Teaching

Field class at CiCafe , the coffee research institute in 2007

P540 -Tropical Plant Pathology  Class introduces students to agriculture in the tropics and diseases on tropical crops including cacao, banana, potato, root vegetables and coffee will be given. Trade issues relevant to US and Central American farmers are discussed. A week-long study abroad trip to Costa Rica is included and tours of coffee, banana, pineapple, tropical fruit, cacao and vegetable farms in the country are planned. Students learn conversational travel Spanish. Students will learn about the diseases, social and political issues facing farmers in the developing world.

PP495/590 – NSF Global Plant Health Internships The International Research Experience for Students (IRES) in Global Plant Health funded by the National Science Foundation promotes discovery research using hands-on training in the tropics. The Global Plant Health Internship program requirements include a spring semester in class study of tropical plant pathology (PP540) at NC State University, followed by a fully funded 6 week summer research internship in Costa Rica and a fall special problems research course to complete the program. The internships are open to upper level undergraduates and graduate students. The IRES in Global Plant Health promotes discovery research using hands-on training in the tropics. The program is directed by Dr. Jean Ristaino, Dept of Plant Pathology and co-directed Dr Margo Daub, Dept of Plant Biology at NC State University .

Museum exhibit: CSI Dublin: Hunt for the Irish Potato Killer. Funded through a National Science Foundation Grant, this exhibit has been displayed at the US Botanic Gardens Spuds Unearthed Exhibit in Washington DC, The Boston Museum of Sciences, and the North Carolina Museum of Sciences in Raleigh.

Curriculum and graduate training in Plant Sciences: Worked with a multidisciplinary group of faculty from botany, genetics, entomology, and plant pathology to develop guidelines for graduate training in the plant sciences that addresses global challenges.

PCR Forensic Kit for identification of the late blight pathogen: We developed PCR methodologies and teaching lesson plans that can be used in K-12 and undergraduate teaching. The teaching lessons called “CSI Dublin: The Hunt for the Irish Potato Killer” allows students to identify P. infestans using PCR, track its spread in the 19th century, and learn about the pathogens biology. Workshops have been held in conjunction with Science House at NC State University, The Boston Museum of Science and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences to train high school science teachers to use PCR in microbe tracking experiments. Further information can be found at the Kenan Fellows website.

Research Ethics Initiative: Worked with an interdisciplinary team of faculty to develop a plan for the Graduate School called “A Research Ethics Initiative for NC State University”. Presented the plan to the Dean of the Graduate School, Administrative Board of the Graduate School and to the faculty on the campus at-large. The graduate school submitted an NSF grant that was funded to start ethics training for students. See Research Ethics Modules for details.

PP530 – Agriculture, Ethics, and the Environment: Course stresses development of students higher level critical thinking skills by lecture, case studies and discussion of environmental issues relevant to agriculture and society including: pesticide risk assessment, sustainable agriculture, animal waste management issues, water and soil quality, organic agriculture, integrated pest management, biotechnology, pest resistance to pesticides, biological control, and environmental policy. Students use role-playing in a forum to discuss ethical issues in agriculture. Students role play in 1) a case on bioprospecting versus biopiracy, fall 2002 and 2) Golden rice and Antibiotics in Agriculture. Last taught in Fall, 2004.