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Professional Interest Groups
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What is a Professional Interest Group? (Formerly Called Working Groups)

The objectives of most ASHS Professional Interest Groups include the following:

  • To promote interaction between and among the research, extension, teaching, and industry components of horticultural science;
  • To provide a forum for the development, discussion, exchange, sharing, or dissemination of ideas, information, or materials via approved Workshops, Symposia, contributed paper sessions, discussion groups, business meetings, field trips, regional and national meetings;
  • To promote, encourage, facilitate, or coordinate basic and applied research and education by identifying critical needs, developing methods and procedures, or preparing proposals;
  • To promote liaison or good working relationships with other organizations with similar interests;
  • To educate the public
  • To encourage recruitment of young scientists; and
  • To recognize outstanding contributions.

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ASHS Professional Interest Group Manual - Detailed information for and about professional interest groups, guidelines for workshop proposals and more.

Download Manual in .pdf format

Professional Interest Group Annual Report Form


ASHS Professional Interest Groups

Administrators (ADM) - To provide a forum for department and government administrators to meet to consider and discuss common problems and responsibilities and to share ideas that may enhance administrative abilities.
Chair 2016-17: Candice Shoemaker
Chair-elect:
Secretary:

Asian Horticulture Group (WGAH) - To promote dialogue and information and germplasm exchanges between horticulturists residing in America and Asia and to assist them in developing horticultural education, research, and extension programs to better preserve and utilize their rich horticultural resources. 
Chair 2017–18: Guoquing Song
Chair-elect: Sanjun Gu
Secretary: Youping Sun

Association of Horticulturists of Indian Origin (AHIO) - To promote fellowship among the horticultural scientists of Indian origin and increase professional opportunities through increased interaction among them and with other American scientists; promote awareness of ASHS membership benefits and encourage membership pool from India; facilitate and support ASHS ad-hoc membership to attract Indian Horticulturists; to act as scientific ambassadors to facilitate an exchange of scientific information and cultural ideas between India and countries in North America; help share and transfer results of scientific research to India to improve agricultural productivity and quality.
Chair 2017–18: Sastry Jayanty
Chair-elect: Krishna Nemali
Secretary:

BioEnergy (BioE) - To provide a platform for promoting and expanding the opportunities to apply expertise and technologies of horticulture to bioenergy crops and for sharing and disseminating information related to bioenergy research and expanded funding potential.
Chair 2017-18: Vanessa S. Gordon
Chair-elect: Stevens M. Brumbley
Secretary:

Citrus Crops (CITR) - To provide a forum for exchange of ideas between the various specialists in citrus research and citrus extension personnel.
Co-Chair 2017-18:  Catherine Simpson
Chair-elect: Manjul Dutt
Secretary: Davie Kadyampakeni


Commercial Horticulture Extension (CHEX)—To increase ASHS membership and meeting participation of horticultural extension specialists working with industry and/or community groups, to foster communications between such specialists, and to share ideas and methods for working with growers and commodity groups.
Chair 2017–18: Lewis Jett
Chair-elect:
Secretary:

Computer Applications in Horticulture (COMP) - To study the application of computers in research, extension, and teaching of horticulture.
Chair 2017-18: Kent Kobayashi
Chair-elect: Tongyin Li
Secretary: Brian Krug

Consumer Horticulture and Master Gardeners (CHMG)—To become familiar with cooperative extension home horticulture programs within the United States, to identify and develop the ability to respond to home horticulture information needs, and to improve methods of information delivery to home horticulture audiences.
Chair 2017–18: Sheri Dorn
Chair-elect: Natalie Bumgarner
Secretary: Esther McGinnis

Ecological Physiology (formerly Crop Physiology and Environmental Stress Physiology) - To provide a cross commodity forum for discussions of the integrative physiology of horticultural crop growth, development, and cropping. Areas of interest include (but are not limited to): patterns of vegetative and reproductive development; crop radiation interception and microclimate; dry matter production and partitioning; cultural and environmental influences on crop physiology and productivity; integration of carbon, water and nutrient physiology; modeling of physiological processes. To promote basic and applied research on the physiology of horticultural crops with primary emphasis on crop physiological responses to environmental stresses, specifically including temperature, water, and air pollution stresses.
Chair 2016-17: Rajasekaran Lada
Chair-elect: Yan Chen
Secretary: Catherine Simpson

Emeriti (EMER) - To provide a forum for retired horticulturists where some issues of concern to ASHS can be defined, analyzed, and acted on; to establish a registry of retired horticulturists; and to identify an accessible reservoir of research, extension, and teaching talent that may be called on for help and guidance.
Chair 2016-17: Blanche Dansereau
Chair-elect: Gene Albrigo
Secretary:

eXtension (EEXT) This group has been disbanded.

