Robert F. Polomski

Robert Polomski, Ph.D., Clemson UniversityHorticulture and Urban Forestry

E-mail:  bplmsk@clemson.edu
Phone:  (864) 656-2604
Fax:      (864) 656-4960
Website: Clemson's Aboriculture & Community Forestry


Address


School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences
259 Poole Ag. Center
P. O. Box 340310
Clemson University
Clemson, SC 29634-0310

Education 

B.S.--Plant Science, Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University
M.S.--Horticulture, Virginia Tech
Ph.D.--Plant & Environmental Sciences, Clemson University

Description of Duties:  50% Extension; 50% Teaching

Extension

Consumer/Commercial Horticulture/Arboriculture

  • Produce educational programs (seminars, webinars, and workshops) for green industry professionals engaged in landscape management and arboricultural activities.
  • Support the Clemson Extension Home & Garden Information Center (1.888.656.9988) staff as horticulture specialists.
  • Contribute content to eXtension and respond to queries.
  • Engage in print/electronic media efforts that include regular contributions to newspapers, magazines, trade journals, and web sites.
  • Conduct a live, call-in gardening program, Your Day!, produced by Clemson University Radio Productions and broadcast on the SC Educational Radio Network (SC and portions of NC, GA, and TN).
  • Diagnose and recommend solutions to plant problems submitted to the Plant Problem Clinic (Plant Diagnostic Information System®).
Teaching
  • Landscape Plants--HORT 303 (3 h), Lab Instructor/Guest lecturer, Fall.  Students identify and become familiar with the aesthetic and functional value of ~210 ornamentals.  They create a full color plant i.d. journal during the 16-week semester.  I conduct weekly landscape plant i.d. labs in the field (1 or 2 lab sessions with 16-20 students) and assess weekly assignments, quizzes, and final lab exam.
  • Urban Tree Care--HORT (FOR) 427, 627 (3 h), Instructor, Spring.  Students (~28; primarily landscape architecture students [LA and MLA], environmental horticulture, agricultural education, and architecture) learn the principles and professional practices of arboriculture and apply them in the design, implementation and/or maintenance of sustainable environments.  Topics include the benefits and challenges of trees in the built environment; young tree selection and planting; tree structure, function and responses; urban soil management techniques; urban environment stresses; pruning and training young and mature trees; tree protection before, during, and after construction; arboricultural law; tree health assessment; and tree removal.  Course includes guest lecturers from industry/academia and culminates in a hands-on field trip to Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories, Charlotte, NC.
  • Professional Landcare Network (PLANET)--HORT 400 (1-3 h), Co-instructor, Spring.  Students acquire an understanding of the PLANET Student Career Days national competition; prepare for and participate in competitive events at Student Career Days during weekly two-hour-long sessions; further their knowledge of career opportunities in landscape horticulture; and enhance their interviewing/networking skills.  At the 2010 PLANET national competition in Atlanta, GA, 12 students competed in 27 events.  Our team rose to 16th place out of 67 colleges and universities; 3 students were in the top 10% (total 822 students) for individual scores.

Research Interests

  • Phytoremediation and stormwater applications with commercially available ornamental plants
  • Biodiversity, establishment, and management of trees in urban environments
  • Pest-resistant shrubs and trees in sustainable landscapes
  • Evaluation and promotion of noteworthy, sustainable landscape plants
  • Tree establishment and maintenance in urban environments

Selected Recent Publications

Journal Articles and Abstracts

  • Gering, L., J. Simons, T. Straka, and R. Polomski. 2012. Integrating management and economics courses across the forest resources curricula. Journal of Forestry 110(8):532.
  • Polomski, R. F., D. G. Bielenberg, T. Whitwell, M. D. Taylor, W. C. Bridges, and S. J. Klaine.  2009.  Nitrogen and phosphorus remediation by three floating aquatic macrophytes in greenhouse-based laboratory-scale subsurface constructed wetlands.  Water, Air, & Soil Pollution 197:223-232.
  • Polomski, R. F., M. D. Taylor, D. G. Bielenberg, W. C. Bridges, S. J. Klaine, and T. Whitwell.  2008.  Differential nitrogen and phosphorus recovery by five aquatic garden species in laboratory-scale subsurface-constructed wetlands.  Hortscience 43:868-874.
  • Polomski, R. F., M. D. Taylor, D. G. Bielenberg, T. Whitwell, W. C. Bridges, and S. J. Klaine.  2007.  Nutrient recovery by seven aquatic garden plants in a laboratory-scale subsurface-constructed wetland.  HortScience 42:1674-1680.

