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Alum Honored, BioAg, Plant Path Chair, Holiday Schedule

Posted by | December 17, 2008

CAHNRS Alum Honored in Nature

Jerry Glover, who earned three degrees at WSU between 1997 to 2001, is described as one of the “five crop researchers who could change the world” in a news feature by Emma Marris in the current issue of Nature, the international weekly science journal.

Glover is an agroecologist at the Land Institute in Salina, Kan., a non-profit research and education organization that focuses on sustainable agriculture. He and collaborators around the world are attempting to breed perennial wheat, which would yield environmental benefits as well as grain.

Growing perennial wheat would require less fertilizer and fewer passes over the field by machinery. The longer and denser roots would help build the soil and prevent soil erosion, a problem with many annual cropping systems.

Glover earned a bachelor’s of science in soils science at WSU in 1997, a bachelor’s of arts in philosophy in 1998 and a doctorate in soil science in 2001.

“I don’t think he would take on a project that would not help feed the planet and also be good for the environment,” said John Reganold, Regents professor of soil science and agroecology. Reganold was Glover’s graduate advisor.

To read the article in Nature, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/5623kr.

Jerry Glover identifying grasses in one of the few remaining bottomland tall grass prairie meadows in North Central Kansas. These meadows, consisting primarily of perennial grasses and forbs, have been annually harvested for nearly a century with no fertilizer inputs. Despite the absence of inputs, the meadows yield as much nitrogen in the hay harvest as adjacent high-input annual wheat fields do in grain. Photo by Jim Richardson.

Jerry Glover identifying grasses in one of the few remaining bottomland tall grass prairie meadows in north central Kansas. These meadows, consisting primarily of perennial grasses and forbs, have been annually harvested for nearly a century with no fertilizer inputs. Despite the absence of inputs, the meadows yield as much nitrogen in the hay harvest as adjacent high-input annual wheat fields do in grain. Photo by Jim Richardson.


BioAg Symposium Features Research on Organic Farming

A mixture of graduate students, faculty members and nonprofit organizations presented their research recently at WSU’s Biologically Intensive and Organic Agriculture Symposium.

Jessica Goldberger, assistant professor in the department of Community and Rural Sociology, and David Granatstein, who works at the WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources in Wenatchee, gave a lecture on the trends in the organic farming industry to close the symposium.

“So far, growth isn’t slowing, but with the economic status of the state, that’s a big question for the next couple of years,” Granatstein said.

Goldberger, who sent a survey to more than 600 organic farmers in the state, said farmers voiced a need for more information from WSU on pest control, marketing, livestock and production.

–Bethany Carpenter, Marketing, News, and Educational Communications intern

To learn more about Goldberger’s survey, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/5m6syd.

Jesica Goldberger

Jessica Goldberger, assistant professor in the department of Community and Rural Sociology


Pappu New Chair of Plant Pathology

Hanu R. Pappu, an associate professor and holder of the President Samuel Smith Endowed Chair in Plant Virology, has been named chair of WSU’s plant pathology department.

Pappu succeeded professor and plant pathologist Timothy D. Murray on Dec. 2.

Pappu received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from A.P. Agricultural University in Bapatla, India, his master’s degree from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi, India and his doctorate degree in plant pathology from the University of Alberta, Edmonton. Pappu did post-doctoral work at the University of Florida, was associate professor at the University of Georgia and worked as a biotechnologist at the Biotechnology Regulatory Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Riverdale, Md. Pappu began working at WSU in October 2002.

Scientists in WSU’s plant pathology department are involved in research, teaching, graduate training, and extension. They conduct research in basic and applied aspects of a diverse group of plant pathogens to find solutions for disease problems in crops throughout the Pacific Northwest, the nation, and the world. The plant pathology department is based in Pullman, with additional facilities in Prosser, Puyallup, Mount Vernon, Wenatchee and at the University of Washington in Seattle.

–Bethany Carpenter, Marketing, News, and Educational Communications intern

To learn more about Pappu’s research, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/5v8x4f.

Hanu Pappu

Hanu R. Pappu, associate professor and President Samuel Smith Endowed Chair in Plant Virology is the new chair of WSU’s Department of Plant Pathology.


On Solid Ground Takes a Holiday

Tis the season when On Solid Ground hibernates for a few weeks. We’ll be back with more research news from the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences on Jan. 7.

Until then, happy holidays!