Alumni Weekend June 3-5

May 18, 2011 under CANR News, Events

The University’s third annual Alumni Weekend is just around the corner, June 3-5. From college receptions, to a 5K, the ever popular Mug Night and special reunion events, to events sponsored by each college and a picnic on the green, the weekend is sure to be a great place to reconnect with former students, classmates and friends.

The college has already SOLD OUT of its three behind the scenes UDairy Creamery tours/tastings on Saturday, but the Creamery will be open and anyone showing their Alumni Weekend badge will receive a discount that weekend.

Ten UD alumni (2 from CANR) will be inducted into the UD Wall of Fame at a ceremony on Saturday.

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources specifically welcomes you to the college’s Alumni Reception on Friday night from 6-8pm at Kildare’s Irish Pub on Main Street in Newark.  The reception is free, but you must pre-register.

Registration for faculty members wishing to attend any portion of Alumni Weekend is available at  Alumni, staff, and friends can register at

We hope to see you there!



Animal trainer brings free flight demonstrations to Ag Day

April 28, 2011 under CANR News

Delaware’s native birds include the beguiling goldfinch, the majestic bald eagle and the cheery Carolina wren.

And then there’s the turkey vulture. With a face only a mother could love and a steady diet of roadkill, surely this native bird couldn’t have many fans.

Think again. On the national level, there’s the Turkey Vulture Society, a Nevada-based nonprofit dedicated to informing the public about “the valuable and essential services this bird provides.”

Closer to home, there’s Phung Luu, a Dover-based animal trainer who is passionate about all raptors, including the much-maligned turkey vulture.

“The turkey vulture is a highly intelligent animal,” says Luu, a University of Delaware alumnus. “If people got to know more about the turkey vulture they would come to appreciate it.”

Getting people to know more about turkey vultures and other raptors is Luu’s life work. He operates one company that puts on bird demonstrations. His second business, Behavior and Training Solutions, teaches zookeepers and other naturalists to work with raptors and other animals to become proficient trainers. He has one fulltime employee and also employs seasonal parttime staff.

Read more of the story at UDaily

Article by Margo McDonough

Photo by Danielle Quigley


LGP alum tends to home of American Horticultural Society

April 11, 2011 under CANR News

Tending to the picturesque 25 acre River Farm, once owned by George Washington, would be a dream for any horticulturist.  For James Gagliardi, a graduate of the Longwood Graduate Program who now works as River Farm’s lone horticulturist, it’s a reality.

The farm is home to the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society (AHS) and Gagliardi is responsible for all the plantings and running the maintenance for the 25 acre garden, as well as writing any educational brochures, developing educational panels, and doing community outreach.  He is the first to say that none of it would have been possible had it not been for the experience he gained at the Longwood Graduate Program.

“The Longwood Graduate Program helped me a lot for what I’m doing now. It has one of the strongest and greatest networks within the public horticulture field.”

Gagliardi said now that the program is providing 5 graduates a year, the network is expanding and there are graduates of the program all over the world in public horticulture.

“There’s a strong network among fellows and even the people who haven’t come out of the program know the experience and the education that you are getting from the program.”

AHS has strong ties with the Longwood Graduate Program. Katy Moss Warner (76’), the President Emeritus of AHS, is a graduate of the program, and when Gagliardi was applying for his position, one of his classmates, Grace Chapman (08’), was doing her thesis at AHS.

“AHS had a really strong connection with the Longwood Graduate Program so they knew the kind of person that I had to be and the kind of experiences I had. So I am very sure that it helped me get my job here.”

Attending the program from 2006-08, Gagliardi said that the five-person class had a mix of people with varying professional horticulture experience.  He came to the program right after completing his undergraduate work at the University of Connecticut and said that getting the job at AHS was due in large part to the professional, hands on experience he gained while at the Longwood Graduate Program.

“I was 25 when I was getting out and I didn’t have the work experience that some other people had. But because the Longwood Graduate Program features experiential learning, it provided a good solid basis for me when I was applying for jobs with botanic gardens.”

While he said that finding a favorite part of the program was tough since he enjoyed it so thoroughly, Gagliardi did admit that the trip he and his classmates took to Ecuador for three weeks was hard to beat.

“The travel with the program is unbelievable. We looked at botanical gardens in Ecuador and went everywhere from the Amazon Rainforest up into the mountains and out to the Galapagos Islands to see plants in their native habitats, and what they’re doing in different countries for conservation. It was beyond amazing.”

Robert Lyons, director for the Longwood Graduate Program, said that Gagliardi’s passion for the program was evident before he even finished his undergraduate degree.

