University of Florida

UF/IFAS – saving the world one great idea at a time at ONE WORLD summit

Topic(s): Agriculture, CALS, Environment, Families and Consumers, IFAS

CALS Challenge 2050 One World event is being held at the UF auditorium on Friday, Feb 19th, 2016.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Today’s students will be the world’s leaders in 2050, when the population is expected to reach 9 billion people; they will face issues like overcrowding, food security, energy and water management, and climate change.

The second annual ONE WORLD summit at the University of Florida addresses these issues by bringing together a diverse group of educators and students, Extension professionals, community development personnel, corporate partners and policy makers. The day-long event will take place Feb. 19 in the University of Florida University Auditorium at 333 Newell Drive, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

“ONE WORLD is like nothing you have ever seen, bridging social and hard sciences to create a foundation for saving the world,” said Tony Andenoro, assistant professor of Leadership Education, the ONE WORLD organizer and the Challenge 2050 Project director.  “Our students are our best chance to address the complex challenges facing our world due to our growing global population. ONE WORLD is an opportunity to connect our students with industry professionals, policy makers, community members, and university staff and faculty to develop innovations to address real change in our world.”

Four dynamic speakers and two teams will engage the attendees with presentations of their ideas, aimed at addressing the complex issues as the world prepares for 2050. Each presenter selected will receive $500 and have a chance at winning the grand prize of $1500. They are:

  • Krystal Dixon – born in Jamaica, she is a third-year international studies major. She describes herself as a global citizen who wants to shift the world into a trajectory of global cohesiveness;
  • Jared Blackburn – a second year political science major from Winter Haven, he has held internships in Sen. Marco Rubio’s office and the Department of State. This future law student has his eyes on education reform, the Florida governor’s office and the U.S. Senate;
  • Heather Ryan – a third-year student majoring in agricultural education with a concentration on leadership and communication. She hopes to put her faith into action;
  • Shelby Thomas – a marine science and microbiology double major from Daytona Beach, who hopes to save the world’s coral reefs and find medicinal cures from marine organisms;
  • Audrey Batzer and Avalon Hoek Spaans – both environmental science majors, who want to lead and become a part of a new generation of scientists, who not only value research but strive to put solutions into action;
  • Jack Yang and John Hursh – Yang is a Ph.D student majoring in agriculture and biological engineering, while Hursh is a chemical and biomolecular engineering student. Both are concerned with saving the environment.

ONE WORLD registrants are being asked to identify areas and topics they are passionate about addressing in the world. At “Innovation Stations” (breakout sessions) people will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with others who share these passions. From this, innovations aimed at addressing problems have the potential for development and implementation.

Organizations interested in sharing their company’s amazing ideas and innovations can register for a booth within the “Reality Check” area.  Surrounding the Reality Check, are “Connection Corners,” large boards with topics and issues to engage attendees. People are encouraged to share ideas and information on notecards and pin them to the board.

Attendees will also be encouraged to speak with corporate, non-profit and organizational entities converging at the University Auditorium during ONE WORLD, creating the potential to explore internships, employment opportunities, or a foundation for future successes and potential solutions for the world.

Sponsors of ONE WORLD include: Challenge 2050 Project, HM Clause, The New York Times in Education, UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The Bob Graham Center for Public Service.

“Come share your perspectives and contribute to the conversation,” Andenoro said.

Photo caption: CALS Challenge 2050 One World event is being held at the UF auditorium on Friday, Feb 19th, 2016.

By Kimberly Moore Wilmoth, 352-294-3302, k.moore.wilmoth@ufl.edu

Sources: Tony Andenoro, 352-294-1999, andenoro@ufl.edu


UF/IFAS faculty member earns $822,000 NSF grant as early career scientist

Topic(s): Announcements, CALS, Entomology and Nematology, Environment, IFAS, Pests, Research

Christine Miller

Christine Miller

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher has won an $822,000 early-career award from the National Science Foundation recognizing her commitment to research and the integration of research into teaching undergraduate students.

The NSF honored Christine Miller, an assistant professor of entomology, with its CAREER award as part of a foundation-wide activity that supports faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars.

