Graduate Students in Extension
Recognizing that there is no formal program currently devoted to educating and training students interested in Cooperative Extension work, the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, has launched a three-year pilot program to train and recruit graduate students for careers in extension research and outreach. Graduate Students in Extension receive up to a year of funding to conduct applied research and outreach to California communities, coordinate workshops and other training events, and co-author materials with ANR academics.
The pilot program is currently in its third year (2016-2017), and has been extended to include Summer Semester of 2017. Three cohorts of graduate students have been selected through a competitive process to develop their research and apply it to real-world situations. Information on applying for the Summer 2017 program can be found here.
The impetus for developing this pilot program emerged from both a UC Berkeley Department of Environmental Science, Policy & Management review in 2012 that suggested that the Department should better connect graduate students to cooperative extension and UC ANR's interest in training the next generation of Cooperative Extension Specialists and Advisors. Since then, several graduate students interested in Cooperative Extension began holding events with Cooperative Extension personnel to make the recommendation a reality. These included a graduate student seminar, Extension showcases, and training events.