WSDA to dedicate state-of-the-art greenhouse at WSU Prosser
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) will dedicate the agency’s new state-of-the-art greenhouse built to support the state’s tree fruit industry at a ribbon cutting ceremony, May 11 at the WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (WSU-IAREC) at Prosser.
“We now have a modern greenhouse that will make it easier to protect the fruit tree industry from virus diseases,” WSDA Director Derek Sandison said. “This larger greenhouse will give us an increased capacity to test registered mother trees at a rate greater than we’ve been able to do in the past.”
Read more here.
Register now for Governor’s summit on career learning opportunities
Registration is open for the Governor’s Summit on Career Connected Learning, Wednesday, May 31, at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond and at WSU Extension-hosted gatherings in Pullman and more than 25 other sites across Washington.
WSU faculty and staff are invited to join Governor Jay Inslee, educators, and business and industry groups in creating new opportunities for local, high-demand jobs, including STEM careers, for Washington youth.
“As a civil engineering professor at WSU Tri-Cities, I am excited to participate, provide policy input and connect with leaders in my community,” said Jillian Cadwell, a WSU adjunct professor and STEM Outreach Consultant for the Office of Academic Affairs. “This summit will bring new opportunities for my students and new avenues for research, partnerships, special grants, and much more.”
Read more here.
Carpenter-Boggs to study sustainable fertilizer approaches in Africa
Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, associate professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award for field research in eastern Africa.
Carpenter-Boggs will work in Malawi, January through May 2018, researching sustainable approaches to supplying phosphorus to crops through mycorrhizal fungi and leaf fertilization. Many soils in central and eastern Africa bind phosphorus, making crops deficient—and traditional fertilization is not very efficient. Finding alternative, effective methods for phosphorus supply could greatly increase crop productivity and food security, while avoiding phosphorus pollution of waterways.
Prenatal vitamin A could prevent obesity in children
A discovery by researchers in the laboratory of WSU animal scientist Min Du could help reduce obesity in future generations—through something as simple as a vitamin supplement.
In the latest edition of EBioMedicine, new doctoral graduate Bo Wang, lead author, detailed results of his four-year study of the effects of prenatal vitamin A in mice. Wang found that pups born to mother mice fed a triple dose of vitamin A were born with more fat-burning brown fat cells, and had more small blood vessels in their adipose tissues, providing precursor cells for energy-burning beige adipocytes.
Read more here.
Kessler named interim director
of School of Design and Construction
Gregory Kessler, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, has been named as the interim director of the School of Design and Construction, effective May 15. Kessler will serve for one year while an external search for a permanent director takes place.
Kessler has been on the WSU faculty since 1987 and has taught design studio and seminar courses at both graduate and undergraduate levels.
Read more here.
Mosquitos invade Entomology’s Catts Memorial Lecture
WSU entomologists hosted the 20th annual E. Paul Catts Memorial Lecture, in a two-day event April 20 and 21. Headlining was guest speaker Mark Brown, professor at the University of Georgia, who received his master’s degree in entomology here at WSU in 1981.
Brown gave the public lecture, “Mosquitoes have hormones too: why bother?” Watch a video of Brown’s lecture here.
Other events included a scientific lecture on “Hormonal regulation of mosquito development and reproduction,” and an Insect Cinema Cult Classic showing of the films “Mosquito” and “Stung.”
Hoophouses give WSU organic farm an early launch
When you’re a teaching farm at a university, the winter and early spring months require creativity and innovation.
Brad Jaeckel, manager of the Eggert Family Organic Farm, turns to hoophouses as a way to give students valuable hands-on experience.
The farm has around 4,500 square feet of farmable soil underneath three separate hoophouses. The buildings, constructed with a steel frame that’s wrapped in insulating plastic, work much like greenhouses, though without any extra heating or lighting.
“They’re really low tech, but are so useful and effective, especially this year,” Jaeckel said. “These hoophouses have kept our students busy and provided food to organizations that need them.”
Read more here.
Team’s yogurt drink idea takes first place in business plan competition
Semplice, an environmentally sustainable sports drink made from a dairy bi-product of the Greek yogurt industry, created by CAHNRS students, won the 15th annual WSU Business Plan Competition, held April 24 by the Carson College of Business.
The five-member Semplice team won a $15,000 first prize. Semplice is led by Derick Jiwan, a postdoctoral USDA Wheat Quality lab researcher with the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, and made up of Carson College of Business students Andrew Jaboro and Henry Baker, Murrow College of Communication student Alex Hagen, and Geology student Yujin Sakashita.
The Semplice project began in the WSU/UI School of Food Science in 2014, created by students Shilo Mangan, Alexander Meldrum, now at the University of Idaho, Charles Diako, now a postdoctoral researcher with the School of Food Science, and now-retired technician Michael Costello.
“I wanted Semplice to serve multiple purposes,” said Jiwan, who joined the team in 2016: “Education, leadership, research and commercialization.”
The team used 20 percent of the prize money to award undergraduates on the team, and is using the rest to develop their start-up. They’re also developing new opportunities for students to get hands-on experience and build their resumes.
Read more about the contest here.
4-H Forum seeks learning ideas for youth, leaders
The Washington State 4-H Forum Committee is seeking workshop proposals for the 4-H Forum being held October 20-21, 2017, at Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Wash. They are interested in free learning opportunities focused on 4-H leaders and teen attendees.
