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WSU scientist shares living chemistry of crops, watersheds at Science in Our Valley series

Head shot of Roley amid grasses
Assistant Professor Sarah S. Roley (Photo by Kurt Steinke)

Sarah S. Roley, assistant professor at Washington State University’s School of the Environment, will lead a discussion on watershed and crop biogeochemistry—the chemical, biological and geological processes that affect our streams, lakes and agricultural crops—Wednesday, Feb. 6, as part of the Science in Our Valley series in Wenatchee, Wash.

Based at WSU Tri-Cities, Roley studies aquatic ecology and water quality in agricultural watersheds, helping expand our understanding of pollution and keeping watersheds healthy.

Her Science in Our Valley talk will be held at 4 p.m. at the WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, 1100 N Western Ave., Wenatchee.

Roley will speak on nitrogen fixation—the process in which microbes convert nitrogen from the air into a form that plants use to make proteins.

“Crops require a lot of nitrogen, which usually comes from fertilizer and brings a lot of costs to both our environment and farmers’ pocketbooks,” she said. “The more we know about getting nitrogen from the air, the more we can reduce fertilizer use.”

Roley will also introduce her new project in the Yakima watershed, exploring how irrigation flows influence algae and microbes.

Supporting an engaged regional scientific community, Science in Our Valley is an ongoing speaker series that includes experts from Washington State University and its Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, regional industries and scientific enterprises. The series is sponsored by the Apple STEM Network, Wenatchee Valley College, North Central Educational Service District, and Our Valley, Our Future.

Learn more about Roley’s work here.


Media Contacts

Sarah Roley, Assistant Professor, School of the Environment, (509) 372-7449