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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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2017 Call for Nominations

The B.Y. Morrison Memorial Lecture series was established in 1968 by the Agricultural Research Service to honor the memory of Benjamin Y. Morrison and to recognize scientists who have made outstanding contributions to horticulture and other environmental sciences, to encourage the use of these sciences, and to stress the urgency of preserving and enhancing natural beauty.

Benjamin Y. Morrison (1891–1966) was a pioneer in horticulture and the first director of the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, DC. A scientist, landscape architect, plant explorer, author, and lecturer, Morrison advanced the science of botany in the United States and fostered broad international exchange of ornamental plants. Morrison was also chief editor of the American Horticultural Society's magazine from its inception in 1926 until 1963, only 3 years before his death.

2016 B.Y. Morrison Memorial Lecturer

Christopher B Watkins, Director, Cornell Cooperative Extension; Professor, Postharvest Science and Associate Dean for Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Human Ecology, Cornell University.

New technologies for storage of horticultural products - there is more to adoption than availability!

The last decade has represented a time of great innovation for the postharvest community, most notably the development of dynamic controlled atmosphere (DCA) and 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP)-based technologies. For apple industries, DCA and 1-MCP represent an interesting example of distinct regional patterns of adoption, the former technology being much more commonly used in Europe, especially Italy, than in the North America, and vice versa. Possible reasons for these differences include earlier availability of 1-MCP in the North America compared with Europe, emphasis on organic and avoidance of any postharvest chemical usage, room quality necessary to maintain the very low oxygen concentrations required for successful DCA, and demand for fruit texture at the consumer level that is provided by 1-MCP but not DCA. Other technologies such as heat treatments, sulfur dioxide and irradiation meet specific needs that can make them economically viable, while others such as nitric oxide may be effective but have not been commercialized. Finally, a large literature is developing on the effects of salicylic acid, polyamines, γ-aminobutyric acid and others on ameliorating chilling injuries, but less clear is the potential for commercial development. In this overview, DCA, 1-MCP, and other selected technological innovations will be discussed in relation to factors associated with commercialization and their adoption by various industries.



Call for Nominations

2017 B.Y. Morrison Memorial Lecture Call for Nominations

The Agricultural Research Service, USDA's principal in-house scientific agency, is seeking nominations for the 2016 B.Y. MORRISON MEMORIAL LECTURE, which is co-sponsored by the American Society for Horticultural Science. The Lecture is to be presented at the ASHS annual meeting September 19-22, 2017 in the Big Island of Hawaii.

The Lectureship is a forum for a presentation on a scientific topic, trend, issue or policy of the Lecturer's choice. An honorarium of $2,000, a medallion, and expenses to present the Lecture are provided. Also included is the opportunity to turn the presentation into a paper on the lecture topic for publication in an ASHS journal. This publication will be posted as 'Open Access' so that anyone, not just subscribers, can read it.

Established in 1968 by ARS, the Lecture honors the memory of Benjamin Y. Morrison (1891-1966) by recognizing outstanding contributions to horticulture. B.Y. Morrison was the first director of USDA's National Arboretum in Washington D.C. and a pioneer in horticulture. A scientist, plant breeder, landscape architect, plant explorer, author, and lecturer, Morrison advanced the science of botany and horticulture in the United States. His legacy to the American public includes dozens of new ornamental plants, including the Glenn Dale azaleas.

To nominate a person, send by mail the candidate's CV and a letter explaining their contributions to horticultural science to: Kim Kaplan, Lecture Coordinator, ARS Information Staff, Room 1-2253, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705-5128; telephone 301-504-1637. If a nominations is emailed, ARS will not be responsible for formatting issues.

Nomination Process

To nominate a person, please send by mail:

  1. A letter explaining the nominee's contributions to horticultural science
  2. Nominee's current curriculum vitae

To: Kim Kaplan, Lecture Coordinator
ARS Information Staff, Room 1-2253
5601 Sunnyside Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705-5128
Telephone 301-504-1637

(Nominations may not be faxed or emailed - Deadline for nominations: March 3, 2017)

Nominees may be outstanding senior contributors in industry, universities, or government positions. Current ARS employees are not eligible.


The American Society for Horticultural Science co-sponsors the B.Y. Morrison Lecture. ASHS is a professional society dedicated to promoting national and international interest in scientific research and education in all branches of horticulture.


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Last Modified: 8/12/2016
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