awarded a $5,000 Scholarship during the Flextone World Turkey Hunting Championship, 2015. The event was sponsored by Wicked Outfitters, La Cygne, Kansas and the funding was provided by Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Pinson.

PMC Professors meet with National Park Service

NatlParkSerLast week, Drs. Ryan Sharp and Jeffrey Skibins met with key leaders of the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey to discuss long-term research initiatives and undergraduate and graduate student opportunities. Additionally, Drs. Sharp and Skibins were asked to present their research to a multi-disciplinary multi-institutional seminar and webcast. The webcast was viewed by more than 35 additional agencies and institutions. "Our goal is to cultivate strategic partnerships for research and professional development, and create a professional network for our students at a national level. As visitor and natural resource management continues to evolve within federal agencies, partnerships will be a key growth area for the Park Management & Conservation program", said Dr. Skibins.

PMC Launches New Student Club

PMCclubPicThe George Wright Society student chapter promotes protected area stewardship by bringing practitioners together to share their expertise. Student chapters are open to all students and provide opportunities for visiting national parks, scholarships, undergraduate & graduate research, and participation in international conferences. First meeting is Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 5 pm in the newly remodeled Throckmorton 1st floor lobby. Food and refreshments will be served. See Drs. Sharp or Skibins for more information.Read more....

Horticulture graduate students and faculty participate at the American Society for Horticultural Sciences Conference

Several graduate students and faculty and department head, Candice Shoemaker, from the Horticulture, Forestry, and Recreation Resources department recently attended the American Society for Horticultural Sciences annual conference August 3-7 in New Orleans to present their research findings.

Matthew Wilson, Ph.D. student, presented two posters; 1) "Pine Sawyer Beetle (Monochamus carolinensis) Feeding Preference on Eleven Pinaceae Taxa" and 2) "Characterizing Student Use of Virtual Plant Maps as a Study Tool in Plant Identification Courses."

Mike Ryan, M.S. student, presented a poster highlighting "The Effect of High Tunnel Production on Pre- and Postharvest Losses of Fresh Produce."
Kelly Gude, M.S. student, gave an oral presentation covering the "Preharvest Effects on Postharvest Quality of Strawberries Grown in High Tunnels."
Helena Pontes Chiebao, a postdoctoral research associate, presented an oral session on "Improving Shelf Life, Quality, and Safety of Locally Grown Vegetables in Kansas."

Cheryl Boyer, associate professor of nursery crops, presented two posters; 1) "Funding Kansas Community Gardens: Lessons From a Min-grant Project", and 2) "Green Growth: An Exploratory Study of Metro and Non-metro Garden Centers' Use of New Media Marketing." Boyer also presented two oral presentations; 1) "State Promotional Campaign Awareness and Visual Attention" and 2) "Like It, Pin It, Follow It: Opportunities and Challenges for Social Media Marketing in Garden Centers and Nurseries."

Jason Griffin, associate professor of nursery crops and director of John C. Pair Horticulture Center presented a poster about "Meeting the Demand for Organic Sweetpotato Production in the Great Plains and Midwest."

Chad Miller, assistant professor of landscape horticulture, presented a research poster on the "Screening of Ornamental Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) Cultivars for Intumescence Development."

Eleni Pliakoni, assistant professor of urban food and post harvest, gave a presentation on "Developing a New Multidisciplinary Course that Incorporates Videoconferenceing as a Tool to Connect Classrooms at Two Locations."

Cary Rivard, assistant professor, extension specialist and director of K-State Research and Extension Center presented a poster on "Developing a No-till and Minimum Tillage Pumpkin Production in the Great Plains." Rivard also gave a presentation on the "Effects of Leaf Removal on Adventitious Root Formation and Plant Growth of Grafted Tomatoes."

Kimberly Williams, professor of greenhouse management and university distinguished teaching scholar presented a scholarship of teaching and learning research poster; "Evaluation of Collaborative Writing Project: Student Development of a Literature Review in Inter-Institutional Teams."

Koala Conservation

KoalaConservationLast spring, Drs. Skibins and McBee traveled to Melbourne, Australia to work with Janine Duffy of Echidna Walkabout Wildlife and Nature Tours. Ms. Duffy has pioneered a new field technique for identifying individual koalas. Their collaboration is bringing exciting new research and teaching opportunities for undergraduate and graduate PMC and WOEM students.

