Extension News from the West

How hard is that?

Washington State University Extension News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 9:19am

A good friend of mine checks each morning on the web for the final “Jeopardy” question. It’s the last question on the taped “Jeopardy” program to be broadcast later that day. I don’t go to movies or follow sports, so I’m often at a loss when it comes to many quiz show questions. But recently I was in a position to answer the “Jeopardy” question because of my early training in geology.

The category of the question I got right was “to ‘dum’ it up.” That means, in Jeopardy-speak, that the answer will have the syllable “dum” in it. The clue mentioned that there is a substance a chemist would call aluminum oxide that’s sometimes used as an abrasive. How could it be named with “dum” in the word?

Aluminum oxide, or Al2O3, is well known to geologists. You likely know aluminum oxide with certain impurities in it as the gemstone sapphire. With somewhat different impurities, the gem is ruby. So if you find a deposit of the right kind of aluminum oxide in the back of beyond, your financial problems could be over.

But most aluminum oxide in the world isn’t gem quality. Instead it’s the mineral corundum. That was the answer to the “Jeopardy” question. I knew the answer because like all geology students and many a rock hound, I learned the names and properties of scores and scores of minerals (and a few gems) when I was young. Call it my misspent youth.

Like sapphire and ruby, corundum is very hard. On the scale geologists use to measure such things, it has a hardness value of nine. Some gemstones are eight on the hardness scale. Diamond – the hardest natural substance in the world – has a hardness value of ten.

Most sandpaper is made of small quartz grains. Quartz has a hardness of seven. That’s generally hard enough for smoothing down a bit of wood. Depending on its exact chemical composition, garnet is a bit harder than quartz, and in a good hardware store you’ll find garnet sandpaper. Corundum is harder still, making it an abrasive for tough jobs.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Apple is investing $700 million to give its new iPhone and smartwatches what are termed “sapphire screens.” The idea is that the screen of the phone won’t be scratched as it rattles around in your pocket or purse with your car keys, and the watch face won’t be scratched if you scape it against a wall – even a brick wall.

Mineralogy to the rescue. But don’t ask what proportion of “Jeopardy” clues I can usually solve.


Dr. E. Kirsten Peters was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard Universities. This column is provided as a service of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.  See more columns or listen to the Rock Doc’s broadcasts of them at rockdoc.wsu.edu.

Smarter than your average bear

Washington State University Extension News - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 7:45am

Alex Waroff had a fantastic summer job this year. The veterinary student at Washington State University worked with faculty members as they tested just how clever grizzly bears are. What’s at issue is the use of tools.

“Besides primates, scientists know that certain birds, dolphins, elephants and some other animals use tools,” Waroff told me. “Tool use might seem to be more common in social creatures. Bears are a little hard to categorize in that regard, because they live with their mother when young, then are solitary as adults.”

Dr. O. Lynne Nelson of WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine has been working with Waroff on bears living in a facility at the edge of the university campus. Some of the bears were born in captivity, others were brought in from the wild where they had become problem bears and were in danger of being destroyed.

“The idea of tool use is that an animal utilizes an object and manipulates it to achieve a goal,” Nelson said. “If a bear picks up a box and puts it down where it’s useful to place it so the bear can stand on it and reach something, that’s tool use.”

Waroff and company have been testing eight bears, one by one, to see whether a glazed donut reward will inspire the bruins to use tools. This summer they have been suspending a donut out in a play area. In the large pen are such things as sawed-off tree stumps and boxes. The researchers videotaped what the bears did as they tried to reach the donut.

“First we had bears learn to stand on a stump that was under the donut, allowing them to reach the food,” Waroff said. “Then the next step was that they had to move the stump to place it under the donut.”

All but two of the bears pretty quickly picked up on moving the stump to where it was needed.

“Then we had a big box, too, and a different stump” Waroff said. “Some bears stacked them when the donut was suspended at high levels.”

A 9-year old female named Kio has gone to the head of her class in the experiments.

“Bears can live to be 30 or 40 years old,” Waroff said. “So Kio is still relatively young.”

The bears in the WSU experiments seem to enjoy the puzzles that have been set for them this summer.

“They are excited to do the trials,” Waroff said. “They watch us as we set things up and suspend the donut.”

Waroff and Nelson view the experiments as good enrichment for the bruins.

“With research, getting findings whatever they may be is the real goal,” Waroff said. “But it’s been interesting documenting tool use.”


Dr. E. Kirsten Peters was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard Universities. This column is provided as a service of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.  See more columns or listen to the Rock Doc’s broadcasts of them at rockdoc.wsu.edu.

A wolf in other clothing

Washington State University Extension News - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 9:32am

I was hospitalized for ten days in late July. In August, to rebuild my strength, I took my dog on increasingly long walks around town. We went virtually every day; the exercise was good for both Buster Brown and me.

Buster is such a mongrel it’s hard to be sure what breeds have contributed to his makeup. He retrieves sticks thrown into the water and he looks like he has some Labrador in him, but he has the tail of a German Shepherd. His wide head makes me think of a pit bull. Buster’s vet says that both his sire and dam were likely mutts themselves.

The amazing differences in size and behavior of the various dog breeds caught the attention of Charles Darwin in the 1800s. Darwin is famous for his theory of natural selection and the evolution of species, but he also wrote on a number of other topics over his long life. Darwin thought that the wide range we see in breeds of dogs meant they had different contributions from their wild counterparts, namely the wolf, the coyote, and even the jackal. Konrad Lorenz, a famous animal researcher from the 20th century, agreed with Darwin’s basic notion that more than one wild canine species contributed to the different breeds of domestic dogs.

It seems pretty clear now that Darwin and Lorenz were wrong when it comes to the origins of man’s best friend. I was reminded of the old debate and the modern evidence about it by Ted Kerasote’s excellent and best-selling book on all things dog, “Merle’s Door.” As more and more dog bones associated with human fossil remains were unearthed, the more they seemed to have in common with local wolves, not coyotes or jackals.

