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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 nation's natural and agriculture systems and lead the network's efforts in implementing a laboratory accreditation program known as STAR-D, the System for Timely, Accurate and Reliable Diagnostics.

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

  • NPDN Outstanding Service Award (2016) The National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN)
  • 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.

Newsletters

  • Snover-Clift, K. L., & Dailey-O'Brien, D. (2016). Fourth STAR-D Phase 2 Training and Gap Audit at the University of Puerto Rico Plant Diagnostic Clinic. p. 5 Rachel McCarthy (ed.), The National Plant Diagnostic Network, Ithaca, NY.
  • Snover-Clift, K. L., & Rosenthal, E. (2016). Is Oak Wilt really a threat to New York State landscapes and forests? Dawn Dailey O'Brien (ed.), Cornell UNiversity, Ithaca, NY.
  • Snover-Clift, K. L., & Dailey-O'Brien, D. (2016). STAR-D Phase 2 Training and a Gap Audit Iowa State University Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. p. 1-2 Rachel McCarthy (ed.), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Posters

  • Snover-Clift, K. L. (2016). Beltsville Workshops; an NPDN and USDA-APHIS-PPQ-S&T Collaborative Effort to Strengthen National Diagnostic Readiness. The National Plant Diagnostic Network (ed.),.
  • Snover-Clift, K. L., & Daughtrey, M. L. (2016). Beyond Phytophthora ramorum: Identifying other Phytophthora species, searching for P. kernoviae and evaluating species level testing methods,. The National Plant Diagnostic Network.
  • Snover-Clift, K. L. (2016). Searching for the Oak Wilt Pathogen, Ceratocystis fagacearum, in New York State. The National Plant Diagnostic Network (ed.),.

Presentations and Activities

  • Hands-On Experience with Plant Pathogens in the Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic. Master Gardener Workshop. December 2016. Cornell University. Ithaca, NY.
  • Thousand Cankers; a Real Threat to Black Walnut Trees-What do you need to know? The New York State Nut Growers Summer Meeting. July 2016. The New York State Nut Growers . Marlboro, NY.
  • Thousand Cankers; a Real Threat to Black Walnut Trees-What do you need to know? The New York State Nut Growers Spring Meeting. April 2016. The New York State Nut Growers. Ithaca, NY.
  • Plant Problem Diagnostic Techniques. Master Gardener Training. April 2016. Cornell University. Cortland, NY.
  • Basic Plant Pathology. Master Gardener Training. March 2016. Cornell University. Ballston Spa, NY.
  • Plant Problem Diagnostic Techniques. Master Gardener Training. March 2016. Cornell University. Ballston Spa, NY.
  • Frequently Asked (STAR-D) Questions and Advice from Those That Have Walked the Walk. 4th NPDN National Meeting. March 2016. The National Plant Diagnostic Network. Washington, DC.
  • Tips for Organizing & Numbering your STAR-D Documents. 4th NPDN National Meeting. March 2016. The National Plant Diagnostic Netwotk. Washington, DC.
  • The STAR-D Experience; NPDN’s Quality Management System-Phase2, Tips and Tools for Implementing STAR-D in Your Laboratory. STAR-D Phase 2-Internal Auditor Workshop. February 2016. The National Plant Diagnostic Network. Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico.
  • Basic Plant Pathology. Master Gardener Training. February 2016. Cornell University. Cortland, NY.