CANR pre-veterinary medicine major conducts equine research at UPenn

November 5, 2013 under CANR News

UD student Meredith Bonnell interns at UPENN's New Bolton CenterMeredith Bonnell, a junior pre-veterinary medicine and animal biosciences major in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at the University of Delaware, spent her summer conducting a research-based internship at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center at the Havemeyer Barn.

Bonnell’s research project, which she designed with Sue McDonnell, focused on the genetic effects on the learning abilities of ponies. McDonnell received her doctorate in reproductive physiology and behavior from UD and now heads the Equine Behavior Program at UPenn.

The center, located in Kennett Square, Pa., includes 700 acres of pastureland and exposure to experts in equine-based medical and surgical techniques. “The ponies that occupy some of that land are a part of a semi-feral herd used for equine research,” Bonnell said. “They undergo annual vaccinations and de-worming, in addition to blood work and basic handling when they are foals.”

The New Bolton Center is a large facility that specializes in many different types of veterinary care practices for horses and other large animals. The facility serves to generate data for medical specialists including cardiologists and orthopedists as well as for trainers seeking performance evaluations.

Bonnell’s research at the Havemeyer Barn utilized target training on a 100-count semi-feral Shetland-type pony herd to test learning ability, using performance scores generated to examine correlations between them and genetics, or known family lineage.

“Target training is relatively new to the equine industry and is connected with clicker training,” Bonnell said. “We’re typically familiar with its use on marine animals, like those we might see at SeaWorld.”

Bonnell said in order to test how she would collect data and gather equipment lists, she did extensive research and conducted preliminary tests on ponies removed from the semi-feral herd to be used on rotation for studies by the veterinary students at UPenn.

All of her sessions, she said, were videotaped and used as a reference in order to collect sufficient and accurate data.

Bonnell said she was excited to find this internship with McDonnell through a friend working in the neonatal intensive care unit at the center. She is currently working toward publication of her work and will continue research as independent study.

Bonnell said she hopes to pursue a career in equine veterinary field and plans to apply to veterinary school after graduating from UD.

Article by Angela Carcione

Photo by Danielle Quigley

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.


UD student Volpone travels to Africa to work with exotic animals

March 20, 2013 under CANR News

southafrica922On her second day in South Africa, University of Delaware student Melissa Volpone found herself doing something out of the ordinary: petting a lion. That seemed appropriate because, after all, one of the main reasons that she was wanted to go to Africa was because of a lion, albeit a cartoon one.

“I’ve wanted to go to Africa since The Lion King came out,” said Volpone, a sophomore pre-veterinary major in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, adding that the lion she petted didn’t even seem to notice. “The lion didn’t even care, he just swiped at me with his claws in and it was awesome. It was so cool.”

The lion that she was able to pet was not just a random wild lion, but rather a lion that was raised in Moholoholo, a wildlife rehabilitation center that Volpone was able to work with through an organization called Go Eco. Volpone said that she learned about Go Eco during her time interning at the Philadelphia Zoo, and before she knew it, she was in Hoedspruit, South Africa, taking care of animals.

Volpone explained her day-to-day routine involved mostly general animal care rather than veterinary care. “I would get up at 6 a.m., seven days a week and feed and clean animals until 8:30 a.m., and then get breakfast,” explained Volpone. She said that all of the volunteers got together to clean the big animal cages and the big water bowls, as well as go on the occasional hike.

Another aspect of her job involved playing with or feeding the baby animals. In particular, there was one baby rhino that needed constant attention.

“We had this 11-month-old baby rhino that needed babysitting because it had to be with its human mom all day long, and every once in a while the mom needed a break. So we just stayed with this baby rhino for awhile, who was sometimes sweet and sometimes not,” explained Volpone.

The baby rhino was not the only infant on the site either, as Volpone said that she arrived “during baby season so there were babies all the time. I helped feed some lion cubs and I raised my own baby bird.”

Besides petting a lion and babysitting a rhino, Volpone was also able to do something else out of the ordinary: take a cheetah for a walk. “We walked with these cheetahs and they weren’t babies, they were full grown cheetahs and we just chilled with them,” she said.

