The 2008 Northeastern Weed Science Society - Collegiate Weed Science Contest was held at University of Delaware on July 30 where a total of 37 graduate and undergraduate students participated from five universities. Penn State's team included six students this year (see picture below). The graduate team included: Ryan Bates, Nelson DeBarros, Ruth Mick, and Matt Ryan; and the undergrad team included: Cory Chelko and Alicia Spangler. Dwight Lingenfelter again coached the team in preparation for this practical and exciting challenge.

The universities represented at the contest were North Carolina State, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Cornell, and Guelph. Students participated in four contest segments including: 1) weed identification; 2) sprayer application technology; 3) diagnosis and identification of herbicides by symptoms; and 4) problem solving and recommendations in a field setting (role-play event). The goal of the contest is to include "real-world" scenarios for experiential learning with a twist of fun. The weed science contest is open to graduate and undergraduate students interested in weed management in agroecology (agronomy), horticulture, turf, and natural areas.

Results: Of the seven graduate teams in the contest, Penn State claimed 1st place, and individually, Matt Ryan took 1st place with the overall highest point total of all contestants across the four events. Of the five undergrad teams competing, Penn State was awarded 2nd place, and individually, Cory Chelko tied for 2nd place among the undergrad contestants.

Within the specific events: Ryan Bates and Matt Ryan had the highest scores on two of the field problem solving events; Nelson DeBarros and Matt Ryan placed first and second, respectively on the weed ID event; Ryan Bates and Matt Ryan were two of three students who had a perfect score on sprayer calibration; Alicia Spangler had second highest score on one of the field problems; and Cory Chelko was second highest on a field problem.

Submitted by Dwight Lingenfelter


Penn State Wins ---

1st place - Grad Team

2nd place - Undergrad Team


Mat Ryan - 1st place Graduate

Cory Chelko - 2nd place Undergraduate