Climate Change and Weed Management: Tools for New York dairies and field crops farms

Weeds are a growing problem for New York farmers, with herbicide resistance increasing and southern weeds projected to thrive in the state.  The purpose of this internship is to work with Cornell's Weeds and Climate Change project team to develop science-based outreach tools, to help agricultural producers adapt weed management strategies with climate change.  Development of these grower outreach tools is the final phase of the Weeds and Climate change project. In year 1 we surveyed growers for their perceptions of weed management in changing weather conditions. In Year 2 we are synthesizing data from scientific literature researching the impacts of climate shifts on herbicide efficacy and development of resistance , which will be the foundation for this internship’s work.  The intended outcome of the Weeds and Climate project is to develop to develop extension materials for agronomic growers to prepare them for range shifting problem weeds, while maintaining useful tools in the toolbox for management and limiting detrimental effects to the environment.  The county and campus collaborators will guide the student through the development, review, and final production of print and on-line Extension materials related to the data synthesis work completed in Year 2. The student will be fully supported from both campus and county collaborators. The county coordinator will provide office space and daily supervision; the campus mentor will meet weekly with the student and county collaborator, and will travel to the host area for a summer field meeting where outreach resources are shared with growers.  

Roles and responsibilities 

The student will work with the county Extension coordinator to synthesize earlier data and research into print and on-line resources for agricultural producers.  The first five weeks of the internship the student will work on development of print materials and planning of the field workshop.   As resources are developed, the intern will work with staff to get feedback from local agency and grower contacts, and to revise materials for publication.  Later in the summer, the student and local staff will look to host an evening field session with growers to in-part share the resources developed.  The final week will be reserved for wrap-up, reflection and evaluation.  

The student will also complete work needed for the CCE internship, including a weekly blog, final poster presented in the fall semester, and other tasks as assigned by the internship organizers.

Qualifications and previous coursework

This opportunity is available to non-graduating students in Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Coursework in plant identification (botany, weed science, etc) Coursework or experience in communications/public outreach 

Learning outcomes 

  • Deeper knowledge of climate impacts on agriculture and weed management.
  • Develop training and outreach materials for agricultural producers
  • Confidence working with research publications and summarizing technical information
  • Gathering and synthesizing technical information from content experts
  • Experience engaging an adult extension audience and delivering technical information
  • Familiarity with organization and planning extension events
  • Familiarity with County Cooperative Extension mission and function; access to committee and board meetings, etc.