The team working in Penn State's Root Lab, led by Jonathan Lynch, professor of plant nutrition, is studying what the rest of us don't see--the work going on underneath the ground that enables the growth of healthier crops. Jonathan Lynch is a professor of plant nutrition in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences. His research focuses on plant root architecture, and how the study of plant roots can increase crop yields and improve global food security. Lynch conducts research on five continents, where he uses computer simulations to study root characteristics.
Grow your future with a degree in Plant Sciences! The Plant Sciences major is a new baccalaureate degree program designed for students seeking careers in agronomic and horticultural crop production systems and enterprise management, agroecology, crop production and protection, applied plant physiology, plant science research, and plant biotechnology.
For those who did not grow up around farms, it is difficult to understand everything that must occur to sustain one. And most people don't get to see how the crops actually are grown and how much of them goes to waste every year. Garrett Morrison, a junior studying Horticulture, has seen these things and wants to take everything he has learned at Penn State back home to improve these conditions. "I saw firsthand the labor and hard work farmers put into their products," said Morrison, of Latrobe, Pa. "I also saw and was appalled by the vast waste involved in modern agricultural practices. "Through my experience at Penn State, I was able to connect with other students who shared some of my views and have been able to work with ag leaders seeking to reduce it."
Climbing trees isn't just for kids — just ask David Leinbach, a senior teaching assistant for a climbing class offered as part of Penn State's Arboriculture minor. Not Out on a Limb: Landscaping student just loves his field "There's nothing better than getting up and saying, 'I'm going to go climb trees for class.' And anybody can take it, that's the best part," he said. "You're probably up about 60 feet when we climb the tall trees. You walk out to the tip of the branch, hopping from limb to limb. It's a lot of fun." Two summers ago, Leinbach interned with Bartlett Tree Experts in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. He started out as a groundsman, dragging brush and pruning, but soon got more involved. "I got into climbing, using chainsaws and regular handsaws in the trees. I had a blast, and now I have my own climbing gear."
Grace Garbini helped plant more than 5,000 trees in the summer of 2012. As part of a Rutgers University research project on hazelnut breeding, she was tasked with transplanting and inoculating hazelnut saplings to test their resistance to fungal infections. Because hazelnut trees can be both productive and highly resistant to disease, they offer researchers an opportunity to identify DNA linked to disease-resistant traits. The goal of the research is to breed highly productive trees that are disease resistant. "Two of my Penn State professors had worked at Rutgers in the past," explained Garbini, a Horticulture major with minors in Biology, French and International Agriculture. "They contacted their associates and helped me find an internship in a field I was interested in."
Most of us remember learning about ROY G. BIV when we were kids — the acronym for the sequence of colors in a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. But Devan Burns put her knowledge of the rainbow to use last summer. The fourth-year horticulture major (business/production option) at Penn State interned with the owner of the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. The facility allows the public to experiment with the process of creating art. It provides a studio, equipment and expert technicians to help artists work with fabric and other types of innovative material and media. It also is recognized as a contemporary art museum.
Twelve students in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences recently discovered some of Ireland's greatest natural treasures in a two-credit course that included a nine-day trip. The students were exposed to different cultural practices and technologies while increasing their awareness and respect for diverse cultures.
Turns out, watching ants is actually pretty entertaining, according to Spencer Malloy. Good thing for him, because it was one of the most important parts of his job last summer. The Penn State senior with a double major in agroecology and philosophy recently completed an internship at the University Park campus investigating how the presence of nematode parasites can affect carpenter ants.
A plant may start to prime its defenses as soon as it gets a whiff of a male fly searching for a mate, according to Penn State entomologists. Once tall goldenrod plants smell a sex attractant emitted by true fruit fly males, they appear to prepare chemical defenses that make them less appealing to female flies that could damage the plants by depositing eggs on them, the researchers said.
Dr. Kim Steiner, a professor of Forest Biology at Penn State shares information on the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens at Penn State University. Also, Andrew Gapinski the Arboretum at Penn State horticulturist takes Paul Epsom on a tour to show him the plants and trees in this amazing educational garden.
