N.C. State University’s Dr. John Dole is the 2014 recipient of the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) Alex Laurie Award. Dole, who is head of the Horticultural Science Department, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is a top teacher, researcher and sought-after mentor within the classroom and floral industry. The award was presented to him Aug. 16 during SAF’s 130th Annual Convention in Marco Island, Fla.
“Dr. Dole’s accomplishments in the classroom and laboratory clearly reflect those of the individuals before him who have received the Alex Laurie Award,” said SAF Awards Committee member Dr. Marvin Miller. “(He) has been a recognized leader in developing new production and post-harvest procedures for a wide range of cut flowers and other floral crops.”
Dole’s current research focuses on cut flowers, including new cultivar evaluations, production, postharvest and marketing analysis. For much of his career, Dole has been a leader in developing new production and postharvest handling techniques for specialty cut flowers.
“John represents the real strengths of individuals selected for the Alex Laurie Award — teaching and research,” said former SAF president Dr. Terril Nell. “He has established a broad based floriculture research program while using his interest and talents to teach students, undergraduate and graduate, in the classroom and laboratories and to write a textbook of value to students worldwide.”
In cooperation with the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG), Dole co-coordinates the national ASCFG Seed, Perennial and Woody Plant Trial Programs, which includes growers from the United States and Canada. In addition, Dole works on the production and post-harvest handling of un-rooted cuttings and has a long history of poinsettia research. His research has received ongoing support from ASCFG, American Floral Endowment, the International Cut Flower Growers, the Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation, along with numerous suppliers and producers.
At N.C. State, Dole teaches the graduate level course, the Physiology of Flowering. His publications are many, including more than 60 refereed publications, six books and more than 250 trade journal articles. Dole and Dr. Harold Wilkins, another Alex Laurie Award recipient, co-authored Floriculture Principles and Species, a primary floriculture textbook. For nearly 25 years, he taughtgreenhouse management and floriculture production courses. He’s also served on many graduate committees.
Dole has traveled to many counties for floriculture activities, including working on a cut flower project in Colombia for four years. He has mentored a number of international students from several countries, including Brazil, France, Mexico and Pakistan.
The executive adviser for ASCFG, Dole also serves on the board of the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS). He has been named an ASHS Fellow and he received the Outstanding Service Award and the Allan M. Armitage Award from ASCFG.
Established in 1948, SAF’s Alex Laurie Award is named for the eminent professor at The Ohio State University. Over the course of his 60-year career, Laurie laid the groundwork for research that revolutionized the floriculture industry and left a lineage of students, teachers and researchers continuing to provide the information necessary to ensure the industry’s future.