“It’s been a dream of mine for years to receive this award, and at some level I still can’t believe that it has actually happened,” Miller said. “I am very excited for the next five years. It will be great to involve so many undergraduate students in the cutting edge of science.”

During the five-year grant, Miller will investigate the evolution and diversification of elaborate animal weapons, such as antlers, horns and spurs, which males use to compete for females. Together with hundreds of students, Miller will determine how fighting behaviors have led to diversification of these weapons.

“This work will engage and train hundreds of students,” Miller said. “Undergraduates are often fascinated by animal behavior and weaponry, and these topics will be a fun way to engage and retain students in science.

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UF Cattlewomen take 2nd place in online scholarship program

Topic(s): Agriculture, CALS, Extension, Families and Consumers, Honors and Appointments, Livestock

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida Gator Collegiate Cattlewomen took second place in the recent College Aggies Online scholarship competition that recognizes outstanding use of social media and community involvement to promote agriculture.

Gator Collegiate Cattlewomen is a group of 51 students in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, part of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. For their honor, the UF group won $2,500.

The awards, announced Dec. 2, culminated the nationwide initiative that helps college students share agriculture’s story.

“After nine long weeks of advocating, and help from all the club members, we were thrilled to find out that all of our hard work paid off,” said Samantha Dailey, vice president of the UF Cattlewomen. “The $2,500 will allow our club to take advantage of more educational opportunities and help our members to become leaders in the beef industry.”

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UF/IFAS study: Citizen science participation increases trust in science

Topic(s): CALS, Entomology and Nematology, Environment, Families and Consumers, IFAS, Research

Andrea Lucky in her ant research lab

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Lay people who participate in citizen science develop more interest in science after participating in such a project, a new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences study shows.

“Participating in science does more than teach people about science,” said Andrea Lucky, an assistant research scientist in the UF/IFAS entomology department and co-author of the study. “It builds trust in science and helps people understand what scientific research is all about.”

Tyler Vitone, a master’s student in Lucky’s lab in the entomology and nematology department, and his co-authors wanted to understand what participants take away from the experience of being part of a citizen science research project. To do this, they looked at a group of people who had limited experience with scientific research: students in an introductory entomology course called The Insects. The course is for non-science majors and meets a biology general education requirement for students across campus, so it includes students with a diverse mix of interests, from art, English and history to finance, marketing and political science. The research team conducted assessments in the fall and spring semesters, from 2013 through 2015.

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UF CALS student, faculty study cost-savings for blueberry cold protection measures

Topic(s): Agriculture, CALS, Crops, Economics, Extension, IFAS, Research, Weather

Cold Blueberry protection (2) 120815

Jeff Williamson, professor of horticultural sciences at the University of Florida in Gainesville, checks a blueberry crop for freeze damage, Thursday FEB-28, 2002. He said the 50-acre crop was protected from the late winter freeze by sprinklers that put a coating of ice on plants, thereby insulating them against temperatures ranging from the high teens to the low 20's around the region on Thursday morning.

See caption for both photos below

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — For Tori Bradley, learning about cold weather may turn into cold hard cash for Florida blueberry growers.

Bradley, a University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences graduate student, interned with faculty to develop cold-weather protection strategies so blueberry growers can save money.

As part of her UF/IFAS Research internship, Bradley studied the economic advantages for growers who use precision cold protection, according to a new UF/IFAS Extension document, http://bit.ly/1N5A9gc. Bradley studied the differences between precision cold protection and uniform cold protection. Blueberries bloom in late winter or early spring in Florida, making them susceptible to frosts. For uniform strategy, growers start frost protection irrigation when the temperature hovers between 31 and 35 degrees.

By using the precision method, growers can save an average of $44 per acre per season on irrigation pumping costs, depending on their location in Florida, according to Bradley and her faculty mentors.

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Students help UF/IFAS professor breed better, tastier peppers

Topic(s): Agriculture, CALS, Crops, IFAS, Nutrition, Research


Horticulture Professor Balasubramanian Rathinasabapathi (Saba). Experiments, beaker, laboratory.  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences students are learning how to breed better peppers under the guidance of Professor Bala Rathinasabapathi.

