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Internship application deadlines coming up fast

summer-scholarsLooking for a summer internship? Application deadlines are coming up fast.

Here are some especially attractive Cornell internship opportunities you should check out:

  • Summer Research Scholars Program – Based at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. Undergrads participate in exciting lab- or field-based research projects in Entomology, horticulture, plant pathology/plant-microbe biology or food science.
  • Summer internship, Cornell Small Farms Program – Assist with communications activities including Small Farms Update, Small Farms Quarterly, social media, website as well as hands-on field work at MacDaniels Nut Grove agroforestry demonstration site
  • Cornell Plantations internships – Interns become a member of the Plantations’ professional team and work with staff in natural areas, wildflower garden, botanical garden, youth education programs or marketing and communications.
  • Cornell Orchards Internships – Get hands-on research (field and lab) and field experience with a variety of fruit crops (grapes, apples, peaches, berries). Opportunities to interact closely with faculty and local vineyards and orchards
  • Campus landscape internships – Work with Nina Bassuk and the staff of the Urban Horticulture Institute to plant and tend Minns Garden and other campus landscapes and assist in research at Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Facility.
  • Organic Vegetable Farming Research Assistant – Get applied research experience on campus and at the Thompson Research Farm in Freeville.  Help manage vegetable crops from planting to harvest, learn plant and soil sampling methods, organize data, and summarize results.
  • Plant Genome Research internships – An incredible opportunity to work side-by-side with experts at the Boyce Thompson Institute in the fields of biology/biochemistry, biotechnology, genetics and development, plant sciences, genomics, and bioinformatics.

Visit the Plant Science Internships blog to view more opportunities.

What I did on winter break

Marvin Pritts, professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Sciences, is spending winter break in India, where he is assisting students in the Agriculture Systems Group in the class Agriculture in Developing Nations (IARD 6020 ) along with K.V. Raman in the Plant Breeding and Genetics Section.

“There are also groups exploring rural infrastructure, adding value to crops and textiles,” says Pritts. “So it’s quite a complex logistical operation as we all do different activities during the day.” Pritts’s elephant ride came at a working farm sponsored by the Indian government to take care of elephants and provide them with meaningful work.

You can view more images on Pritt’s Facebook page.


‘Soil art’ in Mann Lobby Thursday

Aubrey Fine, Kirsten Kurtz and Kelly Hanley prepared the soils to make the paints.

Aubrey Fine, Kirsten Kurtz and Kelly Hanley prepared the soils to make the paints.

Need a study break?  Swing by the Mann Library Lobby on Thursday anytime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and contribute to a mural created with paints made from soil.

“To celebrate World Soil Week this year, we thought it would be appropriate to do something fun and help relieve a little exam-time stress,” says Kirsten Kurtz, manager of the Cornell Soil Health Testing Laboratory who spearheaded the project.

Kurtz is an artist herself who has experimented in the past with extracting pigments from soils to make paint. Last weekend, she and volunteers crushed and sieved soils ranging from light tan to reddish brown to near black. If you join in Thursday, part of the activity will be turning those soils into paint.

“Or you can just grab a brush for a few minutes and help us fill the in the scene we’ll have sketched out on the canvases,” says Kurtz.

click image for .pdf version of poster

.pdf version of poster


Hortus Forum Poinsettia Sale Dec. 7-8

Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club, will hold it’s annual poinsettia sale December 7 and 8.


  • 6-inch foil-wrapped pots – $12
  • 8-inch foil-wrapped pots – $16
  • 7-percent discount for orders exceeding 9 items.
  • Delivery available.
  • Now accepting pre-orders. See order form for details.

Proceeds support Hortus Forum activities.

Our mission: Cultivating a positive social community which fosters a passion for plants and teaches the value of horticulture.