UCLA scientist Robert K. Wayne brought the power of modern genetics to bear on this old debate about the origin of dogs. As you may recall from high school biology, cells contain bodies known as mitochondria that lie outside the cell nucleus. The DNA found in your cell nucleus is inherited from your mother and father. But there is also DNA in the mitochondria, and it’s inherited only from your mother. I call this DNA your “mama-DNA.” Wayne looked at the “mama-DNA” found in 162 wolves, 5 coyotes, 12 jackals and 67 breeds of dogs. The results were clear: from my faithful Buster Brown to an enormous St. Bernard and a little Pekingese — all dogs owe their existence to wolf stock.

It was the wolf, more than the coyote or jackal, that long ago joined us in the circle around the campfire. When humans started controlling which canines bred with which, the distinctions of breeds began. As history unfolded, my mutt from the pound appeared and joined me on my six-mile ambles around town.


Dr. E. Kirsten Peters was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard Universities. This column is provided as a service of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.  See more columns or listen to the Rock Doc’s broadcasts of them at rockdoc.wsu.edu.

Sept. 5 Fruit Field Day at Parma R&E Center Offers Research Updates and Taste Testing

University of Idaho Extension News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 5:14pm
PARMA, Idaho – Aug. 29, 2014 – The Sept. 5 annual fruit field day at the University of Idaho Parma Research and Extension Center pomology orchard and vineyard site will offer the latest information on fruit and grape topics tailored to Idaho. The event begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. and a program at 9 sharp that will feature reports on tests of new cultivars of table grapes, pe...

September 2014

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 9:47am
Five economics students honored for scholarship

Undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in the WSU School of Economic Sciences were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the fields of agricultural and applied economics at the July 2014 Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Awards & Fellows Recognition Ceremony in Minneapolis. Three of the seven students recognized for outstanding thesis and dissertation awards were from WSU. Read more.

Oilseed conference resources now available online

Video of keynote and breakout sessions from the first Direct Seed & Oilseed Cropping Systems Conference presented by WSU and the Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association is available online along with research posters and PowerPoints. Planning is underway for the 2015 conference that will be held January 20-22 in Kennewick. The theme is “Cropping Concepts: Feeding Farmer Innovations.” A short promo video for the upcoming conference can be viewed at http://css.wsu.edu/biofuels.

Carpenter-Boggs honored by Alumni Association

Dr. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, a WSU alumna and faculty member, was honored recently with the Alumni Association’s Achievement Award for her outstanding accomplishments as a researcher, professor and scientist in the fields of soil microbiology, sustainable agriculture, and crop and soil sciences. Her nominating colleagues noted that “It is not her unselfish service to the university, or her productivity, for which she deserves this award…” Read more.

Seeding the next crop of scientists

The first “Pumping Up the Math and Science Pipeline: Grade School to College,” an innovative science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educational outreach program, has produced its first set of graduates who have completed college degrees and are now enrolled in graduate school. USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) employees David Weller and Kathleen Parker, in cooperation with WSU and other partners, initiated the program in 2007.

Read more featured on the USDA blog.

Annual leave payouts for temporary faculty and administrative professionals

Per WSU policy (BPPM 60.56, Administrative Professional Handbook, and/or Faculty Manual), a faculty or administrative professional employee on a temporary appointment must use accumulated annual leave prior to the termination date of the appointment unless the employee receives a written exception from the appointing authority. Exceptions to policy are limited and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the appointing authority. These restrictions are noted on the employee’s Personnel Action Form and in place at time of appointment. If you have questions regarding this policy, please contact Suzette Yaezenko, CAHNRS HR director, at 335-2839 or suzettey@wsu.edu.

Events Sept. 4-Oct. 6, Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest Field Days

Meet with policy makers, environmental professionals, and local landowners, and Extension specialists to learn the latest biofuel and bioproduct developments in the Pacific Northwest: Topics include growing hybrid poplar as a short rotation woody energy crop, sustainable production, and environmental impacts on soil, water, and wildlife; best areas to develop biofuel and bioproduct industries. A biomass production tour will highlight operational and research poplar plots.

Tour dates and locations:

September 4                     September 10                        October 6

Jefferson, Oregon              Clarksburg, California             Hayden, Idaho

Noon – 2:30 p.m.               Noon – 2:30 p.m.                   10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Lunch is provided. Contact Nora Haider (nora.haider@wsu.edu or 425-741-9962) for more details.

Sept. 5, Cougs supporting community recovery

This three-course banquet will include a silent auction of donated items. A portion of each dinner ticket purchased, monetary donations and silent auction proceeds will be used to support WSU recovery efforts for the SR 530 (Oso) mudslide. $55 per plate, $500 per 10 person table. More.

Sept., LaCrosse Community Pride SDC workshop

During the second week of September, Rural Communities Design Initiative, School of Design and Construction, will host a community workshop with LaCrosse Community Pride to develop new use proposals for recently acquired historic rock buildings.

Sept. 9, Emerging Research Issues RFP

The RFP has changed somewhat this year from what it was in previous years, with more of an emphasis on supporting projects that will establish proof of principle or gathering data that is targeted toward strengthening otherwise out-of-reach external competitive research funding. Join us for a discussion in Lighty 405 from 4 to 5 p.m.; video connection if requested. Contact Jim Moyer (j.moyer@wsu.edu) or Michael Kahn (kahn@wsu.edu) for more detail.

Sept. 10 - Oct. 30, Forest Stewardship Coached Planning programs

A 9-session practical, hands-on course will help forest landowners learn all the basics of forest management, as well as gain the confidence to develop a successful forest stewardship plan crafted for the unique attributes of their property and specific management goals. Topics include wildlife habitat, fire risk, keeping forest healthy, and how to make the most of timber and non-timber resources! $150

  • Sept. 10 – Oct. 29, Dayton: District 3 Fire Hall, 206 W. Main St., Wednesdays, 6-9 p.m. More info.

  • Sept. 11 – Oct. 30, Elk: Peaceful Valley Church, 201 Allen Rd., Thursdays, 6-9 p.m. More info.

Sept. 11, Fall Festival

Celebrate back-to-school and our diverse departments at the CAHNRS Fall Festival in Spillman Plaza from 4 to 6 p.m. Free Ferdinand’s grabbers for all who attend! Can you spot yourself in last year’s Fall Festival video?

Sept. 17, Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest Webinar

Join us for “Locating poplar biorefineries in the Pacific Northwest: Exploring optimal biofuel production systems.” Nathan Parker from the University of California, Davis, will explain how a model can be used to site biorefineries that utilize poplar trees as feedstock. 10 a.m.

