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Professional Interest Groups
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What is a Professional Interest Group?

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

Professional Interest Group Report Instructions

Officer Group Page Instructions

Professional Interest Group Administrative Distribution List (Division Assignments)

Division News

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 2020-21: Desmond Layne

Asian Horticulture Group (AH) - 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 2020-21: Wenjing Guan
Chair-elect: Tongyin Li
Secretary: Wusheng Liu

Association of Horticulturists of Indian Subcontinent (AHIS) - To promote fellowship among the horticultural scientists of the Indian subcontinent and increase professional opportunities through increased interaction among them and with other American scientists; promote awareness of ASHS membership benefits and encourage the membership pool from the Indian subcontinent; facilitate and support ASHS ad-hoc membership to attract horticulturists from the Indian subcontinent; to act as scientific ambassadors to facilitate an exchange of scientific information and cultural ideas between countries in the Indian subcontinent and North America; help share and transfer results of scientific research with those in the Indian subcontinent to improve horticultural productivity and quality.
Chair 2020-21: Subhankar Mandal
Faculty Advisor/ Co-Chair: Kalpalatha Melmaiee

Secretary: Sadikshya Sharma

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 2019-20: Vanessa S. Gordon
Secretary: Wagner Vendrame

Citrus Crops (CITR) - To provide a forum for exchange of ideas between the various specialists in citrus research and citrus extension personnel.
Co-Chair 2020-21:  Rhuanito Ferrarezi
Chair-elect: Ute Albrecht
Secretary: Pablo Morales-Payan

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 2020-21: Ajay Nair
Chair-elect: Joshua Sherman
Secretary: Annette Wszelaki

Computer Applications in Horticulture (COMP) - To study the application of computers in research, extension, and teaching of horticulture.
Chair 2020-21: Kent Kobayashi 
Chair-elect: Tongyin Li 
Secretary: Christine Hensley

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 2020-21: Sarada Krishnan
Chair-elect: Heather Kirk-Ballard
Secretary: Lauren Garcia Chance

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 2020-21: Curt Pierce
Chair-elect: Giverson Mupambi
Secretary: Gerardo Nunez

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.
Co-Chairs 2020-22:  Mary Peet and Mary Albrecht

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 2020-21: Vanessa Gordon
Secretary: Chunxian Chen

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 2019-20:  Ryan Dickson

Chair-elect: Ryan Dickson
Secretary: Orville Baldos

Fruit Breeding (FRBR) - To promote and coordinate research efforts in the genetics and breeding of fruit crops.
Chair 2020-21: Courtney Weber
Chair-elect: Ebrahiem Babiker
Secretary: Seonghee Lee

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 2020-21:  Krishna Bhattarai 
Chair-elect: Massimo Iorizzo
Secretary:  Dilip Panthee

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 2019-20:  Moriah Bilenky (Co-Chair)
Co-Chair:   Todd Anderson (Co-Chair)
Secretary: Melinda Knuth

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 2019-21: Roberto Lopez
Chair-elect: Ricardo Hernandez
Secretary: Catherine Simpson

Hemp Research and Extension (HEMP) - To unify hemp research and extension with students and faculty across the nation. This group will provide a forum to share recent advances, challenges, and future directions in the research and outreach of this widely expanding crop. This PIG will create a core group of multi-state collaborators that can be leveraged to secure federal funding for hemp research.
Co-Chair 2020-21: Scott Lukas
Co-Chair 2020-21: Zack Brym
Secretary: Krystal Snyder

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.
Co-Chair 2020-21: Changbin Chen and Xiaozhong Liu
Chair-elect: Yan Chen and Toktam Taghavi
Secretary: Youping Sun and Marysia Morawska

History of Horticultural Science (HIST) - To exchange information and promote interest in the history of horticultural technology and science.
Chair 2019-20: Jules Janick
Secretary: 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 2020-21: Carolyn Robinson
Chair-elect: Amir Khoddamzadeh
Secretary:  Michael Schnelle

