John Dole started his lifelong interest in horticulture in West Michigan. He grew up working at a neighbor’s farm market, growing cut flowers in the family garden for sale, and picking strawberries, raspberries, apples and pears for local commercial operations. He received a BS in Horticulture with an emphasis in Floriculture and Science in 1984 from Michigan State University. In 1989 he received his PhD in Horticulture from the University of Minnesota and in the same year began his first position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science and Landscape Architecture at Oklahoma State University. John moved to the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University in 2000. In 2004 he became Director of the Graduate Program, in 2010 Department Head, and in 2016 Associate Dean for Academic Programs with the College of Agriculture and Life Science.
John has an active research, teaching, extension, and outreach program in floriculture, focusing on the production and postharvest physiology of cut flowers, cuttings and poinsettias. His current research activities focus on cut flowers, including new cultivar evaluations, production, postharvest, and marketing analysis. In cooperation with the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG), he co-coordinates the national ASCFG Seed, Perennial and Woody Plant Trial Programs, which includes twenty to forty participating growers around the United States and Canada. In addition, Dole works on the production and postharvest handling of unrooted cuttings and has a long history of poinsettia research.
In cooperation with his students and collaborators, John has authored and co-authored over 90 refereed journal articles, 26 symposium articles, 22 book chapters, 100+ research abstracts, 300+ trade journal articles and dozens of manuals, fact sheets/bulletins, and internet publications. Most notably he has written or co-written seven books, including the primary floriculture textbook and industry information guide, Floriculture Principles and Species.
For close to 25 years John taught Greenhouse Management and Floriculture Production courses. He currently teaches a graduate level course entitled the Physiology of Flowering. He has advised 23 current and former graduate students and hundreds of undergraduate students.
John has served as the Executive Advisor of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG) since 2001 and is a frequent speaker at national and international industry conferences. He has traveled to many counties for floriculture activities, including working on an industry-funded project in Colombia for four years. He has mentored a number of international students from several countries including Brazil, France, Mexico and Pakistan.
John has been an ASHS member since 1984. Prior to becoming President, he served on the ASHS Board of Directors as Member-at-Large from 2013–2015. Over the years he has served ASHS in a variety of capacities including numerous selection committees and Associate Editor for HortTechnology, and Membership Chairman for Oklahoma State University.
John received the Alex Laurie Award from the Society of American Florists and was named a Fellow of ASHS. He has also received the Outstanding Service Award and the Allan M. Armitage Award from the ASCFG. He continues to enjoy his lifelong hobbies of gardening, bird and butterfly watching, and botanizing.