 Learn moreRegister.

Oct. 3, SES Alumni & Friends Banquet and Auction; Decennium Colloquium

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Departments of Economics and Agricultural & Resource Economics merger, the WSU School of Economic Sciences is offering a colloquium and banquet with opportunities to learn about a range of frontier economics research, meet honored speakers and discuss career options with alumni and faculty. For details, visit the SES events page or Facebook.

Oct. 3, WSU Women’s Leadership Symposium

The WSU Center for Transformational Learning and Leadership (CTLL) cordially invites you to the 2014 Women’s Leadership Symposium. This year’s theme is “Redefining Body Image,” presented by life skill enhancement coach Krista Petty. For more information about registration and the symposium, visit the CTLL website.

Oct. 4, WSU Organic Farm Harvest Festival

Join friends at the WSU Organic Farm for U-pick pumpkins, hay wagon rides, games, giant pumpkin, hot cider, and food. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Oct. 6, CTLL Networking Night

Encourage companies and organizations in agriculture, economics and natural resource sciences to attend this exciting networking opportunity! Networking Night provides a space for companies and organizations to meet one-on-one with students exclusively from agricultural, natural resources, and economic sciences majors. $250 registration table fee for companies. 5-7 p.m. More info.

Oct. 28, Saving Nature and Improving Agriculture symposium

The symposium will begin at 3:30 pm with a BioAg poster session in the CUB Jr. Ballroom on the WSU Pullman campus. Posters on relevant topics are welcome from students, faculty, and others (poster session details). The symposium’s second speaker is R. Ford Denison, professor in ecology and evolution at the University of Minnesota. More info.

WSU’s Voice of the Vine- U.N. of Viticulture, Missoula Floods, Wine Science Center

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 8:28am
The transoceanic pull of the wine grape

The grape is a very influential fruit. It’s versatile in its use, dynamic in its variation, and even influential in bringing a team of 13 people from different corners of the world together in Prosser, Wash.

Burdet, Rocchi, and Yun bring their international experience and perspectives to bear on viticulture and enology in Washington vineyards.

Leading the team is Markus Keller, scientist and professor of viticulture, who has been with WSU since 2001. Originally from Switzerland, Keller taught in Australia before coming to WSU. Thirteen years later, Keller works at the WSU Prosser Irrigated Agriculture, Research and Extension Center (IAREC), conducting research on the irrigation and management of vineyards. He now leads a diverse team of 12, including post-doc research associates, graduate students, and technicians from across the globe.

A change of focus

Some of the team was looking for a change when deciding to study viticulture. Berenice Burdet, a native of Argentina and postdoctoral research associate, already has a doctorate in neurobiology. She went from studying the human brain to studying the localization of sugar transporter genes in grapes.

“I wanted to change my topic of research,” she explained. “I love wine and studied enology for two years in Argentina.”

Last year Burdet attended a microbiology seminar in Seattle where the speaker mentioned Keller and his work in Prosser. She began reading Keller’s book and papers on viticulture and became more and more interested in the field.

Bernice Burdet went from studying brains to studying the localization of sugar transporter genes in grapes.

Graduate student Joel Perez also found himself pulled into viticulture while looking to make a career change. He has a master’s degree in government relations, but decided to pursue his interest in fermentation science and is working on a master’s in viticulture. As a result, he spent his summer analyzing when grapes begin to lose weight. Grapes are often priced by weight, so understanding when the crop’s weight begins to drop can help a grower earn the best return on their crop.

He found the Viticulture & Enology program at WSU Tri-Cities. A native of San Diego, he took a chance and moved to Richland. Now he is pursuing his master’s in viticulture and spent his summer analyzing when grapes begin to lose weight. Grapes are often priced by weight, so understanding when the crop’s weight begins to drop can help a grower save money.

“I love coming into work,” he said. “It’s very refreshing to be in this environment where there are genuine and insightful discussions.”

Joelle Bou Harb, a doctoral student, originally went to school for chemistry and found that, while she enjoyed the subject, she wanted to find her own niche.

“I was doing well, but found the subject too wide,” she said. “I wanted to specialize.” She went back to school in her native country of Lebanon and earned a bachelor’s and master’s in crop production. Her master’s thesis was on the irrigation of grapevines and she decided to continue pursuing viticulture because, “The wine industry is booming in Lebanon.”

Joelle Bou Harb, a native of Lebanon, is pursuing viticulture and irrigation research at the WSU Prosser Irrigated Agriculture and Research Extension Center.

Bou Harb is working on the classification of 30 wine grape varieties into iso- and anisohydric behavior groups, a task that requires pre-dawn and midday field measurements. During the summer that means she’s up and in the field by 3 a.m.

Filling the gap

While pursuing her master’s degree in agriculture and water resources in China, Yun Zhang became interested in grapes and viticulture. She decided to pursue her doctorate in the United States and earned a PhD in horticulture from WSU last year.

Zhang is now a postdoctoral research associate on Keller’s team. In addition to helping advise graduate students, Zhang is now contributing to current grape irrigation research.

“There’s plenty of research into the irrigation management of red wine grapes, but little research into the irrigation of white wine grapes,” she said. “Changing the irrigation can alter the fruit’s quality. I want to help growers understand how to best irrigate.”

Fruit cracking is a common problem for grape growers in high-rainfall areas. It is also the subject of doctoral student Ben-Min Chang’s research. A native of Taiwan, Chang is using the semi-arid environment of eastern Washington to an advantage.

“It doesn’t rain heavily here, which makes fruit water levels easier to control and monitor,” Chang explained. “Now I can measure how much water it actually takes to cause cracking.”

Nataliya Shcherbatyuk, originally from Ukraine, is another doctoral student on Keller’s team. Her internship with the Washington Tree Fruit Commission helped her decide to pursue a doctorate in viticulture at WSU. She is studying when ripening begins, how it happens, and how it differs among grapes.

“Have you ever paid attention to the way grape berries in one cluster ripen? They never do it at the same time,” said Shcherbatyuk. “There is something that tells each berry when to start and when to slow down. My goal is to find out what that something is.” Read more.