“James made it a point to visit us prior to applying and saw that what we offered would be a great fit for his career goals.”

Lyons said that once Gagliardi was accepted to the program, he “soon became one of the most resourceful of all the Longwood Fellows, so it is not surprising to me to see how he has combined his interest and knowledge of horticulture with efficient gardening practices that he can now share with others.”

Those efficient gardening practices are now being displayed in his professional work at AHS, and that work isn’t going unnoticed. In just the past month, Gagliardi has been quoted for his horticulture expertise in two USA Today pieces, a TIME Money column and a Washington Post piece.

Once again, Gagliardi credits the Longwood Graduate Program with putting him on the path to success.

“The program is created to produce leaders in public horticulture. It’s course driven, it’s thesis driven, and it’s project driven; the combination of those varied experiences gave me the strength I needed in various means of management and knowledge. The Longwood Program is the premier program to go to for public horticulture. Delaware is definitely the place to get that education.”

Story by Adam Thomas


Alumna named publisher of ag magazine

February 10, 2011 under CANR News

Karen Knutsen, AG ’91, has been named publisher of Holstein World magazine, which serves as a historical and current resource reference for Holstein cattle, the world’s highest production dairy animal.

Knutsen said of the honor, “It’s a mixed bag of emotions, I’m very, very honored to be in this position because I’m the first non-family member to be named publisher in the magazine’s 108 year history. I’m also very excited about the new challenges I’ll face in this position and the ways that Holstein World can grow in the future.”

Having been around cattle all her life, with her family owning Lovdal Farms in Rising Sun, Maryland, Knutsen said that working in the Holstein industry is something that she had always wanted.

After graduating from UD with a degree in animal science, Knutsen went to work at Perdue Farms for just under two years, but knew that she “always wanted to get back in the Holstein industry, that’s how I grew up and that’s what I wanted to be involved in.”

In 2002, Knutsen arrived at Holstein World as a special projects coordinator, and within 3 years, had become the magazine’s editor. Now, she has worked her way up to the position of publisher.

Knutsen will have many responsibilities as publisher of Holstein World, including management of the Holstein World sales and production teams. She will also work on special projects with different state associations, and work with sales managers for on-line projects.

Said Knutsen of all of this new responsibility, “It’s very exciting. That’s the great thing about the dairy industry, it’s changing so rapidly and the way we promote and market registered genetics is always changing, so you’re constantly learning new things and trying to pass those ideas onto dairy farmers to give them more merchandising options.”

Holstein World is currently the most global of any dairy publications, with over 10,000 subscribers in more than 55 countries.


CANR Grad Awarded UD Presidential Citation

November 8, 2010 under CANR News

The newest recipients of the University of Delaware Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement awards were honored during a ceremony held Friday, Nov. 5, in the Roselle Center for the Arts, as part of Homecoming Weekend festivities.

Natalie Durrett Crawford, who received a bachelor’s degree in animal science in 2000 at UD, is a veterinary anatomic pathologist who has spent the last two years as an associate anatomic pathologist at Covance Laboratories, Inc. Her work has been published in Veterinary Clinical Pathology and The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Speaking via video from her home in Ashburn, Va., where she is expecting the birth of her second child, Crawford said it was nice to know that after all this time she has made a lasting impression on the faculty at UD.

“I’m very appreciative to receive this award, and it is an honor to know that in some way I have given back to the University,” Crawford said. “I hope to be involved with the University and to give back to UD.”

The full UDaily article about the awards can be viewed online by clicking here.


CANR to Celebrate UD Homecoming

November 1, 2010 under CANR News, Events

The University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources invites you to Homecoming Weekend, November 5-7!

The CANR will recognize our Distinguished Alumni on Friday, November 5th at a college-wide luncheon, to be held at noon in the Townsend Hall Commons. The luncheon is open to faculty, staff, award winners and their guests. Please RSVP to the luncheon to Alice Moore at The alumni winners will be visiting with their respective departments that day as well.

The 2010 CANR Distinguished Alumni Award winners are:

Stewart Ramsey, Principal and Senior Economist, U.S. Agriculture Services, IHSGLOBAL INSIGHT INC.
Nominated by the Department of Food and Resource Economics (Drs. Ilvento and Hastings)

Steven Leath, Vice President for Research, University of North Carolina
Nominated by the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences (Drs. Jim Hawk and Blake Myers)

J. Dennis Byrne, Manager, Herr Angus Farm
Nominated by Dr. Lesa Griffiths, Department of Animal and Food Sciences

In addition, we would like to recognize Natalie Crawford, a CANR alumnae, who will receive a 2010 Presidential Citation Award from UD’s Office of Alumni Relations.

