Soil science will offer a certificate between a minor and a major by providing official recognition for the focus area of study. A bachelor's degree from Iowa State University is not required to earn the certificate, and it is designed to match up with federal and state requirements to obtain a federal job classified for soil scientists and get licensure in states requiring it.
Dr. Bradley Miller, assistant professor of agronomy, explains that the certificate requires 31 credits, but 22 of those may count from other academic programs that students are involved in. The certificate is built to help students have a strong foundation in understanding soil systems.
Ella Carlson, sophomore in agronomy, is spending her summer as a Yield Trial Intern for Beck's Hybrids in Marshalltown, Iowa.
"So far I have been involved with planting and early season note taking. During planting I sat on the planted and dumped seed packets to be planted," said Ella.
After everything was planted, Ella began taking early season notes along with three other people. She analyzed the corn to see if it was doing good, bad, or if something went wrong when planted. Her notes will help researchers know why there may be abnormalities in yields when harvested. The interns take notes for several hours and then they go back to Marshalltown day after day to watch the corn.
Chase Krug, junior in agronomy, is spending his at Reiman Gardens as their Plant Collections Intern. Chase manages the garden's vast collection of diverse plants and provides the public with educational outreach.
"My summer internship project involves creating a backup germplasm collection of the Dr. Griffith Buck Rose Collection to ensure it is well preserved for future rose breeders as a valuable genetic resource for disease resistant rose germplasm," said Chase. "Dr. Griffith Buck was a famed former rose breeder and professor at Iowa State who created and introduced 90+ varieties of disease-resitant shrub roses."
Jenna Cowan, senior in agronomy, was looking forward to being a Digital Technology Manager Intern with WinField United, but her plans quickly changed when COVID-19 began affecting people across the country.
Instead of working directly with retailers to help integrate WinField United agricultural technology tools into their everyday conversations with growers, Jenna's title has transitioned to Agronomy Strategic Projects Intern. Jenna works as a virtual intern as part of the Sales Talent Development and Training division of WinField United.
Ryan Millikin is spending his summer interning with Dr. Mark Licht on campus in the Department of Agronomy. Ryan will be a senior this fall and is a transfer student from Hawkeye Community College.
Ryan explains that Mark has many projects for him to work on during this summer and there are also several graduate students working alongside him as well.
"Earlier this spring we focused on rye biomass. We would take biomass samples, put them in the dryer for 5-7 days, and then record biomass weights. After that, we out the samples through a grinder to later be sent away for nitrate analysis," said Ryan.
Anna Drendel, a junior in agronomy, spent her summer working with BASF as a Sales and Marketing Development Intern in Northern Louisiana.
"As an intern, my main role was to complete a capstone project that I later would present," said Anna. "I also collected data throughout the summer on various research plots while also exploring different career options through BASF and shadowing various employees in the field."
Elizabeth Oys, senior in agronomy, has had many opportunities in her time at Iowa State, including traveling to Greece as well as being nominated as the student speaker for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Family Weekend.
Shannon Rauter, senior in agronomy and global resource systems, spent her summer in Mexico City in a Market Analysis position as an intern with the Global Trading Analytics Team of Cargill Agricultural Supply Chain North America.
Shannon is originally from New Jersey and decided to come to Iowa State specifically because of the agronomy program and because she received the Agronomy Academic Fellowship. Shannon toured a variety of land-grant universities and found Iowa State to have the strongest program, most welcoming environment, and the best scholarships.
Since Shannon interned with Cargill at a grain elevator in Ohio in 2018, Cargill helped her find an internship with a good fir that would help fill her international internship requirement.
Riley Wilgenbusch, senior in agronomy and global resource systems, spent his summer traveling the world. He visited Rome during May and through the beginning of June and then spent a week exploring central Europe. Riley then traveled to Uganda through the end of July.