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Cornelian Cherry Dogwood

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Joining us from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in entomology is Matthew Quenaudon, our new integrated pest management (IPM) intern. Matt’s position at Phipps is funded by a grant from the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust. Through the generosity of the Trust, Phipps will be able to ramp up our already pace-setting IPM program in regards to our recordkeeping, follow-through and invasive plant management. During this time, Matthew will be immersed in IPM — an approach that employs innovative methods of pest control in order to mitigate environmental harm — gaining important skills and carrying an appreciation and knowledge of IPM forward into his budding career.

We sat down with Matthew to ask him about his new position and how he developed such a strong interest in the insect world.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your role at Phipps?

I graduated in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in entomology from the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources at Michigan State University. I am an aspiring entomologist looking to further my education and experience working along Scott Creary in the IPM program while here at Phipps. As an IPM intern, I will be developing and coordinating Phipps’ IPM program; monitoring and diagnosing all plant health problems, biotic and abiotic; keeping the IPM database current; and maintaining records of all control measures implemented, along with the monetary costs associated with them, with a goal of minimizing pesticide use while maintaining the health and beauty of all plants throughout the Phipps campus.

Can you briefly explain integrated pest management?

Integrated pest management is an environmentally and economically friendly approach to effectively control pests. By using a combination of practices, IPM strives to suppress a pest population below the economic injury level (EIL). IPM specialists utilize information on the life cycle of pests, as well as their behavior and interaction with the environment, when deciding whether or not action is needed with regards to the safety of people, property and the environment.

What attracted you to working at Phipps?

I was impressed with Phipps’ commitment to being as environmentally friendly as possible and the direction in which the organization was heading. I browsed Phipps’ website, agreed with all I saw and knew I shared the same outlook and approach as the Phipps team. I’m very happy to join the team.

How did you first become interested in bugs?

I’ve always been very outdoorsy and captivated by nature, as well as all there is to learn and take from it. Growing up, my mom was an active gardener and I often found myself crawling around in the dirt, fascinated by all the little insects I found under rocks and in between plants. I would collect insects, keeping them as “pets,” and genuinely enjoyed studying their behavior year after year. Science fiction, outer space, and the search for alien life have always intrigued me, so I figured, why not start with the “alien” life living all around us?

Photo © Paul g. Wiegman.



Other Featured Exhibits & Events

Summer Flower Show
May 10 – Oct. 5, 2014
The whimsical miniature world of Garden Railroad takes center stage at Phipps this summer. With themed railroad displays in multiple exhibit rooms enhanced by unique plantings, interactive features and more, this show will bring the wonder of childhood to visitors of all ages.
Romero the Corpse Flower
Turns Over a New Leaf
Ongoing
Last year, he wowed thousands with his inimitable odor, and this year, he’s back with an amazing new look. After 10 dormant months, Romero has produced an enormous leaf to collect energy for his next big bloom. Visit the Tropical Forest Conservatory to see his transformation firsthand.
Butterfly Forest
April 26 – Sept. 1, 2014
Watch as gorgeous butterflies emerge from their chrysalises to soar and glide among colorful, bug-friendly blooms. One may even land on you!
Farmers at Phipps
Wednesdays, June – October 2014
2:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Refresh your food shopping experience! Visit our sustainably managed front lawn to browse organic and Certified Naturally Grown fruits, vegetables and more from local farms.
Party in the Tropics
Select Fridays
Next Party Aug. 1, 2014
7 – 11 p.m.
Ages 21+
Gather your friends and get ready to dine, drink and dance the night away at Phipps! Make our paradise your own as you indulge in sweet and savory morsels, taste unique cocktails, and dance to the beats of a live DJ in our Tropical Forest Conservatory. Entry is free with Conservatory admission.
Jack Buncher Foundation
Free Admission Day
Aug. 4, 2014
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phipps is thrilled to announce that all Conservatory guests will be admitted free of charge on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 thanks to a generous grant from the Jack Buncher Foundation. Join us on this special day to enjoy our Summer Flower Show, Butterfly Forest and Tropical Forest Conservatory.
Biophilia: Pittsburgh
Next Meeting Aug. 7, 2014
6 p.m., with networking and refreshments at 5:30 p.m.
Biophilia: Pittsburgh is the pilot chapter for a Biophilia Network of creative minds meeting monthly to discuss strengthening the bond between people and the natural world through education, discussion and action. Meetings are free to attend; advance RSVP is required. Join the conversation!
Members-Only Bring a Friend Day
Aug. 11, 2014
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
On this special day, bring a nonmember guest to experience the serenity and beauty of Phipps free of charge. Just show your membership card at the admissions desk to give someone special a treat to remember!
Members-Only:
BETA Art Tours
Aug. 16, 2014
11 a.m. – noon
Discover the BETA Project, a new collection of art at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes designed to enhance and restore the bonds between people and the natural world. Tours are free for members; however, space is limited and reservations are required by the Thursday prior to each tour date. To reserve, please contact us at 412/622-6915, ext. 6505 or members@phipps.conservatory.org.
Red, Ripe and Roasted: Tomato and Garlic Festival
Aug. 24, 2014
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Celebrate two of western Pennsylvania’s tastiest summer crops at our 10th annual tomato and garlic festival. Our historic front lawn will come alive with delicious food and family fun, including cooking demos, a farmer’s market, kids’ activities, special guests and more. Bring a donation for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and receive free admission!
Fall Round Up
Sept. 5, 6 and 7, 2014
Friday, 1 – 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phipps Garden Center
Headed to A Fair in the Park? Stop by our Shop in the Park at Phipps Garden Center, where we’ll be hosting a special sale on the patio along with a variety of other local vendors. You’re sure to find unique gifts for the greenest thumb in your life — and something special for yourself!
Garden to Plate Dinner
Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014
6:30 – 9 p.m.
Join us for an unforgettable Sunday dinner, a bountiful garden-to-plate feast of fresh, locally grown fare, select wines and special entertainment.
Garden Railroad
Now Open
A unique twist on the traditional Garden Railroad, this year's display takes you to Phipps Prehistoric Park — a whimsical world where dinosaurs are brought back to life! Full of surprises, detailed models, moving parts and trains, this can't-miss exhibit is a thrilling adventure for all ages.
Tropical Forest India
Now Open
Explore our new exhibit showcasing one of the most botanically rich regions of the world. Highlights include an Ayurvedic healing garden, spice and tea market displays, a stunning temple facade on Special Events Hall, and more!