Follow us on Facebook.

poinsettias at kpl

Greenhouse field trip

Students in Horticultural Science and Systems (PLHRT 1101)  got a glimpse of what’s going on in the new Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory, Plant Science Greenhouses, and Kenneth Post Lab Greenhouse Complex on a walking tour led by Neil Mattson, associate professor in the Horticulture Section last Friday.

Highlights included viewing what Cornell’s first-to-flower titan arum ‘Wee Stinky’ looks like during its vegetative stage, with its single leaf pressing the rafters (below).

PLHRT 1101 students view 'Wee Stinky' in its vegetative stage.

PLHRT 1101 students view ‘Wee Stinky’ in its vegetative stage.

McLoughlin awarded LIFGA scholarship

Patrick McLoughlin

Patrick McLoughlin

Patrick McLoughlin ’16 was one of 17 students nationwide awarded scholarships from the American Floral Endowment. The senior Plant Sciences major received the Long Island Flower Growers Association (LIFGA) Scholarship.

McLoughlin is interested in the application of tissue culture for ornamental production, specifically in Impatiens. He plans to start his own business in the future. “I would also like to use local farmers to start a hops breeding program to find novel forms of disease resistance to mildew,” McLoughlin said.

The LIFGA Scholarship was established in 2010. LIFGA members represent growers and retailers promoting research, education and sales of ornamentals in the local market. The scholarship is intended for students in the Long Island/New York area studying ornamental horticulture at a community college or a four-year institution.

Fall 2015 issue of periodiCALS

Larry Smart examines a willow seedling from his breeding program. Photo: Robyn Wishna

Larry Smart examines a willow seedling from his breeding program. Photo: Robyn Wishna

The Fall 2015 issue of periodiCALS. Some of the articles of horticultural interest include:

Dreer Award offers opportunities to pursue interests abroad

Plant breeding graduate James Keach, one of three 2015 Dreer Award winners, will study impatiens Thailand.

Plant breeding graduate student James Keach, one of three 2015 Dreer Award winners, is studying impatiens Thailand.

From Nina Bassuk:

The Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science offers a wonderful opportunity once a year, the Frederick Dreer Award, that allows one or more students to spend 4 months to up to a year abroad pursuing his or her interests related to horticulture.

See the application and instructions that spells out the procedure for applying. Basically it is quite simple. Submit a written proposal to the Dreer Committee by the deadline (March 1, 2016 in this cycle), which is followed by an informal interview, generally in a week or two. The faculty receives the recommendation of the Dreer Committee and votes on the nominee.

The only obligation of the Dreer award winner is to write to the Dreer Committee monthly while overseas, and upon return to the United States, give a presentation about their time abroad to students and faculty.

Please look into this opportunity seriously. It can be taken as a summer and a semester’s leave or a year’s leave of absence during school or upon graduation. If you would like to talk over a potential idea for the Dreer with a member of the Committee (and we encourage you to do so), please contact Nina Bassuk (Horticulture) Josh Cerra (Landscape Architecture) or Marvin Pritts. (Horticulture).

New class: Wine Culture

wine-cultureComing Spring 2016:

Wine Culture
2 credits
TR 3:35-4:25


An informative and entertaining look at the complex interactions between wine and culture:

  • What role does wine play in the creation of culture, from ancient times to the world of today?
  • How has culture influenced wine production and appreciation?

Includes wine tastings. No minimum age for enrollment.

Help crowdfund ‘Healing Plants and the People Who Use Them’ class


For millennia, plants have been used for healing.

As older generations of traditional healers pass away, much of their knowledge of medicinal plants and their uses is in danger of disappearing. Even as these practices ebb in indigenous communities around the globe, there is a growing interest in reconnecting with the natural world, as well as an appreciation of the breadth and depth of these traditional bodies of knowledge.

At Cornell, students will be exploring the relationship between plants, healing, and the community elders who use plants to heal in an exciting spring semester class, PLHRT 4940: Healing Plants and the People Who Use Them.

View video, read more, and support the effort on the crowdfunding site.

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