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July 2014

Posted by | July 3, 2014

Taking learning on the road with a mobile garden

Ciara Dahm and Kyle Braun inspect the MAC’s chicken roost. (Photo by Kate Wilhite, WSU)As a freshman, Ciara Dahm brought her dresser to WSU to hold T-shirts, socks and sweaters – not chickens, worms and mushrooms.

Too big for her college apartment, the dresser has become the framework for a mobile agricultural center (MAC), an innovative project inspired by a design/build class in the WSU landscape architecture program. Read more.


Judy Pendergrass joins mudslide relief efforts

judypendergrassJudy Pendergrass has joined WSU Snohomish County Extension to support recovery efforts after the mudslide that devastated communities along state route 530 between Darrington and Arlington in March 2014. She will work with local businesses and officials as well as families and youth to develop economic and community development projects.

Currently, Pendergrass is focused on setting up WSU student interns and summer youth programming. Judy has previously worked for the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe, Summit Timber Company and Darrington City Hall. Pendergrass and her husband Doug enjoy time away in their RV, but most of all enjoy spending time with their two granddaughters.

WSU partners with AgriPro to market new wheat variety

daynwheatAgriPro, a division of Syngenta Cereals, will be joining forces with WSU to market a new variety of hard white spring wheat known as Dayn.

AgriPro will market and license Dayn outside the state of Washington. Within Washington, registered seed dealers can license the variety directly from WSU. Former WSU spring wheat breeder and developer of the variety Kim Kidwell said the partnership with AgriPro offers the opportunity to expand WSU’s capacity for high-quality hard white wheat production in the Pacific Northwest. Read more.

Announcing the new faculty senate-elects

Congratulations to our newly elected faculty senators:

Pete Jacoby, Crop & Soil Sciences; Laura Lavine, Entomology & School of Food Science; Dean Glawe, Plant Pathology; Margaret Viebrock, Extension Youth and Families (re-elected)

Returning senators: Randy Fortenbery, School of Economic Sciences; Matt Carroll, School of the Environment; Katherine Evans, Horticulture; Matthew Bumpus, Human Development; Ting Chi, Apparel, Merchandising, Design & Textiles and School of Design & Construction; Brad Gaolach, Extension Community Economic Development; Robert Simmons, Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources

Alert: Black leg outbreak in Brassiceae crops and wild crucifers

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 11.50.43 AMAn outbreak of black leg has occurred in crucifer crops in the Pacific Northwest. The disease has the potential to spread into more areas across the region, so it is important to get the word out about this disease. Preventive measures for black leg in all brassica crops – cover crops, forage crops, oilseed crops, vegetable seed crops, etc. – should be taken to avoid introducing and spreading the disease.

More information is provided in a newly released report by Dr. Cindy M. Ocamb, Oregon State University, and Dr. Lindsey du Toit, Washington State University.

Information about outbreaks of light leaf spot and white leaf spot in crucifer seed fields in the Willamette Valley is also available.

Canola field tours draw crowds

IMGP3608_tnSeveral canola field tours held in eastern Washington and Oregon in May and June attracted large numbers of attendees interested in learning more about canola production strategies. Faculty and staff with the Washington State Oilseed-based Cropping Systems project at WSU, and affiliate faculty at OSU and UI, are focusing research and Extension efforts to provide as much practical canola information to growers as possible to keep up with the ever-increasing acreage in many counties. Canola acreage harvested in Washington more than doubled from 14,500 acres in 2012 to 36,000 acres in 2013, and data released June 30 from USDA-NASS predicts 43,000 harvested acres for 2014. Growers and researchers alike are touting the benefits of growing canola in the predominantly cereal-based rotations in the PNW, including increased yields from the following cereal crops, broken disease cycles, and an improved economic bottom line. Read more.

WSU organizes International Rosaceae Genomics Conference

More than 130 scientists from 19 countries attended the 7th International Rosaceae Genomics Conference on June 24-26, organized by Dorrie Main, Kate Evans, Cameron Peace and Jodi Humann from the Department of Horticulture and Jim McFerson from the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission. Presentations covered the fields of genomics, genetics, breeding, and germplasm in rosaceous crops.  A pre-conference tour featured the WSU Sweet Cherry and Apple Breeding Programs led by Nnadozie Oraguzie and Kate Evans and concluded with a workshop on deployment of DNA tests led by Cameron Peace. Amit Dhingra guided the pre-tour participants to and from eastern Washington.

PEBB offers new health incentive

The Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) is offering a new wellness incentive program called SmartHealth. To participate, eligible employees must choose a primary care provider. They will then complete a 30 minute health assessment, and start a wellness activity. For more information, visit

WSU releases online food preservation course

foodpreservationPreserve the Taste of Summer is a series of eight online lessons for consumers who want to learn about food preservation and food safety as well as those who want to update their knowledge and skills.

