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Department of Plant Pathology

Research & Extension Experiences for UndergraduatesResearch & Extension Experiences for UndergraduatesResearch & Extension Experiences for UndergraduatesResearch & Extension Experiences for UndergraduatesResearch & Extension Experiences for Undergraduates
Department of Plant Pathology
Kansas State University
1712 Claflin Road
4024 Throckmorton PSC
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: +1-785-532-6176
Fx: +1-785-532-5692

REEU Calendar - 2021 

UPDATE - the 2021 program has transitioned to VIRTUAL. All participants are receiving modified projects and an updated schedule of engaging online group activities. We are excited about our virtual 2021 program and are looking forward to an in-person program in summer 2022 which will be similar to the schedule below.




Summer 2021 program dates: June 15-July 29


Tentative 2021 Pre-session timeline:

  • February 7, 2021: Applications due.
  • February 15, 2021: Letters of recommendations due. These should be sent to kennelly@ksu.edu directly by referees.
  • Late March 28, 2021: Decision letter will be emailed to the applicants.

Before you arrive:

A group video orientation will be held in late April with program coordinators. You will be introduced to other interns, and briefed on the 2021 schedule and logistical details. Video conferences between each mentor and their student intern will take place in early May to get acquainted and discuss expectations.

Sample program:

Tables 1-3 below outline the timeline. Most weeks will follow a similar schedule to facilitate planning of work schedules in the host labs. All weeks will include these elements:

  1. Professional development (Prof. Dev.): Interns in plant pathology REEU will join the workshops offered by the Consortium of Undergraduate Research Experience Programs (CUREP). On weeks without a CUREP workshop we will offer sessions on ethics, video interview skills, and international agriculture development.
  2. Field trips: Weeks 1-8 will have a half- or full-day field trip for hands-on experiential learning about research and extension in different agricultural systems. 
  3. Agricultural data analytics activities: Each week will have a 1-2 hour group session focused on Food and Agriculture Cyberinformatics and Tools (FACT). The group sessions are intended to develop skills in the entire cohort and give all students exposure to different types of data including bioinformatics, high-throughput phenotyping, and large-scale field data at a conceptual level appropriate to the interns. 

Table 1: Week 1 timeline

This year (2021) the program will start on Tuesday, June 15th, with Monday June 14th reserved for travel

MondayTravel, checking in to housing. Group dinner.

Morning: 9:00-10:00: welcome coffee with all mentors, with overview of KSU plant health research and extension; 9:00-12:00: additional group orientation sessions. Complete pre-session survey. Initiate required safety trainings. Create professional LinkedIn profiles.

Afternoon: Acquire ID’s for access to campus facilities, other logistics, and then initial worktime in host lab.


Morning: Finish any necessary safety trainings.

Afternoon: Worktime in host labs, 


Morning: Worktime in host labs, finish any necessary safety trainings specific for those labs.

Afternoon: Command-line crash course. 2-hour session to learn about the command line interface, the inner workings of a computer and about resources such as GitHub.


Morning: ½ day field trip to KSU farm to learn how to set up field experiments, methods to measure diseases and insects, & learn about extension.

Afternoon: Worktime in host lab; 4:00-5:00 Initiate group blog.

Evening: welcome BBQ or dinner

Table 2: Timeline for weeks 2-6

Week 2Prof. Dev.“Preparing for Research” – presented by CUREP
 Field Trip

Field trip to university research farm to observe high throughput phenotyping, UAVs, and big data (FACT). 


Data visualization. 

Week 3Prof. Dev.“Research Ethics”
 Field trip, 1/2 dayCampus landscape disease walking tour and extension experience. Hands-on diagnostic problem-solving.
 FACTAnalyzing UAV data using Machine Learning.

Friday afternoon 4:00: ice cream break, informal progress updates. All interns sign up for a free one-year student membership to the American
Phytopathological Society.

Week 4Prof. Dev.“Graduate School Application Process,” presented by CUREP
 Field trip, full day

KSU student farm (Manhattan, KS)


“Big picture” conceptual introduction to bioinformatics. What is it, why is it important, and what questions can we ask? Meet in teaching  computer lab and learn about genome sequencing and bioinformatics.

 Other1-hr tour of Integrated Genomics Facility.
Week 5Prof. Dev.“Financial Support for Graduate School." Presented by CUREP
 Field trip, 1/2 day

KSU Biosecurity Research Institute. 1 hr intro session, then go into mock-containment demo lab to learn hands-on methods for BSL3 work. Learn how extension personnel interact with regulatory officials to work with growers on exotic/emerging pathogens.


Using long-read sequence data to assemble complete genomes. Discuss cutting-edge sequencing technology and how it is revolutionizing biological sciences. Use 2nd & 3rd generation sequence data to assemble two fungal genomes using KSU High Performance Computer Cluster.

 OtherMid-point survey/feedback.
Week 6Prof. Dev.“Communication skills for scientific posters and presentations.”
 Field trip, 1/2 day

Engaging the public through experiential displays. Behind-the-scenes tour of the KSU Insect Zoo to learn how entomologists use the zoo for science communication to the public, including children. Brainstorm ideas on how to showcase their own projects in a fun and creative way.


Using long-read sequence data to assemble complete genomes (continued). Analyze the completed genome assemblies and develop hypotheses they could further test.

Table 3: Week 7 timeline

In 2021 the program will end on Thursday July 29th, 2020.

MondayMorning: worktime with labs; Afternoon 2:00-5:00 Interns conduct a practice poster session. Staggered exit interviews
TuesdayMorning and afternoon: work time in host labs

Morning: worktime in host labs; Afternoon: Research Symposium and Reception. Evening: Farewell potluck/picnic 

ThursdayMorning: closing discussions and reflections. Evaluations. 
Afternoon: departures