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OSU Urban Horticulture Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates

Do you have an interest in plants, locally-produced foods, hydroponics, teaching or even possibly graduate school? If the answer is yes to one or more of these, than you should consider the Urban Horticulture REEU . . . and explore your career opportunities!

The OSU Urban Horticulture REEU is a program that will introduce undergraduates to the world of horticulture sciences and agricultural research.  

Who Can Apply: Anyone over the age of 18 (by May 20, 2019) and enrolled as a full-time student in a school of higher education for Fall 2019. This includes both two-year and four-year institutions.

Why You Should Apply: The OSU Urban Horticulture REEU is a program that will introduce undergraduates to the world of horticulture sciences and agricultural research.  If you like plants, have interest in locally-produced foods, enjoy teaching, or think graduate school might be in your future, you should definitely apply.  If you are unsure, please email the Program Director Charles Fontanier (charles.fontanier@okstate.edu) and he can advise you.

On-line Application: http://www.hortla.okstate.edu/forms/application-hreeu  
Application Deadline:  5:00 PM on February 8, 2019

Application Requirements: 1) Complete the online application at hortla.okstate.edu/forms/application-hreeu or 2) Fill out the paper application form (found at facebook.com/okstatehortREEU), then scan and email it to charles.fontanier@okstate.edu.

Where Will You Live: Students will be housed in one of OSU’s on-campus residence halls.  Each student will have a private bedroom and shared living space (two students per unit).  Students who choose not to use the program sponsored housing will be required to obtain and pay for their own housing.

Move-in Date:  Monday May 20, 2019

Move-out Date: Saturday July 28, 2019

Stipend: $400 per week for 10 weeks for standard fellowships; students chosen to be Camp TURF counselors will receive $500 per week over the 10 weeks.

Parking and Transportation: Complementary residence hall lot parking permits will be provided (1 per person). 

Course Credit: This program can be used by OSU students to receive up to 3 credits of HORT 2010 or HORT 4990.  For non-OSU students, we encourage you to seek guidance from your advisers if applying program participation towards course credit.  This program will not cover expenses associated with tuition and fees.

Faculty Mentors: You will be teamed up with one of six research faculty mentors and spend the entire 10-weeks learning about his/her research/extension program.  Researchers will include Drs. Lynn Brandenberger, Bruce Dunn, Charles Fontanier, Niels Maness, Justin Moss, and Lu Zhang.  These faculty represent a diverse group of expertise ranging from greenhouse production to turfgrass science to food extraction sciences.  Students chosen to serve as Camp TURF counselors will have the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Shelley Mitchell and participate in a variety of summer youth horticulture programs.  Visit http://www.hortla.okstate.edu/ for more information on individual research mentors.

Research Opportunities: While working with your faculty mentor, you will be assigned a project associated with his or her expertise.  The mentor will provide training and guidance on how to conduct good research in either lab or field settings.  Students will be expected to share their research with other students and present their findings at the conclusion of the program.  This is your chance to show off, and students with the best projects will be sent to the Southern Region American Society for Horticultural Sciences Conference to present their research.  The conference is usually held in January each year and rotates among cities in the southern United States.

Camp TURF: During a portion of the program, you will participate in a two-week, immersive, hands-on residential summer academy for 25 Oklahoma teenagers entering 9th or 10th grades. The summer academy is designed to give low-income, minority and/or first-generation college students experience on a college campus so they feel confident that college attendance is within their means.  You will assist the academy participants in the activities, demonstrating proper techniques for lab work and field work. You will also serve as mentors and share your college experiences so that the participants can understand life as an undergraduate student. 

Camp Counselors: Up to two of the students participating in the REEU will also serve as camp counselors for the two-week Camp TURF.  Responsibilities of camp counselors will include driving a 15-passenger van to field trip destinations and monitoring the youth in evening hours within the residence halls.  The interns serving as camp counselors will be working one Sunday afternoon and one full weekend.  Students interested in serving as a camp counselor should indicate this on their application. 

Field Trips:  During the 10-week program, you will have two group field trips to highlight horticulture in action.  These trips will include visits of small scale farm systems, greenhouse facilities, and hydroponics operations.

Student Farm: The OSU Student Farm was established in Fall 2017 when Dr. Bruce Dunn donated his research plots to the cause.  During the program, you will participate in team projects designed to train you on basics of vegetable production, urban horticulture, and related topics.  Each student will also be given the opportunity to farm their own small patch of soil throughout the 10 weeks. In addition to being used for this summer REEU, the space will be used by spring and fall semester courses in Urban Horticulture Production and Vegetable Production. In the future, we hope to expand the Farm to include orchards and small fruits, while also providing space for students to produce their own crops for personal use and sale to on-campus vendors.

Education: In addition to learning activities at the Student Farm, students will gain knowledge of hydroponics system construction, pollinator health, farmer’s markets, food preservation, and floriculture.

What We Expect from You: As a student fellow in the REEU, you are expected to maintain a 40-hr work week, be punctual to program events, have lots of questions, have fun, and share your experiences with your fellow students.  Most importantly, we expect that you will be INTERESTED and EXCITED to take part in this unique opportunity. 

Typical Week: Your typical week will be Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm with an hour break for lunch.  Three to four days each week, you will work with your research mentor on your own research or some other aspect of his/her program.  This may include establishing plants, maintaining plants, working in a laboratory setting, and collecting data.  Approximately one day per week, you will work with our Student Farm manager to maintain vegetables, build raised beds, install irrigation, etc.  The final day of each week will be a wild card that might include field trips or educational workshops.  Students will not have structured events in the evenings but may have homework assignments or library research related to their projects.  In some cases, students will be responsible for maintaining their research projects over the weekend but otherwise would have weekends free. 

REEU Web Page: For more information, visit the official Facebook page for this exciting new program.  

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