Activity Report

2023 Q1 Activity Report

The Office of Research has released the 2022 Q4 Presidential Activity Report. The quarterly reports feature the achievements and contributions of our faculty, staff, students, and stakeholders.

For previously published quarterly reports, email Emily Klarquist.

In Q1 of 2023, CAHNRS Communications published 48 online articles that highlight accomplishments in academics, research, student accomplishments, and Extension. CAHNRS and Extension websites received 1,179,218 total page views and garnered approximately 696,234 new site visitors. Our audience size and engagement on social media was a total of 198,362 impressions across 3 platforms.

Other Noteworthy Projects

  • Posted video on how to draw blood from a grizzly bear safely
  • Recorded and posted all CAHNRS 3 Minute Thesis videos
  • Edited and laid out Master Gardener 50th Anniversary commemorative magazine
  • Migrated 11 web sites to new Web Design System and developed new college-wide directory
  • 20 new or revised Extension publications completed and posted

Top News Stories

  • Mark Lange and Philip Bates, Institute of Biological Chemistry, received more than $1.2M from two USDA-NIFS grants to research plant oil production
  • WSU honored CAHNRS faculty for their contribution during the 2023 Showcase Awards. The honorees are:
    • John Reganold, Regents Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences
    • Girish Ganjyal, Associate Professor, School of Food Sciences
    • David Crowder, Associate Professor, Department of Entolomolgy
    • Collete Casavant, Director Student Success and Academic Programs
  • Min Du, Department of Animal Sciences, named WSU Regents Professor
  • Tom Collins, Department of Viticulture & Enology, was named Innovator of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine

CAHNRS Research and Extension faculty received $18M in extramural support in the form of new and ongoing grants.
A selection of new awards (with award total) is given below:

  • Michael Phelps (Animal Science), “Decoding the Salmonid Genome Project: A national resource for the large-scale functional characterization of genomic elements using gene edited rainbow trout,” USDA NIFA, $1.3M
  • Amber Hauvermale (CSS), “Development of 21st Century alpha-amylase immunoassays to replace the archaic, much maligned Hagberg-Perten Falling Number method, to preserve wheat grain value and accelerate breeding for climate resilience,” FARR, $836K
  • Mark Lange (IBC), “Development of Biochemical and Genetic Resources for Specialty Oil Crops,” USDA AFRI, $650K
  • Phil Bates (IBC), “Physaria fendleri Crop Improvement by Gene Editing and Bioengineering for a Domestic High Yielding Source of Industrially Valuable Fatty Acids,” USDA AFRI, $650K

A selection of notable publications is provided below.

Fuente, D., Mulwa, R., & Cook, J. (Econ) (2023). Out of Sight Out of Mind: Household Perceptions of “Fair” Water Prices in Nairobi, Kenya. Water Resources Research, 59(3), e2022WR033374.                        

Kemp, A. I. S., Vervoort, J. D. (Environment), Petersson, A., Smithies, R. H., & Lu, Y. (2023). A linked evolution for granite-greenstone terranes of the Pilbara Craton from Nd and Hf isotopes, with implications for Archean continental growth. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 601, 117895.

Marzougui, A. (BSE), McGee, R. J. (USDA-ARS), Van Vleet, S. (Extension), & Sankaran, S. (BSE) (2023). Remote sensing for field pea yield estimation: A study of multi-scale data fusion approaches in phenomics. Frontiers in Plant Science, 14, 1111575.

Raman, M. G., Marzougui, A. (BSE), Teh, S. L., York, Z. B., Evans, K. M. (Hort), & Sankaran, S. (BSE) (2023). Rapid Assessment of Architectural Traits in Pear Rootstock Breeding Program Using Remote Sensing Techniques. Remote Sensing, 15(6), Article 6.

Revolinski, S. R., Maughan, P. J., Coleman, C. E., & Burke, I. C. (CSS) (2023). Preadapted to adapt: Underpinnings of adaptive plasticity revealed by the downy brome genome. Communications Biology, 6(1), Article 1.

Ross, C. (Food Sci), Sablani, S., & Tang, J. (BSE) (2023). Preserving Ready-to-Eat Meals Using Microwave Technologies for Future Space Programs. Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 12(6), 1322.

Sun, S., Xie, Y., Yang, R. (BSE), Zhu, M.-J. (Food Sci), Sablani, S., & Tang, J(BSE) (2023). The influence of temperature and water activity on thermal resistance of Salmonella in milk chocolate. Food Control, 143, 109292.

Extension and CAHNRS at the 2023 Ag Expo

The Spokane Ag Expo brings the agriculture public community together each year at the Spokane Convention Center. Exhibitors and educational programs at the Spokane Ag Expo come from across the US, with the majority being from the Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. 5,500 to 6000 visitors attend the Expo each year, with appropriately 60% of the attendees being producers from the region. This year, for the first time, Extension and CAHNRS established an economy of scale display to enhance the WSU footprint at the show in a premium 25’ x 50’ shared space. It has been a glorious success with large numbers of visitors learning about programs, educational opportunities, and having a chance to visit with CAHNRS and Extension Staff and Faculty.

The 2023 Washington Agribusiness Status and Outlook published.

SoilCon 2023: Taking Soil Health Principles to Practice

The Washington State Soil Health Initiative, with support from Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), is happy to announce SoilCon 2023. This free, virtual conference brought together research, extension, and production to move soil health principles into practice, held February 14 and 15.  Soil health is a trending topic in agricultural production and environmental resilience to climate change. SoilCon addresses the latest research to help people put those production topics into practice for regional systems. SoilCon explains what metrics are used when assessing soil health, how these may change by production system and region, and management practices to support a resilient soil system.

