Propagation With CTAHR Pride
When the Western Region International Plant Propagation Society (WR-IPPS) held its annual conference in Kona last week, plenty of present and former members of the CTAHR ‘ohana were there to provide information and support. Noa Lincoln (TPSS), a specialist in indigenous crops and cropping systems, spoke on “Traditional and Contemporary Propagation of Hawaiian Crops,” and assistant researcher Orville Baldos (TPSS) presented on “Developing Propagation Protocols for Native Hawaiian Plants with Potential Landscape and Indoor Uses.” Many graduates were there: MS alumnus Ethan Romanchak, who now operates Native Nursery on Maui, spoke on “The Propagation and Production of ‘Ohi‘a Lehua (Metrosideros sp.) for Retail, Landscape, and Reforestation.” Nellie Sugii, who received her M.S. in Horticulture and now is manager of the Hawaiian Rare Plant program and tissue culture lab at Lyon Arboretum, joined with BS alumnus Tim Kroessig, who is now working on an M.S. in Botany while working in the seed lab at Lyon Arboretum, to speak on “Germplasm Storage and Propagation for Hawaiian Plant Conservation.” Tracie Matsumoto, who received her M.S. in Horticulture (followed by a PhD at Purdue), is now research leader at the USDA, ARC, DKI, PBARC Tropical Genetic Resources and Disease Research unit in Hilo; her presentation was on “In Vitro Preservation of Subtropical and Tropical Fruit and Nut Crops.” Nor was that all: Big Island County agent Ty McDonald assisted the organizers with some of the local arrangements, and former agent Norman Bezona opened his Cloud Forest Sanctuary so conference-goers could experience its many exotic and native plants, while Emeritus faculty Rich Criley (TPSS) was part of the organizing committee. And their work was successful: over a hundred participants from 12 countries gathered in Hawai‘i to hear speakers and attend field trips to nurseries and botanical gardens; TPSS also hosted a pre-conference stop to show Tessie Amore’s (TPSS) anthurium and orchid breeding programs and Orville’s work on developing native species for landscape and ornamental uses. Pictured here, left to right, are Orville, Ethan, Tim, Nellie, and Tracie.