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CAHNRS News – March 23, 2012

Posted by | March 23, 2012

Release time for Showcase
Chance to explore variety of WSU, CAHNRS, Extension scholarship and creativity

Dr. Joe Poovaiah, Regents Professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, has been selected to deliver this year’s Showcase Distinguished Faculty Address. His presentation, entitled “Calcium/calmodulin: The Grand Conductor of Signal Orchestration in Plants – Agricultural and Ecological Implications” is set for March 30, 2 p.m. in Todd Hall 276. A reception follows the presentation. All faculty and staff are encouraged to attend the address and the provost has approved three hours of work time for employees to attend Showcase events on March 30. Come help us support Dr. Poovaiah!

Faculty members are urged to encourage students to attend the morning Academic Showcase poster session. Many CAHNRS and WSU Extension faculty and students will be showcasing their research, scholarship, and creative work.

Three of the four 2011-12 Sahlin Award winners to be recognized at Showcase are CAHNRS faculty members. Congratulations to Lori M. Carris (Plant Pathology), who won for Excellence of Instruction; Robert Rosenman (School of Economic Sciences), who won for Excellence in Leadership; and Gary Grove (Plant Pathology; WSU Extension), who won for Excellence in Outreach and Engagement. Learn more about all four winners at

For the Showcase schedule of events, please see For more info about Showcase, please see

Judges still needed for poster session at Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities

Faculty and post-docs are invited to serve as judges for the poster session at the inaugural Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) the afternoon of Friday, March 30, 2012 in the CUB ballrooms. Informal judging starts at 2:30, and formal judging starts at 3:15. To sign up, please fill out the form at and send to Jeannie Holt,

Celebrate at the CAHNRS Awards Banquet, April 14, 2012

Tickets are on sale now for the 53rd Annual CAHNRS Awards Banquet and Dinner taking place on April 14 from 4-6 p.m. in Ensminger Pavilion.  Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in the following locations until April 6:

  • Hulbert Hall 423 – Sean McIlraith
  • Clark Hall 116 – Kristy Olsen
  • Daggy Academy 330 – Darcie Young
  • FSHN Building 106 – Barb Smith
  • Johnson Hall 345 – Cheryl Hagelganz
  • Johnson Tower 501 – Diane Scott
  • Kruegel Hall 51 – Jane Lawford

Come celebrate and a enjoy a great dinner from Happy Day Catering as we recognize faculty, staff, and student award recipients in the college for 2011-2012. For more information, contact Sean McIlraith at or 509-335-9115.

CAHNRS Undergraduate Research & Creative Projects 2012 Poster Fair- April 14

Come check out the exciting research projects that CAHNRS undergraduate students have been working on since last fall.  The poster fair will take place on April 14 from 1-3 p.m. on the ground floor of the Vogel Plant Biosciences Building. Awards will be given to the top two presenters/posters in the following categories: Applied Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences; Basic Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences; Design Discipline; and Human Sciences. For more information on the event, contact Sean McIlraith at or 509-335-9115.

Grant funds Ph.D. Training in Sustainable Food Safety

Food processing and packaging that ensures health and safety without wasting energy or the environment is an increasingly global dilemma. Washington State University recently received a grant to enhance training of Ph.D. students to address the challenge.

Faculty members in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering received a National Needs Fellowship award of $238,500.

Three fellows will be trained in an innovative outcomes-driven program that integrates research and professional experiences with coursework in engineering, applied sciences and professional development, said Shyam Sablani, assistant professor and co-principal investigator (PI) on the project.

For more info, please visit

Graduate School Scholarship Opportunities

The Graduate School has the following Scholarship Opportunities Available:

  • Julia & Arnold Greenwell Memorial Scholarship: This is a need-based scholarship designed to help graduate students who have clearly demonstrated excellence to further their studies at WSU.
  • Graduate School Doctoral Scholarship: This scholarship is to reward outstanding research and scholarship among graduate students admitted into a WSU Ph.D. program.

Applications for Fall semester are due to the Graduate School no later than 5 p.m., April 30. Please visit the following site for more information:

 Precision Agriculture International Network Meets in Prosser

Precision agriculture scholars and practitioners from Japan, China, Korea, Belgium, Spain and from throughout the United States gathered at the Washington State University Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center at Prosser earlier this month for the inaugural meeting of the Precision Agriculture International Network.

Spearheaded by Dr. Qin Zhang, director of WSU’s Center for Precision Agricultural Systems, the two-day session included tours of area wineries and orchards using precision agricultural practices. Attendees also participated in discussions about the major accomplishments in precision agriculture, major challenges and obstacles, possible solutions and next steps.

16th Annual Insect Cinema Cult Classic

The Entomology Graduate Student Association & Entomology Department host the 16th Annual Cinema Cult Classic on Friday, March 23 in Todd Hall 276. There will be insect displays, door prizes and introductions at 6:00 p.m. Films begin at 7:00 p.m. This year’s films are the Beginning of the End (1957) and Locusts, the 8th Plague (2005).
For more information, contact Dory Lohrey-Birch,