Video featuring Dr. Robert Berghage on what you need to grow a successful green roof.
Twelve students in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences recently discovered some of Ireland's greatest natural treasures in a two-credit course that included a nine-day trip. The students were exposed to different cultural practices and technologies while increasing their awareness and respect for diverse cultures. Beginning in one of the liveliest capitals in Europe, the students explored Dublin, pondering the cultural differences between Ireland and the United States. From there, they traveled to the Hill of Tara to see where the High Kings of Ireland reigned and to explore huge circles of earthworks. During the trip, the students visited botanical gardens, the Cliffs of Moher, the Dingle Peninsula, the beautiful Muckross Gardens, the church ruins at the Rock of Cashel, the National Irish Stud and the Powerscourt Gardens.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- With the help of information technology (IT), Penn State professor Mark Guiltinan makes the world a sweeter place. Guiltinan is a professor of plant molecular biology in the Department of Horticulture in the College of Agricultural Sciences. He currently runs the Guiltinan Lab, where he studies crop improvement and sustainable farming methods. Guiltinan was a key player in The International Cocoa Genome Sequencing Consortium, a worldwide effort to sequence and analyze the genome of the Criollo variety of the Theobromo cacao plant, the key ingredient in high-quality chocolate. Using genome sequencing programs and computer clusters at Penn State and abroad, Guiltinan and his colleagues have mapped the cacao genome and are working to breed better, more disease-resistant cacao plants. Despite the incredible popularity of chocolate, the cacao plant is surprisingly difficult to grow. About 70 percent of the world’s chocolate comes from West Africa, where cacao farmers often live in poverty and operate small farms. The highest quality chocolate comes from the Criollo variety of the cocoa plant, a crop that is highly susceptible to disease. An outbreak of disease among these cacao plants can destroy the lives of the farmers and their local economies.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Water features will be the star of the 99th annual Penn State Horticulture Show, Oct. 6 and 7. Presented by students in the College of Agricultural Sciences, the show will be held in the Snider Agricultural Arena, diagonally across Park Avenue from Beaver Stadium on the University Park campus. "Exploring Water in Nature" is the theme of the free event, which will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There is a home football game on Saturday. For nearly a century, the college's Horticulture Club has put together an annual show that allows visitors the opportunity to explore various aspects of horticulture. The purpose of the show is to engage students in designing, constructing and operating an event that will attract and educate the public about plants and landscaping.
Organic nutrient sources, such as compost, shown here, often do not supply the correct ratio of nutrients needed by plants. Organic farmers can access educational workshops and materials on nutrient management, thanks to a program developed by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. Elsa Sánchez, associate professor of horticultural systems management, and Heather Karsten, associate professor of crop production and ecology, described their program in a journal article that received the American Society for Horticultural Science Outstanding Extension Publication Award for papers published in 2011. They will be recognized at the ASHS Annual Conference in July.
Drs. Don Davis and Dennis Decoteau have received two grants totaling $539,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Air Quality, to monitor ambient ground-level ozone in the Marcellus Shale natural gas areas of PA and study impacts of ozone on PA vegetation.
After spending five days this spring studying aquaponics at the University of Arizona, College of Agricultural Sciences student Jessica Foster and greenhouse manager Scott DiLoreto are developing the first aquaponic system at Penn State.
Penn State team Places 11th in 2012 PLANET Student Career Days.
Amy Hinkle had her first entrepreneurial encounter with flowers when she was 11 years old, selling them at her local farmers market in Columbus, Ohio. When she was 9 years old, her family started selling goods from their produce farm at that market. Hinkle noticed that only one other person there sold flowers -- and he could not keep up with the demand. By the time she graduated from high school, her family's stand was selling about 20 different kinds of field-grown annuals. Hinkle, a senior horticulture major with a business production focus, came to Penn State because of its strong agriculture program, and because it was far away from her home.
Over-reliance on glyphosate-type herbicides for weed control on U.S. farms has created a dramatic increase in the number of genetically-resistant weeds, according to a team of agricultural researchers, who say the solution lies in an integrated weed management program.