Ph.D., Pomology and Viticulture, 1986, Cornell University
M.S., Horticulture, 1982, The Pennsylvania State University
B.S., Plant Sciences, 1980, West Virginia University
• “Virginia Wine Industry Person of the Year 1997” by Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service’s Virginia Wine Growers Advisory Board.
• “Wine Industry Productivity Award 1998” by Vinifera Wine Growers Association.
• Recognition award for “Contribution to Virginia Viticulture,” by Virginia Vineyards Association, February 2008.
• Virginia Tech Alumni Extension Excellence Award, March 2009.
My research interests are broad and reflect the multi-disciplinary challenges faced by the Virginia wine grape industry. Previous research focused on methods of grapevine canopy management that affected grape and wine quality, cold hardiness investigations, and inter-disciplinary collaboration with entomologists and plant pathologists to reduce pest problems.
Current research includes wine grape variety evaluations, collaborative studies of grape root borer effects on grapevines, regulation of vine vegetative growth to enhance grape and wine quality, and collaborative efforts to develop a new generation of GIS vineyard site evaluation maps for Virginia. Graduate students are an integral part of my research program.
My Extension responsibilities are to educate commercial grape growers and train Cooperative Extension agents in interdisciplinary measures that improve grape quality and vineyard productivity. I use workshops, short courses, field meetings, and a variety of written media to disseminate information. To the extent possible, I also address individual requests for information and assistance. I directly assist Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) faculty-agents with grape-related problems and provide in-service agent training. Some of this activity is of a regional nature with colleagues in Pennsylvania and Maryland. The publication of the Wine Grape Production Guide for Eastern North America in 2008 is a recent example of an Extension deliverable. Current Extension programs include:
• Cooperation with local VCE agents with seasonal vineyard meetings.
• Cooperation with the Virginia Vineyards Association on technical summer meeting and winter short course.
• Development of a "Sustainable Vineyard Practices" workbook for Virginia grape producers.