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Outreach Initiatives


Community engagement and outreach is central to the mission of the PRI. Our outreach initiatives reach a broad spectrum of communities: from K-12 students and educators, to growers in the field, industries, philanthropists, and activists.

PRI Initiatives

Science on the Screen: Through shared screenings of thought-provoking movies and follow-up Q&A sessions, we created a casual forum for the general public to interact with us to break stereotypes about scientists, clear up misinformation, and gather to learn more about science.

PCA Science Exhibit: We are hosting portable art and science exhibits at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Primarily Undergraduate Institutions to raise awareness of the impact that plant research can have on society, the environment, and the economy. 

Science Essays: Throughout the years, Rhee lab members have written popular science essays to share knowledge and engage the public with the world of plant biology. These include the Tree Spotlight Series, a partnership with canopy.org, as well as biopics on important plant scientists.

WALII Seed Longevity Experiments: The Beal experiment is the oldest ongoing science experiment in the world. In 1879, Dr. William Beal buried 20 open jars, each containing 50 seeds from 21 weed species on the MSU campus. WALII's Margaret Fleming is the scientist at MSU continuing Beal’s experiment. Dr. Fleming is also designing a follow-up experiment: she wonders whether seeds buried in different soils take the same amount of time to die.

WALII Tardigrade Hunting: The International Society of Tardigrade Hunters (ISTH) was founded 2015 with the mission to inspire students to learn about tardigrades and participate in community science. We expand the scope of this program by providing access to microscopes for at-home analysis. Currently, we are working with the San Francisco Parks and Recreation to host a special Tardigrade activity during the Wetlands Explorer camp at Heron’s Head. 

MSU Campus Initiatives

Climate Change InitiativeAt Michigan State, we pursue excellence in service to the common good, generating new knowledge and applying it in practical ways to address complex societal problems. The MSU 2030 Strategic Plan outlines several research thrusts where Michigan State has the unique expertise and resources to make a big impact, including research and outreach around climate change.

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