Plant Diagnostic Clinic Internship

College of Agricultural Sciences

Agriculture Biology



Primary Topic:

Natural Resources and Sustainability

Other Topics:

Emergency Planning and Resources, Food and Agriculture

Lead Mentor:  

Ana Cristina Fulladolsa Palma

Plant Diagnostic Clinic Director

Internship Overview:

The Plant Diagnostic Clinic (PDC) at Colorado State University maintains a plant, plant disease, and insect identification program, critical to the success of plant management efforts in the state. The PDC is the only lab of its kind in Colorado and it provides monitoring and early detection of emerging and invasive pests, pathogens, and weeds that pose a threat to Colorado natural resources, agriculture and the U.S. food supply. Through our diagnostic services, we also provide resources and educational materials to our clientele to help them manage their plant disease/pest problems. Since our relocation to CSU Spur, we frequently contribute to K-12 education efforts, provide learning opportunities for adult learners (i.e. Master Gardeners, extension and industry partners), and provide informational tours and talks for campus visitors. Our mission is aligned with that of CSU Extension in serving the citizens of Colorado through education and the application of science-based practices to help improve their quality of life.

Goals, Scope and Objectives:

The goal of this internship is to provide an opportunity for a student to learn about diseases and pests in Colorado through the diagnostic services provided at the CSU Plant Diagnostic Clinic. The objectives of the internship are:
• To support diagnostic operations in the PDC during its season of high demand
• To create “Diseases of Interest” publications for at least ten diseases affecting plants in Colorado
• To support outreach and education efforts during the summer of 2023

With which stakeholder group(s) will the intern work?

The intern will primarily work with PDC clientele (including Master Gardeners, extension staff, and homeowners) and CSU Spur visitors. They will also interact with other CSU scientists and horticulture staff during the creation of educational documents.

What student learning outcomes do you anticipate and what are the opportunities for professional development?

Learning outcomes:
• Identify signs and symptoms of diseases in plant samples
• Investigate potential causes of plant problems in diagnostic samples.
• Collect data to support the diagnoses of common diseases affecting plants in Colorado
• Organize and interpret diagnostic data to identify priorities for education in diagnostics and disease management.
• Create educational materials related to common plant diseases in Colorado.
• Synthesize the knowledge and tools gained during the internship in a poster presentation.
Professional development:
• Hands-on experience in plant disease diagnostics
• Learn essential skills for communicating science to the general public
• Network building through interacting with clinic clientele, scientists, and visitors
• Develop an extension/education portfolio through the creation of educational material and interactions with clinic clients and CSU Spur visitors
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