Future of Our Food

Finding Sustainable Food Systems

Meet scientists working at the University of Florida / IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department Teaching Garden! This program took place in Spring 2022.

About the Program

Who was this program for?

This Program was made for Middle and High School Students (grades 7-10)

What is this program?

This program was a live-streamed event where middle and high school-aged youth were able to connect with horticultural researchers.


This program had three days available: April 14th (morning), April 21 (morning), and April 22 (afternoon)

Meet the Scientists

Zachary Black

An alum of the University of Florida himself, Zachary Black is the current farm manager of the UF/ IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department Teaching Garden. Zack oversees the teaching garden and helps different researchers and students on campus with their projects.

Zachary Ray

Zach is a graduate student in the UF Horticultural Sciences Department and a teaching assistant for several courses taught in the Teaching Garden. He assists with many components of Dr. Zhao’s courses including organic high tunnel production, vegetable grafting, and hydroponic strawberry production. He is currently working on his Ph.D. with Dr. Zhao.

Dr. Tian Gong

Tian just completed her PhD degree in the UF Horticultural sciences Department. She is very familiar with tomato grafting and organic, ‘high-tunnel’ protected production systems.  

Christian Ciccarello

Christian is an undergraduate student working as an intern with Doctor Xin Zhao. He is currently working on a cover crop experiment over seven small plots of different mixes of three types of cover crops (sunflower, Sudan grass, cow-peas) and will be testing the effect they will have on weed suppression and biomass production.

Meet the Development Team:

Gabe Spandau and Emily Murphy, UFAEC graduate students

Teachers’ Guide:

Download our Teachers’ Guide with key information to prepare for the electronic field trip:

Our Partners:

Streaming Science: Electronic Field Trips are supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture – Hatch Project 1020962.

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