Chronicle-Style Interview and Writing Assignment 

PlSci 3940/5940


  • Interview Reflection Due: 28 Feb 2020, emailed by 8AM ET to

  • Final Assignment Due 04 Mar 2020 emailed by 8AM ET to

  • The assignment is a 500-word article for the general public. Two or three photos (about your topic) are also required. If you take the photos from the web, be sure to cite your sources.

To complete the assignment, you must interview someone. This person could be someone involved in the topic, or someone that might benefit from the topic. 

For the Interview Reflection Assignment: Please provide the name of the person (or persons) to be interviewed PRIOR to the interview. Following the interview, write a short recap of the interview including the name of the person interviewed, location and topics covered, as well as a discussion/reflection on some of the responses and how they may be helpful when writing your article. 

For the Writing Assignment: The final article should include

(a) a title,

(b) 2-3 photos and

(c) text which is written for the general public. In addition to the information presented in class about writing for the public, please visit the Cornell Chronicle website ( or other public information sites to get a feel for the types of public interest articles published. 

Together, the assignments are worth 40 points.

Again, we’ll talk more about this in class, but there are also a number of resources for the Inverted Pyramid on the class website

Questions? Contact Carlyn Buckler







Plants are the foundation of life on Earth. Facilitating an informed public on matters that affect food and water systems - climate change, food equity and availability, water rights and access, and other sustainability and social justice issues - is imperative if we are to feed 10 billion people by 2100.

Dr. Carlyn Buckler teaches courses in plant science, science communication and digital technologies at the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University. Her background as a maize geneticist and in  science communication, has led to a career in teaching about, assessing and facilitating the public understanding of science. Communicating science effectively to various cultures, demographics, and stakeholders is an integral part of our curriculum.  The courses are designed to empower undergraduate and graduate students to use leadership, technology and communication skills to further science research, reach under-served audiences, and engaging local, national and international communities in understanding the value of supporting healthy ecosystems and advances in agriculture to ensure food security and equity throughout the world. 

© 2020 CSBuckler

Carlyn S. Buckler, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Practice

Plant Science Rm 118

School of Integrative Plant Science

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,

Cornell University | Ithaca, NY 14853 |