About the Course
Working in partnership, GLASE, OptimIA, and LAMP are excited to announce the first annual Plant Lighting Short Course! This 6-part modular short course is designed to provide participants the opportunity to learn about all aspects related to the selection, implementation, and benefits of plant lighting systems. In each sequential module, attendees will use interactive tools to define their specific lighting requirements, hear from industry experts about available horticultural lighting systems, and learn how to compare different lighting strategies. By the end of the course, participants will be equipped to make informed decisions about the best options to meet their lighting needs.
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Professor & Extension Specialist
Trained in agricultural engineering with degrees from Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Cornell University, Dr. Both serves on the faculty in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick since early 2000. His research focuses on environmental control for crop production systems, supplemental lighting, modeling, and renewable energy systems for agriculture. His research includes projects in growth chambers, greenhouses, and high tunnels. He conducts industry outreach through Extension publications and presentations at grower meetings. He collaborates with colleagues across the US and he contributes to projects GLASE and LAMP. He teaches several undergraduate and graduate courses at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.
Associate Professor & Extension Economist
University of Georgia
Dr. Campbell is faculty in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Georgia. His research focuses mainly on the economics and marketing of greenhouse, nursery, and turf products. He is a coPI and member of the outreach team on Project LAMP where he oversees the economic and consumer marketing components of the grant with a focus on understanding the feasibility of implementing lighting technologies in greenhouses and consumer reaction to these technologies.
Utah State University
Dr. Bugbee is a crop physiologist who teaches graduate level courses in plant nutrition and plant physiology at Utah State University. He is well known for his work with NASA to determine potential crop yield in controlled environments and he is currently funded by NASA to study food production on Mars. Nine of his former students are now on the faculty at other Universities. In 2011, he received the Governor’s Medal for Science from the State of Utah. Among his seminal achievements is a TED talk titled, “Turning Water into Food.” In 1996 he founded Apogee Instruments, a research-based company that develops and manufactures instrumentation for environmental monitoring. Bugbee is a coPD/coPI on Project LAMP and is a member of the scientific advisory board for GLASE.
Dr. David Hawley leads the scientific research initiative at Fluence by OSRAM as the company’s Principal Scientist. His experience in controlled environment systems, horticultural lighting and cannabis metabolome naturally underpins Fluence’s mission to drive industry-leading lighting research to explore the interaction between light and life. During his time at the University of Guelph—where he received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees—Dr. Hawley’s passions and research specialties merged in the lab, where he investigated the relationships between spectral quality and the three pillars of plant development: yield, morphology and plant quality. His doctoral studies also included the exploration of cannabis photochemistry and metabolism, after which he earned one of the first doctorates in North America focused on cannabis production.
I have been Head Grower for the Greenhouse at Walters Gardens for six years. I graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Horticulture Production & Marketing. Walters Gardens currently has over 500,000 sq ft of greenhouse space and field space totaling close to 1,500 acres. Walters has a strong commitment in introducing new varieties of perennials and providing the highest quality to our customers. My responsibilities include: educate, coaching, and managing growers on watering, nutrient management, trimming, and PGR management of our plug material. We grow and sell plugs of 128s, 72s, 20s, and 30s. I also work closely with growers on developing location of product in our greenhouses to hit our target finish weeks. A good portion of our product is shipped during late winter/early spring months which requires us to use lighting and environmental control systems to help finish the plants for sales.
Dr. Erico Mattos is the executive director of the Greenhouse Lighting and Systems Engineering consortium and co-founder and CEO of Candidus. Erico earned a Ph.D. (2013) from the University of Georgia and a B.S from the University of Sao Paulo (2009). In 2012, Erico completed Singularity University’s graduate studies program in Mountain View, CA. Most recently Erico was a recipient of the 2020 40 under 40 award by the LED magazine and recognized by Produce Grower magazine in 2019 as Produce Pioneer for his contributions to the CEA industry. At GLASE, Erico works with academics and industry stakeholders to facilitate the development and implementation of new technologies aimed to improve CEA food production sustainability. At Candidus, Erico is leading the development and implementation of new lighting control technologies to increase greenhouses lighting energy use efficiency and maximize operations profitability.
