Dr. John C. Peterson
Professor, Public Horticulture, Floriculture, Director Plant Science Major
Dr. John C. Peterson is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida in Gainesville . He received his BS Degree in Horticulture from the University of Rhode Island and PhD in Horticulture and Plant Physiology from Rutgers University. During his career he has served as a Professor and Floriculture Specialist in the Department of Horticulture at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio; Executive Director of AmeriFlora ’92 International Flower and Garden Exposition in Columbus, Ohio; President and CEO of the Massachusetts Horticulture Society in Boston, Massachusetts; President of Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, California; Director of the San Francisco Botanical Garden and Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco; and Department Head and Professor in the Horticulture and Crop Science Department at Cal Poly State University. In his current role as a Professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville he teaches a Sensory Gardening course as well as the Annual and Perennials course lab. His other duties also include serving as the Director of the Plant Science Major (A collaboration among the Plant Pathology, Agronomy and Environmental Horticulture Departments) ; Chair of the Environmental Horticulture Graduate Studies Program; he has a key role in an initiative to establish an Endowed Chair in Arboriculture; and he is working to organize a new undergraduate major relating to Winemaking, Brewing and Distilled Beverages. Dr. Peterson possesses a broad knowledge of a wide range of horticultural crops, including plant production, product handling and use. His strongest areas of technical expertise relate to plant nutrition, water quality, growing media and soils and the use of tropical foliage plants in interior environments. Dr. Peterson also functions in a key role to recruit students in to the Plant Science Major and he facilitates the placement of current UF horticulture students into internship positions throughout the US and around the world.