PULLMAN, Wash. – James Harsh, a Washington State University faculty member since 1983, has been appointed chair of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, effective Jan. 1. Harsh succeeds Rich Koenig, who was named associate dean and director of WSU Extension.
“As a long-time faculty member, Jim has a thorough grasp of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences teaching, research and extension priorities,” said Dan Bernardo, WSU’s vice president of agriculture and extension and dean of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS). “He has the leadership skills and vision to continue the positive trajectory of this important unit within our college.”
Crop and soil sciences is the largest unit within CAHNRS and one of the largest departments at WSU.
Bernardo thanked and praised Koenig for his service as chair 2008-12. Koenig and Harsh will work together through Jan. 1 to ensure a smooth transition.
Harsh holds a doctorate and master’s degree in soil science, and a bachelor of science in conservation of natural resources, all earned at the University of California, Berkeley. He was appointed a full professor at WSU in 2000.
Harsh has long been a leader in research focusing on: the interactions between soil minerals, microbes and plants; the chemistry of soil mineral surfaces; the physical and chemical factors affecting the availability and transport of nutrients and contaminants; and the chemistry and synthesis of non-crystalline soil materials.