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Matt Stephens, Kathryn Denhardt, James Flynn, Robert Lyons and James Swasey

Public gardens are complex, multi-faceted, diverse organizations that execute a broad scope of tasks including fundraising, educational programming, marketing, public relations, and horticultural research. This broad scope of work creates numerous challenges for these institutions. One of which is conflict between front-line and administrative staffs. The goal of this research is to help explain why conflict between front-line and administrative staffs exists in public gardens. The research found no existing research on the topic of conflict in botanic gardens, but some in other industries. The research was a mixed methods design, including two case studies at separate public gardens and an online questionnaire. Both case studies consisted of separate focus groups and individual interviews with staff at different levels of the organization. Questionnaire results also came from various personnel levels (front-line and administrative) of public gardens. Once final data collection occurred, they were coded into similar categories outlined by the Malcolm Baldridge Standards, an internationally recognized assessment tool for excellence. Early analysis of the data indicates that conflict occurs due to a lack of: a clear mission and vision, effective communication, and empowerment within the organization.

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Shengrui Yao, Steve Guldan, Robert Flynn and Carlos Ochoa

In 2011, 16 strawberry cultivars were planted with two planting systems—a black-plastic-covered perennial system (BP) and a matted-row system (MR)—arranged in a split-block design with four replications at the New Mexico State University (NMSU) Sustainable Agriculture Science Center, Alcalde, NM. Cultivars varied greatly in their yield and tolerance to high-pH soil. ‘Allstar’, ‘Chandler’, and ‘Darselect’ were the three most sensitive cultivars to high soil pH among the 16 cultivars tested, whereas ‘Wendy’, ‘Brunswick’, ‘Honeoye’, and ‘Clancy’ were the four most tolerant cultivars by the end of July 2011. Two to three applications of 0.67 g·m–1 (linear row) FeEDDHA were used per year through fertigation to effectively treat leaf chlorosis resulting from high soil pH. After averaging the yields of 2012 and 2013, ‘Mesabi’ and ‘Kent’ had greater yield than others and twice the yield of ‘Jewel’. Early cultivars Earliglow and Annapolis and late cultivars L’Amour and Ovation all had low yields in both years. In Jan. 2013, the minimum temperature reached –21.7 °C, which caused crown damage to some cold-tender cultivars, especially in the black-plastic-covered system. ‘Wendy’, ‘Chandler’, ‘Clancy’, and ‘Jewel’ were the cold-tender cultivars, whereas ‘Mesabi’, ‘Kent’, ‘Cavendish’, and ‘Honeoye’ were the hardiest among those tested. Despite repeated late frosts from 19 Apr. to 4 May 2013 and a delayed harvest season, most cultivars produced greater yield than in 2012 with ‘Mesabi’ and ‘Kent’ being the greatest. There were no significant differences in yields in 2012 and 2013 between BP and MR treatments, but yield in BP was significantly lower than in MR in 2014. With appropriate cultivar selection and management, growers can produce strawberries in high-pH soil at high elevation with a short growing season in the Southwest.