Orientation of Facilities Use
We are required by law to make certain that all users of chemicals, equipment, and facilities are familiar with potential hazards and appropriate safety precautions. Graduate students are required to attend orientation and training sessions before using any of the laboratory, growth chamber, greenhouse, or field research facilities. Orientations for facility usage are held regularly and graduate students should watch for announced times (usually by e-mail).
If you are unable to attend, please contact the person in charge of orientation to make other arrangements. Do not use a facility or hazardous equipment if you have not been through the appropriate training session.
Right to Know
Federal and New York State law mandates and the university requires that all graduate students and employees attend an orientation on the “Right to Know” Act. This introduces the law, the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), general toxicology and laboratory safety. You will receive a memo with times and locations of the orientation meetings. You will also receive a Safety Guideline checklist, mandated by the University, and you are required to return the checklist to the Section safety representative. Safety Information notebooks are available for your reference in the main offices and in the Section laboratories. You will receive an index to the notebook as a quick guide to its contents.
Laboratories and Equipment
Most research projects and professors have one or more laboratories with research equipment. Students will normally use of their advisor’s laboratory and equipment. To use other equipment in the Section, permission should be obtained from the professor involved. Laboratory space is assigned by the major advisor. Equipment, glassware, reagents, etc. are generally purchased to use in specific laboratories. They should not be transferred to other locations unless approved by the faculty member in charge. Before using laboratory equipment, students are expected to obtain permission and instruction from the faculty member in charge or his/her designate. Each student is responsible to keep their work areas clean. Laboratory supplies or other purchases should be approved by the student’s major advisor. Disposal of toxic materials must follow proper safety procedures. See the appropriate Radioactive Material Permit Holder about use and disposal of radioactive materials.
Growth chambers, both reach-in and walk-in, are available for research use. Fees are paid by the research project and professor involved. At the beginning of each semester a meeting is held to establish growth chamber assignments. Be sure to clear the availability of funds with your major professor before reserving growth chamber space. There is high demand for this and the Section makes every effort to accommodate everyone’s needs.
Requests for Section greenhouse space should be approved by your major advisor beforehand. Guterman space requests are made through the greenhouse superintendent. Greenhouse space at Kenneth Post Lab (KPL) is arranged through the greenhouse manager.
Requests for experimental field plots are made early each spring and must carry the endorsement of the major advisor. Policies and procedures will be explained at an orientation and training session for field research.
Computing and Multimedia Facilities
Computer support for personal computers and Section-owned equipment is requested via a Remedy Incident Ticket. New graduate students will need to have an anti-virus program installed and have their computer scanned, before they can get on our wired network. This process can take a half day or so. Please be prepared to leave your computer in the IT office (Rice 105) for this procedure. RedRover wireless can be accessed without any scanning.
While campus is a generally a safe place, theft does occur and we urge you to be mindful of your and others property. Keep offices and valuables locked up, and secure windows upon leaving for the day. Shut down computers, especially after using email. Keep backup copies of all your important work. Keep graduate student office doors closed at all times.
Working hours for Section staff (offices and facilities) are: Monday through Thursday, 8:00 am-4:30 pm; and Friday, 8:00 am-3:30 pm. Some offices such as the greenhouses, farm, or orchards may vary. Laboratories and graduate student offices are usually accessible 24-hours a day.
Graduate students are encouraged to attend and participate in industry oriented conferences/meetings. Attendance is also encouraged at national and regional scientific meetings. In the course of a student’s research, the major advisor may agree to reimburse a portion of the expenses for attending a scientific meeting. It will be up to the advisor to decide if funds are available. Additional assistance may be obtained by applying in advance to the Graduate School for a special travel grant, which pays for transportation costs but only when presenting a paper/poster. The Graduate School also provides grants up to $2,000 to research degree students to conduct thesis/dissertation researcher. Priority is given to those who have or will have completed their A Exam by the date of travel. Prior to your trip, give your advisor the following information: destination, departure and arrival time, date, purpose of trip. You must file a “Notice of Proposed Travel” for insurance purposes, and also if you need a travel advance. In order to get reimbursed, you must submit all original receipts and complete an expense report upon your return. Please see the Travel Funding Opportunities page on the Cornell Graduate School Website for more information.
You may also apply for a travel grant from the Section of Soil and Crop Sciences for up to $400 per year. This form is found on the SCS website.
Use of university/section vehicles by graduate assistants is authorized for university business only, such as carrying out research or other university projects. You must be registered to drive these vehicles. For insurance purposes, family members or friends are not permitted to ride in or drive university/Section vehicles at any time unless they are Cornell employees and registered.
State Fleet vehicles
Visit the Facilities and Campus Services website to view the Fleet Policy Manual. Fleet cars are available for official use. Permission from the major advisors is required. Charges are made on a mileage or per day basis to Section accounts; an account number is required when reserving a fleet vehicle. Reserve a car or van as early as possible; and should the need arise, cancel immediately to avoid a charge (24-hours prior to departure). The actual driver must pick up the fleet car. Students must have a valid driver’s license, be registered at the Fleet Garage, and be pre-approved by the Risk Management Office. In order to do so, fill out a form available on-line at the Fleet Transporation Services website.
“Authorized Drivers: A member of the Cornell community who has been authorized by an operating unit to drive one of its vehicles for university-related business.” (Use of Cornell Vehicles, Policy 3.4). Fleet vehicles cannot be used for personal business nor may the vehicle be used in commuting to and from an individual’s place of residence. Members of an employee’s family, or other unauthorized passengers not associated with the University, may not ride in a fleet vehicle. For clarification and/or policy exceptions re: passengers contact the Contract College Fleet Supervisor (607-255-3247).
Note: If the vehicle is involved in an accident, please obtain complete information. Use the form enclosed in the book in the glove compartment for the preliminary report. Notify Fleet Services immediately in the event of any accident.
Farm equipment can be used upon approval of the farm/orchard manager after a short vehicle-safety-training course.
Keys are available for various Section facilities based on need. Key requests should be directed to Section head assistants: Karin Jantz kpg2 [at] cornell.edu (Plant Biology), Amy Collins acl10 [at] cornell.edu (Soil and Crop Sciences, Plant Breeding and Genetics) or Michele Blackmore mb2525 [at] cornell.edu (Horticulture, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology).
During the course of your graduate study it will be necessary to obtain various items essential to your research. Be sure to check with your major advisor for availability of funds and an account number before placing an order. Items may be obtained in a number of ways. Check with your major advisor or one of the sections accounts representatives for catalogs. It is important to plan ahead for your needs.
Copy Machine Privileges
Graduate students who have received approval from their advisor may use the copy machine for materials that are connected with their assistantship assignments and/or thesis research. If the student is a TA for a Section course, copies may be made for that purpose.
Copying of books is not permitted on the section copiers; these machines are not designed to do so and could cause the glass to break. Use one of the copiers in Mann Library. Please do not violate copyright laws.
Mail is collected and distributed by Barb in the mailroom on the ground floor. Mail is sorted daily. Please have only university-related business delivered here. UPS is preferred for package deliveries, not via the United States Postal Service (USPS).
- Due to on-campus postal regulations, a Postal Change of Address notice cannot be used to forward your mail.
- Note: The Section cannot forward your mail. Please plan ahead and provide your contacts with your new address.
The Section does not provide postage for personal use, such as reprint requests, position inquiries, mailing of resumes to prospective employers, etc.
Room scheduling for meetings or exams (A or B) should be done via LibCal.