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. Group reinstated 12/06/2017
Chair 2020-21: Kim Shearer
Chair-elect:  Paul Silverman

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 2020-21: Dilip Nandwani
Chair-elect: Sarada Krishnan
Secretary: Daniel Boakye

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 2020-21: Roland Ebel
Chair-elect:  Kevin Duerfeldt
Secretary: Mike Schnelle

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 2020-21: Chris Marble
Chair-elect: Matt Taylor
Secretary: Mike Schnelle

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 2020-21:  Jayesh Samtani
Chair-elect:  Leonard Githinji
Secretary: Xin Zhao

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 2020-21:  Ariana Torres
Chair-elect: Alicia Rihn
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 2019-20: James Altland
Chair-elect:  John Majsztrik
Secretary: Jeb Fields

Orchid (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 2018-20: Hideka Kobayashi
Chair-elect: Teresita Amore
Secretary: Alan Chambers

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 2019-20:  Javier Fernandez-Salvador
Chair-elect: Dilip Nandwani
Secretary: Jeremy Cowan

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.
Co-Chair 2019-21:  Kimberly Shearer
Co-Chair:   Kaitlin Barrios
Secretary: Mary Lewis

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 2020-21: Grant Thompson
Chair-elect:   Heidi Kratsch
Secretary:  Gerald Burgner

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 2020-21: Guo-Qing Song
Chair-elect: Wusheng Liu
Secretary: Alfred Huo

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 2020-21: Fernando Alferez
Chair-elect:   Thomas Kon
Secretary:  Ahmad Omar

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 2019-20: Joseph Albano
Chair-elect:  Francesco Di Gioia
Secretary:  Tripti Vashisth

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 2020-21: Francesco Di Gioia
Chair-elect:  Annette Wszelaki
Secretary:  Wenjing Guan

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 2020-21:  Sara Serra
Chair-elect:  Sherif Sherif
Secretary:  Shahla (Sara) Mahdavi

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 2020-21: Hemant Gohil
Chair-elect: Donald Seifrit
Secretary: Yosef Al Shoffe

Produce Quality, Safety, and Health Properties (QUAL) - To promote more creative research, teaching, and industry liaison among horticulturists and food scientists.
Chair 2020-21: Xin Zhao
Secretary: Connie Fisk

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 2020-21: Xiaozhong Liu
Chair-elect: Ewelina Jacygrad
Secretary: Donglin Zhang

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 2020-21: Kim Shearer
Chair-elect: Lauren Garcia-Chance
Secretary: Marguerite Beckford

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 2019-20: Lorenzo Rossi
Chair-elect: Derek Woolard

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 2020-21: Tiare Silvasy
Chair-elect:  Lillian Pride
Secretary: Alfred Huo

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 2020-21:  Gerardo Nunez
Chair-elect:   Chad Miller
Secretary:  Kent Kobayashi

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 2019-20: Luke Milliron
Chair-elect: Gurreet Brar
Secretary: David Hlubik

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 2019-20:  Hideka Kobayashi
Secretary: Alan Chambers

Undergraduate Student (UG) - To foster collegiality among undergraduate students in horticultural sciences.
Co-Chairs 2019-20: Kelsey Brazelton & Kendall Shaw
Secretary: Elizabeth Clippard

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 2019-20: Subas Malla
Chair-elect:   German Sandoya
Secretary: Ainong Shi

Vegetable Crops Management (VCM) - To promote research and extension of a systems approach to production and utilization of vegetables.
Chair 2019-20:  Brian Ward
Chair-elect: Qingren Wang
Secretary:  Dilip Nandwani

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 2019-20: Kaan Kurtural
Chair-elect: Margaret Worthington
Secretary: Ali Sarkhosh

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 2020-21: Jake Shreckhise

Chair-elect: Andre Da Silva
Secretary: Rhuanito Ferrarezi

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 2020-21: Matthew Cutulle
Chair-elect:  Jayesh Samtani
Secretary: Mary Rogers

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Phone: 703.836.4606