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In early August, interns from six programs in the Animal Science department gathered in Frank Morrison Hall for the second annual Animal Science Poster Session. This gave interns an opportunity to discuss their projects with peers, faculty, staff and professionals in the field. We asked a few of the 2023 interns to share more about their summer experiences.

Meet the interns…

Karolyn Auer: A rising junior studying animal science, working with Olivia Godber on the dairy sustainability project.

Nicholas Paschall: A rising senior studying statistics at Cornell University, working with Manuel Marcaida to examine the effects of tile drainage on corn silage yield.

Ibtida Ahmed: A rising senior studying computer science at the University of Buffalo, who worked with Sunoj Shajahan on predicting farm field yield management zones.

Megan Guy: A rising senior at Pennsylvania State University, who worked as a crop scout with Western New York Crop Management Association, assessing weeds, pests, nutrient deficiencies and diseases in the field.

What are some key skills that you learned during your internship?

Karolyn Auer: Key skills I’ve gained this summer are data input and understanding where the data on farms comes from. So with that, I’ve also learned a lot of critical thinking skills, understanding why certain practices certain numbers are important for both nutrient mass balance and greenhouse gas emissions.

Nicholas Paschall: A skill that I’ve had, but I think has gotten a lot better, has just been communication. It’s almost impossible to do well or perform one of these projects well without continuous communication.

Ibtida Ahmed: A key skill that I improved was my coding expertise, through Python and such.

Megan Guy: Key skills would definitely be memorizing what things look like; you have to be able to know it, remember it and identify it, and do all of this efficiently in a day’s work.

What are some of your favorite memories from this internship?

Karolyn Auer: A lot of memories were made in the field. Lots of funny things happen when you’re out there-- and of course, our little weekly trips to the dairy bar.

Nicholas Paschall: This project specifically was really special for me because it was initiated by a farmer. It was an honor to work on something that had a lot more of a meaningful impact on the farmers in New York.

Ibtida Ahmed: Well, my favorite field visit was where we got to interact with some of the farm animals, such as the pigs.

How did this internship influence your career goals?

Karolyn Auer: I’ve always been interested in how we can make animal systems more sustainable, and this is exactly that: looking at dairy farms. How can we make them more sustainable? How can we market farming to consumers? It’s been a great experience.

Nicholas Paschall: This internship has definitely contributed to my data analytics skillset. I’m really excited about the things I’ve been able to do for my project--the things I’ve been able to learn--and I’m excited to take those things into my last year of school and into my job.

This project specifically was really special for me because it was initiated by a farmer. It was an honor to work on something that had a lot more of a meaningful impact on the farmers in New York.

Ibtida Ahmed: This internship gave me a foundation of what I want to work through, such as geospatial data analysis.

Megan Guy: I think crop consulting could definitely be a step in my career. It’s challenging; we have so much to do, so a lot of it I had to figure out on my own… but that kind of makes it more fun because I don’t have somebody giving me the answers. I have to go find the answers.

Keep an eye out for the 2024 Animal Science Poster Session on August 2 in Frank Morrison Hall on Cornell’s Ithaca campus.

For more information about internships with Cornell’s Animal Science program, check out the links below!

For more information about available programs and internships, email the animal science department at anscinfo [at]

Check out faculty programs in the animal science department and learn more about research in this field being conducted at Cornell University at People | CALS (

To explore the animal science program independently, visit Animal Science | CALS (

For more information about internships like these in digital agriculture and dairy sustainability, visit Cornell University Nutrient Management Spear Program and look under the “Jobs and Internships” section.

Madeline Hanscom is a writer for the Nutrient Management Spear Program.

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