Small world, big opportunities

Dean Wendy Powers
Nick Dolce, CAHNRS Senior Director of Development, Cashup Davis Family Endowed Dean Wendy Powers, and Assistant Professor Jen McIntyre look at salmon at the Washington Stormwater Center Fish Lab, part of the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center.

I completed the review for the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. The college has some strong programs and lots of opportunity to make impactful contributions to the state’s goal of food self-sufficiency. The review team is eager to provide feedback that positions the college for more resources to help the state achieve its goal of doubling food production by 2030.

One of the remaining three team members was a human development faculty member on the WSU Vancouver campus until about five years ago: Suzanne Smith. Another member is a retiree from Ohio State University who now lives in Bellingham, and the third member is a dean at my alma mater. If that isn’t odd enough, I ran into a cooperative Extension advisor from Lake County, California in a Macy’s department store where we were having dinner one night. I wasn’t surprised when UH faculty asked me to pass along well wishes to WSU faculty, but I never expected to run into someone I knew outside of the UH campus.

I spent Monday with the Puyallup REC team. The graduate students gave lightning poster presentations. In the afternoon, John Stark and Jen McIntyre gave a tour of the aquaculture research. I find their work fascinating, particularly the studies they run to assess impacts of chemical exposures. In addition to being an Entomological Society of America fellow, it turns out that John Stark is a UH graduate.

During my visit, members of the WSU Extension Climate Team made the trip over to meet with me and share their ideas for advancing climate change mitigation in order to improve Washington resiliency. There is so much good work going on across CAHNRS to slow climate change and address its impacts; we need to communicate about the efforts and share the impacts of those efforts.

I will spend Wednesday on the Vancouver campus before heading back to Pullman for a couple of days. Then it is off to Denver for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities annual meeting. In between, I hear there may be more snow in Pullman. I really need to get a snowbrush soon. Perhaps that is how I should use my extra hour this weekend.