University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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Oct. 10, 2003


UW-RF Students Shine at Horticulture Conference

UW- River Falls horticulture students won top honors at the American Society for Horticultural Science conference in Providence, R.I.

Horticulture students Greg Ruskell, a recent graduate of UW-RF from Chatfield, Minn., Mark Konlock, a second-degree student from Hudson, and Kurtis Hulett, a junior from Taylor, won first place in the poster presentation on research.

The UW-RF Horticulture Society won first place for outstanding large club.

The conference took place Oct. 3-6. It brought together over 1,200 international attendees to participate in research and information exchanges, networking, career development activities and social events.

The winning poster, titled "An Example of Meeting Storm Water Ordinances with Native Planting," showed how they used a landscape plan to add native vegetation to property to meet storm water runoff rules. The property, in Polk County, belongs to UW-RF mathematics lecturer Jim Davis.

Konlock, who also has a degree from the UW-Madison in civil engineering, said that this project shows students how concepts learned in class can be applied in the world. He is proud of the acknowledgement of their hard work.

"It made us feel glad to bring some recognition and exposure to UW-RF. Maybe it will inspire other students to do some undergraduate research of their own and bring them some opportunities."

Hulett was also proud of the recognition for their work.

"I'm elated. It has been an empowering experience and highly beneficial."

The poster was judged by a panel of undergraduate, masters and doctoral students. Hulett, Konlock and Ruskell also presented their poster at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research in Salt Lake City last spring.

The UW-RF Horticulture Society won first place for the best large club in the United States. Recognition is judged on a points system, with points being awarded for planning events and then writing a report to show all of the club's participation. It is submitted to the American Society for Horticultural Science.

Matt Kinnard, a senior from Horicon and a horticulture major, is the president of the Horticulture Society. He said that they have approximately 35 active members who participate in many events all through the year. These include plants sales, making floral arrangements for University events, sponsoring speakers, attending conventions and participating in field trips.

UW-RF horticulture Professor Terry Ferriss, who advises the Horticulture Society, also attended the conference with the students.

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