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Mike joined the School of Agriculture in 1995. His teaching responsibilities have included Introduction to Ornamental Horticulture, Crop Science, Landscape Plant Identification, Landscape Management, Interior Plants, Greenhouse Operation and Management, Plant Physiology, Plant Development and Biotechnology, Plant Breeding, Fruit and Vegetable Production, Seminar in Soils, Crops and Ornamental Horticulture, Special Topics in Ornamental Horticulture, and Undergraduate Research in Ornamental Horticulture. Mike has advised over 125 undergraduate students, coached the flower crop quality evaluation and design and NACTA horticulture judging teams, and advised the Ornamental Horticulture Club and Alpha Pi Chapter of Pi Alpha Xi (chartered 2006). He is the superintendent of the Pioneer Greenhouse, which includes 6,500 sq ft of greenhouse.
Mike has been active in curriculum development. He was instrumental in developing the ornamental horticulture major (initiated in fall 2000), revised the horticulture and biotechnology minors, and developed plant science curriculum for the Wisconsin Information Delivery System. He has been active in attracting extramural funding, and writing numerous grants with current and pending funding valued at over $500,000. Mike has been recognized at UW-Platteville, the University of Wisconsin System, and nationally as an outstanding teacher and advisor, receiving the Alliant Energy Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Award from UW System (1999), Thomas and Lee Ann Lindahl Teaching Excellence Award (2002), American Association of State Colleges of Agriculture and Renewable Resources (AASCARR) Outstanding Teaching Award (2003), UW-Platteville Outstanding Academic Advisor Award (2005) and the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Faculty Advising (2006).
Mike has an active orchid tissue culture and breeding research program that involves undergraduate students. Mike has published 35 refereed journal articles, 22 book chapters, and 41 abstracts for invited oral and poster presentations. He has reviewed over 200 manuscripts and is currently serving as an editor for the Journal Propagation of Ornamental Plants. Mike (with Dr. Timothy Zauche of the UW-Platteville Department of Chemistry and Engineering Physics) received a utility patent for an innovative potting medium recipe that uses solids from a manure digester as the main organic additive. Mike has been recognized for his collaborative research efforts with undergraduates, receiving the UW-Platteville Abughalous Award for Excellence in Scholarly Research (2004) and Wisconsin Technology Foundation's WiSys Innovation Scholar Award (2006). Mike previously served as editor for Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture, HortScience and In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology-Plant.
Mike is a member of the American Society for Horticulture Science, American Orchid Society, the Society for In Vitro Biology, the International Society for Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology, the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, Alpha Zeta, Phi Alpha Xi horticultural honor society (secretary - treasurer, 2006-2008), and Sigma Xi Research Society.
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