Senior Extension Associate, School of Integrative Plant Science Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section
I have been the Director of the Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic of the Department of Plant Pathology at Cornell University since July of 1998 and the Associate Director of the Northeast Plant Diagnostic Network since November of 2002. I was born to diary farming and grew up in New Jersey. I received my Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell in Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture. I became very interested in plant pathogens during my undergraduate work and decided to pursue a Masters of Professional Studies degree in the department of Plant Pathology. My Masters research focused on an evaluation of onion flower susceptibility to a known fungal pathogen. As Director of the Clinic, I am responsible for diagnosing plant diseases on a wide range of host plants such as woody ornamentals, herbaceous plants, fruits, vegetables, turfgrass, and field crops. Additional duties include training Master Gardeners, Extension Educators, and other green industry members on the basics of plant disease and the pathogens that cause them, as well as introducing youth to the vast world of fungi. As Assistant Director of the NEPDN, I support the overall mission of providing detection of a possible bioterrorist attack of the nation's natural and agriculture systems and lead the network's efforts in implementing a laboratory accreditation program known as STAR-D, the System for Timely, Accurate and Reliable Diagnostics.
Plant disease diagnosis
Plant pathology training of Master Gardeners, Extension Educators, and green industry members
As Associate Director of the Northeast Regional Center, a component of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN), my duties include maintaining a regional center capable of supporting the diagnostic needs of 12 northeastern states. My duties also include close interaction with land grant university diagnosticians, software engineers, university department chairs, and state and national regulatory personnel. I represent all NPDN member diagnosticians on the National NPDN operations committee. As Program Area Manager of the diagnostics committee, I provide leadership in the creation of Standard Operating Procedures, coordination of highly sophisticated, identification procedure training events, and maintaining active communications of significant events. As Program Area Manager of the national database committee, I provide leadership in the creation of Upload Guidelines for those submitting diagnostic identifications to the National Repository at Purdue University and in reviewing the host and pathogen EPA pest codes for appropriate content and accuracy. Serving as the National Quality Manager for the NPDN’s System for True, Accurate and Reliable Diagnostics (STAR-D) requires that I establish a strategic plan and oversee the STAR-D project development, prioritize activities, work with the NPDN executive and operations committees to establish a STAR-D Board, serve as liaison between the STAR-D Board, the auditor team and NPDN diagnosticians, manage the auditors’ preparedness and readiness, develop workshops and training modules to introduce NPDN members to STAR-D components, and provide diagnostic content for the development of the STAR-D documents. My extension teaching programs are geared toward audiences that include Master Gardeners, Extension Educators, other green industry members, and students. They focus on basic plant pathology, plant disease diagnostics, and the operation of the NEPDN. I am responsible for overseeing the diagnosis of plant diseases on a wide range of host plants such as woody ornamentals, herbaceous plants, fruits, vegetables, turfgrasses, and field crops, as well as conducting large scale surveys searching for harmful, introduced pathogens of high concern and those pathogens that are capable of causing significant damage to agricultural or natural environments and may be intentionally or accidentally introduced.
- Snover-Clift, K. L., Clement, P. A., Jablonski, R., Mungari, R. J., Mavrodieva, V. A., Negi, S., & Levy, L. (2007). First Report of the Plum pox virus on Plum in New York State. Plant Disease. 91:1512.
- Snover-Clift, K. L., & Nelson, E. B. (2001). Abstract: Evaluation of turfgrass phytonematode population distributions on a New York State putting green. Phytopathology. 91:S83.
- Snover-Clift, K. L., Lorbeer, J. W., & Holcomb, M. A. (1999). Abstract: Onion Seed Infection Levels Subsequent to Sequential Exposure of Onion Seed Stalks and Flower Parts to Aspergillus niger. Phytopathology. 89:S73.
- Snover-Clift, K. L., Loparco, D. P., & Lorbeer, J. W. (1999). Abstract: Systemic Infection of Onion Seedlings by Aspergillus niger and Fusarium sp. Phytopathology. 89:S73.
