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Department of Plant Science

News Archives

Dr. Bruce Roberts receives the Salgo Noren Award for Teaching Excellence.

Bruce Roberts

Congratulations to Dr. Bruce Roberts for receiving the Salgo Noren Award for Teaching Excellence.  He continues to exemplify great leadership, dedication and commitment to his students' success by providing the necessary skills and tools to serve as advocates and ambassadors to our agricultural industry.  Dr. Roberts encourages students and alumni to continue to share their passion and promote agriculture.  His selfless and generous spirit, enthusiasm for teaching, perseverance and compassion are a testimony to the respect and admiration he has gained from his many students, colleagues and peers. Group photo courtesy of Geoff Thurner, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Communications Specialist.  

Sonia Inez Rios receives Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Graduate Dean's Medal

Sonia RiosSonia Inez Rios of Wasco, completed an M.S. in Plant Science with a 3.79 GPA. Having struggled early in her undergraduate program due to a variety of personal situations, she persevered and has amassed an impressive list of academic, professional, and volunteer accomplishments. She balanced her graduate studies while working almost full-time as a staff research associate with the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE). As a graduate student, she was the first-author on 11 oral and eight research poster presentations and was a co-author in three peer-reviewed journal papers. Her thesis research on Palmer Amaranth was so paramount that she was interviewed on a radio program and gave talks at professional venues. She won a highly competitive international travel grant to present her work at the Weed Science Society of America’s annual conference in Vancouver, Canada, and numerous other scholarships. She was selected as a United States Department of Agriculture Graduate Fellow in 2014 and was a recipient of the University of California’s Milton D. And Mary M. Miller Plant Science Award and the Bill and Jane Fischer Vegetation Management Award. She is a subtropical horticulture farm adviser with UCCE serving Southern California.

Armando Guzman receives Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Undergraduate Dean's Medal

Armando Guzman

Armando Guzman of Tulare, completed a B.S. in Plant Science, Plant Health Option, with a 3.95 GPA. One of six boys born to Mexican immigrants, he graduated as salutatorian from Tulare Western High School. While at Fresno State, Guzman engaged in a variety of research projects and assisted other students with additional studies related to weed science. He co-authored a presentation accepted to the 2015 annual meeting of the Weed Science Society of America, presented in Lexington, Kentucky. In November 2014 he was one of 21 students nationwide selected as a Golden Opportunity Scholar to attend the annual American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America Conference in Long Beach, where he competed in the President’s Trophy Speech. He was invited to the National Society of Collegiate Scholars in 2011. His immediate goal is to become a licensed pest control adviser and certified crop adviser. He is considering pursuing a master’s degree in Plant Science at Fresno State after gaining experience in the industry.


Dr. Anil Shrestha receives 2015 Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching

Anil Shrestha

CONGRATULATIONS to Dr. Anil Shrestha (Professor, Plant Science) who received the 2015 Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest faculty honor in the University and also to Dr. Pei Xu (Assistant Professor, Agricultural Business) who received the Promising New Faculty Award.  Photo courtesy of Geoff Thurner, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Communications Specialist.

New Equipment for University Agricultural Laboratory (Fresno State Farm)

Plant 170T

Ken Heupel and student Willy Havard from Fall 2014 - Plant Science 170T Ag Equipment Construction class.  

The recently-completed back implement on the tractor is courtesy of Willy and was his fall semester-long class project that will now be used on the Fresno State farm.  Great job Willy!  Photo contributed by Geoff Thurner, Communications Specialist

Plant Science Club meets with President Castro

President Castro

Plant Science Club delegates to the 2014 ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting in Long Beach noted recently were privileged to share their 1st place presentation with President Castro this afternoon.  He listened intently as Armando Guzman highlighted ag-related leadership activities, club development, fundraising and a wide variety of community service projects from the previous year in competition with 14 other prestigious schools, including Texas A&M, Ohio State University and University of Arkansas.  The President encouraged them to keep him apprised of they how fare in future competitions.

