College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences
Ron Mittelhammer, Dean
Ron Mittelhammer was appointed interim dean on June 1, 2013, and Dean (for a two-year term) on September 22, 2014. In his 35 years at WSU, Mittelhammer, a Cougar Alum, has garnered a reputation for wearing his school spirit on his sleeve. Sometimes it’s on the front of his shirt or his tie, but it’s always there. You will never see him without his favorite fashion accessory—WSU’s logo.
In addition to his unwavering Cougar pride, Mittelhammer brings to CAHNRS a deep commitment to research, discovery, and continuous improvement, as well as a wealth of experience. He works to cultivate and strengthen CAHNRS’ many collaborative relationships with industry and other stakeholders. Internally, his goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations while fostering a sense of community and team spirit among faculty, staff, and students.
A celebrated graduate-level teacher who has received national and university-wide awards for instruction, Mittelhammer was one of the first professors promoted to the level of Regents Professor, WSU’s highest academic rank, in 2004.
He was instrumental in the design of the School of Economic Sciences and served as its first director from 2004 to 2010.
In addition to three major books on statistics and econometrics, Mittelhammer has authored more than 250 publications and presentations, as well as numerous book chapters.
He has been recognized as a Journal of Econometrics fellow; an Agricultural & Applied Economics Association fellow, president, and past president; and a Distinguished Scholar of the Western Agricultural Economics Association. He is also a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences.
Mittelhammer earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from Rutgers University (1972, 1974), and his doctorate in agricultural and resource economics from WSU (1978).
Kim Kidwell, Executive Associate Dean, Academic Programs
As an associate dean for academic programs in Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, Dr. Kimberlee Kidwell has guided the college’s efforts to revamp classes to better serve students and their learning environment.
Dr. Kidwell also excels in the classroom where she’s developed and taught one of the most popular classes at WSU, Human Development 205. Using hands-on experience, the course focuses on human behavior and learning skills in communication and leadership. In addition, Dr. Kidwell also served as WSU‘s spring wheat breeder for 15 years, developing more than a dozen successful wheat varieties for Washington state farmers.
Dr. Kidwell has been recognized with numerous honors and awards for her hard work in research, teaching, and leadership. Dr. Kidwell holds Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in plant breeding and plant genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as two bachelor’s degrees in genetics and development and agriculture sciences from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Rich Koenig, Associate Dean and Director, WSU Extension
Dr. Koenig joined WSU in 2003 as a faculty member and soil scientist. In 2008, he became chair of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, one of the largest departments in CAHNRS.
He became associate dean and director of WSU Extension on September 1, 2012.In this role he is responsible for administering outreach programs in agriculture, natural resources, community and economic development and youth and family areas and Extension’s 700+ employees and over 13,000 volunteers.
As a faculty member and chair, Dr. Koenig taught introductory courses in soil science and led research and extension programs in soil and nutrient management for agricultural systems in eastern Washington.
He led similar programs for agricultural and urban horticulture systems while an extension specialist at Utah State University from 1995-2003. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and a Ph.D. from WSU.
Jim Moyer, Associate Dean for Research and Director, Agricultural Research Center
A native of Dayton, WA., and an alumnus of WSU’s agronomy program-now called crop and soil sciences-Jim Moyer is slated to take up his roles at WSU on May 1, 2013. A renowned plant pathologist, Moyer has focused his research on virology – in particular, the population structure and dynamics of tospoviruses.
He has made contributions to sweet potato pathology and cultivar development, was awarded a patent for fingerprinting ornamental plant cultivars and is involved in numerous national and international activities.
He has served as president of the American Phytopathological Society and is a fellow of that group. He received the Morrison Medal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service and the Alex Laurie Award from the national floral crop industry for his research contributions.
CAHNRS is more than agriculture. With 24 majors, 19 minors, and 27 graduate level programs, we are one of the largest, most diverse colleges at WSU. CAHNRS Cougs are making a difference in the wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities, improving ecological and economic systems, and advancing agricultural sciences.
Rotating cover crops in tulip fields shows promise for fighting disease in the economically important flower bulb, according to early research findings at the Washington State University research center in Mount Vernon.
You generally don’t find livestock among the hills in the Palouse region of eastern Washington where grain is grown. But wheat farmers Eric and Sheryl Zakarison are changing that – and making a profit.
Washington State University students and faculty dominated awards for research poster sessions and scholarships during the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers 2015 annual meeting Feb. 10-13. WSU faculty and students won all nine poster awards in the professional, graduate and undergraduate categories. Six WSU students won scholarships totaling $14,000 from the Washington Wine Industry Foundation.
The watermelon crop has declined dramatically in Washington because of disease. But Washington State University researchers are developing a solution that involves grafting watermelon plants onto squash and other vine plant rootstocks. “We’ve lost about ...
The Rock Doc is a nationally syndicated newspaper column written by Dr. Kirsten Peters, covering many scientific and research related topics in a upbeat and entertaining fashion. Dr. Peter’s humor and anecdotes help to bring these stories to a public audience by showing how they affect everyday life. The most recent articles are linked below.
Students have a variety of options to pursue masters and doctoral degrees. Many of these have very specific background requirements, so we suggest exploring the individual programs for academic guidelines.
Being a CAHNRS Coug is about having a life-changing experience and having fun along the way. With an endless array of subjects to study, students can explore a variety of topics until they focus on that area that truly excites them. We include ample opportunities to learn outside the classroom, because we not only believe it’s a better way to learn, it makes for a more meaningful and enjoyable college experience.
The Center for Transformational Learning and Leadership makes it possible for students to secure that job-landing internship, experience another culture in the southern hemisphere, unlock their leadership potential through seminars and workshops, and find a mentor to coach them through their academic experience.
