Skip to main content Skip to navigation

CAHNRS News – January 15, 2010

Posted by | January 15, 2010

Call for Abstracts for 2010 WSU Showcase

President Elson S. Floyd and Provost Warwick M. Bayly invite WSU faculty, staff, and students to present original scholarship, research, and creative expression at the University’s Academic Showcase. Abstracts can be submitted until January 29, 2010. Learn more about submission guidelines:

Accepted abstracts will be published online and participants will present their work at Academic Showcase from 9:00 a.m. to noon, Friday, March 26 in Bohler Gym.

Academic Showcase is part of the all-day WSU Showcase event ( Other activities include Celebrating Excellence, the University’s recognition banquet honoring faculty and staff.

Sciences and Engineering Undergraduate Research Poster Competition

Please consider submitting the poster you plan to present at the CAHNRS Awards Banquet this year at WSU Showcase and the Science and Engineering Undergraduate Research Poster Contest. If completed in a timely manner, you can submit one poster to three competitions in Spring 2010:

This is the first time CAHNRS students have been invited to participate in the Science and Engineering Undergraduate Research Poster Contest.

Cash awards or scholarships will be given to the top posters in several categories at this event, as well as at the CAHNRS Awards Banquet. Please consider participating in these activities.

On March 29, 2010 the single largest meeting of WSU science and engineering undergraduate students presenting their research will take place on the WSU campus.

The College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, the College of Engineering and Architecture, and the College of Sciences will join together for the Sciences and Engineering Undergraduate Research Poster Competition ( Undergraduate students will present their research in a poster format and will be judged on their poster and presentation. Posters open to the public from 4:30 5:45 with awards at 5:45. Mark this on your calendar now! We are predicting an exciting event and an excellent opportunity for our undergraduates who are involved in research.

Please encourage your science and engineering undergraduate students to submit an abstract by the February 26, 2010 deadline. The website ( is open for submissions now. We particularly encourage students early in their research to participate in this opportunity. Awards will be presented in each of the three categories of competition (Biosciences; Physical Sciences or Engineering; Computer Science or Mathematics or Interdisciplinary). In addition, several special awards will be given including “Novice” and “Early Career” awards that are just for inexperienced researchers or students who are early in their undergraduate education.

It is important that faculty be involved in the competition both as mentors and as judges. To this end we will be requesting faculty to participate as judges. You will receive a request to serve in this capacity from us in January. We are counting on you to help us maintain this event as the very high quality that it has become in the years that it has been organized by the College of Sciences.

We would like you to consider, as appropriate, incorporating this event as a learning opportunity into your spring class syllabus. For example, students in your spring course could simply attend the event or they might use the judging scorecard and rubric ( to evaluate posters/presenters as a class assignment or extra credit opportunity. Faculty who wish to have students sign in and out of the event should provide sign-in sheets to LeeAnn Tibbals (

We are looking forward to an exciting event!

Feed the World Event a Big Success

Wednesday’s “Feeding the World” panel discussion held in Ensminger Pavilion as a complement to the Michael Pollan lecture was a great success. Nearly 400 students, faculty, industry representatives and the general public engaged in a meaningful, often lively, conversation about some of the most pressing issues of the day. The event was held in conjunction with WSU’s Common Reading program and took place before Wednesday evening’s talk by author Michael Pollan.

As you probably know, the WSU Common Reading Program selects a book each year for all freshmen to read and for faculty to use as a focus in their classes. This year that book is “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan. It is a provocative and controversial critique of parts of our food and agricultural system, and from CAHNRS’ perspective a prime opportunity to educate students about what we do.

Throughout the semester, our role was to ensure that the conversation surrounding issues raised in the book was balanced and science-based. To that end, Associate Dean Kim Kidwell used the book as a foundation for the Agricultural and Food Systems 101 class, bringing in guest speakers from a broad range of agricultural perspectives to discuss the issues and answer student questions. We created a Web site specifically for the Common Reading program ( with features such as the “Ag Word of the Week,” and the “Chew on This” blog.

Yesterday’s panel discussion was in some ways the natural next step of our efforts. I want to sincerely thank our panelists for their reasoned, informed approach to what can be very controversial issues: Trudy Bialic, public affairs director for PCC Natural Markets; Eric Hurlburt, domestic marketing and economic development chief for the WSDA; wheat producer Russ Zenner and Dick Coon, cattle producer and president of the Washington Cattlemen’s Association did a fantastic job. They fielded questions from the audience for more than an hour, providing students and everyone there with real-world wisdom about everything from the economic and legal questions surrounding food and agriculture to on-the-ground production changes occurring in response to the evolving food sector.

Many thanks to all the students who attended. Their questions were informed and intelligent. Nothing gratifies educators more than to see that demonstrated.

The Alexander A. Smick Scholarship in Rural Community Service and Development: $1000 Scholarship; Apply by Feb. 5

The purpose of the scholarship provided by the Alexander A. and Agnes “Odegaard” Smick Endowment Scholarship is to promote student engagement with an applied course of study in the field of rural community service and development. This scholarship competition, which will award one or two scholarships of $1,000 each, is open to all WSU undergraduate and graduate students who have a demonstrated interest in development issues facing rural citizens.

Successful applicants will outline a specific activity in rural community service and development that will be supported by the scholarship and conducted during the 2010 calendar year under the direction of a WSU faculty member who has relevant academic credentials in community service and development.

To apply, a student must complete an application form, which includes a statement that explains how the successful scholarship winner will utilize the funds to engage in an activity in community service and development.

The deadline to apply for this scholarship is Friday, February 5, 2010. All application materials must be submitted to the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resource Science’s Office of Academic Programs in 423 Hulbert Hall.

For more information, please contact Prof. Raymond Jussaume at or 335-7626. Download the scholarship application from

Scholarship Info for Dependents of WSU Faculty and Staff

As high school seniors are getting ready to apply for college, this is a reminder about the $1,000 scholarship available to dependents of qualifying faculty and staff. The scholarships are for entering, full-time, undergraduate students who have not exceeded age 25. Spouses are not eligible. Continuing undergraduate students who have not yet received the award are also eligible. The awards are renewable for a second year, if the student is making satisfactory progress towards a degree and has a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above at WSU.

Only dependents of the following are eligible:

  • WSU staff members holding half-time or grater appointments and having permanent status or on trial service.
  • Faculty and A/P employees holding half-time or greater appointments
  • County-paid staff members having permanent status and working half-time or more for WSU Extension.

Application for this should be made at the same time as application for admission. Applications must be made on the WSU Application for Academic Scholarships form. This is available on the WSU website at: or from the Scholarships link on the financial aid Web page at

Top Ten Cleantech

Venture capitalist Shawn Lesser recently place WSU on a top-ten list of the nation’s universities conducting cleantech research ( CAHNRS plays a very active role in many of the activities mentioned in Lesser’s write up for WSU. The company isn’t bad either: MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, etc.


David Kramer, a professor in the Institute of Biological Chemistry, was awarded $495,000 from the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts consortium for algae research to be conducted in the WSU College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

New books: Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: good science, practical application, features 21 authors, many of them WSU faculty. Edited by Linda Chalker-Scott, published by GFG Publishing, Inc., Yakima, Wash. in late 2009. The Informed Gardener Blooms Again by Linda Chalker-Scott: University of Washington Press, 2010.