-Emily Smudde

Wine Science Center takes shape The Wine Science Center is in its eleventh month of construction. At completion, the facility will be the most technologically advanced wine science center in the world. Strategically located at the WSU Tri-Cities campus, it pairs wine education and research in close proximity to the industry. With construction progressing on budget, the projected date for substantial completion is November 30, 2014. The first classes will be held in January of 2015. Visit the Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities Facebook page or click the photos above for regular updates.


What makes Washington soil so special? Read more about Washington’s unique wines and the impacts of the Missoula Floods, here.
Infographic courtesy of friends and colleagues at the Washington Wine Commission and WineFolly.com.


Native plants attract beneficial insects to vineyards

Research entomologist Dr. David James spent several years learning which native plants attract beneficial insects to vineyards. Now, armed with a plant list, he’s ready to encourage Washington State grape growers to bring diversity and beneficial insects to their vineyards.

His plant list is still being fine-tuned due to the large amount of data -generated from his three-year research project. But he’s anxious to get information to Washington State wine grape growers, an industry interested in reducing pesticide use, restoring and conserving beneficial insect habitat, and bringing biodiversity back to monoculture farming.

Read more from Melissa Hansen in this month’s Good Fruit Grower.


Women’s Leadership Symposium 2014

The 2014 Women’s Leadership Symposium, “Redefining Body Image,” will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3, in Ensminger Pavilion on the WSU Pullman campus. This full-day workshop will empower participants to live life by intentional design. Register now to create a blueprint for conscious living by exploring how to develop courageous relationships, discover beauty within yourself and in the world, and share wisdom through skillful actions.

Symposium facilitator Krista Petty, M.A., is an international life skills enhancement coach and trainer who has created workshops in leadership, personal mastery, individual effectiveness and integral learning. Krista also co-developed with Dr. Kim Kidwell the popular University Common Requirements course Human Development 205, Developing Effective Communication and Life Skills.

Registration for the symposium is $85 per person, or $40 for students.

WSU’s Green Times- Butterflies and Cattle, CSA, Global Health

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 8:01am
Cattle could protect butterflies, conserve prairies

Butterflies, cattle, and the military may seem like unlikely bedfellows, but for native prairies — some of the most threatened habitats in the world — the trio are closely connected.

Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly. (Photo by Barna Aaron, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the improbable pairing of cattle grazing and native prairie conservation is not only compatible, but mutually beneficial. Carefully managed grazing regimes can improve weed control and plant health, help re-establish native plants, and increase plant diversity compared with an unmanaged system.

However, until now, no systematic study has attempted to track the impacts of managed grazing on native prairie plant communities in Western Washington.

Scientists at Washington State University, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense and the Center for Natural Lands Management, have established just such a study in order to see how “working landscapes” might support habitat conservation goals.

Military backing

In Washington State, much of the only remaining native prairie lands are found in Southern Puget Sound, including on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Thurston County. These prairies support a diverse array of plant and animal species at risk for extinction. These include the rare, native golden paintbrush plant, the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly, and the Mazama pocket gopher, which was recently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Southern Puget Sound prairies are the focus of the Sentinel Landscape pilot project, a federal, local and private collaboration intended to preserve agricultural lands, plus restore and protect more than 2,600 acres of public and private prairie lands and wildlife habitat. At the same time, the $12.6 million project funded by the DoD, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will reduce restrictions to military training activities on JBLM land.

“This is a unique partnership between agricultural and conservation professionals looking to improve productivity and conserve species,” said Lucas Patzek, director and agriculture faculty for WSU Thurston County Extension. “It’s part field research to study how we might be able to integrate native plant species into working livestock operations on south Puget Sound prairies, to extend habitat for the recently listed checkerspot butterfly; and it’s part outreach.”

Ranch-based research Managed intensive grazing course participants learn about prairie and pasture species. (Photo by Sylvia Kantor)

The three-year study includes plots on Fred Colvin’s 550-acre black and red angus cattle ranch in south Thurston County. Fencing and research plots were set up on Colvin’s property last fall to measure differences between excluding cattle and allowing them to graze.

Certain fields are managed to improve native plant diversity and cover, while others are managed for a mixture of non-native species such as orchardgrass and tall fescue.

“They’re trying to figure out whether cattle can be part of a commercial cattle operation plus help as far as the prairies are concerned,” Colvin said. “Frankly, if you don’t have ag on these prairies, you might as well write the prairies off. Because what’s the other alternative use? Forestry? That won’t work. Pavement? I’ll tell you the pocket gopher can’t live under pavement.” Read more.

- Sylvia Kantor

A decade at the organic farm, a new home for the future

Quinoa plants standing taller than five feet, several buckwheat variety trials, an undulating swale, and all kinds of fruit trees are cropping up and thriving at the WSU Eggert Family Organic Farm. As the original WSU organic farm moves from inside the boundaries of Tukey Horticulture Orchard to the new site closer to campus, farm manager Brad Jaeckel said the farm team is ready to be there in earnest next spring.

In 2014, the organic farm marked 10 years of their community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. This summer, Organic Farm Field Day participants were able to enjoy a tour and try fresh produce, including heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, berries, fresh pesto, and more, straight from the garden.  For regular updates on the WSU Organic Farm, be sure to follow the team on Facebook. You can also subscribe to the WSU CSA/Organic Farm Newsletter, here.

(Left to right, top to bottom.) Walking through buckwheat fields at the WSU Eggert Family Organic Farm. Farm manager Brad Jaeckel talks about a successful year for artichokes on the farm, graduate student, Cedric, provides the highlights from his quinoa and tubers research, munching on fresh fruits and veggies before the tour; researcher and leader of WSU’s organic breeding program, Kevin Murphy stands next to the spry quinoa plants; u-pick flowers blossoming; Chris, a graduate student, talks about the different varieties of buckwheat growing on the farm; heirloom tomatoes. Organic Farm Field Day participants were able to take home a sunflower souvenir. Photos by Rachel Webber. Carpenter-Boggs impacting global health, agriculture

A Washington State University alumna and faculty member, Lynne Carpenter-Boggs was honored recently with the Washington State University Alumni Association (WSUAA) Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of her outstanding accomplishments as a researcher, professor and scientist in the fields of soil microbiology, sustainable agriculture and crop and soil sciences.

Carpenter-Boggs worked as a soil microbiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service in Minnesota for three years after earning a doctoral degree in soil science from WSU in 1997. In 2000, she returned to WSU to accept a position as a research associate and instructor with the WSU departments of plant pathology and crop and soil sciences.

