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Horticulture and Natural Resources

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GPN/Nexus Intern of the Year Award - Growing Plants and Relationships

SchneckAwardKaren 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. 

Read more....

Lavis Irrigation & Green Industry Close-up

LavisCathie 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. 

Read more....



Alumna Robyn Schmitz wins Award

RobinSchmitzAn independent panel of judges has selected the honorees for Thinking Bigger Business Media Inc.'s 25 Under 25 Awards. These are Kansas City-area for-profit businesses that have been in operation for at least three years and have fewer than 25 full-time (or full-time equivalent) employees. The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding small businesses, which are critical to the economy: 89.4 percent of U.S. businesses have 20 or fewer employees, according to 2014 U.S. Census data. For this award, companies are judged on financial stability, ability to overcome adversity and challenges, community involvement, distinguishing or defining characteristics, and company vision.

We congratulate alumna, Robyn Schmitz, Owner of High Prairie Landscape Group, LLC. for being 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!

To learn more visit this website: http://ithinkbigger.com/2018-25-under-25-winners/

Horticulture Faculty Wins USDA National Teaching Award

ChadMillerChad 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

SpraguePosterCompStuart 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

AshleyKellyAshley 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

Mingying2017AwardMingying 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.

Kansas State Turf Program Grows Well-Rounded Careers

FryVideo2017Sure, the K-State Turfgrass Science program has plenty to do with the science of growing grass, managing water, and more. But what they're also growing are graduates ready to succeed and advance through a variety of career stages.

"We have evolved over time to incorporate coursework into our program that we consider most important for students to succeed," notes Jack Fry, Professor of Turfgrass Science at Kansas State University.  Read more and watch video....

Toro Hosts K-State Turf Students and Faculty at World Headquarters

Toro2017Fourteen students and five faculty and staff visited Toro World Headquarters in Minneapolis between September 27 and 29.  Toro sponsored the trip that allowed attendees to get an up-close look at the Toro Company and its manufacturing processes.   In addition, the group visited US Bank Stadium where the Minnesota Vikings play (and location of the 2018 Super Bowl) and Hazeltine National Golf Club, which hosted the 2016 Ryder Cup.  Chris Tritabaugh, golf course superintendent, led the group onto the course to discuss some cutting-edge maintenance practices he uses.  Our thanks goes out to all those at Toro for hosting us, and more specifically to Mr. Jim Heinze and Mr. Boyd Montgomery who encouraged us to take the trip, and then led us on an incredible two-day visit.

Faculty and Spouse Assist With New Trail Opening in Honduras

Barden_HondurasDuring a recent visit to Zamorano University in Honduras, Dr. Charles Barden, Professor of Forestry, and his wife, Dianne were honored as ribbon cutting dignitaries, to officially open the first nature trail "Eco Sendero" on the expansive Zamorano campus grounds. They are pictured here with Director Laura Suazo, trail designer Dr. Oliver Komar, and Zamorano President Jeff Landsdale. The trail crosses a number of habitat types, from upland grass meadow to wetlands and forested riparian areas, and will be popular with bird watchers. During his visit, Dr. Barden also caught up with recent HNR Master's grads Dalila Maradiaga and Merilin Barahona who have returned to Honduras, and found fulfilling jobs in their fields of study.

Perennial Plant Association Scholar Winner

MeganHMeganH_groupMegan Haresnape, a junior, in the Horticulture and Natural Resources Department recently attended the annual Perennial Plant Association (PPA) conference from July 24 to 28, in Denver, CO. Megan was one of six PPA Student Scholars from the US and Canada to receive a $1,000 scholarship from the organization. In addition the scholarship, she received complimentary registration and lodging to all the symposium lectures and tours in and around Denver, CO. The PPA symposium provides a great opportunity to learn about some of the most current trends, new plants and concerns with perennials in the horticulture industry---from research to production to design. It is also a great networking opportunity to meet a wide array of people across the industry, including some of the prominent individuals in the horticulture industry working with horticulture plants.

When asked about her experience, Megan said, "it was a great networking experience. The symposium left my imagination soaring into what my future could be like. The PPA Symposium is an even I wish more students could attend."

