Weed Management in a Changing Climate

Weeds are a growing problem for New York farmers, with herbicide resistance increasing and southern weeds projected to thrive in the state with climate change. The purpose of this internship is to work with Cornell's Weeds and Climate Change project team to distribute science-based outreach tools to assist agricultural producers in adapting weed management strategies as our climate changes. Distribution and evaluation of these grower outreach materials 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 synthesized data from scientific literature on the impacts of climate shifts on herbicide efficacy and the development of resistance.

The intern will assist in getting our project materials into the hands of growers by developing outreach materials, working with the statewide network of Extension educators, and sharing materials with those who originally participated in our grower surveys. 

The intended outcome of the Weeds and Climate project is for the student to gain experience developing Extension materials and distributing materials to stakeholders within the Extension network, as well as an introduction to the evaluation process. The intern will also learn about digital platforms for the distribution of materials.  

Roles and responsibilities 

The student will work with project team members to provide agronomic growers with information on weed management in a changing climate, including potential range-shifting problem weeds, how to adapt management practices, and actions to take to limit detrimental effects of management on the environment -- such as soil erosion. County and campus collaborators will connect the student to the statewide field crops and dairy livestock Extension educator network to identify opportunities for distribution of materials through summer meetings, etc. The intern will assist in developing materials for these events. The student will also assist in developing and deploying an evaluation for the materials distributed and will assist in compiling evaluations for project reports.  

The student will be fully supported by 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. We will identify at least one summer meeting where project team members attend a workshop to distribute materials in person. 

The student will also complete work needed for the CCE internship, including a weekly blog, a 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) and coursework or experience in communications/public outreach are preferred but not required.

Learning outcomes 

  • Deeper knowledge of climate impacts on agriculture and weed management

  • Develop training and outreach materials for agricultural producers

  • Experience engaging with Extension educator network and agronomic growers 

  • Familiarity with development of training materials for agronomic growers

  • Familiarity with County Cooperative Extension mission and function; access to committee and board meetings, etc.