Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA Gardens' Reeves Lecture Series to feature Texas A&M-Commerce Professor

January 8, 2013 - SFA Public Affairs
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Dr. Derald Harp, Assistant Professor in Horticulture at Texas A&M University-Commerce will present "Landscape Soils-Growing from the Ground Up" at the upcoming Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series hosted by SFA Gardens.

The lecture will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 17, in Room 110 of the Agriculture Building located on Wilson Drive on the SFA campus.

Dr. Harp was born and raised in Everman, Texas, just south of Fort Worth. He earned a B.S. in Horticulture and Landscape Management and a M.S. in General Agriculture from Tarleton State University and a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Texas A&M University, where he worked on plant responses to urban microclimates.

Dr. Harp has been in the landscape industry since 1986, working in greenhouses, wholesale and retail nurseries, and landscape installation and maintenance. He spent several years as a landscape manager for several companies in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where he worked on several multi-million dollar commercial and residential landscape projects, primarily in the University Park area of Dallas. Prior to entering academia in 2000, Dr. Harp managed approximately $3.5 M worth of commercial and residential landscape maintenance contracts across the Metroplex.

He started in academia in 2000 when he accepted a position at Southeast Missouri State University, teaching Plant and Soil Science courses. In 2003 he was asked to come to Texas A&M University-Commerce to help rebuild the Horticulture program. He gladly accepted and began creating and teaching horticulture courses and recruiting students. In addition to teaching, he currently serves the Department of Agricultural Sciences as Graduate Coordinator, Undergraduate Faculty Mentor, Undergraduate Advisor, and teaches numerous horticulture, soils, and freshman and senior seminar courses. He also serves the university as President of Faculty Senate, SACS Liaison, and member of numerous other committees.

Dr. Harp's research focuses primarily on sustainable urban landscapes including the use of ornamental plants on building roofs. These "green roofs" absorb incoming sunlight, reducing the heat being transferred into a building, decreasing cooling costs and making the building more energy efficient. He is also working with AgriLife Extension to identify landscape plants that are capable of thriving in minimum-input landscapes. In other words, he evaluates landscape plants that thrive in our climate with little irrigation and no supplemental application of fertilizers and pesticides.

The Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series is normally held the third Thursday of each month at the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture's SFA Mast Arboretum. A rare plant raffle will be held after the program. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations to the Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series endowed fund always are appreciated. For more information, call (936) 468-1832 or e-mail grantdamon@sfasu.edu.