Volpone encourages those interested in volunteering at Moholoholo to do so, as she said the experience was absolutely incredible.

As for her, she now has the travel bug and said that she would like to explore everywhere. “I can see myself as an adult just taking trips back to Africa to work at places like this, but now I want to go somewhere else. There’s a World Vets trip to Cambodia next winter that I’m looking at and I’d love to see New Zealand and Fiji. My friends and I are planning on going to Europe before we graduate. I want many different experiences.”

Ag Ambassador

Now that she is back in Delaware, Volpone, who is an Ag Ambassador in CANR, said that she is looking forward to giving tours as an Ag Ambassador and helping students see the opportunities afforded to them by the college.

Volpone explained that when she was trying to make her decision about which University to attend, it was an Ag Ambassador tour that ultimately swayed her to come to UD. “I went on a Ag Ambassador tour and it was very informative. The ambassador drove me out on the farm, she answered all my questions, and that’s when I decided to come here.”

She added that she enjoys having the opportunity to show off the perks of UD to potential students now that she is an Ag Ambassador. “I love helping students. I had a student last semester and this place was so far from her home but she wanted to go here so badly because she saw the farm, and so that’s what I love about it.”

Article by Adam Thomas

Video by Adam Thomas and Christy Mannering

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.


UD WATER undergraduate internships available

August 31, 2012 under CANR News

Three undergraduate internship opportunities are available to work with the University of Delaware Watershed Action Team for Ecological Restoration (WATER) project during the fall 2012 semester through the spring 2013 semester.

Interns may work up to 150 hours, paid at $10 per hour, and will have an opportunity to gain experience in areas such as geohydrology, ecological engineering, soil and water conservation, water resources management, and environmental education.

Internship requirements include an overall GPA of 3.0 or greater, the willingness to work in both the fall 2012 and spring 2013 semesters and to participate in periodic project meetings with the UD WATER team.

Interested students should visit the Delaware Water Resources Center website to download an application.

The deadline to apply for the internship is Friday, Sept. 28.

Applications should be sent to Maria Pautler, research associate in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

The UD WATER Project is a multi-disciplinary project focused on water resource management and water quality, with an emphasis on practices and programs that minimize UD’s impact on the White Clay creek, a wild and scenic river whose tributaries flow through the UD campus, and the Christina River.

The UD WATER Project team currently consists of faculty and professionals associated with the Delaware Water Resources Center, the UD Water Resources Agency, the Delaware Geological Survey, the University’s Stormwater Management and Grounds programs, and the City of Newark.

Interns will be selected and can begin work on their projects by October 5, 2012.


Undergrad Internships Available

February 7, 2012 under CANR News

There are a number of excellent paid undergraduate internships that will be available this year for our students, as summarized below and in the attached flyer. Details on these internships, application materials, and deadlines can be found on the CANR Internship website.

2012-2013 CANR Undergraduate Internship Opportunities

University of Delaware Brazilian Project:  Food Security, Bioenergy, and Biodiversity: Issues and Challenges in Brazil (application deadline is March 12th).

UDairy Creamery Internships (application deadline announced soon)

Delaware Water Resources Center Internships (application deadline is March 23rd)

CANR Garden for the Community Internships (application deadline is March 23rd)

CANR Wetlands Restoration Internship (application deadline is March 23rd)

Cooperative Extension Scholars (application deadline is March 23rd)

CANR Summer Institute Internships (application deadline is April 2nd)

DuPont & CANR Discovery Biology and Environmental Internships (application deadline is April 16th)

Landscape Horticulture Internships (contact Dr. Susan Barton,


Extension Scholars now accepting applications

February 6, 2012 under CANR News

Applications are now being accepted for the 2012 Cooperative Extension Scholars Student Intern Program. This innovative program, open to rising juniors, seniors and graduate students at the University of Delaware, offers a 10-week experience of working, and making a difference, as an intern with UD’s Cooperative Extension.