For a listing of all past CANR Alumni Award winners visit

Join UD College of Agriculture and Natural Resources alumni, faculty, students and friends for a pre-game lunch with UDairy Creamery ice cream in celebration of Homecoming on Saturday, November 6 at 12:30 p.m. in the Townsend Hall Commons. During the event attendees will hear from Dean Robin Morgan about CANR’s latest achievements and reconnect your classmates and former faculty members! UD President Dr. Patrick Harker will be joining us.

To attend the brunch, register online by clicking here.

Hope to see you at UD Homecoming Weekend! For a full listing of all UD Homecoming events visit


Call for Nominations for 2011 Worrilow Award

October 19, 2010 under CANR News

Given in honor of the dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources from 1954 to 1965, George M. Worrilow, this award recognizes a College alumnus who has made significant professional contributions in an agriculture related field.

Past honorees include producers, educators, and industry leaders. Three nominees are chosen by a committee consisting of past award winners and then forwarded to the Ag Alumni Board of Directors to select one winner.

The Ag Alumni Board of Directors requests nominations at this time.

Please submit letters of recommendations, including contact information and current resume of the nominee to Cathy Kinney, 113 Townsend Hall, or via email at by Wednesday, October 27, 2010. The award will be presented to the winner at the annual Ag Alumni Social in Spring 2011.

Please visit the Ag Alumni website and click on Alumni Awards to see a list of all Worrilow Award recipients.


Natural resource management internships sprout successful alumni

September 16, 2010 under CANR News

For students with an interest in the environment, the natural resource management (NRM) major, introduced in the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in 1997, opened up a cutting-edge program that combined science, economics, and public policy.

Now, current students and graduates in the NRM major are relaying their skills into successful internships and employment with companies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Delaware Water Resources Center, IFC International and the Peace Corps.

“At that time (in 1997), the college didn’t have an interdisciplinary major, where you learned a little economics, a little plant science, a little entomology and wildlife ecology, and then took that background into the job market,” said Steven Hastings, professor of food and resource economics.

“The students in NRM are very good students, they’re very motivated students, and they have a passion for the environment,” he added. “They’ve got a lot of initiative. I think that’s what employers look for in potential interns today.”

NRM students have also continued their education in graduate programs all over the country, studying urban planning, zoology, environmental law, coastal zone management and more. The diverse and demanding major, which also includes courses on communications and ethics, gives students a foundation for advanced degrees in a variety of subjects, Hastings said.

“It’s a fairly rigorous major,” he said. “We had a student this past semester who applied to six very good graduate programs and was accepted at all six.”

Jennifer Popkin, a former NRM major, interned with the United Nations as the climate change coordinator after she graduated from the University in 2009. She served as the project manager of their global climate change project for six months.

Popkin said the intimate nature of the NRM program allowed her to interact closely with professors and other students, which led to numerous opportunities including an intensive research project.

“I spent the fall of my senior year studying how the trade and economic policy of India affect watershed development,” she said. “There were four students in total on this research project, and we each studied a different aspect of development. Part of the research included a trip to India.”

Kristen Loughery, also a graduate of the program, completed internships at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), AmeriCorps, and a private environmental consulting firm while at the university.

“NRM provided me with a broad education, which prepared me to work towards my goals as an environmentalist,” Loughery said.

After receiving a master’s degree in natural resource economics, Loughery was hired by the EPA, where she said “it is extremely important to apply my education in policy, human behavior as it relates to incentives, and general scientific knowledge, all of which I attained through NRM.”

Hastings said internships are vital in helping students to explore career paths and see the real world implications of the issues they study at UD.

“Two interns that were working for me this summer, I found them out in the marsh one day, covered in mud, swatting mosquitoes,” Hastings said. “I think it’s very good for them to get out and get their hands dirty.”

Article by Chelsea Caltuna

This article can also be viewed on UDaily by clicking here.


South Dakota State president a CANR Blue Hen

September 8, 2010 under CANR News

When the South Dakota State University football team ventures east to take on the University of Delaware on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 11, at Delaware Stadium, the Jackrabbits will bring with them a Blue Hen.

South Dakota State President David L. Chicoine earned a master’s degree in agricultural economics from UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in 1971. He also received a bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State in 1969, a master’s in economics from Western Illinois University in 1978 and a doctorate in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois in 1979.

Chicoine, who was named president of South Dakota State in 2007, said he and his wife, Marcia, have fond memories of their time spent in Delaware.

He said the move to Delaware in 1969 marked their first time east of the Mississippi River and proved to be an “interesting and exciting life experience.” They brought with them a one-month-old son and arrived at a time of unrest, with Wilmington only recently removed from the watch of the Delaware National Guard following riots.

