AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University invites teenagers interested in learning about careers in protecting plants and animals to apply by April 10 for a summer experience through a new AgDiscovery program.

"The program is aimed at increasing the number of under-represented groups in wildlife ecology, veterinary science and animal science at Iowa State, and ultimately, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Veterinary Services Laboratories and associated facilities," said Rebecca Christoffel, Iowa State assistant professor of natural resource ecology and management and extension wildlife specialist. She and Janet Payeur, scientific outreach coordinator for the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, are coordinating the program.

Youth aged 14 to 17 years old are eligible for the two- to three-week summer program in which the teens live on campus. The outreach program is offered through the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which is funding the ISU program through several of its program units.

Iowa State is one of several universities participating in the program this summer. The title of its AgDiscovery program is "Investing in the Future of Wildlife and Domestic Animal Health."

Students will explore the interconnection between wildlife biology and conservation, laboratory technology and diagnostics, animal science and veterinary medicine. Participant will have hands-on experience on a farm, in wildlife environments and in the laboratory.

Activities will include a field trip to a farm or food processing plant, laboratory exercises, such as bacterial culture and diagnostic testing at the National Center for Animal Health and field trips to conservation areas, zoological facilities, an animal shelter and research facilities.

An application to AgDiscovery is available on the Web.

SOURCE: Iowa State University.