Rene Gingras

Office: Dept of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems, Kendall Hall 232, Durham, NH 03824

I have been teaching at the Thompson School for 31 years and every day is as exciting as my first. The biggest reason for this is the great faculty and staff that surround me and the wonderful students I’ve had the pleasure to teach and learn from. I try to make learning fun by getting the students involved in what they are learning and I strongly believe in hands on learning. My students get firsthand experience in designing and installing irrigation systems, ponds and landscape lighting. I want the student to learn not memorize. Earning the student’s trust and respect in what I teach is critical to my success. This is why I own and operate a landscape maintenance and irrigation business. Running these two businesses and attending as many workshops, seminars and conferences as I can, allows me to stay current. I belong to a number of professional organizations such as the New England Irrigation Association, the National Irrigation Association and the Plant Propagation Association, to name a few.

The Horticulture Program at the Thompson School is unique in that we are the only University to offer a credited course in Landscape Lighting and Pond Design. We are also one of the few schools that teach an irrigation course in which the students actually install irrigation systems in residential settings – everything from designing the system to running the pipes, installing valves, and setting the clock.

Originally my specialty was in fruits and vegetables, however over the past few years, as the industry dictated, my area of expertise shifted into the design and installation of irrigation, ponds and landscape lighting. I also teach courses in plant propagation, fruit and vegetables, and pest management (insects).

My family is my number one hobby. I am fortunate in that my family enjoys skiing, cycling, hiking, kayaking and softball. I also enjoy playing racquetball and golf. When I’m not playing sports I love to work on my property, especially gardening.

The most important thing I can tell you is to enjoy what you do. Don’t be afraid to try something new and learn all you can about everything.

Faculty Award Winner

Award Type:  Excellence in Teaching Award
Year:  2010


  • M.S., Horticultural Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • B.S., Entomology, University of New Hampshire

Courses Taught

  • HT 404: Plant Propagation
  • HT 407: Plant Structure and Function
  • HT 450: Flower Show Design & Construct
  • HT 454: Irrigation Design
  • HT 493: Field Oper/Fruits & Vegetables
  • HT 494: Field Operations
  • HT 553: "Pond-less" Water Feature
  • HT 554: Sus Irrigation & Rain Harvest
  • HT 555: Landscape Lighting
  • HT 570: Grounds Management
  • HT 585: Fruit and Vegetable Production
  • HT 592: Stdy/Turf Management II
  • HT 597: Horticultural Work Experience
  • SAFS 421: Introductory Horticulture