Oklahoma Grows:  educators

Education focused on ​​horticulture and water is the foundation of the 2017 Oklahoma Grows Conference + Trade Show. With multiple rooms offering a wide variety of sessions, you are sure to find many talks that will appeal to you.

We are proud to bring you speakers from our own backyard as well as throughout the country who are well known for their knowledge and dedication to the horticulture industry.


Dr. Steven George, Professor and Extension Horticulturalist, Landscape Horticulture Specialist in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University

Steve George obtained a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and a Master of Science in Horticulture from Oklahoma State University in 1970 and 1980, respectively. He then received a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from North Carolina State University in 1986.

Since 1988, Dr. George has served as a Landscape Horticulture Specialist for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and is headquartered at the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center in north Dallas. Dr. George has created the Earth-Kind® Environmental Landscape Management System and serves as National Coordinator of the Earth-Kind® Rose Program.
Dr. James Klett, Professor of Landscape Horticulture, Ornamentals and Nursery Management at Colorado State University

Jim Klett earned his bachelor's degree at Ohio State University and his master's and Ph.D. at the University of Illinois. His near-forty years at Colorado State Universtiy has been dedicated to the search for better plants.

Over the past 15 years the trial gardens have become one of the top tourist attractions in Fort Collins during growing season. This last year more than 1,000 varieties of plants, and 400 of them new variations, were planted and studied to see how they grow in the unique conditions of the Rocky Mountain West.   
Daniel Cunningham is a Horticulturist with Water University. His programs focus on sustainable landscaping and food production systems.  Daniel specializes in Texas native plants and trees, vegetable gardening, edible landscaping and rainwater harvesting.  He forages for his own food and provides information for wildlife gardening. 
Daniel addresses professionals and the public to provide the most sustainable information about landscape water use from design and plant selection to water conserving landscape management practices.

Clint Wolfe is the Program Manager for Water University.  Clint facilitates a team of water resources professional to assist with research and outreach programming in the areas of water quality, water use efficiency and watershed planning.  He is charged to work with local governments, state and federal agencies and other entities to 
develop programs dealing with water quantity and quality issues.  Wolfe specializes in program development, stakeholder facilitation, communications and marketing.

Carl Whitcomb is President of Lacebark Inc. a research and plant breeding firm on 160 acres near Stillwater.  After leaving OSU at the end of 1985, Dr. Whitcomb began a plant breeding program with 20 species of landscape plants.  More recently, Dr. Whitcomb has created three cultivars that are sterile, have excellent wine new foliage 
and will flower continuously for 100 days or more in Oklahoma, no seeds or deadheading.  Dr. Whitcomb has traveled the world and speaks before a variety of audiences.

Debbie Hamrick works in public policy as the Director of Specialty Crops for North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation where she advocates on behalf of the state's nursery/ greenhouse, fruit/vegetable, aquaculture/ fisheries, apiculture/beekeeping, small-scale livestock, and small farm communities. She is well known in the North Carolina agricultural community as an
effective advocate, public speaker and communicator. Among the issues she covers are produce safety, pollinator health, invasive plant species, rural economic development, urban agriculture, small farm profitability, local foods and others as assigned.

Since 2010, Ryan Williams has worked for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry (ODAFF).  He started his career with ODAFF as the Pesticide Registration Program Administrator; in 2011, Ryan acquired the Pesticide Certification, Training and Licensing Program.  His current title is Certification & 
Training (C&T) Program Administrator, his duties include overseeing the C&T and licensing program and supervising ODAFF pesticide inspectors and special pesticide regulations.
Since 1989, Dr. Mike Schnelle has served as professor and extension specialist at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture .   Mike’s specialty is in floriculture and woody plant production and culture.  He has interests in areas of ornamental horticulture from flowers to trees as well as edible crops, both temperate and
tropical.  Schnelle’s ideas and experiences with plant materials are regularly published in the two leading national trade magazines, NM PRO and American Nurseryman as well as in popular press.

