ASEV Honors Bisson, Bates

Eastern Section recognizes scholars and students at separate event

by Linda Jones McKee
The American Society for Enology named Dr. Terry Bates the winner of its inaugural Extension Distinction Award.
Austin, Texas—The American Society for Enology and Viticulture presented its inaugural Extension Distinction Award to Dr. Terry Bates, senior research associate in horticulture at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Bates was honored with the award June 24 at ASEV’s annual conference, held this year in Austin, Texas. According to the ASEV, the “Extension Distinction Award recognizes a current extension educator based on his or her outstanding contribution of: (1) information in enology or viticulture through his or her extension program, or (2) the translation of novel research findings into commercially applicable tools for enologists or viticulturists.”

As the director of the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory (CLEREL) in Portland, N.Y., Bates leads a team that includes a farm business management specialist, an IPM coordinator and a viticulturist. Bates’ nomination was based in part on his leadership in the applied research and extension effort in vineyard mechanization of Concord grapes in the Lake Erie region. It was also noted that, based on Terry’s research trials, growers now have a new, tested tool—mechanical crop estimation and thinning—to adjust cropping levels to seasonal conditions. He is a past president of the ASEV-Eastern Section and has written or co-authored more than 20 technical articles in extension and trade publications.

Linda Bisson wins ASEV’s Merit Award

ASEV president presented the 2014 Merit Award to geneticist and physiologist Dr. Linda Bisson, a professor of the University of California, Davis.

James Kennedy, professor and chair of the department of viticulture and enology at California State University, Fresno, and president of the ASEV for 2013-14, presented the society’s Merit Award to Dr. Linda Bisson, professor of viticulture and enology at the University of California, Davis. Bisson has served as science editor for the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture for more than 10 years, was a board director for ASEV from 1988-90, and has volunteered on numerous ASEV committees.

A geneticist and physiologist, Bisson’s research has focused on “sugar catabolism and the understanding of metabolic basis for slow and incomplete fermentations.” In her talk at ASEV she chose to talk not about yeast or genetics, however, but about the changing role of scientific societies in response to the Internet and the massive amount of data that is now available.

Bisson suggested numerous ways that ASEV could sort information, translate it to be understandable and take advantage of the diversity of ways that people now access information. Online presentations by multiple experts, open-mic events where people with experience could help those wanting to learn, online guides, how-to videos and workshops both in person and as webinars are just a few ways the society could respond to the changing needs of the wine community, Bisson said.

Historically, societies provided information to their members, but not the answers. Members were supposed to figure it out for themselves. In the Internet age, Bisson stated, societies still need “to certify factual information by peer review so people can trust the facts.” Those societies need to provide the tools to help people bridge the gap between information and answers. According to Bisson, it is most important that ASEV maintains the credibility of the Journal while at the same time developing an innovative operational vision for where the society is going.

Eastern Section gives awards, scholarships
At the student-industry mixer held June 26, the ASEV-Eastern Section presented their Outstanding Achievement Award to Dr. Alan Lakso, emeritus professor in the Horticultural Sciences Department of Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. Lakso, who received his doctorate degree from the University of California, Davis, joined the Cornell faculty in 1973 as a fruit physiologist. According to Lakso, his area of research is “integrative plant and crop physiology, primarily on fruit crops. “I investigate the individual physiological bases of specific processes….I try, however, to also emphasize how these individual processes are integrated in the whole plant and what the grower can do to influence such processes to improve plant productivity, especially under field conditions.”

One of Lakso’s current projects, which he talked about at the conference, is the development of a microtensiometer for the continuous monitoring of soil and plant water potentials. This research is being conducted in conjunction with Dr. Vinay Pagay, assistant professor of viticulture at Oregon State University. Lakso anticipates that the microtensiometer may be ready for commercial use in approximately two years.

The Eastern Section presented its Distinguished Service Award to Mark Chien, who served as viticulture educator for Penn State Cooperative Extension for 15 years. Initially Chien was viticulture educator for Pennsylvania’s southeastern region, but in 2002 his job was redefined to include the entire state. His responsibilities covered a wide range of duties, from assisting grape growers and winemakers to securing research funding and serving as advisor about small business management and marketing. In May, Chien left Pennsylvania to become program coordinator for the Oregon Wine Research Institute.

Eastern Section awarded five student scholarships this year. Recipients included Megan Hall of Cornell University, Cain Hickey from Virginia Tech, Adam Karl of Cornell University, Gal Kreitman of Pennsylvania State University and Lindsay Springer from Cornell University. In the student paper competition, Nicholas Basinger of North Carolina State University received the award for the best student viticulture paper for a talk about the “Effect of Herbicide Strip Width and Late-Season Weed Competition on Wine Grape Vine Growth, Berry Quality and Yield.” Alex Fredrickson from Cornell University was presented with the award for the best student enology paper, titled “Addition Rate of Exogenous Tannin for Optimal Retention in Hybrid Red Wines.”

The officers of Eastern Section for the 2014-15 were announced at the annual business meeting. Lisa Smiley, owner of Cannon Valley Vineyards in Minnesota, moves to the position of chairperson, and Stephen Menke, associate professor of enology at Colorado State University, will be chairperson-elect. Two new directors were elected: Eric Stafne of Mississippi State University and Jim Willwerth of Brock University.

Next year’s annual conference for ASEV-Eastern Section will be held July 23-25, 2015, in Fredonia, N.Y., and will be followed by the Shaulis Symposium on Vineyard Mechanization on July 26, 2015.


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