The world critically needs more sustainable production systems for food, fuel, fiber and landscapes. The Doctor of Plant Health (DPH) program is a professional program that offers an exciting opportunity to those who want to be leaders and make a difference in these productions systems. Graduates from the program are in high demand; we are experiencing 100% employment upon graduation.
Salvador will be working with the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) for the summer of 2018. He will split his time working in the Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory conducting chemical, physical, and biological soil tests and shadowing State Soil Scientist Neil Dominy. He plans to create a set of lectures describing soil test methodology and interpretation to either enhance existing UNL undergraduate soil and soil fertility courses, or design a course himself, drawing from his extensive teaching experience as a graduate student.
Emily Stine—Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver, CO
Emily Stine is working at Denver Botanic Gardens as the Doctor of Plant Health Horticulture Intern. Her duties include collecting data for the Arboreal Arthropod Diversity Study, hosting a weekly Plant Health Science Chat in the Science Pyramid, along with surveying and diagnosing pathogen, arthropod and nutritional concerns, including assessing tropical plant nutrition protocols in the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory within the Gardens. She will be providing support to Master Gardeners along with posting regular Plant Health Highlights on the Gardens’ blog highlighting her experiences and developing resource sheets for common issues found within the Gardens. Beyond all of these tasks, she will be participating with the other interns learning about horticulture in Colorado with field trips and guest lectures. She is excited and ready to learn as much as she can over this summer.
Christopher Wynn—Centrol Ag Consulting, Edgeley, ND
Chris is working with DPH student Lee Briese this summer scouting fields for weeds like kochia, pigweed, common lambsquarter, dandelion, Canada thistle, and more. He’ll also be checking for plant emergence and taking stand counts in corn and soybeans. They will also be setting and checking wireworm traps to see what kind of pressure they may have moving forward. With all this information they will create recommendations for the growers.
Chris reported: “The other day I had a shining moment. While scouting a field I noticed an area that didn't look right. I was able to quickly diagnosis the issue as herbicide damage. Further investigation led me to know that it was a growth regulator herbicide that wasn't fully rinsed out of the sprayer tank. How did I know it was from the sprayer? The affected area was around the border of the field and approximately 120 feet across, the size of the boom for many sprayers out here. Because of the DPH and the extensive training and learning we go through I was able to piece together what was going on. Knowing that we found this area, we'll keep a close eye on it and we'll see how the crop will react moving forward. There's a good chance this area will be a complete loss”.
Lee and Chris usually start their work day at 7:30am and run all day long until about 8pm or until there’s not enough light on the field to properly see what's going on-too many shadows.
Sarah Blecha Interning in Morocco
DPH student Sarah Blecha is in Morocco doing her internship with the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).
Sarah's plan of study includes: disease scoring wheat, visiting and helping with wheat pathologist and entomologist, help with wheat selection, wheat quality lab, learn more about pulses such as crossing and diseases, attending part of a 20 day wheat training (other breeders from around the world tour the facility and fields) and finally attend the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGIR) in Marrakech. Sarah will also give a 30-40 minute presentation about her studies and research in the US to the trainees and/or ICARDA staff towards the end of her time there.
Addressing Biomedical Science's PhD Problem
This article notes the need for students seeking graduate degrees to evaluate future employment opportunities & seek diverse educational experiences during their graduate education. The DPH degree offers excellent opportunities to address these concerns.