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

Horticulture Student Selected as HortScholar

KarenSchneckKaren Schneck, senior, in the Horticulture and Natural Resources Department recently attended Cultivate in Columbus, OH from July 11-18 as a HortScholar!

Karen was selected as a HortScholar through the AmericanHort organization. The HortScholars program is a competitive scholarship program open to undergraduate and graduate students, attending 2 and 4-year institutions across the United States. HortScholars are awarded an All-Access Pass to Cultivate, one of the horticulture industry's largest professional trade shows and conferences. In addition to the convention pass, scholars receive a complimentary one-year student membership to AmericanHort.

At Cultivate the HortScholars spend seven days attending education sessions, networking and working with industry mentors. It is a truly unique experience designed to assist the scholars with their future horticulture career, through exposure to industry opportunities, and it's leaders.

When asked about her HortScholars experience, Karen said, "I had a FANTASTIC time. It was extremely overwhelming, but so worth it. I now have six new friends that I know for a fact will be my friends for life. I got to meet incredible industry people and learn about all sorts of new plants. This program is so amazing and I wish more people could be a part of it!"

Congratulations, Karen!

K-State Vic and Margaret Ball Intern at Tagawa Greenhouses


Amanda has a strong interest in succulent plants and one of her projects she was in charge of was developing and coordinating a display of the different succulent plants Tagawa produces, for their recent customer day. The succulent line is a newer endeavor for Tagawa and Amanda was excited to be a part of this! Below is a picture of Amanda with several mixed container pots she designed and planted! She also created a living succulent wall from scratch. Amanda said it was a great learning experience, learning a lot in three months! We look forward to hearing all about her experience in her internship report this fall!  Congratulations, Amanda!

Students Travel to Italy

SpringItaly2017Eleven horticulture students experienced horticulture, history and culture during a two-week tour of the Tuscany area of Italy in May 2017. The trip was led by Dr. Cathie Lavis and Dr. Chad Miller. The trip focused on horticulture and historical sites allowing students to fully experience Italian culture and foods. Highlights were the famous Boboli Gardens in Florence, the Vatican in Rome, vineyards and landscapes of Cinque Terre, fruit production in Emilia Romagna, Italy and the many sights and sounds of Venice. Students are pictured in the Medieval Vegetable and Herb Garden at the University of Studies of Perugia, Italy.

Landscape Management Student Excels at Summer Internship in South Carolina

AlicErpenldingAlic Erpelding spent his summer as a landscape management intern at Yellowstone Landscape in Charleston, South Carolina. Read about his experience....

Horticulture Alumni Operates KAT Nursery

SchwopeTTory Schwope opened KAT Nurseries in 1997 and two years later, he graduated with a degree in business administration and a minor in horticulture from Kansas State University. Tory defines the word, "entrepreneur." He quickly developed a vision for revolutionizing the industry. Since graduating Tory has built an incredible business that employs hundreds of people while contributing significantly to the horticultural industry; he is highly respected within the industry.

Tory frequently gives his time to interact with our horticulture students or to host on-site visits to KAT nursery in Olathe. In 2015, Tory donated all of the plants used in the Horticulture club patio that was built by the horticulture club. He also donated most of the plants in the landscape beds located on the east and south side of Throckmorton. He has also donated trees for Tree Campus USA events.

To read more about this impressive business owner, whose passion for the horticultural industry and vision for the future offers great promise to people considering a career in the urban landscapes of America. Read this complete article in Nursery Management.

Haresnape Receives Scholarships

MeganHHorticulture junior Megan Haresnape has been awarded very competitive national floriculture production and marketing scholarships from the American Floral Endowment and the Joseph Shinoda Memorial Scholarship Foundation. Much congratulations, Megan!

