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International Search for Excellence Nominations

We are pleased to announce that the International Master Gardener Committee is accepting nominations for the 2017 International Master Gardener Search for Excellence (SFE), through August 1, 2016.

We are opening SFE nominations a bit earlier this year for two reasons.  First, members of the SFE committee have requested more time to carefully review nominations.  Second, our goal is to inform folks that their project has been selected as a 2017 International Search for Excellence awardee ~ in time for them to register for the conference at the early bird registration rate.

[As an aside, early bird registration will be from October 10, 2016 through January 13, 2017.  Regular registration will be from January 14, 2017 through May 31, 2017.]

Visit the 2017 IMGC SFE page, to review the 2017 International Master Gardener SEarch for Excellence Guidelines, and for full details on how to submit a project for consideration.

You may also find it useful to read a bit more about some of the 2015 Search for Excellence Award Winners.

 

Renee Shepherd to Keynote 2017 IMGC

Renee Shepherd will be the closing keynote speaker at the 2017 IMGC.

We are thrilled to announce that Renee Shepherd – Seed Developer, Gardener, Entrepreneur and Author – will close out the 2017 International Master Gardener Conference as our third keynote speaker.  She joins Plantsman Dan Hinkley and Wildlife Biologist John Marzluff, to complete the roster of 2017 International Master Gardener Conference keynote speakers.  But, we still have lots of concurrent session speakers in the works for you!  Stay tuned.  We’ll announce concurrent session speakers as they are confirmed.

Renee Shepherd is widely regarded as a pioneering innovator in introducing international specialty vegetables and herbs for home gardeners and gourmet restaurants. After receiving her PhD from UC Santa Cruz and teaching in the Environmental Studies department there, she founded Shepherd’s Garden Seed which she ran until 1996. In 1997 she founded her current company, Renee’s Garden, offering her selected choices of seeds for exciting new and time-tested heirloom gourmet vegetables, culinary herbs and a wide range of fragrant and cutting flowers, sourced from seed growers both large and small around the world. Renee’s Garden seed packets are available directly from www.reneesgarden.com and are offered through independent garden centers in the US and Canada.

Renee writes the descriptions and growing information for all the company’s seed packets, chooses seed varieties, manages marketing activities, and directs and enjoys the company’s large trial gardens in California and Vermont. She has authored two cookbooks, Recipes from a Kitchen Garden and More Recipes From a Kitchen Garden and is putting the finishing touches on a third book combining both gardening advice and great recipes.

Renee lectures widely at national and regional garden shows and is a featured speaker at numerous gardening conferences. She has many community interests and serves on the Planning Commission for Santa Cruz County, California. She has served on the board of the National Garden Association and is currently president of the Home Garden Seed Association.

Renee’s Garden is my practical way to spread the joy of gardening as a meaningful, productive and satisfying activity that connects us to each other and the earth.” – Renee Shepherd

Call for Speakers is Open!

Now that the 2015 International Master Gardener Conference is winding down, we are officially taking nominations for speakers for the 2017 International Master Gardener Conference.

The 2017 International Master Gardener Conference will be held July 10-14, 2017 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, OR.

We’re looking for speakers who are dynamic and engaging.  Speakers must understand  and abide by the Master Gardener Program commitment to research-based information, and should be able to adapt information so that it is of interest to Master Gardeners from across the United States, Canada and South Korea.

Nominate yourself!  Or, nominate a great speaker who you have seen at another event.

Putting on a conference is expensive!  Therefore, priority may be given to great speakers who are able to partially or fully underwrite the cost of their appearance.  As we secure more sponsors, we will be able better support our speakers.

We are so sincerely thankful for our generous conference sponsors and supporters.  Without them, we would not be able to bring great speakers to Portland.

If you are interested in supporting the 2017 International Master Gardener Conference, please take a look at our sponsorship information sheet.  Your tax-deductible donation can be made via check or PayPal.

John Marzluff at 2017 IMGC

John Marzluff will be presenting a keynote address at the 2017 International Master Gardener Conference.
John Marzluff will be presenting a keynote address at the 2017 International Master Gardener Conference.

We’re pleased to announce that Professor John Marzluff will present a keynote address at the International Master Gardener Conference on Wednesday, July 12, 2017.  I recently saw Dr. Marzluff lecture at Oregon State University, where he inspired and impressed me with his knowledge, delivery and humor.  He is the perfect combination of an academic expert, on a topic of broad interest to home gardeners, who understands how to deliver a talk to a general and broad audience.  I was also impressed with his ability to talk about birds and landscapes in many different geographic regions of the United States.

Below is a YouTube clip of Dr. Marzluff talking about crow behavior and biology.  This talk is soooo cool!  But, I didn’t want to spoil the fun for you at the 2017 IMGC.  At our conference, Dr. Marzluff will be speaking about birds in urban and suburban environments, and the role we all play in shaping their presence, absence and behavior.

The clip below is to ‘whet your appetite’, so to speak.  If you have the time, watch it to the end.  The second half (in my opinion) is the best part!

Want to learn more about Dr. Marzluff?  His biography is below.

Biography of Dr. John Marzluff

John Marzluff is James W. Ridgeway Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington.  His graduate (Northern Arizona University) and initial post-doctoral (University of Vermont) research focused on the social behavior and ecology of jays and ravens.  He continues this theme investigating the intriguing behavior of crows, ravens, and jays.  His current research brings this behavioral approach to pressing conservation issues including raptor management, management of pest species, and assessment of nest predation.  He has led studies on the effects of military training on falcons and eagles in southwestern Idaho, the effects of timber harvest, recreation, and forest fragmentation on goshawks and marbled murrelets in western Washington and Oregon, conservation strategies for Pacific Island crows, and the effects of urbanization on songbirds in the Seattle area.  His classes include Ornithology, Governance and Conservation of Rare Species, Field Research in Yellowstone, and Natural and Cultural History of Costa Rica.

Professor Marzluff has written five books and edited several others. His graduate research in communication, social organization, demography, and foraging behavior was reveled in The Pinyon Jay, 1992, Academic Press (coauthored with his advisor Russell Balda). His book, In the Company of Crows and Ravens (with Tony Angell, 2005 Yale U. Press) blends biology, conservation, and anthropology to suggest that human and crow cultures have co-evolved.  This book won the 2006 Washington State Book Award for general nonfiction.  With his wife, Colleen, he published Dog Days, Raven Nights (2011 Yale University Press), which combines reflection with biology and the recreational pursuit of dog sledding to show how a life in science blooms.  Gifts of the Crow (2012 Free Press, coauthored with Tony Angell) applies a neurobiological perspective to understand the amazing feats of corvids.  His most recent book Welcome to Subirdia (2014 Yale) discovers that moderately settled lands host a splendid array of biological diversity and suggests ways in which people can steward these riches to benefit birds and themselves.

Dr. Marzluff has mentored over 30 graduate students and authored over 135 scientific papers on various aspects of bird behavior and wildlife management.  He is a member of the board of editors for Ecological Applications.  He has edited Avian Conservation: Research and Management that includes 40 chapters detailing research approaches to conserve avian biodiversity throughout the world (1998, Island Press), Avian Conservation and Ecology in an Urbanizing World (2001, Kluwer Academic Publishers), Radiotelemetry and Animal Populations (2001, Academic Press), Urban Ecology: An International Perspective on the Interaction Between Humans and Nature (2008, Springer), and Perspectives in Urban Ecology (2011, Springer). He is currently leader of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Recovery Team for the critically endangered Mariana Crow, a former member of the Washington Biodiversity Council, and a Fellow of the American Ornithologist’s Union.