Summer scholars opportunity at Cornell University

Jan 4, 2021

Summer scholars opportunity at Cornell University

Jan 4, 2021

Weed Science-Based Summer Scholars Opportunity at Cornell University

Guess what, undergraduates! Cornell AgriTech in Geneva has received the green light to proceed with the 2021 season of the Summer Scholars Research Program, which offers students the opportunity to work with faculty, their graduate students and postdocs, and staff on horticulture, plant pathology, and entomology research projects. The goal of the program is to provide undergraduates with the opportunity to plan and conduct experiments, evaluate data, communicate results, and learn about opportunities in agricultural and food research.

Dr. Lynn Sosnoskie (Assistant Professor of Weed Ecology and Management) and Dr. Yu Jiang (Assistant Research Professor of Digital Agriculture) have partnered together to develop and exciting project to assist with pigweed (Amaranthus species) identification. From the Cornell website:

Do you like growing plants? Do you like taking pictures? Do you like building websites? Do you want to learn about 3-D imaging? Answered ‘Yes” to most of those? Then we have got the opportunity for you! Amaranthus species, also known as pigweeds, are significant pests of crops, globally. They can also be very hard to identify, particularly when they are very small. This project will be focused on describing the growth and development of multiple pigweed species from emergence through flowering, both in the lab and in the field. At the same time, you'll be documenting these changes, visually, using conventional photography and novel 3-D imaging. The end result will be a printed pocket  guide that growers can carry with them day-to-day, as well as a website that uses dynamic 3-D models to showcase differences among the species with respect to leaf shape, flower development, growth habit, and plant architecture, among other traits. Project time will be evenly divided between the greenhouse/laboratory and field activities.

Some specifics about the Summer Scholars Program:

  • 9-week internships to conduct research in a faculty program at Cornell AgriTech
  • Gain research experience and learn about the diverse agriculture and food systems in New York
  • Additional professional enrichment programming and field trips will be offered
  • Benefits include housing and a $4,825 stipend
  • Program anticipated to start on June 9, 2021 (June 8 travel) and run through August 6, 2021 (August 7 for travel)
  • As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we will post specifics about testing requirements and other pandemic-related requirements.
  • Students must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to be eligible for USDA NIFA funding.
  • Students must be 18 years of age by June 8, 2021.
  • Students must have completed two, and preferably three, years of college level study in one of the life sciences by June 2021.

The Scholar will have the opportunity to participate in other career-related activities including trips to farms, orchards, and vineyards in the area. Other touring opportunities will also be available, for example weekend trips to Niagara Falls, the Eastman (Kodak) House, Corning Museum of Glass, hiking in the Finger Lakes region, etc.

Applications are due on February 5, 2021 and academic reference letters are due on February 12, 2021, so don't delay!

If you'd like more information about the project, please feel free to contact Dr. Sosnoskie at


By Gale Perez
Posted by - Program Representative