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CAHNRS News – January 9, 2009

Posted by | January 9, 2009

Seeking Nominees for Women’s History Recognition Awards

CAHNRS Office of Academic Programs seeks Women’s History Recognition award nominations for CAHNRS alumnae who have distinguished themselves in one of two areas: Community Leadership and Service, or Professional and Academic Leadership.

Nomination forms are due Feb. 1, and are also available online at Please consider nominating one of your unit’s distinguished alumnae.

Faculty/Staff Awards

The deadline for CAHNRS faculty/staff award packets has been extended to Jan. 15. For more details concerning the awards process, please go to and follow the links. If you have questions, please contact Linda or Jeanne at 335-4562 or 335-9115.

Fall Graduate Enrollment

For the second year, the CAHNRS Academic Programs office has collected data on the number of graduate students advised by CAHNRS faculty as reported by individual departments or program. This data is much more accurate than the university data and includes all graduate students advised by our faculty, regardless of where the graduate program resides administratively. The total number of graduate students advised by CAHNRS faculty during Fall 2008 was 486 (260 Master’s and 226 Ph.D.). This represents 27 and 17 more M.S. and Ph.D. students, respectively, than we had a year ago, and a 10 percent increase in total enrollment. Congratulations to everyone involved for a job well done.

CSREES Announces Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Funding Opportunity

CSREES released the announcement for the AFRI, see:

The complete 131-page public announcement with program details can be obtained at

In FY 2009, CSREES anticipates that $190 million will be available for AFRI. However, the enactment of the FY 2009 Appropriations Act may impact the overall level of funding for the AFRI program.

AFRI replaces the former National Research Initiative and the Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems programs and addresses six priority areas:

  1. plant health and production and plant products
  2. animal health and production and animal products
  3. food safety, nutrition and health
  4. renewable energy, natural resources and environment
  5. agriculture systems and technology
  6. agriculture economics and rural communities

The formal RFA is expected to be released early in 2009 on the CSREES and websites.

Dr. Tim Murray to Lead National Recovery Plan for a Destructive Disease of Wheat

A destructive race of wheat stem rust, referred to as Ug99, could threaten the U.S. wheat crop in the near future. The name, Ug99, comes from Uganda where it was first described and shown to seriously impact wheat production. Tim Murray, professor of plant pathology in Pullman and an expert on wheat diseases, will be leading a multi-state and multi-agency effort to prepare a recovery plan should Ug99 be introduced to the U.S. To address the threat, an international conference, The Borlaug Global Rust Initiative, will be held in Mexico in March. The conference was organized by Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug. Murray has been invited to participate in the conference. The conference brings together the world’s experts on wheat rusts to discuss all aspects of the current state of knowledge of Ug99. Scot Hulbert, R. James Cook Endowed Chair in Cropping Systems Pathology and a world-renowned researcher on plant-pathogen interactions, and Xianming Chen, research geneticist with USDA-ARS and an adjunct professor in the WSU plant pathology department, will also be representing WSU at the conference. To learn more about Ug99, please visit

Looking for Apple Panel Volunteers

Would you like to participate in an apple panel? The purpose of the project is to characterize apples based on their sensory properties (flavor and texture). The project will involve a series of training sessions, followed by apple evaluations. This project does require a time commitment of 3 times a week, 1 hour per session for 3 weeks (between Jan. 19 and Feb. 6 2009), at a meeting time and day to be agreed upon by participants. Following training, there will be one week of final evaluations starting on Feb. 9 (3 sessions of ½ hour each). To show our appreciation for your involvement, you will be rewarded with a small, non-monetary incentive at the close of each training session, a raffle at the close of the week of training and a WSU product at the completion of the formal evaluations.

We would like you to be involved, but please carefully consider the time commitment. It is critical that you attend each of the training sessions in order to gain the expertise needed for the final apple evaluations. To summarize your involvement, training involves 3 hours per week for 3 weeks (total of approximate 9 hours). The formal evaluations require 3- 30 minute sessions over the last week.

Please contact Maite Andrea Chauvin if you would like to participate by sending her an e-mail about your availability.

WSU Puyallup Employees of the Year

The WSU Puyallup Classified Staff Employee of the Year was announced at the annual Holiday Luncheon on Dec. 16. All nominations were sent to the Human Resources office for the City of Puyallup to select from all the nominations. Jeff Kallestad, Dept. of Natural Resource Sciences, was nominated by several employees as the choice this past year for all his work in heading the forestry work in the absence of Jon Johnson, who has been on family sick leave.

This year WSU Puyallup decided to add an AP of the Year Award. Vernene Scheurer was the first recipient of this award. Vernene has been with Puyallup for 30 years and has been an integral part of the computer systems at Puyallup. She is also very active in the Puyallup community, has served as the Puyallup REC Club President for many years, and volunteers much of her time to various committees and activities at the Puyallup Center.

Both winners received $50 gift cards, candy and their names engraved on plaques that are placed in the hallway of Kalkus Hall. Other nominees were given a box of candy.

WSU Puyallup Has a New Address

Puyallup has been annexed into the City of Puyallup as of January 1, 2009. We now have a new address: 2606 West Pioneer, Puyallup WA 98371.


Dr. Tobin Peever (, associate professor in Department of Plant Pathology in Pullman, has been invited to serve as the Senior Editor of Phytopathology ( beginning January 2009. Phytopathology, published by the American Phytopathological Society, is one of the world’s leading scientific journals that publish articles on fundamental research in plant pathology.

Dr. Gary Piper, Department of Entomology, has been invited to deliver a presentation entitled “Invasive Plant Suppression in Eastern Washington Using Biotic Organisms” in early February at the 2009 Ag Expo and Pacific Northwest Farm Forum in Spokane, WA.

Professor Allan Felsot, Department of Entomology, was honored at the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Reno, NV as the 2008 recipient of the Founder Memorial Award. The annual award memorializes an entomologist who had made significant contributions to entomology and biological sciences in general. The annual awardee delivers the meeting’s plenary session lecture, and at this year’s meeting Professor Felsot honored the memory of Dr. Robert L. Metcalf, renowned environmental toxicologist and chemical ecologist. Earlier during August the American Chemical Society AGRO Division awarded Professor Felsot with its Fellow Award for contributions to the science of agrochemicals and his service to the professional organization.

At the 2008-2009 Wiley Research Exposition held recently, R. Andrew Rodstrom (Ph.D. student) was named the first place winner in the Agriculture and Natural Science category. Andrew was one of two first place winners last year at this event. The third place winner in this category was Samuel Hapke (MS Fall 08 graduate). Each of the awardees will receive a monetary award, and Andrew will have a prominent place to display his poster at the spring Academic Showcase.