- Snover-Clift, K. L., & Dailey O'Brien, D. (2018). Save the Date for the STAR-D QMS workshop. p. 1 NPDN News Rachel McCarthy (ed.),.
- Snover-Clift, K. L. (2017). A New York State Oak Wilt Project: a few discoveries made and lessons learned. Branching Out Dawn Dailey O'Brien (ed.), Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States.
- Snover-Clift, K. L., & Dailey O'Brien, D. (2017). First STAR-D QMS Introduction Workshop-A Huge Success! p. 1-3 NPDN News Rachel McCarthy (ed.), NPDN.
- Snover-Clift, K. L., & Dailey O'Brien, D. (2017). QMS Is All Fun and Games (Well, At Least Partially!). p. 4-5? NPDN News Rachel McCarthy (ed.),.
- Snover-Clift, K. L., & Dailey O'Brien, D. (2017). QMS workshop participants perform mock audit-an exercise in applying STAR-D principles. p. 3-5 NPDN News Rachel McCarthy (ed.),.
- Snover-Clift, K. L., & Dailey O'Brien, D. (2017). The First NPDN Laboratory earns STAR-D Laboratory Accreditation. p. 1-2 NPDN News Rachel McCarthy (ed.), NPDN, Ithaca, NY.
Presentations and Activities
- Soybean Cyst Nematode Workshop: Suspect Nematode Sample Processing at the Cornell University Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic. Northeast Agribusiness Conference; Field Crop Dealer Component. November 2018. Northeast Agribusiness. Syracuse, NY.
- Soybean Cyst Nematode: Take the Test and Beat the Pest. 2018 Aurora Farm Field Day. July 2018. Soil and Crop Sciences Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University. Aurora, NY United States.
- Key points for collection and submission of oak wilt samples. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Inspector Workshop Northeast Regional Meeting. June 2018. NYSDEC. Ithaca, NY.
- Oak Wilt; Biology, Testing & Tools...Methods to ensure quality sample submissions. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Inspector Workshop Northeast Regional Meeting. June 2018. NYSDEC. Ithaca, NY.
- Oak Wilt; Discoveries in New York State. NPDN Northeast Regional Meeting. May 2018. NPDN. Ithaca, NY.
- Oak Wilt; New York's Diagnostic Discoveries. Northeast Forest Pest Council Meeting. March 2018. Northeast Forest Pest Council. Burlington, VT.
- BOLO for Plant Disease; Oak Wilt, Thousand Canker, Rose Rosette and more. Turf and Landscape Management Update Webinar. March 2018. Cornell Cooperative Extensionof Rensselaer County. Ithaca, N.Y.
- Oak Wilt & Sudden Oak Death; Two Harmful Pathogens Not Welcome Here! Invasive Species of Yard, Woods & Landscape Workshop. February 2018. Capital/Mohawk Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management. Voorheesville, N.Y.
- Basic Plant Pathology. Master Gardener Training Workshop. February 2018. CCE Saratoga County. Ballston Spa, NY and 3 other counties in Capital District.
- Diagnosing Plant Problems. Master Gardener Training Workshop. February 2018. CCE Saratoga County. Ballston Spa, NY and 3 other counties in Capital District.
Awards & Honors
- NPDN Outstanding Service Award (2016) The National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN)
- Director's Regional Award for Outstanding Service (2012) National Plant Diagnostic Network
- NPDN Outstanding Team Service Award (2011) National Plant Diagnostic Network
PLPPM 6610: Diagnostic Lab Experience
Karen's teaching focuses on basic plant pathology and diagnosing plant problems. She often gives guest lectures about basic plant pathology, diagnostic clinics, the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) and the importance of early detection of high consequence pathogens and pests in courses such in Entomology, Plant Pathology and Horticulture
324 Plant Science Building
Ithaca, NY 14853
kls13 [at] cornell.edu