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Undergraduate research program to continue at OSU

Monday, March 21, 2022

Photo of an undergraduate student working with plants in a green house.

 

Oklahoma State University received a $595,576 grant to continue the Urban Horticulture Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates (REEU) Program.

 

The summer program houses agricultural undergraduate students from across the state for 10 weeks as paid interns who participate in various research and Extension activities while conducting their own research projects related to diverse areas of horticultural, agronomy, food and natural resource sciences.

 

Fontanier said many industries within food, agriculture, natural resources and human science (FANH) disciplines are facing critical issues, including well-trained workforce shortages, shrinking university programs, poor public awareness and understanding and lack of funding. With these issues comes a need for university recruitment efforts and career development opportunities to increase student engagement and retention in specialized plant and food agriculture programs.

 

“This program increases our efforts in recruiting and training undergraduates within FANH and will contribute to closing the workforce gap,” Fontanier said. “The project also strengthens OSU’s relationships with regional institutions for development of sustained outreach education and student recruitment initiatives.”

 

The following are the long-term goals of the REEU program:

  • Recruit 40 undergraduate students over four years.
  • Educate students on the basics of growing food in small-scale field and greenhouse crop production systems.
  • Train students in agricultural research methods and data analysis through mentorship.
  • Enhance leadership skills of student fellows through conducting experiments, presenting at symposiums and meetings and participating in Extension activities.

To learn more about the REEU program, visit its website or view the 2021 OSU Ag Research article about the program.

 

This work is supported by the Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduates [grant no. 2022-67037-36618/project accession no. 1028134] through the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

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