Jan Seitz, associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and director of UD Cooperative Extension, created the Extension Scholars Program in 2004 to give UD students an opportunity to become fully engaged in service learning, which has long been a hallmark of the Cooperative Extension Service.

“The work that Extension Scholars carry out each summer is integrated into their academic curriculum; meets the needs of local communities; provides structured time for reflection; and helps foster civic responsibility,” says Seitz.

Past Extension Scholars have designed and delivered 4-H educational programs; fostered partnerships between Extension and other government and nonprofit organizations; worked with volunteers; pursued funding; evaluated program impacts; and conducted needs assessments. A capstone experience is part of the program.

Up to three Extension Scholars will be named. Scholars receive a stipend of $3,000 and, if needed, an allowance of $500 for job-related travel and/or housing. Support for the 2012 program comes from an endowment fund created in 2010 by Dover-based growers Chet and Sally Dickerson.

Location of internships will be Extension offices on the UD campus and/or in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties. Scholars are expected to work from June 10 to Aug. 4.

The application deadline is March 23. Selections will be announced by April 6.

To receive an application, or for more information, contact Alice Moore at 831-2504 or via email at


Center for Public Horticulture announces partnership with APGA and

May 12, 2011 under CANR News

The University of Delaware Center for Public Horticulture (CPH) will team up with the American Public Gardens Association (APGA) and to provide students, educators and employers with state of the art tools for finding, posting and matching students with public horticulture internships worldwide.

In the current economic climate, internships are increasingly integral to a student’s resume and portfolio when applying for jobs after graduation. This is especially true for those seeking out public horticulture positions, where leaders in the field cite a shortage of new, highly trained employees who possess hands on experience.

Vikram Krishnamurthy, the managing director at the Center for Public Horticulture, said of horticulture internships, “although there are numerous opportunities for internships in public horticulture at gardens and other institutions worldwide, promotion of internships in public horticulture has historically been a fragmented endeavor. Public gardens often post seasonal internships on their own institution’s website; however, this limits the announcement audience to current website visitors or local students.”

Internship opportunities abound for students seeking out work in the horticulture field. When APGA last published their Public Garden Internship Directory in 2006, they listed a variety of internships at over 70 public horticulture institutions across North America., a national leader in web-based marketing and matching qualified interns with available opportunities, will provide a platform for students to view up to date listings, and information about specific university gardens and arboreta internship opportunities.

By creating their own account on the site, students will be able to search internships by geographic location, major or interest group, such as a national fraternity or sorority, be sought out by employers, and have access to a number of professional and resume building resources.

At the same time, individual gardens, arboreta and similar institutions can create free, unique accounts for posting and updating opportunities, searching for candidates and managing applicants. They also have access to valuable resources specific to developing and managing internship programs. The site also contains easy and direct access to social networking sites to form stronger connections with potential interns, interested employers or internship placements.

Krishnamurthy said, “with the Center for Public Horticulture’s specific goal to ‘coordinate partnerships among academic institutions, public gardens and professional organizations,’ this new partnership will provide better and free access to these opportunities for students, university programs, and public gardens.”


CANR highlighted in new UD virtual tour

February 17, 2011 under CANR News

The University of Delaware has unveiled a virtual tour of the campus for prospective students and their families, and for anyone else who might be interested in learning more about UD.

The tour is less of a map and more of a tour through UD’s new “pillars” (discovery learning, talent magnet, smart money, east coast classic, idea leadership, citizen university).

Below is a listing of the video segments that highlight CANR faculty and students, so that you can more easily find them.  There are also photos and video shots scattered throughout all of the pieces.

When the page opens, click on Discover the University of Delaware.
Discovery Learning tab: Hands on Experience
Talent Magnet tab: Undergraduate Research
East Coast Classic tab: Access to Internships
Smart Money tab: Career Focus
Citizen University tab: Study Abroad; Go Global; Feeding the world, protecting the planet

Many thanks to the CANR faculty and students who contributed to this project.

For the complete UDaily story about the new tour, click here.

To learn more about video capabilities at UD and to learn how YOU can be involved in projects like this at UD and CANR, please contact Katy O’Connell, CANR Communications Manager, at