Yesterday I talked with Dr. Moss the head of the department about possibly switching from the MAB (Master's of Agribusiness) to the MS (Master's of Science with a concentration in Agribusiness with thesis). I was discouraged to find out that there were a number of classes I would have to have through next December, most of which require higher Calculus that I haven't done for 10 years. Not to mention that I would still need to write a thesis which might keep me in school for an extra year. The degree path that I'm currently on is for those interested in working in business where as the other degree is really more for those who want to do research. While I'm interested in research and the other degree is better, the degree that I'm currently pursuing is really more in line with what I would like to do. However, I really wanted to work on this project of determining the best replacements for Methyl Bromide.
So, today I talked with Dr. VanSickle, the professor that offered me the assistanceship if I would change programs. I told him the program I was in was really a better fit, and because the upcoming classes are built on the classes that I would have been taking this semester in the other program I didn't feel like I could change programs mid stream. I told him I would really like to still work on the project, and I understood if he couldn't give me funding. I said if there was any way to help pay for my tuition for next semester I would love to work on this project as my internship. He told me he could do better than that. He said that he would really like me to work on this project due to my background in the industry, so he plans to grant me the assistanceship as an internship - wave my tuition next semester, and pay me a stipend just as if I was in the other program.
This is really great news! We still have to work out the fine points with Jess, our department secretary. I'm really excited about doing this research. I get to look at all aspects of Methyl Bromide replacements and I get to work with Dr. Noling. I doubt he will see a significant difference in yield because these farmers have been phasing this stuff out for years now, but I predict that he will see a growing number of diseases and pest, which means that farmers will be spending far more on chemicals to control these things than they did with Methyl Bromide.