Chicoine said their first connections were with the faculty and fellow graduate students, and he cited Raymond C. Smith, then the chair of his department, as well as Ulrich C. Toensmeyer and Joachim Elterich. He also said his thesis adviser, Gerald L. Cole, “was first rate.”

Working both in Newark and Southern Delaware, Chicoine said the young family enjoyed seeing the Atlantic Ocean — the first time they had viewed an ocean beach — and eating soft shell crabs. They enjoyed the Delaware and Chesapeake bays, learned about the Delmarva Peninsula and visited many sites in the Brandywine Valley.

“It was a transformational period for us — a great, great experience,” Chicoine said. “We liked the campus, which was larger and very different from the northern Great Plain prairie landscape of South Dakota State.”

Chicoine said his thesis research project was funded by a regional project on the economic impact of seasonal residents on bay and shore communities, and included the collection of original attitudinal data from permanent residents and seasonal residents of those communities.

He spent the summer of 1970 collecting data in Southern Delaware, and said “the focus of the project was on financing the needed infrastructure to accommodate the growth in seasonal residents — sewer, water, roads, public safety — and the efficiency for such given the several jurisdictions in play, the impact on the bay and shore aesthetics and natural environment, and then, of course, methods for funding the capital costs of infrastructure and the annual operating costs.”

Away from the beaches, Chicoine said Southern Delaware was “similar to rural South Dakota but with more poultry operations and specialty crops.”

Chicoine said UD graduate school “prepared us well for the work world, for additional studies and for life.”

He entertained several fine job offers after graduating, accepting a position at the University of Illinois as a regional economist working on rural economic development. He remained at Urbana-Champaign for more than 30 years, receiving his doctorate and serving as a faculty member, department head, dean and vice president.

He returned to his home state and alma mater in January 2007 as president of South Dakota State.

Chicoine said he and Marcia returned to UD about 20 years ago while in the Washington, D.C., area on business. “The University, of course, was significantly different than when we were on campus,” he said. “I am looking forward to seeing the campus and the changes that have occurred.”

Chicoine added, “And we are excited about the football game. UD has been an established football FCS program for years, competing in postseason play routinely. I took in a few games in fall of ’69 and fall of ’70. South Dakota State is a new kid on the FCS block, having our first postseason experience in 2009, but we play good football. The game-day experience will be great for our players, our coaches and staff and our alumni in the Philadelphia, Baltimore and D.C. region. It will be exciting, but UD will have a game under their belt and the Jacks will be lining up for their opener. I look forward to seeing a great football game, seeing the UD campus again and reminiscing a little of the terrific times.”

The Blue Hens defeated West Chester University 31-0 in the season opener Sept. 2. South Dakota State is ranked No. 9 nationally.

To follow University of Delaware athletics, see

For the full story with photo on UDaily, click here.

Article by Neil Thomas


Ted Carski, AG ’86, Named to UD Wall of Fame

June 30, 2010 under CANR News, Events

Theodore H. Carski, an alumnus of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, was one of 10 University of Delaware graduates inducted into the University Alumni Association Wall of Fame during Forum & Reunion Weekend.

The award honors UD graduates with outstanding professional achievements who remain connected to the University.

Carski was nominated by Donald Sparks, S. Hallock du Pont Chair in Plant and Soil Sciences and director of the Delaware Environmental Institute, and Carski’s doctoral advisor.

“Ted has been a strong supporter of UD and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources,” Sparks said. “He richly deserves this fine accolade.”

Carski received his doctorate in plant and soil sciences with an emphasis on environmental soil chemistry in 1986. The innovative research methods he developed during his time at the University are currently used by scientists and engineers around the world, and his research has been published in several scientific publications.

“Dr. Carski is one of those students who yielded rich returns on the investment that this university, his advisor, and others made in his education,” said Robin Morgan, dean of the college.

After graduating from UD, Carski worked as a research chemist at Du Pont, where he conducted research on pesticides in soils. In his 24-year career with the company, Carski held numerous positions and received 15 major employee awards. Today, he serves as Du Pont’s Global Registration Product Manager, where he leads global business projects to support the Du Pont Crop Protection portfolio.

Carski has been a dedicated member of the CANR Advisory Board for eight years. He is also an adjunct professor at UD in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, where he has served on graduate student advisory committees and frequently guest lectures in a number of classes.

“He is a terrific colleague who works on our behalf and makes his best effort to contribute to the college, its current programs, and its future,” Morgan said.

Carski is active in the Soil Science Society of America and in the American Society of Agronomy. He is also a member of the Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Science Committee for the Sassafras River Association in Maryland.