Topics vary from robotics, STEM, chemistry, horticulture, livestock, judging, selecting and current trends in the livestock industry, anti-bullying, raising bees, clothing, textiles, apparel design, art, and other ways to help 4-H volunteer leaders reach youth.
Learn more here.
Awards and Grants
President’s Leadership winners honored for mentorship, volunteerism
Eleven CAHNRS staff and faculty members, undergraduates and graduate students were presented with the Leadership and Engagement Award of Distinction (LEAD) from WSU President Kirk Schulz, April 18 at Pullman’s Compton Union Building.
Two from CAHNRS received Faculty and Staff awards: Marwa Sanad, research associate in the Institute of Biological Chemistry (IBC), and Debbie Christel, assistant professor in the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles (AMDT).
Read more about Sanad and Christel’s efforts, and see more award winners, here.
Gaffney receives Ormsby Award for slide recovery efforts
Mike Gaffney, WSU Extension Acting Director, received the Representative Timm Ormsby Award for Faculty Citizenship from the Washington Council of Faculty Representatives.
Gaffney was honored for his leadership of the SR 530 (Oso) Slide recovery project, working in partnership with co-leader, Curt Moulton. He helped start an internship program to place WSU-funded students in summer positions to support recovery and development. A separate student transformational service component resulted in more than 50 students and local volunteers performing more than 1,300 hours of service on 15 recovery projects, including economic development, youth programming, school engagement, broadband expansion, trauma support, and work with the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe.
Gaffney also aided the governor-appointed commission in its examination of the slide response to identify lessons to enhance statewide public safety.
Read more here.
Agents’ award for Ferry County’s Lane
Trevor Lane, director of Ferry County Extension in Ferry County, has earned the National Association of County Agricultural Agents’ Achievement Award.
The award, for cooperative extension professionals with less than 10 years of service, honors Lane’s efforts in community and economic development, technology, and agritourism.
Lane’s programs have led to state, national and international workshops in agritourism, and he has won state and regional recognition for agritourism videos. He presented at NACAA in 2016 on best practices with storytelling and agritourism videos and was invited again in 2017 to present a webinar about the availability of smartphone technology for Extension professionals.
Lane is also the co-creator of the WSU Community Intelligence Lab, a rural community think-tank that combines open data, science and citizen inquiry to address rural problems in Washington. He is currently working on his doctorate with an emphasis on value-added food-system products and challenges to agritourism.
Multiple awards for Human Development faculty
Faculty and staff in the Department of Human Development earned a number of national and college-level awards this spring:
• The Child Development Center in Vancouver received a five-star Early Achievers rating from the Department of Early Learning, the highest rating possible and the only one awarded in its classification in Washington state.
• Michael Chapman, assistant director of the WSU Children’s Center, received a Crimson Spirit Award, the monthly commendation for WSU faculty and staff who give superior customer service.
• Professor Tom Power received the CAHNRS Excellence in Research award.
• Associate Professor Debbie Handy received the CAHNRS Excellence in Advising Award.
• Clinical Assistant Professor Robby Cooper received the Richard G. Law Excellence Award for Undergraduate Teaching.
• Faculty members Joye and Don Dillman were recognized as the CAHNRS philanthropists of the year at the CAHNRS Honors banquet.
• Jane Lanigan, the department’s academic director and associate professor, received an Early Learning Champions Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education from Friends of Educational Opportunities for Children & Families.
Grants help WSU researchers protect bees, fruit trees
Congratulations to recent Department of Entomology awardees, who received research grants in April.
• Professor Steve Sheppard received a $40,000 grant from the Pomeroy F. “Roy” Thurber Distinguished Professor of Pollinator Ecology Fund for honeybee research.
• Professor Doug Walsh received $33,000 from the USDA-Agricultural Research Service for goods and services.
• Professor Elizabeth Beers received $14,483 from the Oregon Sweet Cherry Commission for studying strategies to reduce post-harvest cherry splitting. She also received $4,000 from AGRO-K for insect controls in tree fruit.
Learn more about recent CAHNRS grants here.
Public Admin awards for Ruckelshaus Center
Staff and students at the William D. Ruckelshaus Center won multiple awards from the American Society for Public Administration, May 2, at the Governor’s mansion in Olympia.
The Center was singled out for the society’s Award for the Advancement of Collaborative Governance, which recognizes those who inclusively promote and engage in governance, resolve differences and deliver sustainable outcomes.
In addition, Trevor Robinson, graduate student at the Center, received the ASPA Evergreen Chapter’s Graduate Student Award for 2017, honoring his work evaluating the Walla Walla Water Initiative.
Sandra Archibald, dean of the Evans School, the Ruckelshaus Center’s host unit at the University of Washington, received the Call to Duty lifetime achievement award, while Senator Karen Fraser, former member of the Ruckelshaus Center’s advisory board, received the society’s International Affairs Advocacy Award.
Hosted at Washington State University by WSU Extension, as well as at the University of Washington, the Ruckelshaus Center helps Pacific Northwest parties involved in complex public policy challenges tap university expertise for collaborative, effective solutions.
Ghimire earns sustainable ag scholarship from Annie’s
Congratulations to Shuresh Ghimire, doctoral student in the Department of Horticulture, who won a $10,000 Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship from Annie’s Homegrown, Inc.
The award supports the next generation of farmers committed to sustainable farming practices. Ghimire’s enthusiasm, passion and commitment to sustainable agriculture helped him stand apart.
As a graduate research assistant at WSU Mount Vernon, he researches biodegradable plastic mulches for vegetable production, yield and quality, as well as mulch biodegradation in the field over time.