Lehman College and The New York Botanical Garden
Curriculum Development and Instrumentation Improvement
“Bridging the Digital Divide in the Bronx through a Plant Biology Partnership”
Edward J. Kennelly, PI (Lehman College); Eleanore Wurtzel, Co-PI (Lehman College);
Charles Peters, Co-PI (The New York Botanical Garden)



     This is a joint project between Lehman College of the City University of New York, a Hispanic-Serving Institution, and the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), a world-renowned research center since 1896. The two institutions both have strong plant sciences programs and are located about one mile apart in the Bronx, New York. The purpose of this project is to strengthen the linkages between the institutions through undergraduate educational and research opportunities, and by improvement of electronic educational resources. Specifically, we are doing the following:

· Creating a computer laboratory at Lehman to give undergraduate students access to research equipment that is currently not available to them. This laboratory has also received funding by Waters Corporation and the DOD. 

· Creating a state-of-the-art geographical information system (GIS) laboratory at NYBG to be used by NYBG graduate students and Lehman undergraduate. The GIS laboratory will be incorporated into Lehman and NYBG curricula. 

· Creating a pilot NYBG Internship Program for Lehman undergraduate students to work at NYBG.

· Enhancing the Lehman undergraduate plant sciences curriculum by incorporating NYBG resources.

     The program is designed so students will receive enhanced training in plant sciences with modern equipment. Curriculum development depends upon the improvement of the computer teaching facilities at the two collaborating institutions. Selected students will conduct semester-long internships at NYBG, and use the skills they have learned in class in a research environment. Lehman students will also benefit from a new GIS laboratory at NYBG through research projects and seminars. The program will allow students at the undergraduate and graduate levels to have access to botanical resources that are currently not available at either Lehman College or NYBG. The program is intended to encourage outstanding Lehman undergraduate students to consider graduate studies and careers in plant sciences. 
      We have already been successful in creating a biological sciences corridor in the Bronx that channels students from Hostos Community College/CUNY to Lehman. The Plant Sciences doctoral program of the City University of New York’s Graduate Center (see http://a32.lehman.cuny.edu/PlantPhD) is housed at Lehman College, and the program has a strong relationship with NYBG. The project will play an important role in developing a comprehensive, joint public-private plant sciences partnership in the Bronx. 

Pilot NYBG Internship Program

    We have established a pilot NYBG Internship Program for upper-level Lehman undergraduate students to conduct research with NYBG scientists. NYBG interns will be selected for one semester through the following criteria: 

1. A full-time student at Lehman College.
2. Completed 60-90 credit hours (junior-level students).
3. Have a GPA of 3.0 or better.
4. Have noticeable scholarly ability, drive, and curiosity. 

    Students with an expressed interest in pursuing advanced degrees in plant sciences will be given preference. Students will be expected to work 10 hours per week for one semester. Up to two students will be selected per semester to participate in this program. A total of eight interns will be placed during this pilot project. Four of the students will be offered stipends. All students will receive credit for their research work through BIO 489 (Introduction to Experimental Biology), BIO 490 (Honors in Biological Sciences), or BIO 501 (Research in Plant Biology). Drs. Wurtzel and Peters will coordinate the NYBG Internship Program and will be responsible for selecting students.
     The selected students will interview with potential NYBG mentors, and discuss potential projects for the semester. Cooperative research projects have been designed by NYBG curators, including, among others:

Dr. Keneth Cameron

Dr. Roy Halling

Dr. Timothy Motley

Dr. Charles Peters

    Each student will have the opportunity to choose from among the group of selected mentors. Students selected for the program will work with their NYBG mentor to develop a research project. In the first two weeks of the program, the student, with the help of the faculty mentor, will write a short two-page summary of the project plan. Drs. Peters and Wurtzel will review, revise, and approve the project, and the student will spend the remaining twelve weeks of the semester carrying out a portion of the proposed research.

NYBG Internship Application

    Students who meet the requirements for the NYBG Internship Program  are encouraged to complete an application, and return it electronically to Professor Edward Kennelly.

For more information about the NYBG Internship Program , contact:
Professor Edward J. Kennelly
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences
Lehman College
City University of New York
250 Bedford Park Boulevard West
Bronx, New York 10468 
E-mail: kennelly@lehman.cuny.edu

This project is sponsored by the
USDA Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program