Readfull articlefrom the Wildlife Professional (sample below).

Nose Pigmentation Patterns Can Identify Koalas
By Dana Kobilinsky

Just as fingerprints help identify humans, a technique using the specific pigmentation patterns on koalas' noses can help identify individual animals.

Called nose pigmentation patterns (NPP), the technique is a less invasive alternative to catching and tagging koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) for research, according to Janine Duffy, director of wildlife research and one of the founders of Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours, a nature and wildlife tour company in Australia. Duffy started studying nose patterns in the animals 17 years ago.

"Despite all of the research that has gone into koalas, they continue to decline on massive levels all over Australia," she said. "We desperately needed a new approach to how they're managed and conserved.

"The koala population is vulnerable in the states of Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, according to the National Conservation and Management Strategy Plan, a framework created by government and conservation groups to manage and conserve koalas. In fact, the population has declined 43 percent since 1990 because of a variety of factors including habitat loss.

Duffy hopes to use NPP to name individual koalas and make them icons for koala conservation. "We hope people start thinking things like, 'Let's plant a tree for this koala,'" she said.

Duffy came up with the technique after observing two koalas side by side through her binoculars. She noticed the patterns of pigmentation, or black and white portions of their noses, and noted that they were different from one another. "It was as plain as the nose on their face and staring at me for years," she said.

By taking photographs of koalas throughout their lifetimes and overlaying pictures on top of one
another, Duffy found that as the koalas grew older, their nose pattern pigmentation remained the same.

Duffy and her research team found that when nose pigmentation patterns are used in conjunction with characteristics of individual koalas such as scars or injuries, there is an even better chance of identifying them.

Duffy is working with assistant professors Jeffrey Skibins and Peg McBee at Kansas State University to make the findings public. She also said that nose patterns provide an opportunity for citizen scientists to get involved. Duffy started a project where people can send in photographs that they take of koalas' noses. "Regular people and even travelers can contribute to research," she said. "This opens up opportunities you wouldn't believe."

Park Management and Conservation welcomes Ryan Sharp

Ryan Sharp

Barden Leads International Cultural Exchange

BardenExchangeStudA new tradition has begun, where Charles Barden organizes a trip for international students to the Wamego Tulip Festival each spring, followed by a cookout at his home. Most of the students and interns were alumni from Zamorano University located in Honduras, although the students come from throughout Central and South America. He notes that the interns are here on a J-1 Visa, and one of the requirements to host a scholar on that type of visa, is to provide some American cultural experiences, hence the visit to the arts and crafts festival. This year 25 students and interns participated in the experience! The cultural experience was a two-way street, with Barden providing the traditional U.S. cookout menu, while many of the students prepared favorite festival dishes from their countries.

Cable's Textbook Published in China

TedCableA widely used textbook, co-authored by Ted Cable, professor of park management and conservation, has been translated and published in China. "Interpretation of Cultural and Natural Resources," second edition, was translated by Dongying Wei at Beijing Normal University. Wei reports that this text will be used in heritage interpretation classes at Beijing Normal University as well as at other Chinese universities and by frontline heritage interpreters and tourism guides in China. Another book co-authored by Cable, "The Gifts of Interpretation: 15 Guiding Principles for Interpreting Nature and Culture," was previously translated and published in China. Both of these books are currently being translated into Spanish and will be published by the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico City.

Former Student, Brielle Eaton, Wins 2014 Cabela's Founders' Award

Cabelas_EatonWildlife and Outdoor Enterprise Management 2012 graduate, Brielle Eaton, was presented the Cabela's 2014 Founder's Award on March 16, 2015. This is the highest honor a Cabela's employee can achieve in the company.Read more....

WOEM Team CamoCats

CamoCatsThe first Place Winners of the Collegiate Outdoors Hunt Series Challenge was "Team CamoCats." Team members are Chris Barnhart, Shane King, Brady Burks and Jonathan Owens. They submitted three videos for this competition. Cash prizes range from $600 - $1,000 per team member.

The Season
The Addiction
The Onward Pursuit

Text always visible.