Provided by WSU, the lessons cover the most current USDA approved food preservation recommendations. Topics include food safety, the basics of canning (pressure and boiling water), freezing, drying, as well as making fruit spreads and pickled foods.  A certificate of completion is provided at the end of the course.

Visit to register for the online series. To participate, you will need a computer made in the last five years and have a stable internet connection. The cost for the series is $25.  Some counties are offering hands-on lessons for graduates of Preserve the Taste of Summer, so be sure to contact your local WSU Extension office for more information.

Student Employment moves to CACD, uses CougLink

The Student Employment program moved from the Office of Student Financial Services to the Center for Advising and Career Development (CACD) July 1. CACD’s extensive career resources suite will help students prepare personally and professionally to make wise and realistic academic major and career decisions. Students will also have the opportunity to build on the skills learned through their employment in college and leverage those into future opportunities.

Additionally, job announcements will now be posted using the CougLink online system. CougLink has been used by hundreds of WSU students for years to post resumes, connect with employers, view open positions and more, and adding Student Employment’s on- and off-campus job postings will encourage more students to become familiar with the system during their academic careers. All work study services will remain in Student Financial Services.

In the news: Celebrating 100 Years of Extension

kitsapcountyextWhen Renee Overath began preparing for this year’s celebration of 100 years of extension service in Washington State, she decided to go rummaging through old file cabinets.

Overath is the director of WSU Kitsap County Extension, and although the extension has only been around for 97 years in Kitsap County, she’s getting in on the anniversary anyway.

What she found amazed her.

“Look at this,” she said holding a yellowed file folder. “It’s a narrative report from 1939, typewritten on onion paper.”

Read the full article featuring WU Kitsap County Extension in the Bremerton Patriot.

CAHNRS faculty remembered fondly

maloneyRetired Mechanical and Materials Engineering faculty member and former director of the Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory Thomas M. Maloney passed away on June 18, 2014. He was 83 years old.

Maloney was an internationally-recognized authority on wood composite materials with more than 400 research reports, articles, and book chapters. He also served as as consultant to the United Nations and several industrial firms. WSU honored him with its first Faculty Excellence Award for Public Service in 1983. Read his full obituary.

Lloyd-300x200WSU School of Food Science Emeritus Faculty member Lloyd Luedecke passed away peacefully in his sleep June 4 at the Lewiston care facility where he lived with his wife.

Luedecke advised students in the School of Food Science for 39 years and worked at the WSU Creamery for another 12 after his retirement. He won the R.M. Wade Excellence Award in 1970 for teaching and learning and again in 1990 for advising. Read his full obituary.

Immediate opening for Clarkston Vanpool driver

A vanpool from the Clarkston/Lewiston area has a full-time immediate opening for a rider/backup driver. Summer van hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, contact Teresa Beckvold.


July 21 – 24: NAS Summer Institute Workshop at WSU

WSU faculty and graduate students will have the opportunity to learn “scientific teaching” at the 2014 National Academies Summer Institute Workshop by exploring principles of active learning, assessment and diversity to learn practical strategies for enhancing student learning. By the end of the workshop, participants will have observed, evaluated and collected a portfolio of innovative teaching approaches and instructional materials that are ready to be adapted into their own teaching environments. 24 positions are available in the workshop, and registration is open until July 11. For more information, visit

July 24: WSU Organic Farm Field Day

The event will start at the new Eggert Family Organic Farm and then move to the original farm at Tukey Orchard. The day will include a tour of the start-up operations at the new farm, research crops including quinoa, a tour of the existing vegetable crops at Tukey, and other student presentations.

July 31: 2nd Annual Inland Northwest Student Affairs Colloquium at Eastern Washington University

Professors and faculty from local instutions will have the chance to mingle at the 2nd Annual Inland Northwest Student Affairs Colloquium at the end of this month, where the theme will be “Innovation and Change: Moving Forward with Purpose.” The keynote speaker will be Professor and founder of the Student Development Administration graduate program at Seattle University Dr. Jeremy Stringer, and the closing speaker will be WSU Dean of Students Melynd Huskey. Registration is open at Early bird registration is $30, and $50 after July 15. For additional information or a schedule of events, contact Liz West at

July 31: Deadline to donate to the Super Silent Auction Lot at the Auction of Washington Wines Gala 

The WSU Viticulture and Enology Program is asking residents to donate their favorite bottle of wine for the Super Silent Auction Lot at the Auction of Washington Wines Gala on August 16. Funds will support WSU Viticulture, and donations will be accepted by the CEO or the Washington Women in Wines (WWW) lots until July 31. For more information, visit

Also check out the AWW wine events, including the Picnic & Barrel Auction. Contact the Auction of Washington Wines at

View more upcoming events on the CAHNRS Events calendar.