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CAHNRS News- November 15, 2013

Posted by l.meyer | November 14, 2013

Nominate an outstanding CAHNRS colleague

We encourage administrators, faculty, students, and staff to nominate deserving candidates from your department or program in as many categories as possible, but request nominations be limited to one person per award category per department. As always, people must be nominated to have an opportunity to receive these awards.  Acknowledging people for “beyond the call of duty efforts” creates a celebratory moment for deserving awardees. We often spend our time focusing on what we are concerned about or frustrated with in this environment. The award process creates a rare opportunity for all of us to acknowledge what we value and appreciate about people that work tirelessly to do their best to make a positive contribution on a daily basis.  Please carefully consider making an effort to acknowledge those among us who have made extraordinary efforts to contribute to the CAHNRS experience, because they deserve to be commended for their efforts.

For more information about these awards and instructions on how to nominate deserving individuals, please click on Advising, Extension, Research, Staff, Teaching and Team Award Nomination Process. If you have any questions, please contact Alanna Ellis (509-335-4562, in the CAHNRS Academic Programs Office.

WSU research tucked inside Capitol Christmas Tree as it crosses country

PUYALLUP, Wash. – Tucked within the massive Capitol Christmas Tree headed for Washington, D.C. are three tiny sensors most people will never see. They will collect information on how well the tree holds moisture during its 25-day journey from Washington state. Read more>>

Funds for professional development events available

We are pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for SARE Professional Development Program (PDP) mini-grants for hosting ($800 max) or attending ($500 max) professional development events. For hosted events, the primary audience must be Extension educators or other agriculture professionals. For more information about the SARE PDP program and for application instructions, please view our PDP page HERE. Applications will be screened Dec. 15, Apr. 15, and Aug. 15, or until funds are exhausted.

Furthering international science collaborations

Scientist Hanu Pappu recently was honored for his scholarship and international stature in agricultural research with an award that facilitates travel to India to interact and exchange ideas with researchers there.

The Indian National Science Academy (INSA) named Pappu the Dr. B.P. Pal Chair for 2013. Pappu will deliver seminars and lectures at several of India’s agricultural universities. He will develop joint research projects and grant proposals with Indian scientists.

The Sam Smith Distinguished Professor in the Washington State University Department of Plant Pathology, Pappu researches insect-borne plant viruses. He has collaborated on research projects in more than 18 countries. He has published more than 150 scientific journal articles, authored reviews and spoken at national and international conferences. Read more>>


Jennifer Trapp received a cash award and special recognition for the most outstanding graduate student poster contribution (titled “Identification of QTL for Drought Tolerance and Characterization of Extreme Phenotypes in the Buster x Roza Mapping Population“) at the Bean Improvement Cooperative biennial meeting in Portland, OR, October 28-30. The meeting had 180 participants and she won the sole award for best poster out of 30 that we’re registered for the graduate student competition.

Congratulations are due to Debbie Inglis, whose team just received a ‘NIFA Partnership Award for Innovative Programs and Projects’ from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Debbie leads the Biodegradable Mulches for Specialty Crops Produced Under Protective Covers project along with Co-PD Carol Miles (Horticulture Dept.) who is also stationed at the Mount Vernon NWREC.

Amit Dhingra and his lab team participated in the 7th annual Life Science Research Weekend in Seattle at the Pacific Science Center. They informed more than 5,000 visitors about various programs for high school students, and undergraduate and graduate programs at WSU, and provided STEM outreach with hands-on plant science activities.

David Weller, Research Leader of the USDA-ARS Root Disease and Biocontrol Research Unit located in the Department of Plant Pathology, has been serving as the Willie Commelin Scholten (WCS) Chairholder in Phytopathology and as an OECD Fellow at Utrecht University, The Netherlands since June 4, 2013. He also served as the WCS professor in 2003. Dr. Weller is lecturing, advising students and conducting research on induced resistance with Drs. Corné Pieterse and Peter Bakker in the Plant-Microbe Interactions group, Department of Biology. At WSU, Dr. Weller’s research focuses on biocontrol of soilborne pathogens, the rhizosphere microbiome and disease suppressive soils. He is scheduled to return to WSU at the end of November.

Please welcome our new CSS Faculty Members!

Joey Blackburn joined Crop and Soil Sciences in July, 2013. He completed his Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University in Agricultural Education. Dr. Blackburn will act as leader and educator to further the Agriculture Education and M.S. in Ag program. We welcome Joey and his family to the Palouse!

Pete Jacoby served as Agriculture Program Director and Associate Dean for WSU Extension from 2007 to 2013. He recently joined the Crop and Soil Sciences Department as Professor and Plant Ecologist to further his research and outreach. Dr. Jacoby completed his Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming in Rangeland Ecology. We are fortunate to have Dr. Jacoby’s expertise in Weed Ecology and Ecophysiology in our department!

Tarah Sullivan-Guest joined Crop and Soil Sciences in mid October. She will serve as Assistant Professor and Scientist in Soil Microbiology. Dr. Sullivan-Guest completed her Ph.D. at Cornell University. Her research interests involve “soil microbial communities and their interactions and impacts on metal bioavailability.“ She has enjoyed settling into the Palouse with her husband, two small daughters, and their family dogs.

Kevin Murphy is a very familiar face in the Crop and Soil Science Department. He graduated with his PhD from WSU in 2007 and began working on the barley and alternative crop breeding program. He was recently hired as the Assistant Professor for this program. Dr. Murphy is also the lead scientist for WSU Quinoa research. The department is excited to see his research and program continue to expand!

Connect with CAHNRS and the new WSU Puyallup page on Facebook


Check out the latest updates on the CAHNRS Facebook page:

Be sure and friend the NEW WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center on Facebook at

In eNewsletters

Nov. 13- WSU’s Green Times- Organic Ads, Compost, Poplars This edition features a story about organic advertising strategies, closing the loop on garbage by bringing local compost to local farms, and using poplar trees as bioenergy.

Nov. 6- WSU’s On Solid Ground- Survey, Dry Beans, Robotic Harvest This edition features a story about Kelly Atterberry’s work bringing dry beans into K-12 classrooms and another on using robotics and automated agriculture for apple harvest.

Oct. 30- WSU’s Voice of the Vine- Wine Science Center, Viticulture vs. Winemaking, Tannins Stay tuned for a holiday wine and food pairing in the November edition of Voice of the Vine.

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