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Horticultural Science Seminars Spring 2012

DATE: Monday, April 23, 2012
SPEAKER: Mr. Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections, JC Raulston Arboretum,
TITLE: Bring 'Em Back Alive, Confessions of a Plant Wrangler
Plant collecting sounds like a romantic prospect but the realities can be a bit different - strange foods, bad roads, and worse weather. This how-to talk will touch on the equipment, planning, and execution for a successful plant collecting expedition as well as the regulations regarding importing plant material.

DATE: Monday, April 16, 2012
SPEAKER: Dr. Nancy Creamer, Director, Center for Environmental Farming Systems, NC State Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Agriculture and Community Based Food Systems
TITLE:  Building a Local Food Economy in North Carolina… from Farm to Fork
Nancy will give a background on the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and the outcomes of the statewide local foods initiative including developing a statewide action plan, the legislated sustainable local foods advisory council, the NC 10 percent campaign, an incubator farm program, and some of its youth and community work.

DATE: Monday, April 2, 2012
SPEAKER: Ms. Moo Jung Kim
TITLE: Shelf Life and Composition of Organically Grown Blackberries
Blackberry is grown all around the world, with increasing production. Demand for organically grown fruits is also increasing, partly because of perceived safer food and possibly increased phytonutrients. Proponents of organic production argue that organic products would be more health-beneficial than conventional products. Blackberry is known as a good source of phenolic compounds such as anthocyanins and flavonols, and has demonstrated antioxidant and anticarcinogenic activities. Blackberry contains phenolic compounds such as anthocyanins, phenolic acids, and flavonoids. The major anthocyanin in blackberry is cyanidin 3-glucoside. Blackberry also contains phenolic acids such as gallic acid, caffeic acid, r-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, and ellagic acid. Flavonoids found in blackberry include catechin as the primary flavonoid, and myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol. The phytochemical quality can be changed during storage depending on some factors such as crops, cultivars, storage conditions, and storage duration. Inhibition of cancer cells by berry extract and some phenolic compounds have been reported. The objectives of this study are 1) to establish the postharvest life of organically grown blackberries, 2) to evaluate the effects of storage on phytochemical properties of organically grown fruit, and 3) to profile specific antioxidant activities of blackberry extracts in human cell cultures.

DATE: Monday, March 26, 2012
SPEAKER: Ms. Suzanne O'Connell, PhD Candidate, Department of Horticultural Science, NCSU
TITLE:  The great cover-up: Indicators of short-term nitrogen mineralization from cover crops in organic farming systems

Suzi will be presenting her proposed PhD research to evaluate potential indicators of short-term nitrogen mineralization from warm-season cover crops in organic farming systems. The focus of her research include: 1) labile portions of soil organic matter contributed by cover crop residues and 2) microbially-mediated decomposition processes that regulate plant available nitrogen. The goal is to work towards identifying measurements from soil samples that can predict short-term mineralization rates following popular cover crops used in the Southeast region. Proposed field and laboratory experiments will cover: plant tissue quantity and quality, selected nitrogen and carbon mineralization assays, soil organic matter fractionation, microbial community population dynamics and targeted enzyme activity. In addition, she will share a bit about her 2011 Fulbright exchange to Honduras.

DATE: Monday, February 27, 2012
SPEAKER: Ms. Alicain Carlson, PhD Candidate, Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University
TITLE:  Cut Flower Postharvest: Water Relations & Crop Development
Alicain will be presenting her proposed PhD research on cut flower postharvest and crop development. Part of her project will include the evaluation of global gene expression in cut Rosa during senescence. She will also be discussing methods for evaluating the effects of low pH vase solutions on microbial growth and stem hydraulic conductivity in order to improve vase life of 3 cut flower species, Rosa, Gerbera, and Zinnia. Additionally, a new intergeneric hybrid of Sandersonia and Gloriosa will be evaluated for its potential as a new cut flower and potted plant introduction; postharvest and production protocols will be developed for use in the United States. And of course, a little Eucomis research will be proposed as well to further understand its postharvest requirements.

DATE: Monday, February 6, 2012
SPEAKER: Mr. Will Cross, Director, NCSU Libraries Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center
TITLE:  Overview of the Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center
The Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center (CDSC) is here to assist you with questions about using copyrighted works, to help you protect your rights as an author, and to maximize the dissemination and impact of the university's scholarship and knowledge resources. Five things the CDSC can do for you:  1) Protect Your Rights as a Scholar,  2) Teach You and Your Group About Copyright, 3) Help You Meet NIH and NSF Requirements, 4) Make Image-Rich Instruction Easy and 5) Support New Kinds of Scholarship.