K-State Turf Faculty Take Leadership Roles in International Conference

Dale Bremer (Horticulture and Natural Resources, HNR), Jack Fry (HNR), Jared Hoyle (HNR), Steve Keeley (HNR), and Megan Kennelly (Plant Pathology) attended the 13th International Turfgrass Society Conference July 16 to 21 in New Brunswick, NJ. All KSU faculty served as technical editors, associate editors, or reviewers for manuscripts along with presenting their own papers. In addition, Fry chaired a "Zoysiagrass Symposium" which included presenters from Australia, Italy, South Korea, and the United States. Oral and poster presentations (and accompanying journal articles) presented:

Chabon, J. D. Bremer, J. Fry, and C. Lavis. 2017. Effects of soil moisture-based irrigation controllers, mowing height, and trinexapac-ethyl on tall fescue irrigation amounts and mowing requirements. Int. Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 13:1–6 (2017). doi: 10.2134/itsrj2016.04.0242

Fry, J., A. Chandra, D. Genovesi, K. Morris, and M. Xiang. 2017. Winter injury of fine-textured interspecific Zoysia hybrids in the upper transition zone of the USA.
Int. Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 13:1–3. doi: 10.2134/itsrj2016.09.0757

Hoyle, J. and J. Reeves. 2017. Effect of colorant and glyphosate application timing on annual bluegrass and tall fescue control in dormant 'Meyer' zoysiagrass. Int. Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 13:1–4. doi: 10.2134/itsrj2016.09.0828

Obasa, K., J. Fry, D. Bremer, and M. Kennelly. 2017. Evaluation of spring and fall fungicide applications for large patch management in zoysiagrass. Intntl. Turfgrass Research J. 13:1-7. doi: 10.2134/itsrj2016.04.0274

Peterson, K., D. Bremer, and J. Blonquist Jr. 2017. Estimating transpiration from turfgrass using stomatal conductance values derived from infrared thermometry. Int. Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 13:1–6. doi: 10.2134/itsrj2016.09.0788

Raudenbush, Z. and S. Keeley. 2017. Cultivation reduces infestation of silvery-thread moss in a creeping bentgrass putting green. Int. Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 13:1–6. doi: 10.2134/itsrj2017.02.0092

PMC Grad Student travels to Viet Nam to help save endangered wildlife

AshleyKellyFor the next month (July 2017), Ashley Kelly has the special honor of living in a remote village in Cuc Phuong National Park, deep in the jungle of Northern Vietnam. She is working as a film-maker in residence with an organization called Save Vietnam's Wildlife, thanks to a collaboration with the Taronga Conservation Society Australia.

Save Vietnam's Wildlife are active on the front line of defense against the illegal wildlife trade in Asia. So far they have rescued over 700 animals including Pangolins, Binturong, Leopard Cats and Civets, with over 400 animals being successfully released back to the wild. They have also built a great little education centre with interactive interpretation far beyond what you would expect in this remote location, and cover the costs for local school groups to attend their education workshops! They provide anti-poaching training to park rangers and law enforcement and conduct research on the status of wild Pangolin populations, including radio-tracking and camera trapping. They also conduct social-science research on the wildlife knowledge of locals and their attitude towards consumptive and medicinal uses of wildlife, to develop targeted behavior change campaigns. They have successfully advocated for the removal of Pangolin scales from the list of medicines covered by insurance as well as the up-listing of all 8 Pangolin species to CITES Appendix 1, making it illegal for them to be traded.

Ashley will be assisting with the development of a media strategy and some short films to help raise awareness for the plight of Vietnamese wildlife and the incredible work being done to save them. She will also assist with the development of a behavior-change campaign and some more education resources, conducting an evaluation of their interpretation centre and hopefully putting together some reports based on the social-science data they have collected. Despite the rugged living conditions, sweltering heat, 100% humidity, huge monsoonal storms and a million insect bites, She is having an amazing time and look forward to sharing her stories with you all soon!

K-State Vic and Margaret Ball Intern at Swift Greenhouses

MarkisHill_BallInternMarkis Hill, a senior in Horticulture Production, was awarded a 3-month American Floral Endowment Vic and Margaret Ball Internship earlier this spring. Currently, Markis is in the middle of his internship at Swift Greenhouses in Gilman, IA. Swifts is a 4-acre wholesale perennial, annual and herb plug and potted plant grower. This was the first intern Swift's have had from K-State! During a recent visit to Swifts, Dr. Miller, had an opportunity to tour the facility and visit with Markis. Congratulations, Markis!

