Prior to his summer internship, the closest John Bolton came to farming was riding his bicycling with his friends around nearby farms in his hometown. While his grandfather grew his own food, John had no experience with farming, let alone an agricultural sciences career. Now armed with his Research Farm internship and a 3.2 GPA, John is contemplating graduate school research options in Plant Breeding.
As student vice president of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) Competitive Intelligence Club, John assessed his paid summer research farm internship as “a good wage, and definitely added value” to his undergraduate experience compared to typical summer jobs. He feels the summer internship “is a valuable asset to students who take advantage of it.”
Mentored by Professors Nick Vorsa and Cesar Rodriguez at the Rutgers Marucci Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension Center, he describes his first memorable experience was using an electronic “antenna gram,” a research tool designed to measure how cranberry moth pests respond to sex pheromones. John enjoyed working outdoors, in greenhouses, planting research cranberry bogs, and gaining basic plant maintenance skills, which he says, “was way better than punching numbers in a computer,” in terms of a summer job. He also assisted in growing blueberries. John says the professors and staff “were always there” when he needed them to help him perform challenging hands-on tasks the right way, which he believes will help in graduate school.
Hometown: Woodbury, NJ
Education: School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, B.S. Plant Science
Internship: Rutgers Marucci Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension Farm
Position after graduation: Plans to pursue graduate studies in Plant Breeding