The Longwood Graduate Program Class of 2016 extends a fond farewell, with their sincerest appreciation to Longwood Gardens and the University of Delaware, as they prepare to graduate on Friday, May 27th. The Fellows’ time over the last two years has been shaped by the many amazing opportunities they took part in during the program. They learned and gained hands-on leadership experience through many classes at the University of Delaware and projects through Longwood Gardens. Projects included supporting local organizations through two Professional Outreach Projects and leading the conversation on current public horticulture topics by organizing two symposia. The Fellows were also able to expand their world perspective through domestic and international travel, such as their International Experience trip to Japan, North American Experience trip to Massachusetts, and numerous field trips to local public gardens and arboreta in the greater Philadelphia region.
The Class of 2016 at the Kyoto Imperial Palace during their International Experience study abroad trip to Japan. (Left to right: Keith Nevison, Mackenzie Fochs, Stephanie Kuniholm, Fran Jackson, and Andrea Brennan)
The Fellows will graduate from the University of Delaware on May 27th and will be sharing the results of their thesis research during public presentations taking place at Longwood Gardens on the same day from 9:00-11:00 am in the Visitor Center Auditorium. No RSVP is necessary; all are welcome to this free event.
The seminar will be live-streamed and recorded through the Longwood Gardens Continuing Education Program. Interested individuals can register to watch for free via this link. Participants will be able to ask questions of the Fellows via a live chat and should sign in beginning at 8:45 am.
Here is a quick preview of each of the graduating Fellows’ seminar presentations:
Andrea Brennan – Conserving Oaks Through Tissue Culture
Oak acorns are recalcitrant, meaning they cannot be seed banked. This eliminates an important method of conserving threatened oak species, and increases the importance of other techniques, such as tissue culture. This process involves growing plant tissues, like shoot tips, on nutrient media in a sterile, enclosed, and controlled environment.
Mackenzie Fochs – Exploring Culinary Arts Programming at Public Horticulture Institutions
Public gardens are a natural fit for learning about and enjoying all the culinary world has to offer. Through interviews and participant surveys, this research provides insight on the types of culinary programs currently being offered at public gardens, the audience attending them, and recommendations for creating successful and sustainable programs.
The 2016 Fellows and Judy Stevenson of Longwood Gardens, Kristin McCullin, Superintendent of Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens, and Dr. Brian Trader, Interim Director, Longwood Graduate Program.
Fran Jackson – Managing Plant Collections Under Threat From Water Shortages
Are public gardens ready to deal with water shortage? This research documents the level of planning undertaken by gardens in Australia and the United States to manage water shortage, and explores the variety of ways they are dealing with this threat.
Stephanie Kuniholm – A Comparison of Membership Programs at Public Gardens in the United States
Public gardens seek revenue from diverse sources, including individual contributions in the form of membership dues. Despite widespread popularity at cultural institutions, the role and importance of membership programs is not well documented. This study explored differences in the administration and success of nearly 300 membership programs at public gardens.
Keith Nevison – Evaluating the Role of Phlox Cultivars in Ecological Landscaping
In 2015, Keith conducted this experiment at Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, DE, to compare insect attraction and nectar quality between cultivars and straight species of Phlox. This research was designed to address the growing popularity of native plant cultivars in the nursery marketplace and whether their use in ecological landscaping provides similar habitat benefits as straight species for native wildlife.
The Class of 2016 and several other members of the International Experience Japan trip in 2015, join a young couple in their wedding pictures at Okayama Kōraku-en. Okayama Castle is in the background.