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2013

Ground-Breaking Roots
October 8, 2013
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.
New Major in Plant Sciences - Enrolling Students This Fall!
April 30, 2013
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.
Greenhouse Guru: Horticulture student strives for sustainability
April 23, 2013
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."
Not Out on a Limb: Landscaping student just loves his field
April 23, 2013
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."
Horticulture major comfortable in lab
April 23, 2013
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."
Horticulture major got the blues extracting dyes from plants
March 27, 2013
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.
Landscaping students admire Irish gardens, scenery
February 5, 2013
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.
'Ant whisperer' studies a bug's life
January 16, 2013
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.