PRINCESS ANNE, MD-(March 3, 2021)-College students in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C. that are interested in learning how their academic major can lead to a career in agriculture or food science can apply now through April 10 to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates summer internship.

Organizers plan for the 10-week summer experiential learning opportunity to be held on campus June 1-August 8, pending the status of the pandemic. Last summer’s REEU was forced to a hybrid format due to COVID-19, but continued in its mission to provide minority chemistry, biology, environmental science and technology students underrepresented in Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences with hands-on experience in research and extension.

 “The purpose of the REEU program,” said Dr. Victoria Volkis, an associate professor of chemistry at UMES and principal investigator for the program, “is to show students how their majors can be applied in agriculture and food science and help them develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for successful careers within the USDA or to continue their education in graduate programs related to food and agriculture.

Participants attend meetings, theoretical and practical workshops, visitations to farming facilities, are involved in professional development activities and complete a research project in groups of three students led by graduate students.  Dr. Andrew Ristvey, an extension specialist for commercial horticulture at the Wye Research and Education Center and mentor for the program, leads workshops in biostatistics, horticulture, plant physiology, soil analysis, the use of weather stations and harvest sampling, while Volkis focuses on phytochemistry, instrumental analysis and professional development.  UMES Extension Small Farm Program specialty herbs consultant, Henriette den Ouden, leads farm visitations and workshops in planting and medicinal herbs.  Students will visit UMES, Wye REC, Habanera Farm and Mills Run Farms for hands on experiences.

Full-time sophomores and juniors who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and are pursuing a degree in a target major, with a minimum GPA of 2.9, are eligible.  Participants receive a $3,000 stipend along with room and board.  Click here or email for more information. 

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, Education and Workforce Development program is supported by REEU grant no. 2020-69018-30655 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Gail Stephens, agricultural communications, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, School of Agricultural and Natural, 410-251-7009.

Top:  Jordan Brooks, a forensic chemistry major at Towson University, participates in the summer 2020 AFRI-EWD-REEU.  “This program has shown me that there are plenty of governmental agencies that are open to degrees that I didn’t think (of),” she said.

Right:  UMESExtension Small Farm Program’s specialty herbs consultant, Henriette den Ouden, leads a planting workshop at the UMES Research and Education Farm.

Below:  Dr.s Andrew Ristvey, extension specialist for commercial horticulture at the Wye REC and REEU program mentor, and Victoria Volkis, associate professor of chemistry at UMES and P.I. for the program, instruct students on the UMES Research and Education Farm during the past summer’s internship.

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