WSU Extension hosts produce safety training courses around Washington

Washington State University Extension offers the Produce Safety Alliance Grower’s Training courses at four different locations in Washington this spring.  The courses are aimed at fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule, good agricultural practices, and co-management of natural resources and food safety. The Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the Produce Safety Rule requirement that necessitates a supervisor or a responsible party on farms have successfully completed food safety training.

The course includes seven hours of instruction time covering topics including worker health, hygiene, and training, agricultural water, postharvest handling and sanitation, and more. Held in Spokane (February 17), Port Hadlock (March 16), Mount Vernon (March 16) and Vancouver (April 14).

Forest Owners Winter School to bring forestry answers to Colville, Feb. 25

Owners of forests in northeast Washington can learn how to keep their forests productive and healthy, wildlife-friendly, and safe from wildfire at the next Forest Owners Winter School.  The WSU Stevens County Extension educational event was held Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Colville Center of the Community Colleges of Spokane in Colville, Wash. Experts in forest management, wildlife, soils, tools, and other fields provided information to help forest owners and managers achieve goal and protect the health, beauty, and value of their land. Topics include forest health, common tree and shrub identification, advice for landowners before logging, wildlife habitat, big game animals, songbirds, chainsaw safety and maintenance, use of hand tools and measurement instruments, common forest insects and diseases, growing and tending forests, soils and roads, protecting your home and forest from fire, thinning and pruning trees, and use of portable sawmills.

WineVit showcases important WSU student and faculty wine science research

From unpredictable weather to pests and diseases, vineyard managers contend with a lot of challenges. Sessions at the recent WineVit conference showed that Washington State University scientists are determined to help Washington’s grape growers be successful and prosperous. Representation was strong at the recent conference, with many faculty, staff, and students taking home awards for their hard work.

WSU Sustainable Community Stewards host free Repair Café

Electronic dog collars, a toaster and a children’s bicycle don’t have much in common. But they were just a few of the items fixed by community repair specialists in January at the Repair Café in Everett.  The second Repair Café was hosted by Snohomish County Extension’s Sustainable Community Stewards on March 25 at the Washington State University Everett Campus, 915 N. Broadway, Everett, Washington. This free event was open to all Snohomish County residents.  When a household item breaks, the typical reaction is to throw it away and buy a new one. The Repair Cafes offers an alternate solution to landfills. Visitors bring their small broken household items and clothing to be fixed by the repair specialists. Common repairable items include lamps, laptops, clocks, vacuums, jewelry, electronics, bicycles, small kitchen appliances, toys, and more.

Honoring Undergraduate and Graduate Scholars Symposium

Scientists at Washington State University’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC) shared research alongside Heritage University undergraduate students during the Honoring Undergraduate and Graduate Scholars Symposium (HUGSS) on Friday, March 31. The event, which took place on the Heritage University campus in Toppenish, Washington, represents an ongoing alliance between the two universities while helping graduate students improve their mentoring skills.  “The symposium allows students to present research results and enables WSU to reach out to more Heritage University students, encouraging them to work with us in the coming summer and beyond,” WSU IAREC Director Naidu Rayapati said. “HUGSS also demonstrates the value of WSU’s mutually beneficial partnership with Heritage University.”

18th year annul Law Enforcement Mountain Operations School, sponsored by Extension

For the 18th year, the Extension-sponsored Law Enforcement Mountain Operations School (LEMOS) provided training for law enforcement officers from US and Canada in winter operations and survival.  Two one-week sessions were offered in 2023, in January and February, with a total of 45 students representing agencies as diverse as the Border Patrol, US Marshal’s Special Operations Group, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, US Forest Service, and a number state and local agencies from across the northwest.  This nationally-recognized course provides a unique blend of training not available through any other program. Since 2005, LEMOS has graduated almost 900 students. More information can be found at:

  • $250,000 from the Johnathan and Kathleen Altman Foundation to support the Altman Foundation Honeybee and Mycelium Fund
  • $233,350 from the Action of Washington Wines to the Auction of WA Wines Viticulture and Enology Fund
  • $135,000 from AgWest Farm Credit to the Northwest FCS Latinx CAHNRS Scholarship, the Northwest FCS PROS Learning Opportunity Fund, and the Dr. Gary Chastagner Endowed Chair.
  • $100,000 from the Seattle Foundation to support the Bread lab in Mount Vernon
  • $50,000 from Robert Robinson to the Bob and Betty Robinson Scholarship
  • $45,000 from The Land Institute to support the Plant Virus Research Excellence Fund
  • $40,000 from Belco Forest Products to the Staley Family Endowed Excellence Scholarship
  • $35,000 from Lehigh Agri & Bio Services, Inc. to support the Commercial Vegetable Research Fund for Franklin County
  • $30,000 from Glacier Peak Institute to the Snohomish County Extension Excellence Fund
  • $26,000 from Philip G. Arms to the George Nathaniel Arms Scholarship
  • $25,000 from Melvin Hamre to support the Hamre Scholarship in Agriculture.

Staff Updates

Jessica Scritchfield joined the team as an Administrative Assistant

Development staff attended WineVit, the District VIII CASE Conference, WSUF Board of Directors Meetings, and the Master Gardener 50th Anniversary Kickoff Celebration