The Penn State Weed Science Team travels to Cornell and wins awards!

The 2010 Northeastern Weed Science Society collegiate weed science contest was hosted by Cornell University on July 27. All total, nearly 100 students (13 undergraduate teams and 14 graduate teams) competed from 10 universities. The universities represented at the contest were Florida, Guelph, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, and Virginia Tech. Penn State's team included twelve students this year (see picture below). The graduates included: Kristine Averill, Ben Crockett, Corey Dillon, Franklin Egan, Chris Houser, and Hunter Stambaugh; and the undergrads included: Jessica Bussard, Cory Chelko, Ian Graham, David Harwick, and Kelly Patches. Dwight Lingenfelter again coached the team in preparation for this practical and exciting challenge. 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). Of all the events, each year the student really appreciate the role-play event. It gives them a chance to test their knowledge and skills of weed science and crop management in general. This year especially, they were challenged with some crop situations they were typically not familiar with such as blueberries, dry beans, sorghum, and invasive weeds in natural areas, among others. 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 agronomy, horticulture, turf, and natural areas.

Results: In the overall team results, Penn State teams claimed 2nd place in the undergraduate division and 3rd place in the graduate division. Individually, Cory Chelko won 1st place and Kelly Patches took 3rd place of all undergraduate contestants across the four events. Kristine Averill was the 3rd highest scoring individual of all the graduate students.

This was the largest weed science contest to date and extended beyond the Northeast region. As more students desire increased hands-on, experiential learning, events like this will hopefully continue to meet the demands. Most of the students who have been involved in the contest find it, not only challenging and humbling, but also very rewarding and enjoyable. Regardless of the outcome, it provides a lot of helpful experiences for future use and allows students to interact with other colleagues in the weed science profession. Students use the practical knowledge gained to, not only assist them during the contest, but also, apply it to actual crop production/management situations upon graduation in graduate school or gainful employment endeavors. Experiences such as the weed science contest greatly complement the in-class educational process.

Submitted by Dwight Lingenfelter


Penn State Wins ---

2nd Place - Undergraduate Team

3rd Place - Graduate Team


Cory Chelko - 1st place Undergraduate

Kelly Patches - 3rd place Undergraduate

Kristine Averill - 3rd place Graduate

Summary (from NEWSS)

PDF document, 3.1 MB

Supplement of the August 2010 NEWSS news