PULLMAN, Wash. – Gary Grove, a professor in the Washington State University Department of Plant Pathology who is working at Prosser, is the first recipient of the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences’ Meritorious Service Award for his service to and leadership of the college’s AgWeatherNet System the past four years.
“In addition to his regular duties, Dr. Grove embraced the AgWeatherNet responsibilities and developed it into a critical tool for agricultural producers throughout the state,” said CAHNRS Dean Dan Bernardo. “When I was trying to assess how we could thank Gary for his extraordinary service, I realized that our college had no formal means to recognize these types of efforts. Gary is the first recipient of this award aimed at recognizing individuals who go beyond the call of duty in their service and commitment to excellence in the college.”
Grove served as AWN director from 2006 to 2010 at WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center at Prosser. During that time, he converted the network hardware to commercially available equipment and expanded it from 60 to 133 weather stations throughout Washington State. The stations provide real-time weather and forecast data and various pest models and disease forecasts. The AWN Web site receives about 400,000 visits per month and uses “push” technologies to deliver weather and pest alerts to smart phones.
In addition to working as AWN director, Grove is a leader in the biology and epidemiology of powdery mildews and other diseases of fruit crops. He has received more than $3.5 million in external funding and is a prolific author of refereed journal articles, extension bulletins, web pages, educational videos, databases, book chapters and presentations. His work has led to an estimated 73 percent decrease in fungicide use in Washington vineyards and similarly significant reductions in cherries. In recognition of his extension activities and impact, Grove was awarded Excellence in Extension Award by the American Phytopathological Society this year.
Grove holds his Ph.D. in plant pathology from The Ohio State University. He joined the WSU faculty in 1986 and has statewide extension, research, and teaching responsibilities for grapes, hops and stone fruits.