Action ShotWhen all his buddies were buying trucks to drive in high school, Brady Burks, a student in Wildlife and Outdoor Enterprise Management, was purchasing his first Canon XA10 camcorder. Burks grew up in Wathena, Kansas; hunting dove, quail and pheasant with his dad. He also enjoyed watching hunters on the Outdoors Channel travel the world shooting different game. These experiences led to the idea of filming his friends' hunts by borrowing his parents' camcorder.Read full story....

Skibins Travels to California & Australia

skippins_jeffJeff Skibins, assistant professor in the Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreational Resources, visited Oakland, CA where he presented at the George Wright Symposium on National Parks. He was lead author, presenter, and session chair on the paper, "Are grizzly bears more than just scenery? Strategies to improve visitor-based conservation actions". He was also co-author of a University of Utah graduate student poster titled, "Understanding visitors' commitment to grizzly bear conservation at Denali National Park and Preserve." Jeff also traveled to Australia this semester visiting in January at the invitation of Professor Betty Weiler and Associate Professor Kevin Markwell. Jeff shares research interests with Betty and Kevin in improving biodiversity outcomes through visits to tourist attractions such as zoos and aquariums and while he was at Lismore the three of them discussed possible research collaboration opportunities. He is also a contributing author to Kevin's soon to be published edited collection, 'Animals and Tourism, Understanding Diverse Relationships'.

Honoring Jim Heinze as the Alumni Fellow for Agriculture

jim_heinzeThis year we will honor Jim Heinze as the Alumni Fellow for Agriculture. The goal of the Alumni Fellows program is to create opportunities for successful alumni to interact with our students. Jim Heinze is the Director of Sales, North America for the Commercial Division of The Toro Company. He serves on the management team contributing to business strategies for revenue growth, new products, and market development. He directs a team of sales professionals delivering innovative product solutions and exceptional customer service through the industries' leading distribution channel. Upon graduating from K-State, Heinze managed a landscape business and Toro distributor in the K.C. area. An accomplished sales professional and industry contributor, Heinze served on the Heart of America GCSA and the Kansas Turfgrass Foundation board. He joined Toro in 1993, achieved positions of increasing responsibility, promotion to Director of Commercial Sales in 1999, and responsibility for North America in 2012. Heinze is from Lincoln, Kansas, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture in 1977 and Certified Sales Executive certification in 2007. He is a contributing member to the K-State College of Agriculture Dean's Advisory Council. Heinze and his wife D. Lynn (Wiedenmann) Heinze '77 have three children and reside in Apple Valley, Mn. Congratulations Jim and "Thank You!" for everything you have done to give back to the KSU Turfgrass Program!

Ten Hort Club Members Visit KAT Nursery

HortClubKATNurseryKAT nursery in Olathe, KS hosted ten members of the K-State Horticulture Club on Saturday, March 28. 2015. The objective of the trip was two-fold, students were shown around the nursery facility and they returned back to campus with $3000.00 of plant materials.
KAT nursery owner, Tory Swope, hort alumni, donated approximately $3000.00 in plant materials to the club to be used in their newly completed Throckmorton Hall patio area and other key areas on the landscape leading into the building. Throckmorton Hall houses the Department of Horticulture, Forestry, and Recreation Resources, Agronomy and Plant Pathology. Member of the horticulture club have worked since last fall semester on the project. Donations have been received from many hort alumni, the Agronomy Club, Johnson County Master Gardeners, and Cindy Bontrager, K-State VP for Administration and Finance. K-State facilities grounds personal and many others have played a key role in making this dream a reality—thank you! The patio dedication ceremony is Sunday, April 12 at 1:30pm.
KAT Nurseries is widely considered the Kansas City area's premier wholesale supplier of landscape-ready materials for sale to the trade. KAT Nurseries offers three landscape distribution centers to service landscape requirements; the main distribution and sales center is located in Olathe, Kansas while additional sites are located in Kansas City, Missouri and Ankeny, Iowa. KAT Nurseries specializes in perennials, grasses, evergreen shrubs, broadleaf evergreens, conifers, shade and ornamental trees along with a complete line of hard goods products.
The group photo, taken at KAT nursery, with the hosts, Jay Warren and Emily Frasier. Front left to right front row; Anthony Reardon, Cassie Homan, Andrea Johnson, Taylor Warnick, Spencer Hess, and Emily Frasier, hort alumni and KAT Inventory Controller; back row from left to right, Dr. Chad Miller, hort club advisor, Jay Warren, hort alumni and KAT Customer Service & Logistics Manager, Caitlyn McVey, Braden Hoch, Molly Palmer, Dylan Seley, Matthew McKernan, and Dr. Cathie Lavis, hort club advisor.

