Brian J. Pearson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor - Environmental Horticulture
A greater understanding of the environmental impacts associated with landscape management practices are paramount to ensure protection of Florida’s natural resources and long-term sustainability. My program broadly focuses on the impact of landscape practices on water quality and quantity. I utilize an interdisciplinary holistic approach to develop landscape management practices which maximize plant establishment, growth, and quality within anthropogenically impacted urban areas while simultaneously minimizing negative environmental impacts. Additionally, my program aims to develop management practices necessary for successful cultivation of ornamental nursery and protected agricultural crops. Recent efforts have included the examination of nutrient application, cultivar, and propagation method of Ocimum basilicum grown within traditional greenhouse production systems. Further, my program has examined the influence of Humulus lupulus cultivar on hop strobile quality and yield for commercial production within Florida.
Today’s science graduates are expected to have a high level of proficiency in a multitude of disciplines. Horticulture students work closely with soils, plants, and the environmental and are thus in a unique position to serve the industry and clients with interdisciplinary knowledge. It is important for students to not only understand their discipline, but also understand other disciplines related to their major. With this knowledge, students can understand and appreciate the interrelatedness of their study while serving clients.
Environmental sustainability has also become an increasingly important topic in recent years and today’s students have a strong desire to learn about it in the classroom. Many horticultural topics lend themselves to discussions of sustainability. For example, I incorporate lectures and discussion on water conservation techniques and implementation of water-saving technology as part of my Landscape Plant Establishment and Landscape and Turfgrass Management courses. I have also included discussions on recycling and reuse of materials in my course on Landscape Construction. Enthusiastic student feedback and positive responses from industry have encouraged me to continue to incorporate topics focusing on sustainable landscape practices in my courses.
- Landscape Plant Establishment (ORH 4848) / Advanced Landscape Plant Establishment (HOS 6932)
- Landscape and Turfgrass Management (ORH 4236C) / Advanced Landscape and Turfgrass Management (HOS 6932)
- Residential Landscape Construction (ORH 4932)
- Introduction to Soils in the Environment Laboratory (SWS 3022L)
- Practical Work Experience in Environmental Horticulture (ORH 4941)
- Independent Study (ORH 4941)
Fundamental Plant Production Techniques Short Course
- This six-week short course was developed to provide plant production technicians with the basic knowledge and understanding of fundamental plant production techniques and to aid in the development of skills required for successful greenhouse production operations. Classroom discussions are combined with hands-on exercises to aid in comprehension and mastery of techniques. Content delivered in this course was developed through partnerships with local industry leaders and county extension agents.