Karen Snover-Clift

Karen Snover-Clift

Senior Extension Associate

324 Plant Science Building
(607) 255-7860

I have been the Director of the Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic of the Department of Plant Pathology at Cornell University since July of 1998 and the Associate Director of the Northeast Plant Diagnostic Network since November of 2002. I was born to diary farming and grew up in New Jersey. I received my Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell in Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture. I became very interested in plant pathogens during my undergraduate work and decided to pursue a Masters of Professional Studies degree in the department of Plant Pathology. My Masters research focused on an evaluation of onion flower susceptibility to a known fungal pathogen. As Director of the Clinic, I am responsible for diagnosing plant diseases on a wide range of host plants such as woody ornamentals, herbaceous plants, fruits, vegetables, turfgrass, and field crops. Additional duties include training Master Gardeners, Extension Educators, and other green industry members on the basics of plant disease and the pathogens that cause them, as well as introducing youth to the vast world of fungi. As Assistant Director of the NEPDN, I support the overall mission of providing detection of a possible bioterrorist attack of the nationÕs natural and agriculture systems.

Outreach and Extension Focus

As Associate Director of the Northeast Regional Center, a component of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN), my duties include maintaining a regional center capable of supporting the diagnostic needs of 12 northeastern states. My duties also include close interaction with land grant university diagnosticians, software engineers, university department chairs, and state and national regulatory personnel. I represent all NPDN member diagnosticians on the National NPDN operations committee. As Program Area Manager of the diagnostics committee, I provide leadership in the creation of Standard Operating Procedures, coordination of highly sophisticated, identification procedure training events, and maintaining active communications of significant events. As Program Area Manager of the national database committee, I provide leadership in the creation of Upload Guidelines for those submitting diagnostic identifications to the National Repository at Purdue University and in reviewing the host and pathogen EPA pest codes for appropriate content and accuracy. Serving as the National Quality Manager for the NPDN’s System for True, Accurate and Reliable Diagnostics (STAR-D) requires that I establish a strategic plan and oversee the STAR-D project development, prioritize activities, work with the NPDN executive and operations committees to establish a STAR-D Board, serve as liaison between the STAR-D Board, the auditor team and NPDN diagnosticians, manage the auditors’ preparedness and readiness, develop workshops and training modules to introduce NPDN members to STAR-D components, and provide diagnostic content for the development of the STAR-D documents. My extension teaching programs are geared toward audiences that include Master Gardeners, Extension Educators, other green industry members, and students. They focus on basic plant pathology, plant disease diagnostics, and the operation of the NEPDN. I am responsible for overseeing the diagnosis of plant diseases on a wide range of host plants such as woody ornamentals, herbaceous plants, fruits, vegetables, turfgrasses, and field crops, as well as conducting large scale surveys searching for harmful, introduced pathogens of high concern and those pathogens that are capable of causing significant damage to agricultural or natural environments and may be intentionally or accidentally introduced.

Teaching Focus

Karen's teaching focuses on basic plant pathology and diagnosing plant problems. She often gives guest lectures about basic plant pathology, diagnostic clinics, the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) and the importance of early detection of high consequence pathogens and pests in courses such in Entomology, Plant Pathology and Horticulture

Awards and Honors

  • Director's Regional Award for Outstanding Service (2012) National Plant Diagnostic Network
  • NPDN Outstanding Team Service Award (2011) National Plant Diagnostic Network

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

  • Snover-Clift, K. L., Clement, P. A., Jablonski, R., Mungari, R. J., Mavrodieva, V. A., Negi, S., & Levy, L. (2007). First Report of the Plum pox virus on Plum in New York State. Plant Disease Note, Plant Disease. 91:1512.
  • Snover-Clift, K. L., & Nelson, E. B. (2001). Abstract: Evaluation of turfgrass phytonematode population distributions on a New York State putting green. Phytopathology. 91:S83.
  • Snover-Clift, K. L., Lorbeer, J. W., & Holcomb, M. A. (1999). Abstract: Onion Seed Infection Levels Subsequent to Sequential Exposure of Onion Seed Stalks and Flower Parts to Aspergillus niger. Phytopathology. 89:S73.
  • Snover-Clift, K. L., Loparco, D. P., & Lorbeer, J. W. (1999). Abstract: Systemic Infection of Onion Seedlings by Aspergillus niger and Fusarium sp. Phytopathology. 89:S73.

Presentations and Activities

  • Expanding the Phytophthora ramorum sample processing: searching for Phytophthora kernoviae, identifying Phytophthora species, and evaluating a test method. Annual Meeting. June 2015. American Phytopathological Society. Pasadena, CA.
  • STAR-D Laboratory Accreditation Update. 3rd NPDN National Meeting . November 2011. National Plant Diagnsotic Network. Berkeley, California.
  • Integrated Consortium of Laboratory Networks Tabletop Exercise on Rathayibacter toxicus. 3rd NPDN National Meeting. November 2011. National Plant Diagnostic Network. Berkeley, California.
  • NPDN Web Site Portals. 3rd NPDN National Meeting. November 2011. National Plant Diagnostic Network. Berkeley, California.
  • Regional Highlights from the Northeast Plant Diagnostic Network (NEPDN). 3rd NPDN National Meeting. November 2011. National Plant DIagnostic Network. Berkeley, California.
  • STAR-D, a System for True and Reliable Diagnostics; NPDN’s Laboratory Accreditation Program. 3rd NPDN National Meeting. November 2011. National Plant Diagnostic Network. Berkeley, California.
  • The National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN), First Detector Training and Education. 3rd NPDN National Meeting. November 2011. National Plant Diagnsotic Network. Berkeley, California.
  • The National Plant Diagnostic Network Diagnostics Program Area Committee. 3rd NPDN National Meeting. November 2011. National Plant Diagnostic Network. Berkeley, California.
  • The National Plant Diagnostic Network National Database Program Area Committee. 3rd NPDN National Meeting. November 2011. National Plant Diagnostic Network. Berkeley, California.
  • Pear Trellis Rust: A New Challenge For Ornamental Pear in New York State. 71st Annural Meeting of the Northeastern Division. October 2011. The American Phytopathological Society. New Brunswick, NJ.