Education & Outreach

BTI’s Impact through Education and Outreach

Intern presents poster

BTI summer interns present posters and research talks after weeks of research mentored by BTI scientists.

The Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) believes it’s crucial to have an informed and engaged public. Thus, outreach and education is a primary institute directive, with efforts to make plant science accessible for all audiences and to inspire and support new plant scientists.

BTI hosts professional development programs linking high school science teachers and students with BTI researchers in collaborative research projects. The institute also fosters research and educational experiences for undergraduate and graduate students and community members, along with summer internships for area high school students.

BTI prepares graduate students for multiple career paths through an initiative known as “T-training.” “Over the last ten years, the situation for graduate students has become more challenging,” says President David Stern, who developed the project. “Five out of six students don’t end up running a lab–they enter a different profession.” The T-training teaches grad students skills such as networking, tech transfer, and communication skills that can facilitate smoother transitions into nonacademic career paths.

T-training is just one part of a larger plant science directive known as the Decadal Vision, a report drawn up by Stern and other plant science thought-leaders that prioritizes key goals for the field. In addition to T-training, these goals include improving the knowledge and applications of plant genomes and plant-derived chemicals, and the ability to find answers in a torrent of data. “The goal is to raise awareness and create a pathway to implement these ideas,” says Stern.

BTI Education and Outreach Mission

BTI Education and Outreach aims to link students, teachers, and scientists in learning and teaching through inquiry and discovery in plant biology. We provide academic and career development opportunities to young people, teachers, and mentors. Environmental and agricultural sustainability are tied to the advancement and understanding of plant research and technology. We increase scientific literacy in these areas, while preparing the next generation of scientists.

Education & Outreach News

Transforming Breeding through Integrated Data Management and Analysis

Together with the BCBC, GOBii, Cassavabase, and Cornell University, BTI recently hosted a fall workshop titled “Transforming Breeding through Integrated Data Management and Analysis”.  Attendees from around the globe gathered in Ithaca for a week-long intensive course featuring keynote speakers, workshops, and training sessions. The workshop featured daily plenary keynote lectures by world renowned experts, hands-on training on the state-of-the-art systems and tools, and customer-driven consulting on strategy and applications. Broad range topics, including data management systems; tracking breeding activities and materials from fields, labs, to data management and analysis; genotyping technologies, vendors, bioinformatics...

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2018 PGRP Symposium marks finale of intern researchers’ summer

The Boyce Thompson Institute’s (BTI’s) 2018 class of summer interns wrapped up their summer by presenting research talks and posters at the annual Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) Student Symposium. Now in its 17th year, BTI’s annual PGRP symposium provides a means for undergraduates and high school students to present their findings in a professional, engaging setting. This year’s symposium was live-streamed by the Institute, allowing supporters to engage with interns from afar. PGRP Acknowledgements BTI would like to recognize all faculty, sponsors, principle investigators, mentors, and  lab members for their dedication to the PGRP program and this year’s intern class. The undergraduate internship program is supported by the...

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Plant scientists call for renewed focus on empowerment of trainees

Changes in the workforce are challenging academia to prepare scientists to be adaptable and adept at communicating across boundaries. To meet these demands, the Plant Science Research Network (PSRN) is shifting the focus to enable trainees to take ownership of their training experiences. “Since President Lincoln established the Land Grant Institutions to train generations of plant scientists, we have done exactly that using essentially a single model,”said Alan Jones, American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) President 2013 – 2014. “However, in the last 40 years, plant science interpreted in its broadest terms has greatly matured and recent generations of singularly-trained students have struggled to adapt to the...

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Ithaca, NY 14853