Professor & Extension Specialist
Michigan State University
Dr. Runkle is on the faculty in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University. His research focuses on the environmental physiology of herbaceous specialty plants grown in greenhouses and indoor farms. He is project director of OptimIA, optimizing indoor agriculture for leafy green production. For this project, he is investigating how environmental factors, especially lighting and temperature manipulations, influence growth and development of annual bedding plants, herbaceous perennials, leafy greens, and potted flowering plants. The underlying objective of this research is to improve the efficiency and/or quality of high-value specialty crops production.
Jim Faust is a professor at Clemson University where he teaches floriculture and hydroponic courses and does research on a variety of topics including heat delay of poinsettias, botrytis management in cut flowers, and postharvest management of cannabis flowers. He has worked on DLI responses of floriculture crops, including the development of DLI maps for all of the major international flower production areas.
Indoor Agriculture Program Manager
Franklin Energy Services
Joe Sullivan is a Program Manager and the technical lead for Franklin Energy’s CEA energy efficiency services. Prior to joining Franklin Energy, he founded Cultivate Energy Optimization, a leader in CEA-targeted energy efficiency program design and implementation services for electric and gas utilities. For over eight years he’s worked with 20+ utilities and government agencies across North America to deliver CEA targeted energy management and incentive programs that provide technical support, energy assessments, equipment rebates, education, outreach, and policy and regulatory guidance to the CEA industry. Joe is a published author and has delivered trainings and presentations on topics such as guidelines for utility incentives, energy efficiency measure development, CEA building codes, strategic DSM program design, and trade ally management. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in natural resources and environmental science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he remained to work on various research projects investigating plant responses to environmental stressors until transitioning to the energy efficiency industry.
Research Agricultural Engineer
Kale Harbick studied computer science and robotics at the University of Southern California, earning a Ph.D. in 2008. He researched crater detection for Mars landers and autonomous helicopters at NASA-JPL, before shifting his career focus to energy. Kale taught many courses in physics and energy management for over 10 years. He managed a program at Oregon Department of Energy which implemented energy efficiency measures in over 800 K-12 schools. For five years he performed research in the CEA group at Cornell focusing on optimizing environmental controls and modeling of energy and light, and continues research in these areas in his current position as a scientist at USDA-ARS. Kale is a contributor to projects LAMP and GLASE.
Founder & CEO
Kennneth is the founder and CEO of Koidra Inc. Before Koidra, Kenneth was a Principal Applied Scientist in the Machine Learning Group, Microsoft Research (MSR). While at MSR, he led the Sonoma team, winning the first autonomous greenhouse challenge (2018), becoming the only AI team that outperformed expert Dutch growers. He recently led the Koala team comprised of Koidra and Cornell University researchers to win the first phase of the 3rd autonomous greenhouse challenge in 2021. Koala outperformed 46 teams from 24 countries in both the virtual net profit and overall ranking. Ken’s research expertise and experience include Reinforcement Learning, Deep Learning, Optimization, and Distributed Computing. At Microsoft, he led the research and development for strategic AI projects such as: Deep Reinforcement Learning for real-world control problems, Computer Vision API for Cognitive Services, and Autonomous Greenhouses. Kenneth received his Ph.D. in Computational & Applied Mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin in 2012.
University of Florida
Kevin Folta is a professor of the horticultural sciences department at the University of Florida. He helped lead the project to sequence the strawberry genome and continues to research photomorphogenesis in plants and compounds responsible for flavor in strawberries. His work in plant biology involving LEDs aims to control specific attributes of plants, such as quality, flavor, aroma, nutrition, and texture. Folta is an active science communicator, especially in the area of biotechnology.
Marc van Iersel
Vincent J. Dooley Professor
University of Georgia
Dr. van Iersel oversees the UGA Horticulture Physiology Laboratory focused on plant physiology and imaging research. He combines basic science with research to support controlled environment agriculture. He is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including 2019 UGA Entrepreneur of the Year and fellow of the American Society of Horticulture Science. He co-founded Candidus, Inc. with Dr. Erico Mattos where they develop and implement advanced lighting control systems. Dr. van Iersel is the Director of Project LAMP, lighting approaches to maximize profits. His research focuses on identifying the optimal light approaches for the profitable production of crops in greenhouses and plant factories. Much of his work is based on developing a good understanding of plant physiological responses to light and to use that knowledge to develop optimized lighting strategies.