And by “better,” we mean a more savory taste, among other characteristics. Florida produces $207 million worth of bell peppers annually, according to the Florida Department Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). In fact, as of 2012, Florida ranked second nationally in the value of bell peppers. Improving traits may help the Florida pepper industry grow even larger.

Now, for a new study published in the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, Rathinasabapathi and his team cross-bred two heirloom varieties of peppers – the Bulgarian Carrot and the Round of Hungary — to come up with more desirable consumer traits.

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UF freshman wins trip to Nobel Prize ceremony in December

Topic(s): Announcements, CALS, Honors and Appointments, IFAS, Research


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — An outstanding high school science fair project has led to a University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences freshman being invited to attend the Nobel Prize ceremonies in Stockholm, Sweden in December.

UF CALS scholarship recipient Carly Crump won the all-expense paid trip to the Nobel Prize ceremonies for her outstanding performance at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, where she presented her project on Dengue Virus transmission.

Along with the Dudley R Herschbach Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar Award that granted Crump the trip to Sweden, she also earned Best in Category for microbiology at the ISEF which came with an $8,000 check.

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Ag and Gardening Day set for UF Homecoming on Nov. 7

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, CALS, Extension, Families and Consumers, IFAS, Lawn & Garden, Research

University of Florida Stadium. UF/IFAS photo: Marisol Amador

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — This year, anyone involved in gardening or agriculture and gardening-related industries and education can “come home” to Gainesville as the University of Florida introduces Agriculture and Gardening Day for Homecoming weekend.

UF Athletics and UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are hosting the event that revolves around the game between the Gators and the Vanderbilt Commodores, which kicks off at noon, Nov. 7.

“Florida’s agricultural, gardening and related food industries add $140 billion to our economy and employ nearly 300,000 people,” said Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources. “The industry is second only to tourism in Florida, and this is a great way to honor and recognize those who work so hard to put food on our tables and plants and flowers in our yards. We welcome back to Gainesville those who make agriculture and gardening part of their daily lives, and we look forward to their camaraderie.”

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UF/IFAS professor attracts non-agriculture majors to class; gives student 40,000th plant

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, CALS, IFAS, Landscaping, Lawn & Garden

40,000the plant 102915 (1) - use this

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Professor David Clark knows how to entice a broad range of students to his horticultural class: He gives away a plant that he bred. Recently, he donated his 40,000th plant to an undergraduate psychology student.

For the ceremony, Clark, a professor in the Department of Environmental Horticulture, brought Anna Ball, a third generation owner of Ball Horticultural Company, as a special guest lecturer on Oct. 22. Ball, based in West Chicago, Illinois, is one of three companies that licenses Clark’s UF coleus varieties. Ball has sold more UF coleuses than any other company, Clark said.

Ball gave a UF/IFAS coleus plant – in this case a ‘Wasabi,’ bred by Clark and licensed by Ball — to undergraduate student Kendall Stacey, a freshman psychology major. Stacey works with Clark’s new UF/IFAS Plant Innovation Center undergraduate science writing team. Clark is the director of the center.

Stacey is gaining plenty of knowledge about plants from Clark’s class, even as he inspires her.

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UF CALS courses, majors evolve to meet changing demands

Topic(s): Agriculture, Aquaculture, CALS, Citrus, Crops, Economics, Environment, Families and Consumers, Food Safety, IFAS, Nutrition

Classroom, students, learning, auditorium.  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

See caption below

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — As the University of Florida prepares to embark on the 2015-16 academic year, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences offers several courses and majors that reflect how the institution adapts to industry and stakeholder needs.

The courses and majors aren’t brand new for this fall. They evolved during the past few years. But they reflect the growing menu of courses and majors offered to the more than 3,700 undergraduate students expected to enroll at UF CALS this fall.

Just to name a few of the relatively new majors and course offerings, UF CALS offers a major in marine sciences that leads to a bachelor’s degree, a new undergraduate certificate titled “Challenge 2050: Global Leadership and Change” from the Challenge 2050 Project and three new majors offered in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department that were previously specializations under one major – Food Science and Human Nutrition.

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