CAHNRS knows how to throw a party, and there is not greater time to celebrate than when our students return to campus. Free food (including Ferdinand’s Ice Cream), swag from each of our student clubs, activities, and a drawing for $1,000 scholarships—its all part of our annual Fall Festival. And we just don’t limit the event to our CAHNRS majors, we welcome everyone across campus to learn more about what our college offers.
CAHNRS Office of Research
Agricultural Research Center
The goal of the Washington State University CAHNRS Office of Research is to promote research beneficial to the citizens of Washington. The Office of Research recognizes its unique land-grant research mission to the people of Washington and their increasing global connections. The CAHNRS Office of Research provides leadership in discovering and applying knowledge through high-quality research that contributes to a safe and abundant food, fiber, and energy supply while enhancing the sustainability of agricultural and natural resource systems.
Pullman, Wash. – You generally don’t find livestock among the hills of the Palouse region of eastern Washington where grain is grown. But wheat farmers Eric and Sheryl Zakarison are changing that – and making a profit.
On 100 of their 1,300 family owned acres, they are experimenting with a rather unconventional scheme for the region – growing wheat, peas, perennial grasses like alfalfa and sheep in a tightly integrated system. MORE
The watermelon crop has declined dramatically in Washington because of disease. But Washington State University researchers are developing a solution that involves grafting watermelon plants onto squash and other vine plant rootstocks.
“We’ve lost about a third of our state’s watermelon production over the last 10 years because of Verticillium wilt,” said Carol Miles, a professor of vegetable horticulture at the WSU Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center in Mount Vernon. “Growers have switched to other crops that are less susceptible.” MORE
Gender and personality matter in how people cope with physical and mental illness, according to a paper by a Washington State University scientist and colleagues at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
Men are less affected by a single-symptom illness than women, but are more affected when more than one symptom is present. The number of symptoms doesn’t change how women are affected, according to Robert Rosenman, WSU professor in the Department of Economic Sciences. MORE
PULLMAN, Wash. – Researchers know that adding natural buffers to the farm landscape can stop soil from vanishing. Now a scientist at Washington State University has found that more buffers are better, both for pleasing the eye and slowing erosion.
Linda Klein, a recent doctoral graduate in WSU’s School of the Environment, worked with six other researchers at the university, plus one at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Moscow (Idaho) Forestry Sciences Laboratory, to explore the role that buffers – strips or clumps of shrubs, trees and natural vegetation – play in the landscape and in people’s visual preferences.
Klein surveyed Whitman County residents to see if conservation features made for more scenic fields and valleys. She found that Palouse residents prefer more nature with their wheat fields.MORE
By Sylvia Kantor, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences
In the world’s driest rainfed wheat region, Washington State University researchers have identified summer fallow management practices that can make all the difference for farmers, water and soil conservation, and air quality.
Wheat growers in the Horse Heaven Hills of south-central Washington farm with an average of 6-8 inches of rain a year. Wind erosion has caused blowing dust that exceeded federal air quality standards 20 times in the past 10 years. MORE
Hulbert Hall 403 PO Box 646240 Pullman, WA 99164-6240 PH: 509-335-4563 FAX: 509-335-6751 firstname.lastname@example.org
With 39 locations throughout the state, WSU Extension is the front door to the University. Extension builds the capacity of individual, organization, businesses and communities, empowering them to find solutions for local issues and to improve their quality of life. Extension collaborates with communities to create a culture of life-long learning and is recognized for its accessible, learner-centered, relevant, high-quality, unbiased educational programs.
Shellfish production in Washington is a $60 million a year industry. Several major pests plague this industry, resulting in major crop loss. One of the most important pests is subterranean burrowing shrimp. These shrimp bioturbate (stir up) the sediment, causing the oysters to sink and die. For the past 60 years the industry has been using the insecticide Sevin to control this pest, but due to lawsuits its use was phased out in 2012. Without alternative control for shrimp, tens of millions of dollars in annual crop revenue will be lost and the industry will quickly lose its economic viability in southwestern Washington.
The Environmental Protection Agency has identified agriculture as the leading contributor of pollutants to the nation’s rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs. These reports often do not separate animal agriculture from other agricultural enterprises, but they do note that pathogens, nutrients, and oxygen-depleting substances associated with manure are three of the top five pollutants. Some emerging issues related to manure management include: endocrine disruptors (hormones), pharmaceuticals (antimicrobials), and antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Adopting farm practices that minimize the environmental impact is important for food safety.
Biosolids are the solids produced during municipal wastewater treatment. Composts are made from a variety of organic materials, including both urban and agriculture sources such as yard trimmings, biosolids, storm debris, food waste or manure, and food processing residues. While these materials have traditionally been viewed as waste, they can play a valuable role as soil amendments in urban and agricultural settings. They provide nutrients and organic matter and they sequester carbon, thereby conserving resources, restoring soils, and combating climate change.
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Alumni & Friends
The WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) Office of Alumni & Friends is a service unit dedicated to promoting philanthropic support for the college’s research, teaching, and extension programs.
CAHNRS seeks $190 million through the Campaign for WSU. This unprecedented fundraising goal is managed through the CAHNRS Office of Alumni and Friends. If you would like to learn more about the CAHNRS’s fundraising priorities, please explore our website or meet the team.
Through the Campaign for Washington State University, CAHNRS and WSU Extension will play a major role in defining answers to complex issues through truly big ideas—feeding the world, powering the planet, and ensuring the health and well-being of children, families, and communities. See below to learn more about how we are addressing these issues in our strategic and on-going initiatives and development of world-class students.