Wednesday, April 16, 2014

SNRE hosts controlled environment meeting

"Controlled environments are the future of growing food," proclaimed businessman Bernie Karl at a meeting of the Committee on Controlled Environment Technology and Use April 12-15 at Chena Hot Springs Resort.

Meeting participants, hailing from the U.S., Canada, Finland and Sweden, heartily agreed.

NCERA-101 participants paused for a group photo at Chena Hot Springs Resort.
NCERA-101 is composed of an eclectic balance of academic researchers and extension personnel, graduate students, companies supporting controlled environment agriculture research by offering facilities, equipment and technical services, plus researchers and administrators from federal agencies such as NIFA (National Institutes of Food and Agriculture) and NASA.

UAF Professor Meriam Karlsson headed up the planning committee for the meeting and was elected chair during the proceedings.

Following the annual business meeting, participants heard reports from researchers representing their agricultural experiment stations. Scientific posters and industry exhibits were on display throughout the three-day event.

Professor Meriam Karlsson, at right, accepts the chairmanship of the Committee on Controlled Environment Technology and Use. It was passed on by Henry Imberti of Percival Scientific Co., Perry, Iowa, at left.
While at Chena Hot Springs Resort, NCERA-101 participants were treated to tours of the power plant, greenhouse and ice museum. The final day found the group in Fairbanks at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, UAF greenhouses and the Reindeer Research Program at the Fairbanks Experiment Farm.

The finale was an Alaska-grown meal at Pike's Waterfront Lodge where Chef Jeffrey Brooks prepared locally grown reindeer, vegetables and salad, along with rhubarb and blueberry pies baked by volunteer Susan Risse.

Past organizers have stated that the informal, friendly nature of NCERA is conducive to information exchange, learning and network building.
Graduate students submitting posters were, from left, Jacob Nelson (Utah State University), Garrett Owen (Purdue University), Celina Gomez (Purdue University) and William Meng (Michigan State University). Meng took first place.
See also "NCERA-101: Controlled environment technology and use"

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