Dr. Fred Whitford, Director, Purdue Pesticide Programs, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Learning How to Use Your Fertilizer Spreader: A Hands-on Workshop

Fred Whitford is the coordinator of Purdue Pesticide Programs of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service. His prior professional activities include lab and field research, extension outreach, regulatory work, and commercial pesticide application.  He loves working with people and seeing how Extension information can help individuals better themselves. His hobbies including writing on the history of agriculture at Purdue University, perennial gardening, and feeding birds.  

Carrie Tauscher, Urban Forestry Specialist, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indianapolis, IN

Let’s Get Real With Trees

Carrie began her career with DNR in March, 2012 and works with the Indiana Community Tree Stewards training program, statewide community urban forestry assistance, and grants programs.

Carrie Graduated from Iowa State University in 2009 with bachelor’s degrees in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and is an ISA Certified Arborist. She began her career at The Morton Arboretum as an Inventory Technician for the 2010 Tree Census i-Tree eco study of the seven county Chicagoland area. She then continued her work with the Community Trees Program at the Arboretum working with the municipal urban forestry programs on education, outreach, and awareness including working on urban wood utilization as a way to mitigate the effects of EAB infestation.

Rosie Lerner, Consumer Horticulture Extension Specialist, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Great Apps and Resources for Home Gardeners

Rosie Lerner is Consumer Horticulturist for the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. She has authored or co-authored nearly 1,000 Extension bulletins, articles, book chapters and books, including Possum in the Pawpaw Tree: A Seasonal Guide to Midwestern Gardening. She also established a consumer horticulture Web site that attracts over 1 million visits each year and is a former state coordinator of the Purdue Master Gardener Program. Lerner is a familiar face at Purdue Extension's "Plant Info To Go" booth at the Indiana State Fair, Indianapolis Flower & Patio Show and other gardening-related events.

Pam Bennett, Assistant Professor, Ohio State University Extension Clark County, State Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator, Horticulture Educator, Director, Springfield, OH

Wow! I Wish I’d known that. Avoid These Top Garden Mistakes.”

Pam is the State Master Gardener volunteer coordinator as well as the Horticulture Educator and Director for Ohio State University Extension in Springfield, Ohio. She has a BS in Landscape Horticulture and an MS in Human and Community Resource Development from OSU. Her responsibilities include coordinating the Master Gardener volunteer program statewide as well as in Clark County, where she works with over 100 volunteers, conducting consumer and commercial horticulture programs, and coordinating the OSU Nursery Short Course. Pam specializes in herbaceous ornamental plant trials and evaluates more than 200 varieties of annuals yearly. Prior to joining OSU Extension in 1992, Pam had 11 years of garden center management.

Jud Scott, President and Consulting Arborist, Vine and Branch, Inc., Carmel, IN

How to Kill a Tree

Jud is recognized as a Registered Consulting Arborist with the American Society of Consulting Arborists, a Certified Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture, and has been accepted as a member of the Arboricultural Association of the United Kingdom. His company Vine & Branch is a local contracting company that has been recognized with numerous national awards for Tree Preservation, Tree Maintenance and Hazard Tree Recognition. He also operates Jud Scott Consulting Arborist LLC which offers consulting arborist services for disputes on a national basis.

Kara Salazar, Sustainable Communities Extension Specialist, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant & Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Rainscaping Practices for Home Gardens

Kara joined the Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant as Sustainable Communities Extension Specialist in 2012. In this position, Kara serves as a link between Indiana communities and scientists conducting research on sustainability. She develops programs and tools that transfer new technologies and discoveries to communities that can apply this work to support informed land use and policy decisions. Working with multidisciplinary teams throughout Purdue University, Extension, and the Sea Grant college network, Kara develop products, programs, and resources that engage decision makers in evaluating, prioritizing, and implementing sustainability strategies for their communities.

Dr. Tom Creswell, Clinical Engagement Association Professor, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology and Director, Purdue Plant Diagnostic Lab, West Lafayette, IN

 Hands-on Plant Problem Diagnosis Update

Tom Creswell has been with Purdue University for seven years, serving as the director of the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory (PPDL). His expertise is in the area of diagnostics of ornamental plants, vegetables, fruits and turf. As lab director Tom manages the PPDL staff, budgets, laboratory operations and provides training in diagnostics to extension field staff, growers and others. He has supported Purdue’s international extension work by developing a plant pathology curriculum and by providing training to plant protection faculty from eight Afghanistan universities. He also trained specialists in Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock in Kabul and Herat in plant disease diagnostic methods and laboratory management standards. Tom has also assisted the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service in Belize and Bangladesh and has conducted diagnostics trainings in Colombia and Grenada. He is actively involved in the American Phytopathological Society and the National Plant Diagnostic Network.