In 2006, she was appointed biologically­ intensive and organic agriculture (BioAg) coordinator for WSU’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR). She subsequently was named the BIOAg research leader for CSANR and was recently appointed an associate professor in crop and soil sciences. She was nominated for the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award by colleagues Stewart Higgins, a research associate with the WSU Department of Crop and Soils Sciences, and Jeffery Smith, a soil biologist with the USDA’s land management and research unit in Pullman.

Carpenter-Boggs with her nominators, Stewart Higgins. Photo by Bob Hubner, WSU.

The pair cited her numerous accomplishments while working at CSANR in their letter supporting her nomination. “In the few short years since 2006, Lynne has been the face of WSU, not only for many Pacific Northwest farmers, ranchers and foresters, but for numerous farmers and families across the United States and around the world,” they wrote.

They cited her leadership in numerous research projects that have benefited farmers in Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the U.S., as examples of the broad reach of her work.

Read the full article in WSU News.

Support Oso mudslide recovery efforts at Sept. 5 banquet Click to hear stories from the WSU 530 Slide Recovery Team interns. Video by Tesia Lingenfelter.


The WSU 530 Slide Recovery Team and the Associated Students of WSU (ASWSU) invite you to the Pullman campus on September 5, 2014 for a banquet and silent auction in support of the communities affected by the mudslide near Oso, Washington.

A portion of each dinner ticket purchased, monetary donations and silent auction proceeds will support WSU mudslide recovery efforts.

For more information and to register for the event, go to: http://mudsliderecovery.wsu.edu/


2014 Women’s Leadership Symposium

 The 2014 Women’s Leadership Symposium, “Redefining Body Image,” will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3, in Ensminger Pavilion on the WSU Pullman campus. This full-day workshop will empower participants to live life by intentional design. Register now to create a blueprint for conscious living by exploring how to develop courageous relationships, discover beauty within yourself and in the world, and share wisdom through skillful actions.

Symposium facilitator Krista Petty, M.A., is an international life skills enhancement coach and trainer who has created workshops in leadership, personal mastery, individual effectiveness and integral learning. Krista also co-developed with Dr. Kim Kidwell the popular University Common Requirements course Human Development 205, Developing Effective Communication and Life Skills.

Registration for the symposium is $85 per person, or $40 for students.


Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 7:31am

CAHNRS has 39 student clubs and organizations to enhance student experiences and opportunities.


Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 7:30am

With 24 majors, 19 minors, and 27 graduate level programs, CAHNRS is one of the largest, most diverse colleges at WSU.


Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 7:29am

CAHNRS isn’t just agriculture.

54% of our students study disciplines related to human sciences; 10% study natural resource sciences; and, 36 study agricultural sciences.


Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 7:28am

CAHNRS students are awarded more than $600,000 in scholarships annually.


Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 7:28am

CAHNRS leads in discovery through its high-quality research programs.

In 2014, CAHNRS received research funding exceeding $81.5M. This accounts for nearly 40% of all research funding received by WSU.


Taking ag learning on the road

Washington State University Extension News - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 1:54pm

As a freshman, Ciara Dahm brought her dresser to Washington State University to hold T-shirts, socks and sweaters – not chickens, worms and mushrooms.

Too big for her college apartment, the dresser has become the framework for a mobile agricultural center (MAC), an innovative project inspired by a design/build class in the WSU landscape architecture program.

Ciara Dahm and Kyle Braun inspect the MAC’s chicken roost.

Dahm is one of six students who imagined, designed and initiated construction of the MAC, a compact, travel-ready, sustainable agricultural system that delivers hands-on learning opportunities to schools, community centers and WSU campus locations.

“The back of the dresser and the top two drawers were removed so we could fill them with hay for chickens to roost,” said Dahm, a Landscape Architecture major. “To harvest the eggs, you just pull open the drawers.”

Along with the chicken roost and coop, the MAC features a living roof as well as modular planting beds that can be left at different locations. The completed model will have solar panels, composting and water collection systems, tool storage and a hand-washing station. The dresser’s lower drawers will be lined and used in different ways, including as worm and mushroom habitats.

From paper to practice

Elizabeth Graff

The class, taught by Elizabeth Graff, a professor in the WSU School of Design and Construction, provided the MAC team with a number of hands-on learning opportunities.

“We wanted to use as much repurposed material as possible, but in some cases we couldn’t find the materials we needed,” said Dahm. The team used new lumber for the framework in order to comply with the WSU carpentry shop’s safety requirements.

“We found out that some things wouldn’t work, and so we’ve been designing as we go,” said Kyle Braun, a landscape architecture student and MAC project manager. “I’m really proud of everyone in the class because we came together and there wasn’t a lot of conflict in making decisions.”

“Prior to this, I really didn’t have a lot of real-world experience working on a project that I helped design. My knowledge was all very theoretical,” said Dahm. “It was really cool getting the experience of not only working with people within my group but also with members of the community.”

Building the vision

When Graff was asked to teach the class last spring, a project had yet to be identified.

“The idea wasn’t even in existence,” she said. “To be charged with designing and building a project in a semester, with no idea what you are going to do, requires a bit of a miracle.”

Kyle Braun installs planters for the MAC’s green roof.

She enlisted alumni, industry partners and WSU staff to identify a project that would provide value to the university and the community as well as challenge students to investigate, design, build and demonstrate a complete landscape system.

“All of these people came together – stakeholders, alumni, the six students involved – and the dynamic was really flowing and creative,” said Graff.

Early in the process, the decision was made to create a project that would become part of the Eggert Family Organic Farm on the WSU campus in Pullman. Since the master plan for the farm is still in the development stage, the idea of a mobile learning garden was introduced and the students embraced it.

Small and accessible

Team members were intrigued by concepts both old and new. They gave bookmobiles high marks because of the accessibility and benefits provided to people who would otherwise not have access to information. And they valued the more recent “tiny house movement” for its ingeniously designed living spaces, often on wheels.

“They just went nuts! It got really exciting,” said Graff.

“The MAC embodies natural resource systems on a microscale for demonstration,” said Graff. “It integrates systems that landscape architects inherently work with such as water, energy, land use and materials.

“And it intends to publicly inspire responsibility for how we manage and use our resources in the face of rising global pressures,” she said.

