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CAHNRS News- November 1, 2013

Posted by l.meyer | October 31, 2013

WSU student selected as 2013 Golden Opportunity Institute Scholar

John Kuhn
John Kuhn

John Kuhn, a senior in WSU’s Crop and Soil Sciences department has been selected as a 2013 Golden Opportunity Institute Scholar. The recognition includes funding support for Kuhn’s participation in the 2013 International Annual Meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America taking place Nov. 3 – 6 in Tampa, Fla.

At the conference “Water, Food, Energy & Innovation for a Sustainable World,” Kuhn will present results of his research project “Effect of the Gpc-B1 Allele On Grain Protein Concentration in Hard Red Winter Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in the Pacific Northwest of the US.” He will also enter into a yearlong mentorship with an assigned scientist mentor.

“I am looking forward to networking with professionals, presenting my research, exploring a different part of the country, and learning about my future as an agriculturalist,” said Kuhn.

Scholars such as Kuhn are recognized for their academic achievements and interests and will have opportunities to participate in the combined ASA, CSSA and SSSA 4-day meeting in a number of ways, including recognition during an awards program, plus educational forums and one-on-one engagement with mentors. More than 4,000 scientists, professionals, educators, and students will attend the conference. Arron Carter, assistant professor in the WSU Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, nominated Kuhn for the award. This year 22 students were selected nationwide.

The Golden Opportunity Scholars Institute is a program of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America that encourages students to study agronomy and crop and soil sciences.

-Kate Wilhite

CAHNRS hosts Tidal Leadership Symposium for men

CAHNRS is hosting the first Tidal Leadership: Transformational Leadership Symposium for Men on November 15, 2013, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. The CAHNRS community is encouraged to attend this exceptional leadership training opportunity. To assist, Interim Dean Ron Mittelhammer has approved event attendance as release time, in accordance with BPPM 60.71, which allows up to 96 hours of release time per fiscal year.  To ensure limited disruption to College and University operations, please work directly with your supervisor on coverage options.

Register here or send your WSU-IRI to Jessica Munson at

Vincent Jones to direct tree fruit decision aid system

Jones-V-80Vincent Jones, professor of entomology at the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee, has been named director of the tree fruit decision aid system (DAS).

The DAS is an online resource that integrates the latest research-based information into a time-sensitive predictive system to help Washington growers and consultants make better orchard management decisions on a variety of issues including pest management, plant diseases and weather.

The DAS has been in operation for the past seven years using models originating from WSU researchers, including Jones. The system couples with real-time weather data from WSU’s AgWeatherNetwork (AWN) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to predict crop and pest development in tree fruit production systems.

“Dr. Jones was the natural choice for the director title,” said Rich Koenig, associate dean and director of WSU Extension. “This is largely his product and represents the most advanced tree fruit decision aid system in existence.”

As director, Jones will take on a partial Extension appointment in addition to his faculty appointment, and WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) will provide additional resources to support the DAS system.

“Decision support systems are a natural evolution of Extension’s mission of transferring information to the users,” said Jones. “Extension’s close involvement and support will further expand our efforts and WSU’s reputation in this area. Read more>>

Early registration for the 2014 oilseed conference now open

Early registration is now open for the 2014 Oilseed and Direct Seed Cropping Systems Conference, a combined effort of the Biofuels Cropping Systems Research and Extension (WBCS) Project at WSU, and the Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association (PNSDA). The conference will be January 20-22, 2014, at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, WA. Research posters, a trade show, and plenty of networking opportunities will also be included. Complete conference information can be found at the WBCS website, or the PNDSA website.


  • Dan Thornton, Assistant Clinical Professor in the School of Environmental, and his co-authors have had their article ‘Evidence for large-scale effects of competition: niche displacement in Canada lynx and bobcat’  published as the cover article in the prestigious journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B.” .
  • KayDee Gilkey, an Ag Radio reporter with NW Ag Information Network, interviewed Karen Sowers from the WSU Deptartment of Crop & Soil Sciences last week during a press tour sponsored by Pacific Coast Canola. Part of the interview about canola production in Washington can be heard here.

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Upcoming Events

2013 School of Food Science Faculty Seminar Series

The final seminar for the 2013 Food Science Faculty Seminar is Nov. 4 at 1:10 p.m. in FSHN 103/15 and features Andrzej Paszczynski on the “Importance of reactive oxygen species (ROS)” 5. The main objectives of this seminar series are to share what research is happening in the SFS and to foster future cooperative research, teaching,  and outreach opportunities.

From WSU News: Scary story, maggots help us

WSU entomologist Richard Zack displays a favorite maggot book that he assigns to his undergraduate students.
WSU entomologist Richard Zack displays a favorite maggot book that he assigns to his undergraduate students. (Photos by Shelly Hanks, WSU Photo Services)

Wriggling maggots feeding on corpses are our allies, not our enemies. Should you think otherwise, don’t tell Richard Zack – not over his dead body.

“Maggots do a lot of good for the planet. They don’t deserve the lowly reputation they have,” said Zack, an entomologist with Washington State University.

These flesh-eating creatures that get heightened attention each Halloween “are nature’s great recyclers.  They help cleanse the earth to make room for new life,” he said. “If we look at maggots from a biological standpoint, they are very beneficial.”

So beneficial that they also help solve murders and save people’s lives.

“I know, I know. This always surprises people,” said Zack. “Really, maggots are good.” Read more in WSU News>>

In eNewsletters

Oct. 9- WSU’s On Solid Ground- Pumpkin Trees, Fungi Queen, Poplars

Oct. 2- WSU’s Green Times– Reforestation, Freshwater, Organic Farm

Oct. 30- WSU’s Voice of the Vine- Wine Science Center, Viticulture vs. Winemaking, Tannins

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