Newly Promoted and/or Tenured Faculty

Congratulations to our newly promoted and/or tenured CAHNRS and WSU Extension faculty! Ian Burke, Crop and Soil Sciences, Associate Professor and Associate Scientist; Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, Crop and Soil Sciences and Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Associate Research Professor and Extension Specialist E-3; Amit Dhingra, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Associate Professor and Associate Scientist; Marcelo Diversi, Human Development, WSU Vancouver, Associate Professor; Gregmar Galinato, School of Economic Sciences, Associate Professor; Jessica Goldberger, Crop and Soil Sciences, Associate Professor; Gwen-Alyn Hoheisel, WSU Extension, Benton County, Area Extension Educator E-3; Karen Killinger, School of Food Science, Associate Scientist and Extension Specialist E-3; Richard Koenig, Crop and Soil Sciences, Chair, Scientist, Professor, and Extension Specialist E-4; Debra (Kollock) Hansen, WSU Extension, Stevens County, Extension County Director E-3; Jane Lanigan, Human Development, WSU Vancouver, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist E-3; Karen Lewis, WSU Extension, Grant County, County Extension Educator E-4; Andrew McGuire, WSU Extension, Grant County, County Extension Educator E-4; Jenifer McGuire, Human Development, Associate Professor; Donald McMoran, WSU Extension, Skagit County, County Extension Educator E-3; J. Shannon Neibergs, WSU Extension, Western Center for Risk Management Education, Director and Extension Specialist E-3; Thomas Okita, Institute of Biological Chemistry, Regents Professor and Scientist; Nnadozie Oraguzie, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, WSU Prosser IAREC, Associate Scientist and Associate Professor; Cameron Peace, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Associate Professor and Associate Scientist; R. Troy Peters, Biological Systems Engineering, WSU Prosser IAREC, Extension Specialist E-3 and Associate Scientist; Yoshie Sano, Human Development, WSU Vancouver, Associate Professor; Timothy Waters, WSU Extension, Franklin County, Area Extension Educator E-3; Jonathan Yoder, School of Economic Sciences, Professor and Scientist.


Bill Schillinger, Scientist and Extension Specialist, received a 2011 Editor’s Citation for Excellence award from the Soil Science Society of America.

Vikram Yadama, assistant professor and extension specialist in the Washington State University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, recently received a National Science Foundation CAREER award, including a $400,000 grant, for his work to develop unique, sustainable building materials from wood strands. Read more at

Landscape Architecture Professor Kerry Brooks has recently received The President’s Volunteer Service Award presented by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation to URISA GISCorps. See the award and letter from President Obama at

Kerry Brooks has also received the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) 2012 Outstanding Communications Award for Conference Track Chairs. This award will be presented at the Awards Ceremony on Thursday March 29th during the annual CELA Conference at the University of Illinois.

Horticulture Professor John Fellman was recently notified by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board that he has been selected for a Fulbright award to Cyprus. In 2013, he will be a visiting faculty member at the Cyprus University of Technology.

New on the ‘Tube

“Pioneers of Organic Cranberry Farming” – Jared Oakes and Jessika Tantisook are organic farmers pioneering the production of organic cranberry production in western Washington. As they transition to organic production, they are documenting the methods they use so that others may learn from them. Jared and Jessika have long been interested in food. With their background in the food and wine industry, they are passionate about being able to work with produce that is grown sustainably and locally. “Food,” said Jared, “is a microcosm of what happens in the rest of the world. We’ve become enamored of the local food movement and wanted to contribute.” Like many young organic farmers, Jared and Jessika are new to the business of farming but say they are encouraged by the market for their cranberries and by the ideal of producing healthy, locally grown food. Watch the video:

“Bee Friendly! The Importance of Pollinators” – Pamela Pavek, a Pullman-based agronomist with the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, talks about the key role of pollinators in the global food system in this short video. “One out of every three bites of food comes from crops that are insect pollinated,” Pavek explains in the this video suitable for use as brief introduction to the importance of pollination. Watch the video:

“America’s Heartland – Dryland Agronomy Research in Eastern Washington” – The focus of this video is Dr. Bill Schillinger’s research on cropping systems, winter wheat seedling emergence, development of new deep furrow drills and control of erosion. Experiments are conducted both at the WSU Dryland Research Station in Lind and in growers’ fields. This video also highlights growers’ perceptions of their problems and research needs. This video is presented courtesy of America’s Heartland, which is seen weekly on RFD-TV and PBS stations across the country. Watch the video:

Browns Say ‘Life Well Lived’ Anchored in WSU Education, Extension Service

Ask Lawrence Brown why he and his wife, Elizabeth, established an endowment to help support professional development for Washington State University Extension educators, and the 94-year-old Cougar’s answer is immediate and to the point.

“Payback!” says the former WSU Extension county director. “Truly, we owe the life that we’ve had together, the life that has been so richly blessed, to the profession of WSU Extension service.”

For 38 years, the Browns served WSU Extension – he in the official capacity of an Extension county agent; she as the supportive partner. It was the anchor to a life well lived, they say.


New in CAHNRS e-Newsletters

The March 14 issue of On Solid Ground features stories on sex genes in the fungus Alternaria, the Erysiphales Database being chosen as a professional standard, the Export Assistance Program, and the Cook Farm being selected as a Long-term Agroecosystem Research Site. The next issue of On Solid Ground is slated for March 28 publications and will be issue #200.

Recent News Releases

Apple, cherry growers asked to respond to important survey to inform researchers about IPM and orchard characteristics

Hard cider culture: WSU research helps growers diversify, meet demand

Proper Livestock Handling and Care Workshops

Washington’s 2011-12 winter was average but certainly not normal

Riparian grazing workshops connect clean water and ranch profitability

WSU Cook Farm Named a USDA Long-Term Agroecosystem Research Site

Workshop improves success of forest management plan writing

Succession planning workshop April 7 for family landowners in Vancouver

All our news releases are archived at