Rodger and Margaret Jensen Student Scholars

Jensen ScholarsMeet and greet with the 2014-15 Rodger & Margaret Jensen Student Fellows (awarded to Plant Science and Ag Business majors) - 11/25/14 at Jensen Library, Alumni House. Students - Cody Verhoef, Carlos Cervantes, Arielle DiPinto, *Charlie Garcia, *Lexa Freitas, Rodger Jensen, Doug Jensen, Dr. Annette Levi, Dr. John Bushoven, Alcidia Gomes, Shannon Fast, Richard Matoian, Bob Blakeley. Photo by Geoff Thurner, Copyright 2014. The Plant Science Department appreciates the generosity of the Jensen family in helping these students achieve their career goal of becoming outstanding leaders in the agricultural industry!


Sarah Parry receives California Weed Science Society Internship Award

parry lettuceLast day of Sarah Parry's Organic Romaine Lettuce Harvest Project (12-01-14) at Fresno State's OH Organic plot (NE corner of Chestnut and Barstow Avenues). The internship project was supported by a California Weed Science Society undergraduate internship award to Sarah, pictured with the blue hat and sunglasses. Fellow students and staff who helped her with the harvest were Ryan Cox, Elizabeth Mosqueda, Mala To, Calliope Correia, Instructional Support Technician, (not pictured) and Dr. Anil Shrestha (Weed Science Professor).  

The crops were being grown to study weed control science.

The project hypothesis was that it wasn't necessary to weed the whole growth cycle, and Parry and fellow students are testing it by collecting data about the best time to weed based on info gathered from four plots that each had 8 different treatments.

During the study, they will examine weed density, weed chlorophyll density, weight of lettuce, the # of grams grown/harvested per plot, and the levels of anthosynin in samples after frozen for several weeks (to determine the level of stress resistance of the leaves).

The plants available after testing will be available for sale at the Gibson Farm Market. Contributed by Geoff Thurner, Communications Specialist


Western Plant Health Association Dinner



The Western Plant Health Association sponsored a student industry dinner for our students to network with professionals in the plant health industry to learn about various internships and job opportunities.  

 Plant Science Club earns 1st Place President's Trophy

group photoASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting - Long Beach

Plant Science Club members were able to attend various oral and poster sessions, participate in a Quiz Bowl, and network with industry professionals and other students at the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America International Annual Meeting.  Armando Guzman helped the Plant Science Club earn the 2014 1st place Presidents' Speech Trophy at the American Society of Agronomy-Crop Science Society of America-Soil Science Society of America International Annual Meeting held in Long Beach on November 1. He did a phenomenal job of presenting a five minute speech on behalf of the Plant Science Club to the incoming tri-society Presidents on how our Students of Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Sciences (SASES) chapter promotes Awareness of the Profession, Public Service, Club Development and Fundraising. Another highlight was visiting the Chancellor's Office. 

Two Golden Opportunity Scholars selected from Fresno State

Nadia and ArmandoCongratulations to Armando Guzman and Nadia Juarez who will be representing Fresno State as Golden Opportunity Scholars.  They will be attending the ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting in Long Beach on November 1-5, 2014!  Thanks to the Agronomic Science Foundation for supporting these exemplary students from across the U.S. and the world to network with professionals and encourage the next generation of leaders in the profession.

Plant Science students selected for the Irrigation Association's E3 Learner Awards

Josue and TouCongratulations to Josue Samano-Monroy and Touyee Thao for being selected to receive the E3 Learner Award.  Learn more about the Irrigation Association's E3 program which enables students to learn through "Exposure, Experience and Education" by accessing the following link:

Josue and Tou 2

This is indeed a great achievement when you consider that 2 of the 10 awardees are from the Fresno State Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Plant Science Department!  Please note that nominations were invited from "all undergraduate or graduate students at a North American community college, university or similar institution of higher learning"...these students continue to make us proud! ~ Dr. Dave Goorahoo, Associate Professor, Vegetable Crops

Plant Science Students earn top Honors at UC Davis Weed Day

Plant Science Students Honored

To read the whole story please visit Fresno State News. 





