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CAHNRS News – June 29, 2012

Posted by | June 29, 2012

Follow the WSU Team’s Blog while at the Smithsonian Institute Folklife Festival

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, WSU is participating in the Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Follow the team of scientists and communicators on their blog as they talk about the science of food and fuel with an anticipated 1.3 million visitors over the next two weeks.

Check out this short video featuring Kathy Barnard and Charles Burke, two of the members of Team One, as they talk about the WSU exhibit on the National Mall.

Research Advancement Challenge

The WSU Office of Research invites one-page white papers for the Research Advancement Challenge prize. The RAC aims to find and fund proposed solutions to societal grand challenges and potentially transformative creative, scholarly and/or research outcomes. The RAC seeks proposals that address these challenges in a collaborative environment.

Team: Self-created, self-formed diverse teams of three or more faculty from more than one college. Outcome: Breakthrough solutions and/or significant advancement in field(s) of creative, scholarly and/or research areas. Deliverable: A follow-up, large, multi-disciplinary proposal submitted in FY13. Application: One page white paper (10 point font). Submit your application to by close of business Friday, June 29.

Please include:

  • Principal Investigators names, departments and colleges
  • Brief abstract of proposed project
  • Timeline for proposed project’s completion
  • Estimated amount needed
  • Future funding strategy to solicit sources of external support (federal and/or non-federal)

Amount: Fund “super” idea(s) up to $100,000. Award notification: July 2012. Contact: Pam Kelley

Volunteer To Teach the Public about Agricultural Innovations this Summer in Seattle

Washington State University is seeking volunteers to help educate the public about agricultural innovations from WSU. Volunteers will work in the Global Health Pavilion Activity Tent at the Seattle Center in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair and Global Health Months this July and August. Be a part of an exciting global health celebration of research and life saving programs, and have the opportunity to network with representatives from more than 30 global health organizations.

In the Activity Tent, volunteers will help people — especially children and teens — interact with hands-on innovations:

  • Simulating the use of a pedal-powered treadle pump used by farmers in Malawi to irrigate farmland in order to extend and multiply growing seasons to produce more food more sustainably.
  • Demonstrating a mobile solar-powered food processor used to make nutritious and easily digestible food for infants and children in developing countries.

With the aid of promotional and educational materials, volunteers will answer general questions about agricultural innovations and Washington State University’s research and extension programs in global health.

Volunteers may sign up for any number of shifts available in July and August, Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Alexis Holzer at 206-219-2404 or via email at All current students, regardless of major, as well as alumni and those interested in learning more about global health, are encouraged to apply.

New Employee Orientation Sessions, July 2

New Employee Orientation, July 2, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. This session provides medical, dental, life and disability insurance information, as well as information on payroll, employment basics and leave processes.

New Employee Retirement Orientation – Due to recent changes in retirement plan offerings, two separate sessions on this topic are available. Faculty and Administrative Professional retirement information is covered from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and Civil Service and hourly retirement information is covered from 3 – 4 p.m. These offerings are available to all employees statewide via AMS Videoconferencing. Also, the New Employee Orientation topics have been converted to online courses available through the WSU Online Training System (

Note: The online sessions do not include retirement information. New employees accessing the online courses should still participate in the new employee retirement orientations. Contact: Human Resource Services

Western Rural Development Center Call for Papers and Participants

To better understand the socioeconomic implications associated with renewable energy development for rural areas of the United States, a one-day conference is being held in Salt Lake City, Utah, on September 25, 2012. The conference is called “Our Energy Future: Socioeconomic Implications of Renewable Energy Development.” The organizers invite top experts from around the country to submit abstracts for consideration as conference presentations. The submission deadline is July 19, 2012. Learn more »

Freight Policy Transportation Institute Study on Congestion, Job Loss Published

School of Economic Sciences professor and Freight Policy Transportation Institute member Ken Casavant reports that a new study on the economic impact of congestion in the state has been published by the Washington State Department of Transportation. A WSDOT news release says that “increased congestion on Washington’s highways will result in thousands of lost jobs in freight-dependent businesses and more than a $3 billion hit to Washington’s economy.” Read more at the WSDOT website »

New on Dean Bernardo’s Blog

June 21 – Field Day at the World’s Driest Ag Research Center. Read Dan’s post about the Lind Field Day »

June 26 – Funding the Cougar Experience. A post on the importance of scholarships, especially in today’s economic climate »

June 27 – Morrill Act Event Celebrates the Past and Looks to the Future. Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act and the democratization of education »