The MAC in action

Graff and several students from the class recently conducted a planting workshop at the elementary school in Tekoa, Wash. Since the MAC is not yet ready for travel, they brought along several planters from the green roof.

Tekoa Elementary School fourth-graders plant lettuce as part of a MAC workshop.

“We’ve developed curricula that explains permaculture (sustainable, self-sufficient agriculture), the concept of seed-to-table, responsible use of resources and where food comes from,” said Graff.

The Tekoa fourth-graders learned about the concepts behind the mobile garden, helped plant seedlings in planters for the roof and proposed designs for painting the MAC shingles.

“We taught them the basics of planting a few different vegetables,” said Kristofor Ludvigson, an organic agriculture major. “It had just rained the day before, so they were also really interested in the worms that were in the ground. I think they enjoyed helping and getting dirty.”

More to come

While the MAC will eventually be parked at the Eggert Farm, it will spend the summer at the Tukey Orchard at WSU Pullman. In the fall, the WSU Landscape Architecture Club, which includes most of the students from Graff’s design/build class, will complete construction of the MAC. Tours will be ongoing.

For more information about the club, visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wazzulandscape


A heavenly new apple

Washington State University Extension News - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 1:53pm

PULLMAN, Wash.— The newest Washington State University apple, designated WA 38, is one step closer to hitting supermarkets with announcement of its brand name, Cosmic Crisp.

The name was chosen after an extensive process led by Carolyn Ross, associate professor in the WSU School of Food Science.

“It was quite a process,” she said. “I think people didn’t realize how much names can influence their purchasing behavior until they started talking about them.”

Ross hosted several focus groups in Washington locations including Pullman, Yakima and Seattle. Participants were presented with a list of potential names to discuss.

During the process a theme emerged due to the pattern on the rosy cheeks of the apple.

“One of the striking things about the apple is that it’s got lenticels, little spots that look like starbursts,” said Ross, “so people were interested in pursuing names related to outer space and the cosmos.”

Participants also preferred names that hinted at the sensory properties of the apple.

“They liked having that little bit of information in the name so that when you are in the apple section trying to decide which apple to purchase you have some idea of what to expect,” Ross said. One of the outstanding attributes of this apple is its crisp texture. “Crisp” also links the WSU apple to its parent, Honeycrisp.

In addition to the focus groups, Proprietary Variety Management (PVM), a Yakima-based company specializing in the management of proprietary varieties, surveyed shoppers in retail locations. PVM is assisting WSU with branding, licensing and collecting royalties for the apple.

Cosmic Crisp apples will not be widely available to consumers until 2019. WSU is working with a number of Northwest Nursery Improvement Institute-affiliated nurseries and other producers to increase WA 38 planting stock.

The university is holding a drawing to assign the limited number of trees available to Washington growers for planting in 2017. The drawing, which has received more than 260 applications, closes May 31, 2014. To enter the WA 38 drawing, visithttp://WA38.wsu.edu.

PVM will work with WSU and the Washington apple industry to develop a logo and graphics to support the brand launch before the fruit goes to market.

Cosmic Crisp was developed by crossing Enterprise and Honeycrisp in 1997.

The tree is upright and spreading with moderately low vigor, so it won’t grow rampantly or oversized. It is precocious, meaning it will start producing fruit at a younger age, with spur development beginning on 2-year-old wood.

Yield is within the range of other locally grown apple cultivars. The fruit ripens in late September, is large and round/conical with 90 to 100 percent of the surface covered with a rich red-purple color over a green-yellow background.

It has been highly rated for its sweet, tangy flavor and has exceptional storability.

For more information visit http://cosmiccrisp.wsu.edu.

Discover more stories about WSU innovations at http://wsudiscovery.tumblr.com.


James Moyer, WSU CAHNRS Agricultural Research Center, 509-335-4563, j.moyer@wsu.edu

Kate Evans, WSU apple breeding program, 509-663-8181 Ext. 245, kate_evans@wsu.edu

Cristy Warnock, Proprietary Variety Management (PVM), 509-307-1947,cristy@provarmanagement.com

Kate Wilhite, WSU CAHNRS communications, 509-335-8164, kate.wilhite@wsu.edu

Facing changes in agriculture

Washington State University Extension News - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 1:51pm

PULLMAN, Wash. – Keiko Tuttle believes the biggest challenge agriculture will face in the next five years centers around a food source that makes up 70 percent of the human diet: cereal grains.

“I always ask people, ‘Do you like cookies?’” the doctoral candidate at Washington State University explains lightheartedly, inviting people into a discussion about the influence of cereal grains on the food system and the need to feed a world population some project to near 11 billion by 2050.

Researching seed germination problems Keiko Tuttle in the wheat research greenhouse at Washington State University. Photo by Rachel Webber, WSU.

Tuttle is researching seed dormancy in wheat – that is, seeds that don’t germinate when planted. Understanding more about the genes and proteins that influence the process of dormancy and how the mechanism is released may provide solutions to problems growers have in the field.

Some of these problems degrade the important starch found in cereals and ultimately decrease the end-use quality of the grain. Preventing these problems can potentially eliminate economic losses to growers, millers and bakers.

This is especially critical in the Pacific Northwest, which provides the nation with about 95 percent of its soft white winter wheat. That is worth a gross $1 billion to the state of Washington, Tuttle said.

Among 10 students selected nationwide

Tuttle is one of 10 graduate students in the United States whose essay on the greatest challenges facing agriculture in the next five years earned a trip to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2014 Agricultural Outlook Forum on the Changing Face of Agriculture, to be held Feb. 20-21 in Arlington, Va.

“I was fascinated with the opportunity to travel to D.C. to meet important members of the USDA, better understand their specific missions and speak to these leaders about agriculture today and agriculture for the future,” she said.

In her winning essay, Tuttle points out that “students may be some of the best liaisons to bridge the gap (between the public, scientists and) policy makers. As students we continue to grow in our understanding of basic research and apply our novel findings for agricultural improvement.”

A meaningful future

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak echoed Tuttle’s confidence in students pursuing higher education in agriculture in a recent USDA announcement.

“The future of agriculture and rural America depends on the upcoming generation of leaders in farming, ranching and conservation,” he said. “And the students selected to attend the Agricultural Outlook Forum are among the best young leaders our country has to offer.”

