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CAHNRS News- October 4, 2013

Posted by l.meyer | October 3, 2013

Proposals to mentor student interns due Oct. 7

CAHNRS Academic Programs, the Agricultural Research Center, and Extension have pooled funding resources to create opportunities for 40 CAHNRS undergraduate students to gain positive immersion-based teaching, research, or extension experience. Mentored internships will be offered during the spring or summer of 2014 with CAHNRS faculty located throughout the WSU system.

The college will provide $2,500 per intern to selected faculty mentors who submit compelling internship experience descriptions by Oct. 7 that include overall project objectives as well as specific contributions to be made by the intern. More information and details on proposals are available below. Contact Katie Nickels at if you have questions. 

Celebrating 40 years of Master Gardeners

Sharon Collman, the first woman Master Gardener, answers gardening and plant questions at a Seattle area mall in 1973. Photo from WSU archives.
Sharon Collman, the first woman Master Gardener, answers gardening and plant questions at a Seattle area mall in 1973. Photo from WSU archives.

Sharon Collman isn’t afraid of bugs.

She’s afraid of not having enough bugs.

The good, the bad and some really ugly ones end up pinned on display boards at her WSU Snohomish County Extension office in Everett.

“Beetles. Stink bugs. Bees. Anything that flies and moves,” she said.

Some are still moving. The office is a hotel for live colonies of ants, bedbugs and cockroaches.

Collman, an extension educator in horticulture and pest management, often hunts down the hemipterans herself or brings along a merry band of fellow bug hunters.

Bug-ology is part of being a master gardener. Collman is the queen bee of master gardening. She helped start the Master Gardener Volunteer Program in Washington, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

What began as an ask-a-gardener service to handle urban plant problems has come a long way since the 1970s. So has Collman.

Early photos show the newly minted college grad in a geometric print dress with long, dark “hippie hair,” as she puts it. Short white locks are her trademark now, and she still wears some flashy threads when she isn’t chasing pests.

“I was the first woman to be an ag agent in Washington,” she said. “I was a master gardener and all the other things an ag agent did.”

 Read more in the HeraldNet article, “Meet the queen bee of county master gardeners” by Andrea Brown.

Taking CAHNRS to new heights

Click to take an aerial tour of the WSU campus and research sites around the state.
Click to take an aerial tour of the WSU campus and research sites around the state.

The WSU CAHNRS and Extension video unit has a new way to help give you and your programs a fresh look. With a drone camera operated by skilled videographer Darrell Kilgore, you’ll see WSU from a whole new point of view.

Kilgore has dubbed his high-tech companion the Red Baron. The GPS-stabilized quad-copter has a small HD camera mounted on the bottom and can travel almost 25 mph, up to 400 feet high, and about 1,000 feet out. Kilgore and his baron have already transformed landmarks around campus and research acreage across the state into movie-quality footage. Watch the short video to get an idea of how you might enlist the dynamic duo for your latest research or communication project.

To find out more, contact Kilgore at 335-9221 or

Pete Jacoby accepts new position in CAHNRS

After 16 years as associate dean of CAHNRS and one of the college’s most versatile and dedicated team members, Pete Jacoby is taking on a new role. The position, professor and extension weed ecologist in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, will allow Jacoby to focus his efforts in three areas he is passionate about—research, teaching, and extension outreach.

Pete Jacoby

“I’m very excited about my new role,” said Jacoby. “Because of my experience as an administrator, I’ve seen the big picture and know how to get things done within organizations and with personnel.”

His primary research and extension responsibilities will be developing and promoting effective weed management programs throughout the irrigated Columbia Basin. He will collaborate with scientists from Oregon State University and the University of Idaho researching cherries, apples, and wine and juice grapes. And, he will teach World Agricultural Systems in the fall.

“My goal is to be the very best faculty member I can be,” said Jacoby. “This is really a dream job.”

A history of service

Through the years Jacoby took on different roles in addition to his job as associate dean. Significant travel and extended stays away from Pullman were just some of the challenges the extra responsibilities presented, said Dan Bernardo, former CAHNRS dean and current WSU interim provost and executive vice president.

“During my eight-year tenure as dean, Dr. Jacoby not only served as associate dean of the college, but also served in a number of other roles,” said Bernardo. “His willingness and ability to serve as a “utility player” when the college lacked the financial resources to hire a permanent administrator in these positions was a great service to CAHNRS and WSU Extension.”