CAHNRS Fall Festival

Come join us for food, fun and games on Thursday, Sept. 6, 4-6 p.m. at Spillman Plaza (on Wilson Rd. next to Hulbert Hall). There will be student club exhibits, department displays, and more. Check out a short video from the 2011 Fall Festival at

Retirement Reception for Tom Twilligear

Tom Twilligear is retiring; he’s put in his time. He leaves us now with laid-back plans in mind. Just “R&R” and taking life slow. Maybe some camping in the woods and watching the campfire glow. Help us celebrate Tom’s 42 years of service to WSU. There will be cake and coffee Monday, July 9, from 2-4pm in the Extension Publications conference room at Cooper Publications Building on Grimes Way.


WSU Students Sweep ASEV Enology Awards

The recent American Society of Enology and Viticulture meeting in Portland saw WSU grad students take both Best Student Presentation Awards in the Enology category. Yue Yu, who recently graduated from the School of Food Science with a Master of Science degree, won for her presentation of her research on “Improvement in Protein Precipitation Tannin Analysis by Altering Resuspension Buffer Formulation to Neutral pH.” Yue Yu’s major professor was Jim Habertson.

Doctoral student Federico Casassa won for his presentation on “Timing and Severity of Regulated Deficit Irrigation on Cabernet Sauvignon Wines: Interactive Effect of Skin Contact Time.” His major professor is also Jim Harbertson, and Chateau Ste. Michelle Distinguished Professor of Viticulture Markus Keller was a cooperator on Casassa’s research, as were Russel Smithyman and William Riley from Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Casassa’s research was the subject of a Jan. 2012 Voice of the Vine article called “Science in Paradise.”

in addition to being honored by their peers and mentors at the conference, Yu and Casassa won $1,000 scholarships. Congratulations to both students.

Food Science Production Development Team Takes First Place in National Competition

The School of Food Science food product development team won first place in the “Developing Solutions for Developing Countries” competition at this week’s Institute of Food Technology annual meeting in Las Vegas. The team is comprised of students Jenny Lim, Lauren Schopp, Amir Golmohamadi, Rossana Villa-Rojas, Alex Fredrickson, Anne Secor, Jesse Zuehlke, and Ford Childs. For pictures and the full story, visit the CAHNRS News site.

Department of Biological Systems Engineering Doctoral Students Win Award in Packaging Design Competition

Doctoral students from the Washington State University Department of Biological Systems Engineering won first place in an international student packaging design competition for an expandable/collapsible bottle that can hold powdered food drinks. Ofero Caparino, Sumeet Dhawan, Fermin Resurreccion, Roopesh Syamaladevi and Wenjia Zhang, supervised by team adviser and assistant professor Shyam Sablani, took the prize at the Polymers Laminations Adhesives Coatings Extrusions Conference held May 6-9 in Seattle. The conference is an annual event sponsored by the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry, the leading association for the worldwide pulp, paper, packaging and converting industries.

Called boteFlex™, the winning design is intended for packaging various powdered drinks, such as infant formula, fortified juices, sports drinks and probiotic milk powder, as well as for nonfood powders. According to team members, the package’s relatively small volume and weight can significantly reduce handling, transport and storage costs and is more environmentally friendly than existing full-volume packages. The packaging design is being marketed to potential industry partners involved in processing high-value products through the WSU Research Foundation.

Michael Neff, Associate Professor, Crop Biotechnology, has been awarded a a three year NSF grant totaling $350,000 for “The role of brassinosteroid inactivation in plant development”. Brassinosteroids are plant steroid hormones that are critical for normal plant growth and development. Neff’s lab is an international leader in understanding the role of proteins that inactivate these hormones as a means for fine-tuning their levels.

Jeanne Burritt, administrative manager, received the 2012 Administrative Professional Contribution Award. This award is in recognition of exceptional contributions and service to Washington State University and is sponsored by the Administrative Professional Advisory Council. Burritt has worked for WSU for 31 years, five of those with WSU Mount Vernon NWREC. She was nominated by five different staff and faculty members in Mount Vernon.

Recent News releases

New in CAHNRS e-Newsletters

The June 27 issue of On Solid Ground features stories on radio frequency pest control, the new stripe rust alert website, and forestry field day. Read and subscribe »

The June 28 issue of Voice of the Vine features stories on Pixie grape regeneration, vineyards in Afghanistan, preventing grape virus spread, and the upcoming Zino Forum. Read and subscribe »


CAHNRS News is archived at