In Media: CCE Interns' Summer Projects Celebrated at Reception
Great Lakes Sustainable Recreational and Commercial Fisheries - News

Krystal Dixon ’24 spent her summer working researching lake sturgeon at the Cornell Biological Field Station on Oneida Lake.

By Melissa Jo Hill, Communications Specialist and Writer, Cornell Cooperative Extension, for Cornell Chronicle

Ithaca, NY, October 6, 2023 - The work and accomplishments of 19 Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) summer interns were celebrated at a reception, held Sept. 26 in the Biotechnology Building.

From sturgeon research on Oneida Lake, to experimental rice trials in Freeville and Candor, New York, to investigating tick-protective clothing children will actually want to wear, the CCE summer intern program matches Cornell faculty and staff with CCE associations and programs across New York state to engage students in immersive summer internship projects.

Faculty are from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the College of Human Ecology (CHE), along with priority projects of the David M. Einhorn Center for Community Engagement.

“Cornell Cooperative Extension exists to create these connections and offer these opportunities – not just to our undergraduate students at Cornell, but to the county associations and communities across New York who benefit from their insights, talent and energy every summer,” said Jenny Kao-Kniffin, CCE interim director. 

“The mission of our college, simply put, is to leave the world a better place than we found it,” said Ben Houlton, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of CALS. “We do this by going beyond the boundaries of campus, partnering with communities to explore ideas and solve complex problems. Through this important program, communities gain access to our talented undergraduates and our interns see the impact of putting knowledge to work to support our state’s economy and communities.”

Krystal Dixon ’24, spent her summer working alongside CCE and New York Sea Grant Fisheries Specialist Stacy Furgal on lake sturgeon research at the Cornell Biological Field Station on Oneida Lake.

Krystal Dixon ’24 (right), spent her summer working alongside CCE and New York Sea Grant Fisheries Specialist Stacy Furgal (center) on lake sturgeon research.

“Growing up in New York as an avid angler, I have always had a special interest in fish,” Dixon said. “However, it wasn’t until I took a class in fish ecology at Cornell that I realized fish were something I had a passion for. When I visited the Cornell Biological Field Station for the first time during that class, I knew I had to spend a summer here.”

Dixon participated in a research survey, and created extension and outreach educational materials on lake sturgeon. “When I got to see a sturgeon for the first time, that opened my world,” she said. “It’s been a great experience for me. It really solidified my interest in working in fisheries.”

“CCE internships are a demonstration of our university’s promise and our contract college’s commitment to share what is learned here with the people of New York,” said Anthony Burrow, CHE’s associate dean for outreach and extension. “That the students here so genuinely embody that promise and that commitment by delivering their good works through these internships is not only meaningful, but critical for realizing our purpose.”

Anjali Anbu ’26, a global public health sciences major, said she’s interested in clinical medicine and public health. “The opportunity to do community-based participatory research this early in my Cornell career has really shaped my interest in research as a whole,” she said.

Anbu worked with Janet Loebach, the Evalyn Edwards Milman Assistant Professor in Child Development (CHE) and director of the DECA Lab (Design Environments with/for Children & Adolescents), and CCE Rockland County 4-H educator Kristen Ruggiero to recruit young people to test a youth-delivered environmental assessment tool. The internship stressed field research methodology; organization and communication; and synthesizing and reporting on data.

Said Anbu: “I’m excited to take the tools and methods and overall lessons I learned from working with CCE forward with me in my career as a researcher and doctor.”

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University and with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County on Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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