Faculty Mentor: Wiman, Nik G.
BES site: NWREC
Term: Fall, Spring, Summer
Orchards program at North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC), Aurora OR.
The orchards program conducts research on hazelnut and tree fruit production in the Willamette Valley. Activities take place on OSU research farms (NWREC and Corvallis) and private orchards located primarily between Wilsonville and Corvallis OR. Travel to field sites occurs in program vehicles and outdoor working conditions are sometimes adverse due to weather. Some laboratory work such as maintaining insect colonies and evaluating samples is also required. The program has diverse research projects that involve plant nutrition, soils, entomology, disease management, irrigation, horticulture and precision agriculture. Students would be exposed to all of the projects, but could also specialize to some degree. The long-term objectives of the work are to solve problems affecting orchard crops and to improve production of hazelnuts in the Willamette Valley. Students play an important role in maintaining research plots and may be required to operate farm machinery. A typical day would begin with travelling to a field site to take samples or record data, then returning to the research station to mow or weed plots, then completing work in the laboratory. There are typically a number of students in the program and there is tremendous opportunity to learn from the other students, graduate students, postdocs, the faculty mentor as well as from other faculty and students at NWREC. This opportunity is primarily for the growing season and so it encompasses Spring, Summer, and Fall terms, with the emphasis on Summer. Hourly wage is DOE but starts at $12.00 per hour. Housing is not provided.