Associate Professor of Practice, School of Integrative Plant Science Horticulture Section
Dr. Carlyn Buckler is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science. She received her bachelor’s degree in 1992 from University of California, East Bay, where she studied maize genetics and where she also published the first survey of a plant cDNA library. Dr. Buckler subsequently worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories studying human genetics and the effects of opioids and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on male-mediated birth defects. She received her PhD in Plant Science from the University of Missouri, Columbia, where her work correlated a miniature phenotype in maize to a key protein within the mitochondria.
Dr. Buckler and her family moved to Ithaca, NY in 2003. Her passion for communicating science to the public was honed at the Paleontological Research Institution (Cornell) with her colleagues Drs. Rob Ross and Don Haas, experts at conveying the facts on energy transitions, climate change, evolution and creationism, and carbon sequestration to the public. It is at PRI that she came to see the broad value of a science literate public. As an Associate Professor at SUNY Oneonta/Cooperstown Graduate Program, Dr. Buckler and her colleague Dr. Gretchen Sorin, created a Master’s Degree program in Science Museum Studies, the first such program in the U.S. to focus on communicating science in informal environments. The curriculum Buckler created focused on developing proficiencies in digital technologies, scientific research, understanding science in the context of society, and communication skills, as well as the design and implementation of student projects to demonstrate these proficiencies.
Buckler came to the School of Integrative Plant Science in 2018, where she now teaches courses on Digital Technologies in Agriculture, the Public Communication of Science, and an overview course on Cannabis. Buckler is a member of the Maize Cooperators, the International Network for the Public Communication of Science, and the Association of Science-Technology Centers. She is the 2020-2021 Chair of the CALS Diversity and Inclusion Committee, serves on the SIPS Diversity and Inclusion Council, and also led the Teaching Faculty group to facilitate faculty in transitioning to online learning in response to the pandemic. She is a member of the Cornell Institute for Digital Agriculture (CIDA) and is also the Advisor and Faculty Mentor for the Cornell SMART group (Student Marijuana Alliance for Research and Transparency). While at Cornell she has been interviewed by Bloomberg Television, the Wall Street Journal, and other national and international press agencies. Buckler also helped to develop and is the lead faculty member for the SIPS Hemp Master’s in Professional Studies program, the first of its kind in the U.S.
- CALS Spotlight: Carlyn Buckler: Understanding and communicating science
- Print interview: New York Cannabis Revenue Won’t Arrive Instantly. WeedWeekly, 29 October 2020.
- Print: CALS Offers the Country’s first comprehensive cannabis course. Cornell Alumni Magazine, November/December 2019 (pg 30-32).
- Video: Cannabis Course at Cornell. Live interview on Bloomberg Markets Television, 20 September 2019. Interview starts at 49.13.
Science communication and digital technologies
Diversity, equity and inclusion
PLSCI 4100 - Digital Technologies in Agriculture. How are robotics, drones and big data being used in farming and plant research? How can we use technologies like IDigBio, ZapWorks, Trnio, and 3D printing to develop prototypes and accessories for robots and drones? How can LIDAR and satellite data help us understand pollination rates, pests and disease in plants? In this course we look at current digital technologies that are used on the farm and in the lab, as well as best practices for understanding the return on investment of digital technologies. Students will be involved with hands-on projects and research using virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing, development of web-based products AutoCAD, and more. The final for the course has each student develop a digital product for use in the field, lab, or for outreach.
PLSCI 3940 and 5940 - Skills for Public Engagement. This course will expose students to the importance of public engagement, and provide practical, hands-on instruction of skills used in communicating science to the public. These skills include public speaking, writing, branding, as well as training in video production, developing and giving an elevator pitch, and a professional talk. The course will explore strategies for engaging with different community partners, including growers, international communities, and governmental/political/NGO engagement, as well as the generational differences and diversity challenges faced within different communities. Colleagues from Cornell Cooperative Extension, from across the University, across the U.S. and beyond, with specific expertise in various engagement formats will be involved in the course
PLSCI 4190 - Cannabis: Biology, Society and Industry. According to New Frontier Data (2019), the cannabis industry in the US – including medical marijuana and hemp – for 2016 was $6.7B and is expected to grow to over $26B by 2025. Indeed.com reports (2018) that 25 out of every 10,000 jobs currently listed are related to the cannabis industry, and from April to May 2018, there was a 50% jump in the number of related job listings, currently totally over 5000 job openings. The potential profitability is promising, but the economic and industrial development obstacles are significant and include establishing better agricultural supply chains, breeding research to develop more vigorous and disease resistant cultivars, refining/improving farming practices, policy and legal issues, and identifying new markets. This course will explore the history, culture, pharmacology, breeding, horticulture, policy and legal challenges in an effort to inform and stimulate new ideas, motivating future plant breeders, horticulturists, farmers, pharmacologists, and entrepreneurs to be successful in the industry.
- Buckler, E.S., IV, T. L. Phelps, C.S. Keith Buckler, R. K. Dawes, J.F. Doebley, and T.P. Holtsford, (1999), “Meiotic drive of chromosomal knobs reshaped the maize genome”. Genetics 153: 415-426.
- Keith, C.S., X. Lowe, M. Nelson, H. Thai, B. Feigelman, and C. Baysdorfer, (1992), “Partial sequence analysis of 130 randomly selected maize cDNA clones”. Plant Physiology, 101: 329-332.
- Buckler, C.S., (2015) “The Role of Science Centers in Increasing the Public Understanding of Science”. Dimensions Magazine. 30 September 2015, Journal of the Association of Science-Technology Centers. pp. 30-35.
- Naiman, S.M., S.B. Allred, N. Gifford, E. Kinal, and C. Buckler, (2018). Understanding Support for Actively Managed Protected Areas: The Case of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. Center for Conservation Social Sciences Publ. Series 18-2. Dept. of Nat. Resources., Coll. Agric. and Life Sci., Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY, pp. 137
- Padovani, V., C.S. Buckler, A.F. Gualtieri, A. Vescogni, (2013) “To Teach is to Learn: High-School Students, Local University and Informal Science Educators Collaborate in Communicating Science to the Public”. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 2013: Vol 6, pp 7-11.
- Buckler, C.S., R.A. Kissel, (2012). “Should science centers and museums advocate for particular positions on controversial issues?” Dimensions Magazine, April 23rd, 2012, Journal of the Association of Science-Technology Centers.
- Padovani, V., C.S. Buckler (2012) “Scientists On Trial: The Wave of the Future?”. This View of Life. at http://www.thisviewoflife.com. referenced 11 December 2015.
- Buckler, C.S., Smrecak, T.A., (2009) “What We Consume Affects Climate”. from Climate Change 101, American Paleontologist, Vol 17(1), pp 6-7.
118 Plant Science Building
Ithaca, NY 14853
csb36 [at] cornell.edu
Carlyn in the news
- School of Integrative Plant Science
- Horticulture Section