Haghverdi Lab student flying a drone in a field

Fertile Futures Summer Research


Program Overview

After being accepted to the Fertile Futures Program students will participate in a number of activities designed to increase their success at UCR and to guide them towards employment in the USDA:

Summer STEM Pathways – Improving Student Success

Fertile Futures students will attend the CNAS Summer STEM Pathways in their first summer. Pathways is a paid ($5,000) ten-week, research experience for first-time incoming community college transfer students.

Internships at USDA Laboratories

Fertile Futures students will be assigned 10-week, paid internships at the U.S. Salinity Laboratory or the Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station where they will work with USDA scientists on pressing issues facing agriculture and natural resource management. Both USDA facilities are within two miles of campus, where interns will work 9-12 hours per week.



  • Community college transfer students currently enrolled at UCR
  • Community college students who have applied for transfer admission to UCR
  • Students must be in good academic standing when applying and must maintain good academic standing while in the Fertile Futures program
  • Students enrolled in all UCR Colleges are eligible, but preference will be given to students enrolled in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and the Environmental Sciences major.
  • All community college transfer students to UCR are eligible, but preference will be given to students from Mt. San Jacinto College



  • What is Fertile Futures?

    Fertile Futures: Pathways to USDA Professions for Environmental Science Students is funded by a 4-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to the Department of Environmental Sciences at UCR. The program seeks to address two major problems:

    • Low participation of underrepresented minorities in environmental science fields and USDA mission-critical occupations, and
    • Low community college transfer rates into Environmental Sciences undergraduate program
  • What are the goals of the Fertile Futures program?
    • Goal 1: Increase the number of community college transfer students into the UCR Environmental Sciences major.
    • Goal 2: Improve student preparation and ease transition for community college students entering UCR.
    • Goal 3: Provide experiential learning experiences and develop leadership skills.
    • Goal 4: Improve graduation rates and guide students toward careers in Federal agricultural and resource management agencies.

Quick Resources

Program Director:
Dr. James Sickman

Fertile Futures Webpage


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