Fresno County Farm and Nutrition Day

Armando planting with kids

The Farm and Nutrition Day program provides basic and current facts about the agricultural industry, gives students and teachers the opportunity to become familiar with food and animal production, and allows personal contact with people in the industry. Their goal is to introduce children to the values of good health and nutrition habits, as well as educate them about agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley and their world. They help create a positive awareness among the youth of all the contributions that agriculture makes to our community and the economy. Nearly 2,300 third graders participated in the March 21 event.

Graduate Student Sonia Rios selected as a 2014 USDA/NIFA "Hispanics in Higher Education" Fellow

Sonia Rios

Details can be found on page 96 of the following:

Sonia also won 1st place for her poster presentation at the American Society of Biological and Agricultural Engineers-California/Nevada Annual Section Meeting in Tulare, CA for her poster "EVALUATION OF THERMAL AND MECHANICAL TOOLS OF WEED MANAGEMENT IN ORGANIC VINEYARDS."

 Weed Science Professor and Graduate Students Earn Honors at the Annual California Weed Science Society Meeting 

The Department of Plant Science would like to CONGRATULATE the following individuals listed below for their outstanding efforts at the California Weed Science Society Meeting recently held in Monterey. 

Dr. Anil Shrestha received one of two prestigious California Weed Science Society Award of Excellence for 2014 for his contributions to research, education and extension. The other recipient was Dr.Brad Hanson from U.C. Davis. Plant Science Graduate student, Sonia Rios, tied for 1st place in the oral presentation competition with a student from U.C. Davis and Michelle Dennis (Fresno State) took 3rd place. Graduate students Lalo Banuelos and Rama Paudel also gave oral presentations. Undergraduate students, Hannah Pacheco and Nadia Juarez competed in the poster competition.

Congratulations to everyone for doing a great job of representing Fresno State. We're very proud of all of you!

 Anil and Students 1Front L-R: Rama Paudel, Elizabeth Mosqueda, Dr. Anil Shrestha and Sonia Rios. Back: Lalo Banuelos


Anil and Students 2

 L-R: Rama Paudel, Hannah Pacheco, Dr. Anil Shrestha, Sonia Rios and Nadia Juarez. Back: Lalo Banuelos

Plant Science Graduate Student Receives Travel Award

Sonia Rios, Fresno State Plant Science Graduate Student, was awarded one of six Weed Science Society of America Graduate Travel Award for the 2014 International Annual Meeting which will be held on February 3-6, 2014 in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

CONGRATULATIONS Sonia for being selected for this highly competitive international award. Other award recipients are: Michael Ashworth - University of Western Australia, Kelli Belmont - University of Idaho, Dustin Houghton - Purdue University, Andrew Mckenzie-Gopsill - University of Guelph, and Destiny Palik - Ohio State University.

Sonia is working with Dr. Anil Shrestha at Fresno State and Mr. Steve Wright from the University of California Cooperative Extension, Tulare. She will be presenting her poster entitled “Screening for Glyphosate-Resistance in Palmer Amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) Populations of California's San Joaquin Valley.”

For more information regarding the WSSA, please view

ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Meeting

Elizabeth and Students

Congratulations to Elizabeth Mosqueda for placing 2nd in the US at the President's Trophy Speech contest at the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America in Tampa, Florida in November, 2013. We're so proud of you and the team!



Bruce Roberts and Students

Touyee Thao was also selected to attend as a Golden Opportunity Scholar. Elizabeth, Helen Maka, Ashley Coleman, Mala To, Katie Asai, Vincent Servin II, Joel Talbot, Omar Carrillo, Mayra Guzman and Nadia Juarez along with their club advisor, Dr. Bruce Roberts, did a wonderful job of representing the Plant Science Club, Plant Science Department, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and Fresno State at this international conference!