PMC professors Skibins and Sharp Alaskan bear research featured in Kansas City Star

LiveBearCamStoryThousands of people around the world are spending hours online this month watching a bear cam in Katmai National Park and Preserve in southern Alaska. It's livestreaming the action at the noisy, bustling falls on Brooks River, where the salmon are leaping out of the water and brown bears are trying to snag the slippery sockeyes.  Read more....

U.S. National Parks

RSharpRyan Sharp, Assistant Professor in Park Management & Conservation was recently interviewed by KCET in Los Angeles about crowding in U.S. National Parks. The following video highlights this interview (click here to watch video).

Wildcats Reel in Third Bass Fishing National Championship in Five Years

Alsop_BlennTravis Blenn, senior in park management and conservation, and Kyle Alsop, a December 2016 graduate in mechanical engineering, brought home first place June 2 at the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on Alabama's Lake Wheeler. Read more...

Eight Students Become Certified

Dry_suitsrescueIn April, Dr. Sid Stevenson (PMC Faculty and US Coast Guard Boat Captain) assisted John Miesner of the US Fish and Wildlife Service in certifying 8 PMC and WOEM students in the Dept of the Interior's Motorboat Operator Certification Course. A test of rescue techniques in the natatorium was part of the 3 day, primarily on-the-water course.

PMC trip to Germany!

GermanyTrip2017PMC graduate and undergraduate students celebrate their time in the mountains of the Black Forest, in southern Germany, with their compatriots from the University of Freiburg. Spring 2017 marked the beginning of a new addition to the PMC course lineup, Heritage Interpretation - Germany. This spring our students are exploring the parks of Germany and France to better understand international interpretation. This fall, students from the University of Freiburg will be spending 2 weeks in Manhattan, MO, and CO to better understand how we do things in the states.

FFA Floriculture CDE Contestants 'Flower Bomb' K-State Building

FFAevent_apr2017The department hosted nearly 200 high school students who participated in the FFA Nursery/Landscape and Floriculture Career Development Events on April 30. To learn a couple of design techniques and about how green walls work, the Floriculture contestants 'flower bombed' the Throckmorton lobby, which left a floral display that was perfectly timed for May Day.

Hummert International Supports K-State Horticulture

KSchneckHummertPlantersHere's a shout out to Hummert International for the many ways that they support K-State Horticulture. Hummert's has been sponsoring a scholarship for a Horticulture production student for over a decade; 2017 recipient Karen Schneck accepts her award from Hummert's Dan McGinnis in the photo at left.

The company also recently donated containers to the KSU Gardens that were planted with seasonal color by students, including Andrew Fox, Hanna Cahalan, and Nate Meier (pictured), who are currently taking the course Herbaceous Crop Production. The mixed planters will be auctioned at the upcoming Garden Party to fund student internships.

Thanks to all of our industry supporters for contributing so much to the success of K-State Horticulture!

Undergraduate Students Compete in Research Symposium


Last Friday, three undergraduate turfgrass science students completed in the Gamma Sigma Delta Undergraduate Research Poster Competition; Dani McFadden, Peyton South and Gage Knudson.  Peyton South (right) received 1st place and a 100 dollar monetary prize.  Congrats to Peyton and a job well done to Dani (middle) and Gage (right)! 

Fits to a 'tee': Golf is 'fore' everyone, and economically it's a great time to be a golfer

FryGolfStoryJack Fry, professor of Turfgrass Science, says new options make golf affordable for everyone.  Because of the golf industry's downsizing after the Great Recession, the sport is more affordable and accessible than ever, according to a golf course management expert at Kansas State University.  Read more...

K-State Hosts National Hort Judging Competition

agconf2017K-State faculty hosted a Horticulture judging competition as part of the NACTA (North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture) Judging Conference that was held by the College of Ag April 6-8, 2017. It was great to have so many horticulture students from 2- and 4-year hort programs from around the U.S. in Throckmorton Hall. Congrats to the winners!
Watch video...

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.