Published Abstracts and Posters

  • Gering, L.R., J.M. Simons, T.J. Straka, and R.F. Polomski. 2012. Integrating management and economics courses across the forest resources curricula. Abstr. in Proceedings of National Convention, Society of American Foresters; October, 2012; Spokane, WA.
  • Massey, H. F., J. P. Chastain, T. O. Owino, R. F. Polomski, and K. Moore. 2011. Chemical and physical properties of potting media containing varying amounts of composted poultry litter. Abstr. ASABE Annual International Meeting, Louisville, Kentucky, August 7-10 (accepted).
  • Polomski, R. F., S. A. White, D. Bielenberg, W. C. Bridges, S. J. Klaine, J. P. Albano, and T. Whitwell. 2010. Effect of N:P ratio of influent on biomass and nutrient recovery of Typha latifolia and Canna ‘Bengal Tiger’ in a laboratory-scale constructed wetland. Abstr. and poster. Land Grant and Sea Grant National Water Conf., Hilton Head Island, SC, 21-25 Feb.
  • Owen, J. S. Jr., J. Albano, W. L. Bauerle, T. Bilderback, R. F. Polomski, S. A. White, P. C. Wilson, and T. Yeager. 2010. Nursery production technologies for enhancing water quality protection and water conservation. Land Grant and Sea Grant National Water Conf. Hilton Head Island, SC, 21-25 Feb.

Chapters, Books, and Bulletins (Extension)

  • Polomski, B. 2014. Month-by-month Gardening in the Carolinas (revised). Cool Springs Press, Nashville, TN.
  • Bost, T. and B. Polomski. 2012. Carolinas Gardener's Handbook; All You Need to Know to Plan, Plant, & Maintain a Carolina Garden. Cool Springs Press, Franklin, TN (EAN (ISBN-13): 9781591864837; ISBN: 1591864836). 272 pp.
  • White, S. A., M. D. Taylor, R. F. Polomski, and J. P. Albano. 2011. Constructed wetlands: A how to guide for nurseries. Environmental Resource Management Research Group, Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative, USDA-ARS, HRI, SCA #58-6618-7-216 (27 p.).
  • Polomski, R. 2009. Foreward. S. C. Smart Gardener Handbook; Down-to-earth tips, guidance, and information on how to ‘go green’ in your backyard. SC Dept. of Health and Environmental Control Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling, Columbia, SC.
  • Polomski, B. and J. Adelberg. 2009. Plant growth and development (1-33; Ch. 1). In: E. Vincent (ed.), Certified Nursery Professional Training Manual, 3rd ed. (available from the South Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association [SCNLA], 4661 Crystal Drive Columbia, SC 29206).
  • Polomski, B., R. Hassell, D. R. Layne, and E. Vincent. 2009. Home gardening  (1-53; Ch. 14). In: E. Vincent (ed.), Certified Nursery Professional Training Manual, 3rd ed.
  • McCarty, B. and R. F. Polomski. 2009. Home Lawn Management in South Carolina. Ext. Circ. 687. Clemson University Public Service Publishing, Clemson University, Clemson, SC. 79 p.
  • Production Practices for an Environmentally Friendly Nursery Industry. 2008. J. S. Owen, Jr. and S. A. White (eds.). Environmental Resource Management Research Group, Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative, USDA-ARS HRI, SCA#58-6618-2-2027. B. Polomski (contributor).
  • Vincent, E. and C. Wells. 2008. SC Stars. Bob Polomski (ed.). Colorful brochure that describes the discovery and culture of SC-derived commercially available, unique vines, shrubs, and trees. 14 p.

Recent Awards/Recognition

2012 Rowland P. Alston, Sr., ’42  Award for Excellence in Public Relations, Clemson University
2011 Clemson University Board of Trustees Award for Faculty Excellence, Clemson University
2010 
Certified Arborist, International Society of Arboriculture.
2009  Notable State Document Award, Home Lawn Management in South Carolina (B. McCarty and B. Polomski, Ext. Circ. 687, Clemson University Public Service Publishing), conferred by SC State Library to “recognize state government publications of outstanding merit and usefulness to the citizens of South Carolina.”
2009 Clemson University Board of Trustees Award for Faculty Excellence, Clemson University.
2008 Clemson University College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences Outstanding Staff Employee Award.
2008 National Winner, Book (SC Master Gardener Training Manual, EC 678, 2007), Extension Materials Award, American Society for Horticultural Science, Orlando, FL.
2008 National Finalist, Radio Category, National Association of Agricultural County Agents (NACAA), Greensboro, NC.
2008 National Winner, Personal Column Category, NACAA Communications Awards Program, Greensboro, NC.
2008 National Winner, Bound Book Category, NACAA Communications Awards Program, Greensboro, NC.
2008 First place state winner, Publication and Video/TV Presentation, SC Association of County Agricultural Agents (SCACAA) Communications Awards.