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CAHNRS News – July 29

Posted by | July 29, 2011

Margaret Benson Is New ASAS President, Says Scientists Should Be Aggressive about Public Outreach

Dr. Margaret Benson, the recently sworn-in president of the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) and department chair of the WSU Department of Animal Sciences, admits that traveling is “fun perk” of her job. She traveled to Mexico this spring and is planning trips to Norway and Argentina. Benson’s got quite the colorful passport.

But no matter where she travels for ASAS, Benson has an important goal: to get the story, the real, science-based story of animal science, out to the world. “We have to be aggressive about getting a positive image of animal science out there,” Benson said. “I think that means interacting and talking with people in the public.”

Public outreach is a big focus for Benson, who started her term as president during the July ASAS and American Dairy Society Association Joint Annual Meeting this July. Benson wants animal science news and scientific discoveries to reach the ears of fellow scientists, industry stakeholders, and legislators. “I think that’s going to be a big thing for us,” Benson said. Benson’s plan seems even more important as federal funding for animal agriculture research wanes.

Learn more about the ASAS by visiting the society’s web site at

Free for the Taking?

“If it’s on the Internet, it’s there to use.”

We’ve heard this so often, it must be true, right?

Well, yes and no. Regardless of where material is found, authors cannot take what someone else has written and publish it under their own name as if they wrote it themselves—this applies to everything from “napkin sketches” to rejected grant proposals, to material posted on the Internet.

In truth, anything on the Internet is probably copyrighted. Digitally published material is equivalent to print-published material, in terms of copyright. Because it is so easy to copy and paste online material, many things get reused and shared across the World Wide Web until the authorship gets lost in the ether – but that doesn’t mean the material is now free to use as if you wrote it yourself.

Even if an article or image has been recirculated and reposted so often that it gets a million Google hits, it isn’t free to use without crediting the original source, and formal permission from the copyright holder may be required too. We must try to ascertain original authorship and copyright status, and then seek permission from the copyright holder to reuse or adapt their material.

For more information about copyright, visit the WSU webpage on copyright: If you have specific questions for a publication you are developing, contact Marketing, News, and Educational Communications:

You may also wish to attend the webinar, “Copyright and Appropriate Use of Online Resources,” presented by CAHNRS and Extension Marketing, News and Educational Communication as part of WSU Extension’s Technology to Teach series for professional development.

That webinar has been recorded and is available at

Therese Harris is a publications editor with Marketing, News and Educational Communication. She is interested in how technology affects communication, and how changing modes and methods of communication, in turn, affect society.

Annual Biodegradable Mulches for Specialty Crops Produced Under Protective Covers Project Team Meeting

Members of the SCRI-SREP project on Biodegradable Mulches for Specialty Crops Produced Under Protective Covers met June 1-2 at the Texas Agri-Life R&E Center near Lubbock for their annual team meeting. Twelve scientists, one post-doc, six graduate students and two advisory committee members from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, Washington State University, and Western Washington University attended. Highlights included a post-doc/graduate student symposium, a round-robin session to continue to integrate the team’s crops, economics, materials science, sociology, and soils working groups’ efforts, review of the team’s field research trials in Texas, and a visit to the high tunnels now being utilized at the Southern Plains Foodbank, one of the largest foodbanks in the U.S. WSU members of the team in attendance included Andrew Corbin (WSU/Snohomish Co. Extension); Jeremy Cowan (Horticulture Ph.D. candidate); Debbie Inglis (WSU Mount Vernon NWREC and Project Director); Annabel Kirschner (WSU Emeritus Professor); Carol Miles (WSU Mount Vernon NWREC and Project Co-director), Marianne Powell (Plant Pathology M.S. candidate); Sasi Ponnaluru (Economic Sciences Post-doc); and Tom Walters (WSU Mount Vernon NWREC).

WSCPR Tours WSU Mount Vernon NWREC on Westside Fact-Finding visit

Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration (WSCPR) recently conducted their annual Pest Control Tour in western Washington, and among their first stops on July 19 was the WSU Northwestern Washington Research & Extension Center in Mount Vernon. Steve Jones, the center director, welcomed some 50 visitors, including representatives of agriculture-related businesses, state and local government departments, legislative aides, and the press. They enjoyed a breakfast with fresh fruit, bagels, and pastries, followed by an hour-long tour of the facility. Tim Miller, Tom Walters, and Lynell Tanigoshi each contributed a brief summary of the work done by their programs: Weed Science, Small Fruit Horticulture, and Entomology, respectively. Later in the afternoon, after visiting other sites of agricultural interest in the Skagit Valley, the tour stopped at the Red Barn Cider Co., where participants heard a report from Drew Zimmerman, cider maker, and Jacky King, WSU Vegetable Horticulture staff, on the research programs in wine grape culture and hard cider production that are being conducted at WSU NWREC by Carol Miles (Vegetable Horticulture).


Congratulations to the WSU weed science team of Jared Bell (MPS doctoral candidate), Alan Raeder and Misha Manuchehri (Crop Science master’s students), and Nevin Lawrence (Crop Science doctoral student) who placed first in the Western Region division of the first annual Weed Olympics held in Knoxville on July 27. Jared Bell also scored a third place win as an individual graduate student in the Western Region. WSU weed scientist Ian Burke advises all four students.

The Weed Olympics is an unusual event, Burke said, and can be quite challenging. Individuals are required to identify weeds, unknown herbicides, complete sprayer calibration problems, and participate in a role playing exercise that requires student to solve a problem a grower might encounter. Weeds and weed problems in Tennessee look a little different than those in Washington, Burke added, but team of WSU students rose to the challenge. “The team worked hard the past few weeks to prepare,” Burke said.

This was the first Weed Olympics that brought student competitors from across the nation. Learn more about the Weed Olympics at

Dr Xiwen Cai, associate professor at North Dakota State University and PhD graduate of Crop and Soil Sciences had the cover article in the journal Genetics for April 2011. The cover photo and article (titled: Targeted Introgression of a Wheat Stem Rust Resistance Gene by DNA Marker-Assisted Chromosome Engineering) is available at

Chef Dan Barber from Blue Hill Farm at Stone Barns in New York visited WSU Mount Vernon Research Center on July 24. Chef Barber is on President Obama’s Nutrition Council and was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the World in 2009. HIs visit to the center was his only stop in Washington.