Tuttle plans to continue her research as part of the biotech industry or USDA, where she will pursue change through policy work.

Counting on student research

Washington State University Extension News - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 1:46pm

When Ashley Johnson ventured into Washington’s vineyards last summer in search of pesky leafhoppers, the insects were almost nowhere to be found. That is, until she began receiving calls from organic grape growers.

“We didn’t realize that’s where we’d find them,” she said, “but the only people who reported they had leafhoppers were organic vineyards.”

Ashley Johnson examines a vial of leafhoppers collected from the Columbia Basin as a part of WSU research into insect populations in vineyards.

As a viticulture and enology student, Johnson dove into entomology as part of her undergraduate research. At the WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, Wash., she was introduced to two pests that cause serious damage to Washington’s vineyards: Virginia Creeper Leafhoppers and Western Grape Leafhoppers.

When she spotted the insects, or their markings on the leaves, she sucked the adults up with a “bug vacuum,” or if they were nymphs, she took them from field to the lab and delicately swept them with a paintbrush into vials.

She returned to an entomology lab Pullman in the fall with thousands of specimens and began to run them through a genetic analysis to look at their DNA. Since the two leafhoppers don’t start to look different from one another until they reach the adult stage, testing and knowing the variation in their genetic material can help viticulturists spot a potential problem early on.

“A lot of people out in the fields thought they had Western Grapes, but so far from the data shows there are a lot more Virginia Creepers,” she said. Which can be a problem for growers, she says, since Virginia Creepers are vectors of red blotch disease.

Grape virologist Naidu Rayapati and his lab discovered red blotch disease and added it to the list of known grapevine disease last year.

“We’re hoping to one day be able to collect leaves, run them through a genetic analysis (PCR), spit out the data, and then immediately tell growers what the population genetics is like in their vineyards,” Johnson said.

Both insects leave yellow speckles, called stippling, on the leaves, which makes it possible for growers to recognize their presence. Both types of leafhoppers also eat the leaves, which are used for photosynthesis and provide the plant with sugar and nutrients. So when the insects eat the leaves, the grape berries don’t get the sugar build up ultimately necessary for a quality winemaking process.

While Johnson graduated in May and left her leafhoppers behind, the impact of her work will continue to influence the wine industry where she now works. After graduating from WSU in May, she began her career working as a winemaker at Columbia Winery in Richland, Wash.

“It’s been a huge learning experience,” she said. “I’ve been really grateful to Doug and Laura and the college for the internship opportunity.”

Johnson’s undergraduate research was supported with funding from the WSU Viticulture and Enology Undergraduate Internship program, the WSU CAHNRS undergraduate internship program, the Washington Wine Advisory Council, and the Washington Wine Commission

For more information on WSU research and extension involving viticulture, click here.

Fruity wines finish first

Washington State University Extension News - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 1:44pm

Bringing science to conventional wisdom, a recently published study from Washington State University reveals how different flavors “finish,” or linger, on the palate after taking a sip of wine.

“A longer finish is associated with a higher quality wine, but what the finish is, of course, makes a huge difference,” said sensory scientist Carolyn Ross. The study, which is one of the first to look at how different flavor components finish when standing alone or interacting with other compounds in white wines, all started with a question from one of Ross’ students in a wine and food sensory science class.

“We were talking about flavor finish and which compounds finish later or earlier,” Ross explained. “I said, well, anecdotally, fruity flavors finish earlier while others, like steak or oak, finish later.”

In a recent article in the journal Food Quality and Preference, Ross writes how her team trained panelists to identify and measure fruity, floral, mushroom, and oaky (or coconut) compounds in wines. They found that, indeed, fruity flavor perception disappears from the palate earlier than oaky, floral, and earth flavors perception. They chose the fruity, floral, mushroom, and oaky compounds to reflect the diversity of the wine aroma wheel.

“There can be hundreds of different flavor compounds in wine,” said former graduate student and co-author, Emily Goodstein referring to the intricate relationship between taste, aroma, and flavor. “We wanted to ask: What finishes longer? Are these assumptions really supported? Can we back it up with some sensory data?”

Goldstein and Ross trained a panel of volunteers to actually measure the intensity and finish of flavor compounds commonly found in white wines using a time intensity method. Ross drew an analogy between the time intensity of wine with that of chewing gum: the longer you chew, the fewer flavors you perceive in the gum. Although much more complex, wine is similar in that its flavor changes and diminishes over the time it is in your mouth.

Oak (coconut), in particular has a longer finish than fruity and floral, said Ross. That finish and flavor not only affect the wine drinking experience, they affect economics and the amount that a consumer is willing to pay for a bottle of wine.

“There’s been research that says if it’s more oaky people will spend more money on it, but this isn’t exactly the case.” She refers to a study from Jill McCluskey in the WSU School of Economic Sciences on people’s willingness to pay for America’s most popular wine, chardonnay.

In this case, participants were willing to pay about 5% less for a full oaked bottle of Chardonnay relative to the unoaked Chardonnay. They were also willing to pay less for the medium oaked (70% oak treatment) relative to the unoaked Chardonnay, but the difference was not statistically significant, said McCluskey.

“The novice consumers’ negative response to full oak treatment is interesting because full oaked Chardonnay commands the highest retail price in the market,” she said. “Typically oaked Chardonnays are more expensive because they are more costly to produce and take a certain amount of expertise to perfect the incorporation of oak into the wine. Many reserve Chardonnay wines receive high levels of oak treatment and have a premium price compared to the vintners’ other Chardonnays.Novice consumers may not be able to appreciate an oaked Chardonnay. Although this study suggests a mildly negative response to oak, more experienced consumers may respond differently.”

Read more about the willingness to pay for Washington Chardonnays study at http://intl-ajae.oxfordjournals.org/content/94/2/556.full or the latest article on wine finish from Ross’ WSU Sensory Lab team at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0950329314000330, which will be in print September 2014.


Washington State University Extension News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 12:22pm


Bark beetles, Global teamwork, Forests at risk, Leadership

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 7:48am
New bark beetle threatens Washington forests

Five years ago, when entomologist Todd Murray received a call from a landowner in Underwood whose ponderosa pine trees were dying, he wasn’t surprised. The trees had been stressed by a nearby fire, a situation that commonly results in a flare-up of bark beetles that can kill the trees. But the calls kept coming.