Justin Quetone Moss is an Associate Professor and holder of the Huffine Endowed Professorship in the Oklahoma State University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. He has a 70% research and 30% extension appointment in turfgrass and landscape water and environmental issues. He is a 2005 graduate
from OSU and previously served as Director of the Sheridan Research and Extension Center for the University of Wyoming.  
Dr. Jason R. Vogel, P.E., currently serves as the Director of the Oklahoma Water Survey at the University of Oklahoma where he coordinates the University’s activities in research, outreach, and education in water topics. In addition to his administrative appointment at the Oklahoma Water Survey, Dr. Vogel also serves as an Associate Professor in the School of Civil 
Engineering and Environmental Science at OU with a focus on green infrastructure for stormwater and stream management. 
Dr. Guy W. Sewell is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of water resources, contaminant fate and transport, and the treatment of hazardous waste. Dr. Sewell is also a designated DOE Technical Subject Matter Expert for Los Alamos National Laboratory.   Dr. Sewell joined the East Central University faculty in 2002 and
holds the Robert S. Kerr Endowed Chair and the rank of Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at East Central University.  He also serves as the Director of Research for The Oka’ Institute at ECU.
Al Sutherland conducts agricultural and horticultural product development and extension outreach for the Oklahoma Mesonet.  He has a Bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Oregon State University, a Masters in horticulture from Ohio State University, and has worked for the No. 1 OSU, Oklahoma State University, since 1989.  Al is a Certified Crop 
Advisor and Certified Professional Horticulturist.  His office is on the OU campus at the National Weather Center.
Joshua Campbell is an Extension Associate in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Oklahoma State University where he works as the coordinator for ThinkWater  -Oklahoma State University’s Extension water conservation program. Since joining OSU, Joshua has worked on many water 
conservation initiatives including developing water conservation programs within the City of Oklahoma City and other central Oklahoma communities. His Extension program efforts center around home landscape irrigation efficiency.
David Hillock is an Assistant Extension Specialist/Consumer Horticulturist/State Master Gardener Coordinator for the Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, Oklahoma State University.  He has worked in retail garden centers, as a gardener for a private company, and is currently in extension.  He is responsible for 
maintaining and developing educational material and programs for the consumer or home gardener.  He also assists with the Oklahoma Gardening TV program and coordinates the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program statewide. 
Dr. Kevin Wagner is the Director of the Oklahoma Water Resources Center and holds the Thomas E. Berry Professorship in Integrated Water Research and Management. He provides leadership and administration of the Center’s water programs, leads Center efforts to increase engagement with the water resources 
community across Oklahoma and the nation, and facilitates development of inter-disciplinary teams to address high priority water resources issues. Wagner has more than 20 years of experience in watershed assessment and planning, stakeholder engagement and conservation practice research and education.
Jimi Underwood is a Horticulture Supervisor at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Prior to working at the Dallas Arboretum he evaluated and established native warm-season turfgrasses as a graduate student at Oklahoma State University. His research included the evaluation of buffalograss cultivars and 
native warm-season mixes, as well as, the design and establishment of a shortgrass prairie and native lawn demonstration site as part of the prairie trial at the Botanic Garden at OSU.  
Maranda Figueroa is the Director of Fund Development at A New Leaf, a provider of vocational, educational and residential programs through horticulture therapy.  After graduating from OSU with a degree in Food Science, Maranda worked as a Food Scientist for Sara Lee and Schwans before returning to Oklahoma.  Upon returning, she 
sought to make a more significant impact in her community - and herself. In 2008 she shifted her efforts toward nonprofit working for both the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association before transitioning to A New Leaf in 2016.
Dr. Gloria Caddell is the Associate Dean of the College of Mathematics and Science, a Professor of Biology, and Curator of Vascular Plants for the Herbarium at the University of Central Oklahoma.  Her Ph.D. research, on the population genetics and pollination of camellia, was conducted while she was based in a horticulture department 
in Japan.  Dr. Caddell’s research focuses on the taxonomy, distribution and pollination ecology of native Oklahoma plants, particularly those of the gypsum outcrops of northwest Oklahoma.  She has interests in the use of native Oklahoma plants in landscaping.
Jennifer (Jen) Olson has a B.S. in Biology from Lebanon Valley College and a M.S. in Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Delaware.  She served as the Plant Disease Specialist at Maryland Department of Agriculture for three years.  Jen has been the Plant Disease Diagnostician for the Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostic Laboratory at 
Oklahoma State University for nine years. 
Dustin Harris is currently an Extension Associate for Oklahoma State University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and a graduate student within the department. His research and extension duties largely focus on water conservation and the development of bermudagrass for golf course putting greens with improved 
genetic stability and cold tolerance. Dustin obtained an associate's degree from OSU-OKC in Applied Technologies with an emphasis in chemistry and a bachelor's degree from OSU in Turfgrass Management with a minor in Integrated Pest Management.


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