Summary of Duties: This is a 12-month, promotion track position with benefits that is renewable at 2-year intervals based on performance and the availability of funds.
The position will be a member of the WSUCAHNRS Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Program Unit and reports to the WSU Extension ANR Director.
With the passing of two special project assessments in 2011 and 2013, Washington State tree fruit growers committed to generating a $32 million endowment over an 8-year period. This endowment to Washington State University will support Endowed Research Chairs, Extension Information and Technology Transfer (ITT) Specialists, and research facilities and orchard operations. The ITT endowment was created to fund positions and activities that will advance world-class information and technology transfer to the Washington fruit industry, including development of state-of-the-art decision tools.
Pome fruit orchard systems have changed. Driven by labor and profitability issues, growers have moved to high-density systems; more controlled irrigation delivery methods; and higher cost canopy support and protection systems. Apple growers are also increasingly planting novel plant materialrootstocks, cultivars and, in the future, pollinizersmany with largely unknown responses to PNW stresses.
Assisting growers in making total orchard establishment and management decisions using new plant material and integrating knowledge across disciplines as varied as horticulture, biosystems engineering, plant pathology and entomology is critical to successful selection of highly adapted plant material and, ultimately, to helping the industry develop sustainable orchard systems.
The Extension ITT Specialist will function as an integral member of the WSU Tree Fruit Extension Team and will work with a network of research and Extension faculty, tree fruit producers, allied industry and industry partners to conduct applied research, deliver educational programs and resources, and solve industry problems.
The position will be responsible for outreach programming in environmental stress management in apple, pear and sweet cherry commercial production systems, apple rootstock demonstration, and emerging issues.
As an integral member of the Plant Physiology Program, the environmental stress work will include, but not be limited to, irrigation management for production of target fruit, characteristics of netting material and influence of netting on light and water management, and the influence of environmental conditions on sunburn characteristics. Rootstock outreach will be coordinated with current rootstock research programs at Washington State University, informed by work on apple rootstocks both nationally and internationally.
Required Qualifications: 1. An earned MS degree in horticulture, plant science, or other agriculturally-related field, at the time of hire. 2. Relevant knowledge in agriculture and experience working with commercial producers. 3. Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing, with industry stakeholders.
Founded in 1890 in Pullman, Washington State University (WSU) is Washington’s land-grant university with an overarching mission of improving the quality of life for all citizens – locally, nationally, and globally. WSU is committed to innovation and excellence in research and scholarship. WSU has a current enrollment of over 30,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and approximately 6,000 faculty and staff at its five campuses (Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and Everett), as well as its numerous other locations across the State of Washington and online through its Global Campus. With a new President (Dr. Kirk Schulz began as the University’s 11th president in June 2016) and a new Vice President of Finance and Administration (Stacy Pearson started in March 2017); the University community is energized and excited.
U.S. News & World Report's 2016 "America's Best Colleges" rankings place WSU in the top 75 public national universities. WSU was one of only three Northwest universities to be placed in the top two tiers, along with the University of Washington and the University of Oregon. WSU is ranked as a "highest research activity" institution by the Carne...gie Foundation and is in the top 12 percent of research universities as reported by the National Science Foundation. Also, WSU was recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its engagement activities with its Community Engagement Classification.
WSU employs approximately 6,000 faculty and professional staff and the University deeply values diversity among its faculty, students, and staff. WSU students represent diverse social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds: approximately 10 percent of WSU students hail from outside the state of Washington, and approximately 6.8 percent are international students. WSU annually awards more than $280 million in scholarships and financial aid to approximately 17,000 undergraduate students.