Four photos, each depicting a different PSS research activity

One foot in the field, one in the lab; obtain skills in the best of both worlds. Research in the Department of Plant and Soil Science will enable you to apply what you learn.

Why Do Research?

Experience the power of learning by doing. As an undergraduate researcher, you will work with faculty at the forefront of today's most pressing ecological problems. Working as a partner in a research project is an effective way to work on skills and knowledge in an integrated way. Students may pursue research for academic credit, as paid assistants, or in a voluntary capacity, which can translate into valuable job skills, internships and career opportunities.

Explore Opportunities

Our department's ongoing research in agroecology, entomology, soil heath, crop breeding and genetics, land use and watershed management and more aims to address the complex challenges facing our changing environment and landscapes. We encourage you to seek out faculty who have expertise in topic areas that interest you. Past students have headed up diverse projects such as: studying Dulse (seaweed) and its response to different colors of light, the collection and identification of plant pathogens, cold hardiness trials of woody ornamentals, and many more. Our facilities allow a wide range of projects, so go ahead and think big!

CALS students may also earn recognition as a CALS Distinguished Undergraduate Researcher, one of the highest honors conveyed by the College. Under the supervision of a faculty mentor, students pursuing a Distinguished Undergraduate Research (DUR) award conduct significant, independent and scholarly research under the supervision of a faculty mentor. In addition, many students present their research at the annual UVM Student Research Conference, a showcase of student research throughout the university. 

Explore research topics

Earn Academic Credit

Students are welcome to create self designed projects for credit. The PSS Department offers two courses enabling students to earn between 1-18 credits for conducting individual or small team research projects under the supervision of a faculty member. 

PSS 192 - Independent Study

PSS 198 - Undergraduate Research

  • undergraduate student at work in a laboratory with plants

    Student Research Spotlight: Emma Schoeppner

    Ecological agriculture major Emma Schoeppner was awarded the Simon Family Fellowship which she is using to study Swede midge, an invasive pest that can cause significant damage to crops.

    "Working in the soil testing lab really reinforced the classroom work I was encountering as an Ecological Agriculture major"

    She hopes to work alongside farmers to implement novel agricultural solutions that will help them succeed in spite of the increasing environmental challenges.