Federal Partners Working Group (FP) - To provide a network for horticultural professionals who work for national, federal, state, and local governments. To provide linkages to university and industry colleagues to promote exchange of ideas, common research goals, and multilevel approaches to large and/or complex issues affecting horticulture and food security.
Chair 2017-18: John Beaulieu
Chair-elect:
Secretary: Jerry Weiland

Floriculture (FLOR) - To identify problem areas (and propose approaches to resolving them), to develop higher standards of quality, and to share information about activities occurring in floriculture research, education, and extension.
Chair 2016-17: Chris Currey

Chair-elect: Shaun Broderick
Secretary:

Fruit Breeding (FRBR) - To promote and coordinate research efforts in the genetics and breeding of fruit crops.
Chair 2016-17: Chunxian Chen
Chair-elect: Dario Chavez
Secretary: Cameron Peace

Genetics and Germplasm (GG) - To provide a forum for plant breeders, geneticists, botanists, general horticulturists, and others interested in collecting, preserving, evaluating, distributing, and/or using germplasm in or for research or teaching programs.
Chair 2017-18: Ted Kisha
Chair-elect: Wenhao Dai
Secretary:  Kim Shearer

Graduate Student (GRAD) - To provide a formal organization for Graduate Students in ASHS to support programs and issues facing Graduate Students in Horticulture.
Co-Chair 2017-18:  Travis Alexander
Co-Chair:   Jack McCoy
Co-Chair Elect: Nathan Jahnke
Co-Chair Elect: Hunter Hammock
Secretary: Kaylee South

Growth Chambers and Controlled Environments (CE) - To provide leadership for horticulturists in the use of growth chambers and controlled environments and to provide a means for cooperative research and teaching among those using or interested in such facilities in their programs.
Chair 2017-18: Christopher Currey
Chair-elect: Roberto Lopez
Secretary: Ricardo Hernandez

Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants (HSMP)
- To promote and encourage scientific research and education on herbs, spices, and medicinal plants, emphasizing botanical, cultural, environmental, genetic, harvesting, physiochemical, processing, and pharmacological aspects of these plants.
Chair 2017-18: Katherine Warpeha
Chair-elect: Changbin Chen
Secretary: Xiaozhong Liu

History of Horticultural Science (HIST) - To exchange information and promote interest in the history of horticultural technology and science.
Chair 2016-17: David Karp
Chair-elect:
Secretary:

Human Issues in Horticulture (HIH) - To stimulate discussion among those engaged in research and education programs in areas of horticulture that interact with the social sciences, such as economics, psychology, education, various forms of therapy, urban and rural sociology, and urban and rural development.
Chair 2017-18: Esther McGinnis
Chair-elect: Mun Wye Ching
Secretary:

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) - The purpose of the Intellectual Property Rights Interest Group (IPR) is to provide a forum that will promote the exchange of information and discussion of issues concerning the protection of intellectual properties. Working Group Disbanded by Board of Directors 2017 - Group is seeking reinstatement
Chair 2015-16: Ralph Scorza
Chair-elect: Johnny Loff
Secretary:

International Horticultural Consultants (ICON) - To discuss the credentials and accreditation of international consultants and sources of information, backstopping, teamwork, training, experience, and communications necessary for effective employment as an international consultant in either the private or public sector, and to develop a directory of international horticultural consultants in ASHS and their sources of information.
Chair 2017-18: Russell Galanti
Chair-elect: Roland Ebel
Secretary: Louise Ferguson

International Horticultural Issues & Networking (IHIN) - To provide a forum for the exploration, discussion, and exchange of information on global issues of vital concern to horticulturists in all divisions and disciplines; to provide a potential mechanism through concerted action for input into decision and policy making processes at the national and international levels.
Chair 2017–18:  John Griffis
Chair-elect:  Vanessa Campoverde
Secretary: Sofia Carvalho

Invasive Plants Research (INPR) - To communicate research ideas, techniques, and methods on the identification, study, and control of invasive plants in cross-commodity horticulture production and in urban and rural lands; and the assessment of exotic plants for potential invasiveness.
Chair 2017-18: Neil Anderson
Chair-elect: Lyn Gettys
Secretary: Chris Marble

Local Food Systems (LOCSY) - To promote academic and research information exchange on scientific development, scholarship, and educational activities related to and regarding local and regional production systems, including definition and measurement of food systems, foodsheds, small and mid-scale production systems, beginning/new farmers, local farmers and farmers markets, farmers expanding from direct sale to local/regional wholesale, scale neutral technologies, agriculture at the urban/rural interface, urban horticulture production (community gardens, school gardens, home gardens), farm-to-consumer marketing, farmer-to-institution /school marketing, local food system and farmland policy, and relationships of local horticulture to rural and urban communities and economies.
Chair 2017-18:  Rebecca Brown
Chair-elect:  Jeremy Cowan
Secretary:

Marketing and Economics (MKEC) - To bring together workers having horticultural and economic interests in the marketing of horticultural crops and to expand markets and improve marketing techniques for horticultural crops.
Chair 2017-18:  Bridget Behe
Secretary: Chengyan Yue

Nursery Crops (NUR) - To identify those conducting nursery crop research and to ascertain the scope and direction of their studies, to develop and share information for teaching nursery management and production courses, and to provide staff development opportunities for nursery crop specialists, teachers, and researchers by developing information programs and interacting with the nursery industry and profession.
Chair 2017-18: Chris Marble
Chair-elect:  James Altland
Secretary: John Majsztrik

Orchid Working Group (OWG) - To provide a platform for promoting fellowship, expand the opportunities, exchange ideas, and share information about activities occurring in orchid research, education, and extension.
Chair 2016-18: Ken Leonhardt
Chair-elect: Hideka Kobayshi
Secretary: Teresita Amore

Organic Horticulture (ORGH)
- To stimulate discussion on horticultural research techniques that enable growers to produce horticultural crops according to organic standards, and on the processes that make organic production systems function.
Chair 2017-18:  Brian Ward
Chair-elect: Annette Wszelaki
Secretary: Javier Fernandez-Salvador

Ornamental Plant Breeding (OPB) - To promote ornamental plant breeding, to serve as a forum for exchange of information among breeders, and to coordinate the communication of results to industry and academia.
Chair 2017-18:  Amir Khoddamzadeh
Chair-elect:  Lyn Gettys
Secretary: Kimberly Shearer

Ornamentals/Landscape and Turf (O/LT) - To study woody (ornamental and native) herbaceous and turf materials with emphasis on plant adaptability, selection, and maintenance requirements and to provide a vehicle for arboreta, botanic gardens, and the landscape industry (architects and contractors) to become more closely allied to ASHS.
Chair 2017-18: Mengmeng Gu
Chair-elect:  Tim Pannkuk
Secretary:  Charles Fontanier

Photography (FOTO) -  This group has been disbanded.

Plant Biotechnology (BTCH) - To communicate research ideas, techniques, and progress on the emerging techniques in micropropagation, cell selection, protoplast culture, embryo culture, haploidy, gene transfer, and molecular biology as they relate to horticultural crop improvement; and to encourage collaboration among researchers in the fields of plant genetics, germplasm and breeding, stress physiology, tissue culture, growth regulator research, and plant growth and development on problems of concern in improvement and propagation of horticultural crops.
Chair 2017-18:  Hao Wu
Chair-elect: Youping Sun
Secretary: Krishna Bhattarai

Plant Growth Regulation (PGR - formerly Growth Regulators in Fruit & Nut Production) - To foster excellence in plant growth regulator research, to help and encourage new research talent in plant growth regulators, to unify research and industry workers in an attempt to solve horticultural problems related to plant growth regulator research between ASHS and other related organizations.
Chair 2017-18:  Tripti Vashisth 
Chair-elect:   Chris Currey
Secretary:  Shinsuke Agehara

Plant Nutrient Management (PNM) - To exchange ideas and information on mineral nutrition and to provide interaction between industry and public institutions interested in mineral nutrition of horticultural crops.
Chair 2016-17:   Dharma Pitchay
Chair-elect:    Vasile Cerven
Secretary:   Steven Lewis

Plasticulture (PLAST) - Heightened environmental awareness and recent advances in plasticulture technology are catalyzing all kinds of new approaches in horticultural production around the world. The purpose of the Working Group is to encourage and facilitate the mutual exchange of ideas and information concerning the use of plastics in various aspects of horticultural research, extension, education, and industry. This is accomplished by promoting plastics science and technology, by providing a forum for the exchange of plasticulture ideas and information, and by encouraging innovation.
Chair 2016-17: Josh Freeman
Chair-elect: Gordon Johnson
Secretary: Xin Zhao

Pomology (POM) - To assist the planning and development of research, extension, and teaching programs in pomology and to serve the current and future needs of the fruit industry.
Chair 2017-18:  Stefano Musacchi
Chair-elect:  Derek Woolard
Secretary:  Thomas Kon

Postharvest (PH) - To exchange ideas and information relating to postharvest biology and technology of horticultural crops, to increase the awareness among other researchers, research administrators, legislators, and the public of the importance of the postharvest aspects of horticulture to the physical, economic, and psychological well-being of the population, and to integrate activities with those of associated Working Groups.
Chair 2016-17: Randolph Beaudry
Chair-elect: Peter Petracek
Secretary: Steve Sargent

Produce Quality, Safety, and Health Properties (QUAL) - To promote more creative research, teaching, and industry liaison among horticulturists and food scientists.
Chair 2016-17: Matt Kleinhenz
Chair-elect: Chris Gunter
Secretary: Xin Zhao

Production and Harvest Mechanization (MECH) - This group has been disbanded.