Mark Blonquist has been employed by Apogee Instruments since 2005, serving as Chief Scientist since 2012, where he has been involved in the research, development, manufacturing, and marketing of radiometers, thermometers, and gas detectors for multiple applications. This has included a focus on photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) sensors. He co-authored an invited book chapter on radiation measurements, including a section on measurement of PAR, published in 2018. He has taught short courses on environmental instrumentation and measurement in multiple workshops in the U.S. and internationally, including courses on PAR measurement. He received a masters degree in Soil/Water Science in 2005 from Utah State University, where he worked on improving electromagnetically-based measurements of soil water content. He received a masters degree in Biology in 2012 from the University of Utah, where he worked on using carbonyl sulfide measurements as a means to calculate ecosystem scale photosynthesis.
Research Support Specialist
Michael is a mechanical engineer and energy modeling specialist in the CEA group at Cornell University. Michael holds a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a concentration in thermo-fluids and energy. Previously, Michael worked as an Energy Engineer at the Massachusetts utility company Eversource, where he provided analysis for energy efficiency projects in the commercial and industrial sectors. Michael joined Cornell in July of 2018. His research focuses on modeling the dynamics of energy systems involved in controlled environment agriculture. Michael is on the scientific team for GLASE.
Director and Professor of Biosystems Engineering
The University of Arizona
Murat Kacira is director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center and he is a professor in the Biosystems Engineering Department at the University of Arizona. He received his B.S. degree in Agricultural Engineering in Cukurova University in Turkey and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering from The Ohio State University in USA. His research involves automation, environmental control, alternative energy integrated CEA systems and resource use optimization in controlled environment agriculture systems including greenhouses and vertical farming-based plant factories with artificial lighting. He is a member of American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), American Society of Horticultural Sciences (ASHS), and International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS). He serves as Chair of the Division Precision Horticulture Engineering under ISHS.
President & CEO
Little Leaf Farms
Paul Sellew has founded, managed and grown successful companies in the food & agriculture, lawn & garden, renewable energy and organics recycling industries. Currently he is the Founder and CEO of Little Leaf Farms a state-of-the-art greenhouse producer of baby greens that are grown and packaged at its Devens, MA location and sold in over 2000 grocery stores and fine dining establishments throughout the Northeast. Prior to this he founded and was CEO of Harvest Power. He also founded and was CEO of Backyard Farms a year-round greenhouse producer of tomatoes on the east coast and oversaw the development of its 42-acre tomato greenhouse. Paul is a graduate of Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). Paul has served on Cornell’s University Council, CALS Dean’s Advisory Council, the Board of the US Composting Council.
Associate Professor, Extension Specialist
Dr. Mattson is the Director of Cornell’s Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) group. Cornell CEA’s current projects include determining the scalability of urban CEA (in light of its water use, carbon footprint, and economic impact) and determining response of tomatoes and strawberries to light and CO2 enrichment. Neil serves as a statewide greenhouse specialist with research and outreach programs focusing on the physiology of both vegetable and flower crops. His work emphasizes strategies to optimize crop production while reducing energy use through improved lighting and greenhouse control systems, plant mineral nutrition, and plant stress physiology. He has authored or co-authored 52 peer reviewed journal articles and 139 extension articles (bulletins, trade journal articles) and given more than 205 outreach presentations to 10,000+ agriculture industry members. He is a coPD/coPI and leads outreach on Project LAMP and serves on the scientific team for GLASE.