PLANET Team Places 8th out of 65 Collegiate Teams

planet8thoutof65The Kansas State Landscape Contracting Team, consisting of 26 members, was awarded 8th out of 65 colleges and universities on March 15 at the competition closing ceremony at North Carolina State. This is an annual three-day competitive event among students enrolled in horticultural programs across the country; entirely sponsored and judged by industry leaders. Students compete in 28 events directly related to the skills necessary for professional landscape industry careers. This event also hosts the largest career fair in the country allowing students to meet and interact with prospective industry employers. Team members in the top-ten of their competitive events include; Brady Hendricks and Nate Snethen, Arboriculture Techniques, 8th place; Conner White, Business Management, 1st place and 7th place in Woody Plant Identification; Alan Rourke, Construction Cost Estimating 5th place and 6th in Irrigation Troubleshooting 6th place; Andrea Johnson, Interior Landscape Design,6th place; Levi Vogt and Bobby Young, 2nd place in Irrigation Assembly; Levi Vogt 2nd place in Irrigation Design; Matthew McKernan, 6th place in Irrigation Troubleshooting; Landscape Plant Installation, Dylan Seley, Caitlynn McVey, Levi Vogt, 9th place, and Brooke Stamm 10th place in Woody Plant Identification.
Dr. Greg Davis was awarded the 2015 Academic Education Foundation Educator of the Year Award. This prestigious, national award recognizes educators who have been passionate supporters and tireless ambassadors of the landscape industry. Recipients of the award are individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty by contributing time, energy and enthusiasm to their programs; and show dedication to the education of future industry leaders.


AgruculturistKansas State Agriculturist, spring 2015 has three articles with HFRR's faculty and students featured. The first one is on page 36, K-State Knows Koalas, Jeff Skibins and Peg McBee; the second article page 38, Irrigating Excellence, Cathie Lavis; and the third, page 56, Pack that Patio, about the Horticulture Club preparing a patio in front of Throckmorton.Click here to see the Kansas State Agriculturist, click on Spring 2015 issue and go to the top, right side of the page to turn it.

January Turf Travels

BremerJan2015travelsThe turf team has been traveling the globe in January to deliver education at conferences outside of the state.

Dr. Dale Bremer was an invited speaker at the Toyo Green turf conference in Tokyo, Japan. He was one of only two invited U.S. speakers at the meeting (pictured above).

Dr. Jack Fry was a keynote speaker at the Quebec Golf Course Superintendents meeting in Quebec City, and also spoke at the New England Turfgrass Conference in Providence, Rhode Island.

kelley_rhodeislandDr. Steve Keeley was also an invited speaker at the New England Turfgrass Conference in Providence, Rhode Island (pictured to left).

Dr. Jared Hoyle was an invited speaker at the Iowa Turfgrass Conference in Altoona, Iowa and also presented at the Sport Turf Managers meeting in Denver, Colorado and the Southern Weed Science Society meeting in Savannah, Georgia.

Kansas Nursery and Landscape Association (KNLA) Awards Two Scholarships

Molly&BradyMolly Palmer and Brady Hendricks, were recently awarded Kansas Nursery and Landscape Association Scholarships at the Western Trade Show. Scholarship recipients are rated on their academic achievements, involvement, dependability, honesty, motivation, and attitude. Students are required to write a short essay discussing both their academic and career goals.

Molly is a senior from Derby, KS, she is specializing in Landscape Design. Molly is currently the vice-president of the horticulture club and a PLANET Landscape Contracting Team member. Molly played a key role in the design of the horticulture club patio currently being built on the south side entrance to Throckmorton by the club; she also reached out to over 350 horticulture alumni by writing letters asking for support of the project.

Brady is a junior from Manhattan, he is specializing in Landscape Management. Brady is a member of the horticulture club and the PLANET Landscape Contracting Team. Brady has keen interest in the arboriculture industry and is currently working for Hummel Tree Service.