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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

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 2016–17: Shehbaz Singh
Chair-elect: Jayanty Sastry

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 2014-17: Vanessa S. Gordon
Chair-elect: Stevens M. Brumbley

Citrus Crops (CITR) - To provide a forum for exchange of ideas between the various specialists in citrus research and citrus extension personnel.
Co-Chair 2016-17: Kelly T. Morgan
Chair-elect: Catherine Simpson

Commercial Horticulture (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 2016–18: Gordon Johnson
Chair-elect: Lewis Jett

Computer Applications in Horticulture (COMP) - To study the application of computers in research, extension, and teaching of horticulture.
Chair 2016-17: Arturo Duarte Sierra
Chair-elect: Kent Kobayashi
Secretary: Tongyin Li

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 2016–17: Lucy Bradley
Chair-elect: Sheri Dorn
Secretary: Natalie Bumgarner

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

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 2016-17: Penny Perkins-Veazie
Chair-elect: Nahla Bassil
Secretary: John Beaulieu

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

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 2016-17: Michael Dossett
Chair-elect: Ted Kisha
Secretary: David Dai

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 2016-17:  Laura Kaderabek
Co-Chair:  Kauahi Perez
Co-Chair Elect: Travis Alexander
Co-Chair Elect: Jack McCoy

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 2016-17: Dean Kopsell
Chair-elect: Christopher Currey
Secretary: Roberto Lopez

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 2015-17: Hideka Kobayashi
Chair-elect: Katherine Warpeha
Secretary: Changbin Chen

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

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 2016-18: Tina Cade
Chair-elect: Carl Motsenbocker

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.
Chair 2015-16: Ralph Scorza
Chair-elect: Johnny Loff

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 2016-17: Louise Ferguson
Chair-elect: Bizhen Hu
Co-Chair-elect: Russell Galanti

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 2016–18:  Mike Schnelle
Chair-elect:   John Griffis

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 2016-17: Michael A. Schnelle
Chair-elect: Neil Anderson

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 2016-17:  Bill Evans
Chair-elect: Rebecca Brown

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 2016-17: Alicia Rihn

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 2016-17: Ryan Contreras
Chair-elect: Chris Marble
Secretary: James Altland

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 2017-18: Ken Leonhardt

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 2016-17: Mary Rogers
Chair-elect: Brian Ward
Secretary: Annette Wszelaki

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 2016-17: Lisa W. Alexander
Chair-elect: Amir Khoddamzadeh

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 2016-17: Dayton Wilde
Chair-elect: Mengmeng Gu
Secretary: Tim Rinehart

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 2016-17: Dilip Panthee

Plant Growth Regulation (PGR) - 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 2016–17: T. Casey Barickman
Chair-elect: Tripti Vashisth
Secretary: Chris Currey

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 2014-17: 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 2016-17: Elina Coneva
Chair-elect: Stefano Musacchi
Secretary: Derek Woolard

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 2016-17: Youping Sun
Chair-elect: Maria M. Jenderek

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 2016-17: Elizabeth Barton
Chair-elect: Matt Taylor
Secretary: David Graper

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 2016-17: Ajay Nair
Chair-elect: Amir Khoddamzadeh
Secretary: Shinsuke Agehara

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 2016-17: Brian Pearson
Chair-elect: Jill Bushakra
Secretary: Andrew King

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 2016-17:  Richard Heerema

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 2016-17: Hideka Kobayashi
Chair-elect: Hao Wu
Secretary: Hao Wu

Undergraduate Student (UG) - To foster collegiality among undergraduate students in horticultural sciences.
Chair 2016-17: Dylan Neuhaus
Chair-elect: Ashlyn Perry
Secretary:  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 2016-17: Sam Hutton
Chair-elect:  Carlos Avila
Secretary: Geoffrey Meru

Vegetable Crops Management (VCM) - To promote research and extension of a systems approach to production and utilization of vegetables.
Chair 2016-17: T. Casey Barickman
Chair-elect: Ramon Arancibia
Secretary:  Shinsuke Agehara

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 2016-17: Jayesh Samtani
Chair-elect: Jill M. Bushakra
Secretary: Elina Coneva

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

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 2016-17: Joshua Freeman
Chair-elect: Mary Rogers
Secretary: Craig Ramsey

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 2016–17: Kedong Da
Chair-elect: Guoquing Song
Secretary:  Sanjun Gu

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