Lark Wuetcher Wins Second Place in the ASHS Undergraduate Competition

Aug. 14, 2023
Lark Wuetcher presenting his research at ASHS

Congratulations to Lark Wuetcher, on receiving second place in the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) Undergraduate Oral Competition with his presentation on "Photosynthetic Daily Light Integral Affects Growth, Morphology, and Appearance of Hydroponic Green and Red Oakleaf Lettuce.” Additionally, Lark was one of two undergraduates to win the ASHS Scholars Award this year. 

Lark's an incoming controlled environment agriculture (CEA) graduate student, who'll be beginning his MS under the advisement of Dr. Garrett Owen this autumn.

Check out what Lark had to say about ASHS and what he's most looking forward to in grad school:

What sparked your interest in CEA?

Lark: My interest in CEA started through working different summer jobs. The first was at an indoor hemp facility and then at a small local organic farm. My first major in college wasn't plant related at all and after the summer jobs I discovered how fulfilling it was growing things. I like controlled environment because you can grow whatever whenever you want, and you can grow it to the highest quality if you have the know-how. On top of all that I just think CEA/hydroponics are really cool. 

When did you become involved with ASHS?

Lark: My first trip to ASHS was last year to Chicago. My advisor, Dr. Garrett Owen encouraged my lab mates and I to go and present research. It was definitely a step outside if my comfort zone at first but meeting like minded people doing all sorts of different research was a real motivating experience.

Could you tell us a bit about your ASHS research project?

Lark: The Effects of Daily Light Integral on Vegetable Transplants and The Effects of Daily Light Integral on Hydroponic Green and Red Oakleaf Lettuce. Both aimed to quantify the effects of different amounts of lights on the specifics crops to better provide growers with practical information that can help them be successful.  

Lark Wuetcher presenting his research at ASHS

What are you most looking forward to in grad school?

Lark: I am looking forward to just learning more. Undergrad was great but it left a lot of unanswered questions and I feel like grad school will help fill in those gaps.

What will your graduate research be focused on?

Lark: My research at OSU is about determining if different nutrient solutions and different nutrient solution temperatures at the end of production for different hydroponic leafy greens will improve their quality, yield and nutritional content.

Dr. Owen's Lab Attending the Annual ASHS Conference

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