Paal is Founder and CEO of Wheatfield Gardens. A lifelong entrepreneur Paal has helped numerous start-ups in the Pharma/Biotech industries achieve success. In 2015 Paal put together a team of investors and engineers that acquired and upcycled an abandoned vine-crop greenhouse near Buffalo, NY. The facility serves as a pilot demonstration site for controlled environment agriculture technologies developed by Tropos Technologies and others to enhance efficiency and sustainability. The primary focus has been Cogeneration and the optimal integration with CEA. Wheatfield Gardens operates as a year-round grower of leafy greens and culinary herbs for local retailers, schools and restaurants. In 2017 Paal guided a successful application process that led to Wheatfield Gardens becoming a research partner with the State of NY Dept of Ag and Markets to help develop industrial Hemp as a viable specialty crop for greenhouse growers in NY. Today, Wheatfield Gardens is the largest indoor grower of Cannabinoid Hemp in NYS. Paal is a member of the USDA Advisory board for CEA workforce development.
Associate Professor & Extension Specialist
Michigan State University
Dr. Lopez is on the faculty in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University with a 45% research, 30% teaching, and 25% extension appointment. His research focuses on propagation and production of young and finish plants (including bedding plants, specialty cut flowers, leafy greens, culinary herb, and hemp) in greenhouses, growth rooms/containers, warehouse-based plant factories, and vertical farms. The primary goal of his research is to quantify how environmental parameters such as light (quantity, quality, and duration), temperature (medium, water and air temperature), and carbon dioxide in controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) production influence crop timing, rooting, yield, quality, flavor, nutrition, color, and subsequent performance.
Chief Science Officer
Shenandoah Growers, Inc.
Tessa Pocock Ph.D. is currently the Chief Science Officer at Shenandoah Growers. Pocock’s education ranges from applied to more fundamental studies as does her work history which has taken her across the globe. She started out by obtaining a diploma in Greenhouse Management from Olds Agricultural College, Canada after which she owned and operated a greenhouse and market garden operation. She went on to obtain an honors BSc in plant biochemistry and physiology, an MSc in plant physiology and a PhD in Environmental Stress Biology with a focus on photochemistry from Western University, Canada. Pocock has worked in greenhouse and indoor farm settings where she was focused on the modulation of crops by light. She has also worked in academia conducting research on the effects of light on varying crops, from leafy greens to small fruits. Her interest in plant physiology and remote sensing of crops has led to three patents, one pending patent and one provisional patent as well as authoring dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters in this space.
Tim Shelford is an Extension Associate at Cornell and is also working with A.J. Both at Rutgers. Tim graduated from Cornell University with a Ph.D. in 2010 in Biological and Environmental Engineering with a focus in Controlled Environment Agriculture where he gained experience in modeling agricultural production systems and instrumentation and control. Previously, Tim received a bachelors (1997) and masters (2000) of Applied Science from the University of British Columbia, in Bio-resource Engineering. His current research projects include improving light and shading control algorithms and adapting them to take advantage of day ahead market pricing, as well as lamp testing and evaluation.
Vice President of Production
Harborside Group Inc.
Travis Higginbotham comes with a unique background being educated in horticulture, leading research and development for one of the largest ornamental crop producers in the country to supporting growers across the world on greenhouse vine crops, floricultural crops, vertical farming and Cannabis. While participating in the ornamental market Higginbotham worked closely with BigBox retailers on product development, in-house commercial acclimation of tissue culture, rearing of microorganisms for pest management and all applications of artificial lighting (sole source, photoperiodic and supplemental). From here Higginbotham worked as Global Director at Fluence Bioengineering building a technical support team supporting Fluence top customers in all horticultural markets. After Fluence Higginbotham founded his own consultancy consulting for many Cannabis cultivators throughout the US and leading sales and business development for a vertically integrated hemp company out in the South East. Today Higginbotham leads vertically integrated Cannabis production at Harborside Group Inc. at their ~200,000 ft2 greenhouse facilities in Salinas, California.
P.L. Light Systems
As Technical Manager at P.L. Light Systems for several years, Trevor is focused on supporting customers and developing new products. Field support of customers can be wide ranging—from simple electrical troubleshooting techniques to massive greenhouse installations. His decades of experience in electrical design and commissioning of industrial equipment, and later the project management and application of that knowledge, is well suited to guiding customers through all phases of a project.
“Understanding the options and electrical requirements of a proposed system, balanced with the availability from within the site infrastructure, and from the local power utility is essential. Coordinating these requirements with the electrical designer and installers is critical for a successful installation.”