Jacoby served as extension agriculture program leader and director of the Northwestern Washington Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Mount Vernon from 2007-09. He also served as director of the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, a five-year appointment that ended in May.

Each of the units led by Jacoby now have permanent administrators and, according to Bernardo, are in a better place today as a result of Jacoby’s service.

Collaboration is key

Of all his accomplishments as a WSU administrator, Jacoby is proudest of his success with generating collaboration. He oversaw the creation of the Vogel Plant Biosciences building from start to finish. He worked with faculty, planners and administrators campus-wide to determine the occupants for the $39-million facility. Today, Vogel Plant Biosciences houses research programs and laboratories from multiple departments focusing on plant sciences.

“We had four different departments select the programs to go into that building based on the type of science they were doing…,” said Jacoby. “We were trying to advance a culture that was interdisciplinary in a very discipline-based environment.

“I’m really proud of initiating some of the team-based research here,” he added, stressing that he didn’t do it alone. “The secret to my success in managing facilities and in getting millions of dollars of funding for the college has been establishing relationships.”

Bernardo echoes this. “Perhaps Dr. Jacoby’s greatest contributions were in the planning and execution of the college’s capital and infrastructure development.

“Over the past decade, CAHNRS has made significant improvements in its infrastructure not only on the Pullman campus, but also at its research farms and four research and extension centers,” he added. “Pete has been an invaluable resource in navigating the process of working with facilities services, contractors, faculty and staff to ensure that these projects have the maximum impact on our research and educational missions.”

 -Kate Wilhite

WSU receives NSF grant to evaluate university partner accommodation policies

WSU Professor of Economics Jill McCluskey has been awarded a three-year, $449,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant will help fund a study of the effects of partner accommodation policies (PAPs), including their implications for increasing the number of female faculty teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

McCluskey, working with WSU economist Ben Cowan and WSU sociologists Julie Kmec and Tori Byington, will provide theoretical and empirical evaluations of PAPs, as well as a description of their presence and scope in major U.S. universities.

Jill McCluskey

PAPs were developed primarily as a means of recruiting and retaining academic couples, a group that comprises approximately 36 percent of the American professoriate. McCluskey believes these policies may have broader implications for increasing the presence of women in academia.

“Increasing the representation of women in STEM faculties is a general societal objective and one central to the NSF,” said McCluskey. “A clear understanding of the implications of PAPs will help universities design policies that result in greater representation of women in STEM fields.”

Research has shown that 59 percent of female faculty in STEM disciplines are partnered with another academic, compared to 17 percent of male faculty in STEM disciplines. The data also show that academic women are more likely than academic men to refuse a job offer if their partners cannot find employment at the same location.

With administrative data pledged from seven institutions and survey data collected from others, the WSU research team will document the relationship between PAPs and the sex composition of STEM fields. They will compare the productivity of STEM faculty who participated in PAPs with faculty who were hired independently. And they will evaluate whether PAPs have a significant influence in improving the representation of women in STEM disciplines.

For more information on this research, visit

-Kate Wilhite


Jadrian Wooten, a Ph.D. student in the School of Economic Sciences,  received 3rd place at the Cengage Learning 2013 Economics Educator Best in Class competition. Using simple ping pong balls, he demonstrated connections between diminishing returns, marginal products, and marginal cost. Check out his award-winning video at

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) has announced Rich Koenig as a 2013 fellow for his service to the organization and professional achievements. Koenig will be formally recognized at the SSSA Awards Ceremony on Nov. 4 during the society’s annual meeting in Tampa, FL.

SES graduate student William Warfel, his mom, wave the WSU flag atop Mt. Kilimanjaro.


Upcoming Events

WSU Organic Farm Fall Harvest Celebration This Weekend

blue pumpkinThe Tukey Horticulture Orchard begins its U-pick fruit sales this weekend: Friday from 12 to 6 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.  On Saturday, the orchard will join the Fall Harvest Celebration with the WSU Organic Farm.  The Organic Farm will have u-pick pumpkins, apple cider, and wood-fired pizza for sale, as well as hay wagon rides around the farm!  For more information, visit the Tukey Orchard and Organic Farm websites. Read a full story on the occasion in WSU News at

Celebration of Appreciation for Tatum Weed

Please join us in a celebration of appreciation for Tatum Weed, assistant to the Dean and Vice President for Agriculture and Extension, as she embarks on a new adventure to join the team at the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center. An appreciation reception will be held Oct. 9 from 3:30-5 p.m. in Ensminger Pavilion. Refreshments will be served and cards can be sent in advance to Lisa Janowski (509-335-6251).

