Broader Impact

Engaging with Diverse Audiences

CROPPS is a transdisciplinary team of biologists, computer scientists, engineers, social scientists, and other researchers. We are dedicated to deepening and broadening our understanding of plants by opening new dialogues with plant systems through the transdiscipline of digital biology. We are committed to making that understanding available to diverse audiences: teachers seeking to convey biological information; students curious about the lives of plants; farmers and consumers interested in emerging concepts and pending opportunities leading toward a future of more sustainable, resilient, and nutritious crops; and many others.

We reach out to our audiences through a three-pronged approach that allows us to connect with stakeholders and the public in a variety of ways. This includes interconnected programming in foundational, experiential, and team learning, as well as the sharing of our knowledge and discoveries with external colleagues, industrial partners, government officials, potential end-users, and other members of the public. In addition, we offer a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, where undergraduates learn about and take part in our research over a 10-week period in the summer.

Photo by Jason Koski

As we pursue transformational technologies and discoveries, we also realize that our work is embedded in the social world around us. We seek to foster rich conversations between the public and scientists about digital biology and its realization through programmable plants. These conversations address issues such as privacy, water use, ownership, labor markets, technology accessibility, training, and other topics where development of new knowledge interacts with social issues. This dialogue is the focus of our  Social and Ethical Engagement research thrust.

Impact Focus Areas

& Courses

We will offer a wide range of courses related to digital biology and the work we do in CROPPS. These will build off a series of new courses on our campuses and grow to include videos and tutorials, internships for students, and short, online and in-person courses geared for farmers, industry stakeholders, and others.

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CROPPS prioritizes public engagement activities—from presentations of our research in schools, to public dialogue about the social issues associated with digital biology and programmable plants. To foster inclusivity, we recruit minority and underrepresented students and actively solicit the perspectives of diverse communities.

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Research Experience
for Undergrads

Take part in our groundbreaking interdisciplinary work. If you are an undergraduate with a background in biology, engineering, or computing, we encourage you to apply for the CROPPS summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program.

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Diversity Equity
and Inclusion

We aim to create a diverse and inclusive environment where everyone can thrive. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) plan supports students and research professionals spanning their entire careers.

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Diversity Is a Top Priority at CROPPS

Food systems touch everyone, from producers to consumers, across the full diversity of our nation and planet. We believe scientific discovery and innovation must engage this diversity to create successful, equitable outcomes in a complex, changing world.

To facilitate inclusiveness, we actively seek to recruit, retain, and fully engage people from underrepresented populations based on geography, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and gender. Our goal is to create a welcoming environment at CROPPS where all participants feel a sense of belonging. By reaching out in mentorship and informed conversation with underrepresented communities at all levels of society, we discover and appreciate the underlying social, ethical, and policy implications of our work.