Red pines near Lyle, Wash. (Photo by Todd Murray, WSU Extension)

“People were saying things like, ‘I’ve lived here all my life and have never seen pine trees die like this,’” said Murray, WSU Extension director for Skamania County. “The situation has worsened since then.”

At the time, Murray didn’t know that the culprit was a new pest on the scene, the California fivespined ips (CFI), or Ips paraconfusus.

Help available

This summer, WSU Extension, along with the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State University and several other agencies and nonprofits, begins a coordinated effort to help landowners respond to emerging forest health concerns like CFI outbreaks with training, outreach materials and on-the-ground treatments.

A WSU fact sheet about CFI that includes recommended forest management practices is also available.

Attacks between the urban and wild

The new beetle is showing up in the wildland-urban interface, where areas between unoccupied land and human development are at risk for wildfires. In Washington, beetle damage thus far is limited to the Columbia River Gorge area. However, the beetle has been confirmed as far north as Fort Lewis.

The beetle favors the green, freshly broken branches of many species of pine, including ponderosa, sugar, western white and lodgepole.

The male bores into the tree to create a nuptial chamber underneath the bark and then emits pheromones to attract females. Females, usually three at a time, come to mate and then carve out an egg gallery where larvae hatch and feed on the cambium, a secondary protective layer under the bark.

“A healthy tree can easily spit out this (kind of attack) with pitch,” Murray said, but this natural defense doesn’t work when the trees are stressed or the beetles are too numerous. During an outbreak, beetles actually coordinate their attack to overwhelm tree defenses.

Climate change or forest health?

It’s unclear whether CFI has newly expanded its range north from Oregon and California or if it’s been in Washington historically and gone unnoticed. Until 2010, when the pest was officially documented in Washington, it hadn’t been found beyond the northern reaches of the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

Ponderosa pine killed by CFI. (Photo by Glenn Kohler, Washington Department of Natural Resources)

The beetle may have moved northward as a result of climate change, but Murray suspects it is more likely that the insect has reclaimed an existing range that until now hasn’t had the right set of conditions to support the outbreaks.
“Bark beetles are there all the time,” Murray said. “It’s a forest health issue when there are population flare-ups.”

Forests stressed by drought, fire and storm damage are susceptible to insect and disease damage. Ironically, the recent outbreaks may be due partially to forest health improvements that have resulted in a greater number of older trees, which beetles prefer.

Telltale signs

Mature trees overwhelmed by CFI are easily identified by their red tops. The beetle tends to infest the tops of trees where branches are more likely to be broken by wind and where bark is thinner.

An infestation turns the needles pale green, then orange and finally reddish brown. Mature trees may recover, but young trees that are completely red are unlikely to survive.

Other signs of infestation include numerous exit holes in the bark and accumulations of reddish brown bark dust.

Adding insult to injury, adult beetles can introduce a fungus that kills tree tissue in the attacked area and further weakens the tree. The fungus stains the wood blue.

Landowners tips

During an outbreak, the advice is to do nothing. From February through September, avoid pruning or creating any slash piles that could harbor the pests. Early season pruning especially can exacerbate the problem.

The recommended window for pruning, thinning, tree removal and slash management is between October and January, when the insects are dormant.

While commercial repellant lures have been developed for other bark beetles, none are effective for this species. The best medicine is prevention — improving and maintaining overall forest health.

—Sylvia Kantor

Global teamwork will make world food supply safer

A new global food safety partnership will provide technical support for the food industry through research, scholar exchange, collaborative teaching and outreach activities.

Rasco, left, and Kang sign a memorandum of understanding for the Center for Applied Food Safety and Processing.

The Washington State University/University of Idaho School of Food Science and Seoul National University Department of Food and Animal Biotechnology (Food Science) recently signed a memorandum of understanding to create the Center for Applied Food Safety and Processing. It formalizes collaborations that started in 1999 between the Korean university and WSU.

The co-located center will address global food safety and processing issues to help ensure a safe, wholesome and sustainable worldwide food supply through research and training.

“As much as possible, the teaching will be delivered in a ‘train-the-trainer’ format,” said Barbara Rasco, professor and interim director of the U.S. school. “This will develop the capacity to continue training on a long-term basis. The center also intends to bring more academic institutions on board.”

Dong-Hyun Kang, professor and director of the Korean department, will travel to the United States in December to help develop programs for the new center.

—Angela Lenssen

Warning: Washington forests at risk

Where forests are overcrowded, insect outbreaks, disease and wildfires are more severe and extensive. In Washington, insect and disease damage doubled between the 1980s and the 2000s from 600,000 acres to over 1.2 million acres of the total 22.4 million acres of forestland.

Today, four counties bear the bulk of this forest health burden. In 2012, Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark issued a Forest Health Hazard Warning for parts of Okanogan, Ferry, Klickitat and Yakima counties to raise awareness and encourage landowners to learn more about forest health and reducing tree densities to appropriate levels.

Warning areas encompass approximately 1.8 million acres of forestland in Okanogan and Ferry counties and 260,000 acres of forestland in Klickitat and Yakima counties.

Source: Forest Health Highlights in Washington—2013, Washington State Department of Natural Resources Forest Health Program, March 2014.

For related information in the WSU Extension online store, check out the following options:
Forestry Education and Assistance for Washington Forest Landowners
Diversifying Forest Structure to Promote Wildlife Biodiversity in Western Washington Forests
Assessing Tree Health
Pacific Northwest Insect Management Handbook

—Sylvia Kantor

Women’s Leadership Symposium 2014: Redefining Body Image

The 2014 Women’s Leadership Symposium, “Redefining Body Image,” will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3, in Ensminger Pavilion on the WSU Pullman campus. This full-day workshop will empower participants to live life by intentional design. Register now to create a blueprint for conscious living by exploring how to develop courageous relationships, discover beauty within yourself and in the world, and share wisdom through skillful actions.

Symposium facilitator Krista Petty, M.A., is an international life skills enhancement coach and trainer who has created workshops in leadership, personal mastery, individual effectiveness and integral learning. Krista also co-developed with Dr. Kim Kidwell the popular University Common Requirements course Human Development 205, Developing Effective Communication and Life Skills.

Registration for the symposium is $85 per person, or $40 for students.