NSF Global Plant Health Internship Program
Are you interested in learning about global plant health, food security, emerging plant diseases and trade issues in the tropics? The International Research Experience for Students (IRES) in Global Plant Health promotes discovery research using hands-on training in the tropics.
Plant disease is a limiting factor in agricultural production in many areas of the world. In the humid tropics, diseases are difficult to control due to high rainfall conditions and the presence of a diversity of plant pathogenic microorganisms. We live in a global community and plant diseases do not recognize country borders. Agricultural trade is responsible for movement of a myriad of plant pathogens globally each year. A significant portion of the foods we consume are grown in the tropics and imported into the United States. Students need a global perspective on the plant pathogens that infect our imported food crops.
The Global Plant Health Internship program requirements include a spring semester in class study of tropical plant pathology (PP540) at NC State University, followed by a 6 week summer research internship in Costa Rica and a fall special problems research course to complete the program. The internships are open to upper level undergraduates and graduate students.
The International Research Experience for Students (IRES) in Global Plant Health promotes discovery research using hands-on training in the tropics. The program is directed by Dr Jean Ristaino, Dept of Plant Pathology and co- directed Dr Margo Daub, Dept of Plant Biology at NC State University .
Learning objectives of the program include:
1. Develop knowledge base and critical thinking skills on issues related to tropical agriculture, emerging plant diseases, ecology and the environment.
2. Identify trade issues that are important in regulating plant pathogens that are imported from the tropics.
3. Identify and develop appropriate skills for conducting ecologically-based plant pathology research in the tropics.
4. Develop an appreciation for the language, culture and people of Costa Rica and the foods they consume and export.
To hear about Bridget Lassiter, a former participant's experience, click here
The 2011 class of Global Plant Health Interns.
From left to right undergraduates Caleb Pearce, incoming graduate student Laura Bostic and undergraduates Jessica Pope, Alyssa Koehler, and Robin Singh. Far right, Jessica Pope and Alyssa Koehler with guide at Las Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. These two interns will study black sigatoka on shaded and commercial banana and the diversity of Phytophthora on cacao grown at La Selva and on pineapple in nearby fields..