Prior to coming to Purdue University, Tom was the managing director of the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic at North Carolina State University (NCSU) for 20 years. He received his B.S. in Botany (1980) and M.S. in Plant Pathology (1982) from Auburn University and his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology (1987) from NCSU.


Beth Botts, Garden Writer, thegardenbeat.com, Chicago, IL

"Vegetables Anywhere: How to Fit Farming Into Your Life" (a talk on food gardening in raised beds, containers, balconies, roof gardens, courtyards, or simply smaller spaces--whether you're a beginner or an experienced gardener who is ready to downsize)

Beth Botts has written hundreds of articles about gardens and nature for publications including the Chicago Tribune, Organic Gardening, Country Gardens and Chicagoland Gardening. She is the author of Illinois, Indiana & Ohio Month-by-Month Gardening: What to Do Each Month to Have a Beautiful Garden All Year (coming in February 2016 from Cool Springs Press). A Master Gardener and volunteer tree steward, she was formerly a longtime editor and reporter for newspapers including the Chicago Tribune. She now is a senior writer at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. Her website is thegardenbeat.com.

Dr. Mike Dana, Professor, Purdue University, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, West Lafayette, IN

Top Perennials for Your Landscape

Michael Dana is a Professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University, joining the faculty in 1982 following Ph.D. studies at the University of Minnesota.  He received the B.S. in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1973.

Professor Dana practiced landscape architecture in Cambridge, Massachusetts between 1973 and 1976.  At Purdue, Dr. Dana worked in horticulture extension and conducted research on woody and native plants before focusing on undergraduate education.  He leads the undergraduate horticulture program, teaches at the freshman through senior levels, and advises students in academic and club activities.

With colleagues in history and landscape architecture, Dr. Dana innovated an undergraduate study abroad course in English landscape and garden history which has been taught bi-annually since 2002.  A similar history-focused international travel-study program for Master Gardeners grew out of that course.  The Master Gardener travel-study courses are offered each summer.

John Orick, Purdue Master Gardener State Coordinator, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Purdue Master Gardener Roundtable Discussion

John Orick earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Degrees from Purdue University in Turfgrass Science. John’s work experience includes nearly 10 years in the golf course maintenance industry, including 4 years as an assistant golf course superintendent at two different Indiana golf courses. He served as a Purdue Extension Educator in Madison County for 16 years. During his career with Purdue Extension, John coordinated a very active Purdue Master Gardener program that provided gardening and horticulture education through a variety of programs and events. John has served on teams to develop programs such as “Purdue Master Gardeners…Growing Through Leadership” and “Purdue Rainscaping Education Program”. John currently serves as Purdue Master Gardener State Coordinator in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. There are over 3,000 Master Gardener volunteers in Indiana, contributing over 140,000 volunteer hours annually valued at over $1.3 million.

Kevin Tungesvick, Restoration Ecologist, Spence Restoration Nursery, Muncie, IN

Using Native Plants in the Home Landscape

Kevin initiated native plant propagation in 1995 at Spence Restoration Nursery and supervised the expansion of the nursery to nearly 200 species of native herbaceous plants. There he schedules production, maintenance and sales of an inventory of over 750,000 native herbaceous plants. He also supervised development of 200 acres of native seed nursery containing over 100 species of source identified Indiana genotype native plants. He speaks at numerous educational outreach programs on restoration, storm water management, native plants, and climate change.  

Kevin has also performed floral inventories for park departments, land trusts, universities, and private properties. He is co-author of the Additions to the Flora of Mounds State Park and Preserve published in the Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Sciences.

Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Horticulturalist, Garden Writer, Purdue Master Gardener, Marion County, Indianapolis, IN

Low Maintenance Landscapes

Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp grew up in Indianapolis and lives about 15 minutes from downtown in a 1951 ranch. As a confessed hortiholic, she admits that her eyes are too big for her yard. You just can’t have enough plants. She feeds the birds, provides them with sources of water, and if she’d complete the inventory and application form, her landscape could be a certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat. One of these days it will be official. She considers herself a seat-of-the-pants, trial-and-error gardener.

A former newspaper reporter, she now works as a freelance writer, editor and photographer. Her work appears in several national and local publications, including the American Gardener, Indiana Gardening, Angie’s List magazine and her Hoosier Gardener column in the Indianapolis Star. She edits Iowa Gardener, Michigan Gardening, Minnesota Gardener and Wisconsin Gardening magazines. She works with corporations and not-for-profits on annual reports, newsletters, white papers and other types of written communication. Besides freelancing, she has worked seasonally at a large independent garden center for 13 years. She was the founding editor and a part owner of Indiana Living Green magazine. Jo Ellen blogs at hoosiergardener.com.