I’m an associate professor in the department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Washington State University. I’m also an Extension Specialist in Urban Horticulture, meaning that I have a global classroom rather than one physically located on a college campus. I’m trained as a woody plant physiologist and I apply this knowledge to understanding how trees and shrubs function in urban environments. This is a fancy way of saying I enjoy diagnosing landscape failures – sort of a Horticultural CSI thing.
I’m a native Washingtonian, but I spent my academic life at Oregon State University and then moved to Buffalo for my first university position. I moved back to Seattle in 1997 and worked at University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture. In 2001 we were fire-bombed by ecoterrorists (and yes, the irony of the greenest center on campus being targeted by ecoterrorists is not lost on me) and I lost my ability to do lab work. During this time I developed a more applied research program and in 2004 I began my Extension position with WSU.
Jeff and I have never actually met, but we’ve been chatting via internet for some time. Apparently he manages his time better than I, since he has the ability to spearhead this blog on top of everything else he does. I know I’m looking forward to this new venue for discussing the science behind America’s favorite outdoor activity (assuming that’s still gardening and not Ultimate Frisbee or frog licking).