Propagation (PROP) - To exchange ideas and information on propagation of horticultural crops and to provide interaction between industry and public institutions interested in propagation of horticultural crops.
Chair 2017-18: Maria Jenderek
Chair-elect: Javier Castillon
Secretary: Youping Sun

Public Horticulture (PUBHORT) - To provide a forum for professional networking and discussion about matters related to botanic gardens, arboreta, and other institutions of public horticulture. Of particular interest are issues germane to public horticulture research, education, and outreach activities conducted within a higher education environment.
Chair 2017-18: Matthew Taylor
Chair-elect: Margaret Pooler
Secretary:

Root Growth and Rhizosphere Dynamics (RHIZ) - To provide a forum to promote and exchange information on basic and applied research about the plant rhizosphere, soil microorganisms, root growth and development, and root modeling, which apply to horticultural (fruit, vegetable, ornamentals), forest, and agronomic crops grown in synthetic or field soils.
Chair 2016-17: Arthur Villordon
Chair-elect: Gerardo Nunez
Secretary: Susan Miyasaka

Seed and Stand Establishment (SSEST)
- To bring together those interested in seed technology, seed storage, seed production, seed physiology, seed pathology, plant breeding, and all other phases of research, education, or extension related to horticultural seeds and seed quality, to discuss problems, new methods, technologies, and other aspects related to these areas, and to promote a strong union of public- and private-sector workers interested in seeds and seed crops. To promote activities related to the establishment of a uniform and vigorous crop from seed, transplant material, or vegetative propagules, with emphasis on seed treatments, soil amendments, transplanting techniques, and other practices that might lead to stand enhancement in the field or greenhouse.
Chair 2017-18:  Amir Khoddamzadeh
Chair-elect: Shinsuke Agehara
Secretary: Xianming Duan

Teaching Methods (TCHG) - To provide information and an area of interaction among educators at all levels and extension personnel interested in teaching, with emphasis on teaching procedures, effective use of photographic equipment and materials, and lists of source materials.
Chair 2017-18:  Jill Bushakra
Chair-elect: Andrew King
Secretary:  Jacqueline Ricotta

Temperate Tree Nut Crops (NUTS) - To bridge the wide communications gap among nut tree researchers, to exchange ideas, results, and experiences in similar orchard crops, and to provide a forum to discuss various aspects of research unique to tree nut crops.
Chair 2017-19: Joshua Sherman
Chair-elect: Luke Milliron
Secretary: 

Tropical Horticultural Crops (TROP) - To discuss the culture, postharvest physiology, and processing of tropical fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, condiments, pharmaceuticals, flavors, fragrances, latex, nuts, oils, beverages, and underutilized horticultural plants.
Chair 2017-19: Hao Wu
Chair-elect:  Alan Chambers
Secretary:

Undergraduate Student (UG) - To foster collegiality among undergraduate students in horticultural sciences.
Chair 2017-18: Ashlyn Perry
Chair-elect:  Connor Hagemeyer
Secretary:  Alonso Loredo Gaspar and John Scott

Vegetable Breeding (VGBR) - To promote the exchange of information on breeding procedures, screening techniques, and other areas of specific interest to vegetable breeders, to encourage the exchange of germplasm among vegetable breeders, and to maintain current lists of vegetable variety names and descriptions.
Chair 2017-18:  Carlos Avila
Chair-elect:   Geoffrey Meru
Secretary: Subas Malla

Vegetable Crops Management (VCM) - To promote research and extension of a systems approach to production and utilization of vegetables.
Chair 2017-18:  Ramon Arancibia
Chair-elect: Shinsuke Agehara
Secretary: 

Viticulture and Small Fruits (VSF) - To study the improvement, production, propagation, and culture of small fruit and grape crops, to perform services for the Society and the general public in the area of small fruits and grapes, and to exchange current information on recent research findings and educational and industry problems.
Chair 2017-18: Jill Bushakra
Chair-elect: Elina Coneva
Secretary: Kaan Kurtural

Waste Utilization in Horticulture (WUH) - This group has been disbanded.

Water Utilization and Management (WUM) - To gather and disseminate information on water conservation, crop water requirements, irrigation methods, and efficient and effective water management.
Chair 2016-17: John Majsztrik
Chair-elect:
Secretary:

Weed Control and Pest Management (WCPM) - To share new ideas and other research information concerning pest control in the varied areas of horticultural crop production.
Chair 2017-18: Mary Rogers
Chair-elect:  Craig Ramsey
Secretary: Ajay Nair

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