Agronomy and Horticulture - Fall 2016 Seminar Series

September 16
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Extension Master Gardener Program—a hidden gem

Assistant Extension Educator, UNL Agronomy and Horticulture

The Extension Master Gardener program began in 1973 at Washington State University. Today every state in the United States has a version of that first Master Gardner program. Currently over 100,000 certified Master Gardeners aid in providing unbiased science-based horticulture information to local communities. This presentation will discuss how the Nebraska Extension Master Gardener program is working in Nebraska and how it could be incorporated into your program.

September 23
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Phenotyping and remote sensing—what are the chances?

Research Associate Professor, Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies, UNL School of Natural Resources

Remote sensing has been used for decades to estimate vegetation biophysical parameters. While techniques relating spectral reflectance to pigment content are well understood, reliable estimation of osmoregulated compounds has yet to be realized. This talk is an overview of reflected spectrum remote sensing.

September 30

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Coolbeans—the musings of a soybean agronomist

Professor of Agronomy and State Soybean and Small Grains Specialist, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Academia often too quickly dismiss research ideas as "too applied," "already been done" or "too simple" to be relevant to our discipline. In his seminar, Shawn Conley will address these misconceptions through real world examples from his research program and how those "simple" experiments tend to provide the greatest impact to both his research and extension program.

October 7

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Seed industry globalization, consolidation and ownership changes—what are the implications?

Plant Breeding Professor of Practice, UNL Agronomy and Horticulture

Joe Keaschall will summarize some of the completed and proposed changes in large multinational seed company ownership. What are some of the potential impacts on research investment, crop improvement and competition for the leadership position?

October 14

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Teaching and research in SCIL 101: Science and Decision-making for a Complex World

Assistant Professor, UNL School of Natural Resources

Jenny Dauer will describe the curriculum of SCIL 101 targeted toward developing students’ science literacy skills. She will also describe results from on-going science literacy research in the course.

October 21

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Integrating web media for impactful extension and research

Assistant Professor, Extension Turfgrass Specialist, UNL Agronomy and Horticulture

Web-based media such as websites, blogs, webinars, videos and social media can be used to disseminate research, broaden the reach of extension programs, and connect with diverse groups of people. This seminar will discuss ways to integrate various web-based content, track activity, and assess impact with surveys, polls and web tools.

October 28

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Alternative crops for semi-arid High Plains of western Nebraska
Associate Professor, Alternative Crops Breeding Specialist, UNL Agronomy and Horticulture, Panhandle Research and Extension Center

The rainfed crop production system in western Nebraska is dominated by the traditional wheat-fallow crop rotation. Replacing fallow in traditional crop rotations is imperative for sustainability. Proso millet is the best alternative crop and field pea is the emerging new alternative crop. This presentation will cover current progress of proso millet breeding and genomics, development grain legume crops field pea and fenugreek, and oil seed crops like winter canola.

November 4

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Overview of the UNL Dry Bean Breeding Program

Associate Professor, UNL Agronomy and Horticulture, Panhandle Research and Extension Center

Nebraska is one of the top dry bean producing states in the United States, ranking first in great northern, second in light red kidney and third in pinto bean production in 2016. Global engagement of the UNL dry bean breeding activities will be discussed including research, extension and educational components.

November 11

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Integrating biological control into crop pest management—a little help from beneficial fungi, nematodes, and ladybeetles
Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, UNL Department of Entomology, West Central Research and Extension Center

We face significant challenges from insect pests that have evolved resistance to chemical and genetic management tactics. With ever fewer tools for pest management alternative strategies, such as biological control, are needed. Research that takes advantage of the natural ecological interactions between important Nebraska corn pests (western bean cutworm, western corn rootworm and their predators), parasitoids and diseases will be discussed in the context of IPM.

November 18
Video is not available for this seminar
Geospatial technologies for the management of water, food production and energy

Director of Research, UNL Water for Food Global Institute, Professor, UNL Biological Systems Engineering

Geospatial technologies such as remote sensing, GIS, GPS and digital spatial databases are becoming mainstream and being used operationally for precision agricultural practices.   Remote sensing of crop evapotranspiration (ET) has matured over the last 15 years with multiple models and approaches and can now be used for real time irrigation water management.  This presentation will discuss ongoing research on the use of these technologies for biomass and yield estimation, seasonal crop water use and water productivity estimates at different scales for different crops and locations.

December 2

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Developing the next generation of Rwandan agricultural leaders
Associate Dean, UNL College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Tiffany Heng-Moss will discuss a new CASNR academic program initiative that will contribute to the transformation of the Rwandan agricultural industry, accelerate agricultural production through sustainable resource and environmental management, and position Rwanda to emerge as a model for African agricultural development.

December 5 (Monday)

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FATIMA: A European Project on Precision Agriculture with Emphasis on Variable Rate Nitrogen Fertilization

Soil Ecology and Bitechnology Lab Director, Goulandris Natural History Museum, Greece, Adjunct Professor, UNL Agronomy and Horticulture

Stamatis was born and attended high school in Athens, Greece. He received his B.Sc. degree in 1980 in biology from the University of London, his M.S. in 1983 and Ph.D. in 1986 in soil biology & ecology from the department of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY, Syracuse, New York. Upon graduation, he held a postdoc appointment as a research associate in Soil Microbiology with John Doran, Ph.D., (by cooperative agreement between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and USDAAgricultural Research Service). From 1989–1992 he taught terrestrial ecology and soil microbiology at the University of the Aegean, Greece, while at the same time he established the Soil Ecology and Biotechnology Laboratory at the Goulandris Natural History Museum, Athens, Greece. His early laboratory research concerned mass protein production from earthworms and microalgae. In the 1990s he collaborated with ARS-Lincoln and UC-Santa Cruz for development of soil quality indicators. Since 2000, he works in association with James Schepers, Ph.D., of ARS-Lincoln, on ground-sensor remote sensing technologies and variable-rate nitrogen application systems. Latest accomplishments are the direct funding of two European Union projects on precision nitrogen and water management—HydroSense and FATIMA—while maintaining an adjunct professor status at Nebraska.

December 9

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High throughput plant phenotyping in greenhouse and field—translational pipelines from gene discovery to crop improvement

Assistant Professor, UNL Biological Systems Engineering

This seminar will give an overview of a number of high throughput plant phenotyping projects at UNL.  Yufeng Ge will highlight some key findings and lessons from these projects, and share perspectives on the bright future of plant phenotyping research.