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Horticulture and Natural Resources

Faculty Spotlight

Ryan Sharp, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Park Management & Conservation

RyanSharp3"Dr. Sharp was born in Virginia, but raised in Syracuse, New York. He spent his youth exploring the countryside of rural upstate New York and developing a love of parks and protected areas. His father, an earth science teacher, would take him to National Parks and National Forest during the summer to hike and camp. These trips planted the seed for his ultimate choice of professions, to teach and conduct research related to parks and protected areas.

Dr. Sharp has held positions at Acadia National Park in Maine and as a visitor use specialist with the National Park Service Denver Planning Division. These experiences have informed his research and teaching and have allowed him to provide students with an inside look at park and protected area management.

Dr. Sharp strives to encourage students to expand their thought processes and help them develop critical thinking skills. Helping the student connect the importance of the material to their own lives and their own context is the ultimate goal.

He enjoys visiting parks with his wife and two children in his free time."

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Kimberly Williams, Ph.D.

Professor of Greenhouse Management

GWilliams, Kimberlyrowing up as a self-described "hybrid farm-kid," Dr. Kim Williams was raised in Great Bend, Kansas, but assisted her family on her grandparents' farm. She graduated from Kansas State University with her B. S. in Horticulture in 1988, then completed graduate work at North Carolina State University in 1995, earning M.S. and Ph.D. degrees with Dr. Paul Nelson. Williams' first position was as an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois until 1997 when she returned to Kansas State University as a member of the faculty. She has a 60% teaching and 40% research appointment, and was promoted to the rank of Professor in 2006. In 2010, she was recognized as University Distinguished Teaching Scholar.

Dr. Williams' classes provide extensive opportunities for hands-on crop production in greenhouses. In HORT 570 Greenhouse Operations Management, her students produce poinsettias and grow crops hydroponically. In HORT 600 Herbaceous Crop Production, students produce annuals and perennials for the KSU campus and KSU Gardens. In HORT 625 Floral Crops Production and Handling, students grow fresh flowers used in the department's floral design class.

Williams expertise on plant production in controlled environment structures has resulted in her giving invited presentations around the U.S. and Canada, and she is currently co-authoring a book about Water and Nutrient Management for Floral Crops. She focuses her research on solving greenhouse industry problems.

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