Friday, February 25, 2011

The U of I Plant Clinic: Change

This article was taken from the U of I Home, Yard, and Garden Pest Newsletter Written by Nancy Pataky (Former University of Illinois Plant Clinic Director) July 30, 2010

Thank You and Farewell
This is my last article for the Home, Yard, and Garden Pest Newsletter. I want to take this opportunity to thank my loyal readers, as well as those who are new to the newsletter, for taking the time to read and question what we have to say. I am about to start my next phase of life--retirement. Some say I am too young to retire. I certainly feel that I am too young. Still, I have worked as the Plant Clinic Coordinator, Plant Clinic Assistant Director, and Plant Clinic Director for over 30 years now, so obviously I am not too young to retire. There are parts of the job I will not miss, mostly related to grants, forms, and reports. I will definitely miss interacting with clients and trying to help growers with plant disease problems.
The first image in this article is not my young replacement. In fact, that happens to be me near the beginning of my career when I was told that if I worked at the University of Illinois Plant Clinic for 5 years, then I could probably move on to bigger things. I enjoyed those first 5 years and the 25 additional years that followed. The second image is me as well, but in November of 2009.

From Stephanie Porter:
We will never be able to replace Nancy Pataky, but we hope to continue her legacy at the University of Illinois Plant Clinic.  With much change across the state with the reorganization of the University of Illinois Extension, there also has been change in the managment of the University of Illinois Plant Clinic.  The following will be diagnosing and supervising at the Plant Clinic:

Stephanie Porter

Stephanie Porter was hired in February as the Visiting Plant Diagnostic Outreach Specialist-Crop Sciences. She will serve as a plant diagnostician at the University of Illinois Plant Clinic, collaborate with departmental Extension Specialists to diagnose plant health problems and provide management recommendations, and manage the database for plant disease (NPDN), insect and weed identification, and interface with counterparts in the North Central Plant Diagnostic Network. Additionally, Stephanie will develop short courses and outreach for plant diagnostics as outlined in the NIFA-Extension IPM (E-IPM) grant.

Suzanne Bissonnette

Suzanne Bissonnette was hired in August as the U. of I. Extension, Plant Clinic and IPM Coordinator. Her primary responsibilities are to centralize IPM educational outreach, diagnostics, and programming within the context of a virtual Center of Extension IPM outreach and provide program leadership for the NIFA Extension IPM (E-IPM) Illinois program, and the NPDN grant program as supports
the Plant Clinic operation. She will provide leadership and deliver educational
programming that includes the content areas of: plant disease and pest diagnostics
and management; chemical, biological, cultural and physical pest control methods; rural and urban pest management. As coordinator, Suzanne is responsible for the supervision of the operation of the University of Illinois Plant Clinic.

Friday, February 18, 2011

You Might be a Plant Diagnostician/Plant Pathologist......

If you answer yes, to most of the below questions, you just might make a good Plant Diagnostician or Plant Pathologist.  And, yes, most of the following questions are based on my personal experience.

1.  Was one of your favorite cartoons, "Scooby-Doo", and did you enjoy solving the mysteries?

2.  Did Santa bring you a microscope as a child, and you liked it better than your "Cabbage Patch and Strawberry Shortcake" dolls?

3.  Do you think outside the "Disease Triangle", instead of thinking "outside the box"?

4.  Do you enjoy fungus? (enough said)

5.  Have you taken more pictures of plant problems, than pictures of your own children?

6.  Do you wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, because you had a nightmare that 2 million plant samples have been submitted to the Plant Clinic and you have to diagnose all their problems by the end of the week?

7.  Do you go on family trips to the zoo, and get yelled at by your spouse for spending too much time looking at the lesions on foliage near the lion's cage?

8.  Can you identify plants by their plant diseases?

9.  In Graduate school, were you referred to as a "fungi killer" by the Mycology students?

10.  If given the choice between a vacation to a tropical paradise and a trip to National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) meeting......what would you choose?