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SerPIE-ASEMP – Synergistic Efforts to Reduce Pharmaceutical Impacts on the Environment – Agricultural Science Extension Mentorship Program for Undergraduates

The SerPIE-ASEMP summer undergraduate mentorship program is a six-week program that offers students a unique opportunity to explore science and Cooperative Extension-related professions that focus on concepts like pharmaceutical impacts on the environment (PIE).

Participants are placed with mentors from diverse backgrounds to participate in experiential learning activities that enhance their understanding of the impacts that pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) have on animal, human, and environmental health and the best management practices necessary to minimize the risk posed by these hazardous bioactive chemicals.


  • Program Dates: Previously held summer 2015 and summer 2019. Future dates are currently being scheduled
  • Program Locations: Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, Alabama (5 weeks) and Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee (1 week)
  • Support: USDA-NIFA grant #2017-38821-26426.

Program Goals

The SerPIE-ASEMP educates a new generation of young people on the danger of PIE and the role they have in safeguarding the environment for themselves and future generations. It also broadens undergraduate student experiences and enhances their transferable skills.


SerPIE-ASEMP participants learn firsthand the responsibilities of research faculty and Extension agents and specialists in serving the community-at-large and the importance of combating issues like PIE. Students participate in classroom and laboratory exercises, field and site visits, workshops, service learning projects, and engage in SerPIE initiatives. They also visit local pharmaceutical companies and water treatment facilities as well as participate in the development of SerPIE educational materials. The students provide input in shaping the resources needed to arouse peer interest in PIE. They also serve as catalysts for behavioral changes needed to diminish the threat PIE poses to animals, families, and communities.

The program culminates with formal presentations of the science-based and extension activities performed by each student and a final written report summarizing their individual summer experience. Mentees are equipped to deliver their work at local and national conferences and symposia and to permeate their new skills in their communities.

Study Areas

  • Soil and Water Quality
  • Environmental Science
  • Biology and Biological Systems
  • Human, Animal and Environmental Health
  • Wildlife and Conservation Biology



We welcome applications from students attending four-year colleges and majoring in agricultural-related science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. Priority will be given to students from ethnic groups that are under-represented in Science and Extension careers. Read more eligibility requirements.

More Information


If you have questions concerning the program please contact

The Agricultural Science Extension Mentorship Program is supported by USDA-NIFA grant #2017-38821-26426. (United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture)

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Partner logos: USDA, NIFA, Alabama A&M University, Tennessee State University

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