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Kathryn S Orvis

Youth Development and Agricultural Education 

  • Associate Professor – Extension Education
Agricultural Administration Building Room 227
615 W State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2053

Horticulture and Landscape Architecture 

  • Associate Professor of Horticulture


Provide support for Plant Science Project areas:

  • Plant science, general crops, small grains, soybean, corn, strawberry, flowers, vegetables, gardens, weeds, forages
  • Ag Biotechnology Education
  • State Coordinator for Junior Master Gardener(R) Program
  • Teaching Horticulture 101 - Fall Semester
  • 4-H/FFA Horticulture, Crops, and Soils State Judging Contests
  • 4-H Plant Science Workshop
Research interests:
Informal science, agriculture and environmental education through youth gardening including the Junior Master Gardener (R) program. Utilizing youth gardening as a teaching tool for topics related to STEM education Biotechnology Education, especially related to the use of animations and digital media.

American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS)
American Education Research Association (AERA)
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Purdue University Cooperative Extension Specialists Association (PUCESA)

Grew up in Upper Michigan (yes, I am a Yooper!) on a small farm and have one younger brother and a niece who live next door to the farm in Michigan; as well as a special grandma in Toledo, OH. I was very active in 4-H growing up. Current hobbies include: photography, gardening, reading, wine appreciation, watching the Green Bay Packers, travel and being super-mom for my son Wesley.


BS Michigan State Botany - Plant Physiology
MS University of Wisconsin-Madison Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics
PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics

Awards & Honors

(2014) YDAE Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.

(2013) Nominated for the 2012-13 Purdue Learning Community Advocate Award. Purdue University.

(2011) Inducted as Honorary Member of IAAE. Purdue University.

(2011) YDAE Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.

(2010) YDAE Outstanding Counselor.

(2012) YDAE Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher. Youth Development and Agricultural Education.

(2005) Award for Excellence in Distance Education, Best Credit-Granting Program. Purdue University.

Selected Publications

Orvis, K. (2005). Agricultural Biotechnology Education.

Orvis, K. (2005). Junior Master Gardener in Indiana.

Orvis, K. (2005). Youth Gardening in Indiana.

Orvis, K. (2003). Are Vegetables Really That Good For You?

Orvis, K. (2003). Genomic Analogy Model for Educators (GAME): from jumping genes to alternative splicing. Journal of Biological Education.

Orvis, K. (2003). Genomic Analogy Model for Educators (GAME): from jumping genes to alternative splicing. Journal of Biological Education.

Orvis, K., & Orvis, L. S. (2003). Growing Healthy Minds and Bodies through the Junior Master GardenerŒ¬ (JMG Œ¬) Program.

Orvis, K. (2003). JMG in Indiana.

Orvis, K. (2003). Junior Master Gardener.

Orvis, K., & Orvis, B. S. (2003). The Genomic Analogy Model for Educators: A New Tool for Teaching Biotechnology.

Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, 625 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2010 USA, (765) 494-1300

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