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Student selected for Duncan Scholars program

Photo of Alex Wittenberg

Alex Wittenberg

NDSU plant sciences student Alex Wittenberg was selected by the College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources to participate in the 2018-19 Russell and Anna Duncan Undergraduate Research Scholars program.

Wittenberg is from Valley City, North Dakota, and is advised by Marisol Berti, professor and forages/biomass crop production project leader. The title of their research is “Morphological Characteristics of Winter- and Summer-Biotypes of Camelina.” The objective is to develop a rapid identification method for camelina seed that will enable producers to determine if the seed they are purchasing is winter hardy for North Dakota.

Wittenberg completed his bachelor’s degree in crop and weed sciences at NDSU in May and began working on his master’s degree in plant sciences this fall. As an undergraduate, he received scholarships from the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association, the North Dakota Crop Improvement and Seed Association, and the Small Grains Institute. He also was a member of the NDSU Agronomy Club crop judging team and competed at the 2018 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Judging Conference in Norfolk, Nebraska.

Students eligible to apply for the Duncan Scholars program are full-time college undergraduate students who have been working with faculty members in their research programs and who are ready to take on significant responsibility in that research or propose their own research project. Wittenberg was recognized for research that started when he was an undergraduate student and the work will continue as his master’s degree thesis project.

In recognition of the Duncan family’s longtime involvement with and commitment to crop and livestock agriculture, students chosen for the program must be conducting research relating to production agriculture, and also connects the academic perspective with the project’s potential usefulness in industry. The program provides financial assistance for the student’s research activities, which may include paying for the student’s time, supplies or travel to a meeting for presentation.

Wittenberg presented his undergraduate research work at the Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops annual meeting on Sept. 25 in London, Canada.

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