School of Economic Sciences Seminars

Visit this link on our website to see a listing of all of our faculty seminars this fall.

Recent News Releases 

September 26- Partnership and economic growth the focus as construction starts on the Wine Science Center

September 30- WSU offers sneak peek at new agricultural automation technologies

September 19- Washington state summer brings the heat

In eNews

September 25- WSU’s On Solid Ground- Monarchs, Lentils, AutoAg

September 24- WSU’s Voice of the Vine- Electric Tongue, Australia, Wine Center

October 2- WSU’s Green Times- Reforestation, Freshwater, Organic Farm

Facebook“LIKE” us on Facebook! Stay connected with the School of Food Science by linking the page at:

Check out the latest on the CAHNRS Facebook page, too: 

Have Facebook page or social media site you’d like to share in CAHNRS News? E-mail

Details for CAHNRS Internship Proposals

How should the proposal be formatted?  The 1 to 2 page proposal should include the following:

1.   Mentor’s Name, Affiliation with CAHNRS, and Contact Information

2.   Location at which the internship will be executed.

3.   Duration: timeframe (spring or summer; number of weeks required, etc.), weekly time requirements, and rate of pay if applicable.  Specific details concerning pay rate, housing, start date, daily work hours, etc. will be determined by the mentor and intern.

4.   Project Description: brief project overview with an explanation of the intern’s role in the project.

5.   Student Learning Outcomes: Describe what the intern is expected to gain from this experience.

What are the guidelines for funding consideration?

  1. The project must align with the CAHNRS mission (see
  2. The project must include more in-depth and field-specific requirements than a time-slip or hourly worker assignment.  The intern is expected to have a mentored experience that expands their expertise in a discipline while strengthening their interest in a related career.
  3. The mentor must agree to manage the project and complete the assessment process as described in the CAHNRS Internship Handbook.
  4. The mentor must agree to provide additional resources for salary, supplies, etc. for the intern as needed.
  5. The mentor and intern(s) must agree to participate in the WSU Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA)*.  Abstracts are due in mid-February and the poster/oral presentation contest will be held in March of 2015 on the Pullman campus.  Off-campus students may make virtual presentations (see *Spring 2014 interns are obligated to participate in SURCA the following spring, if the intern has not yet graduated.
  6. Only one internship project may be submitted per faculty mentor.

What can the funding be used for?  Funding will be placed in the faculty member’s operating account and resources may be used to provide salary for the intern, supplies required to execute the project, and/or project-related travel by the intern. Since funding is from state resources, it may not be used for student scholarships or applied directly to the student’s account. Funding must be used by April 30, 2015.  This deadline extends through spring to accommodate funding needs for participating in SURCA.

What are the requirements for a student to be considered for an internship?

  1. Students must be certified in a CAHNRS major with a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.0 to qualify for consideration.
  2. Students must enroll in and pay for 2 internship credits or 2 credits in a special problems course (495, 499, etc.) during the internship.   Spring interns will be expected to enroll in spring credits, and summer interns will be expected to enroll in summer credits.  There will be no exceptions to this policy.  Please note that if the student’s credit hour load exceeds 18 per semester, the student will incur additional credit fees.  We discourage students from exceeding the 18-credit load limit per semester.
  3. Interns must agree to follow the guidelines, reporting and assessment processes outlined in the CAHNRS Internship Handbook.

What is the timeline for this process?  (All deadlines are at 5 p.m. on the date listed.)

  1. Sept. 23: Request for proposals distributed to CAHNRS faculty.
  2. Oct. 7: Proposals due electronically to Katie Nickels (
  3. Oct. 14: Faculty will be notified of outcome of proposal review process.
  4. Oct. 17: If requested, revised proposals must be submitted to Katie Nickels (
  5. Oct. 18: Accepted proposals seeking interns will be posted on the program website for student review.
  6. Nov. 5: Student applications must be submitted through the website.
  7. Nov. 6: Faculty will receive applications for qualified students interested in their position.
  8. Nov. 15: Intern matching and selection process will conclude.
  9. Nov. 22: Internship offers will be made.