Term needed: Summer 2018   

Faculty mentor name: Scott Lukas

BES Facility:  HAREC

Location (town) of internship:  Hermiston

Hourly Salary: 14       Expected hours/week: 40

Are Housing Benefits included in addition to hourly salary? no

Student will be operating vehicles or farm equipment/machinery. Student will need to submit a driving background.



Agricultural production in the Lower Umatilla Basin (LUB) is under pressure as a potential contributor to nitrate pollution in the groundwater system.  A recent action plan has identified key strategic steps to reduce nitrate leaching by managing soil moisture in irrigated cropping systems.  In the LUB region, sandy loam is the major soil type with low organic matter, which presents irrigation and nutrient management challenges.  Onions are the second largest crop produced in the region and are primarily irrigated with center pivot systems.  Previous research from other regions with different soil types has demonstrated that drip irrigation systems can produce higher onion yields with total reduced water and nutrient losses.  Along with the increases in water use efficiency, it is hypothesized that nitrate leaching in sandy soils will be reduced when irrigation is tailored for maximum crop efficiency.  Water use efficiency with drip irrigation and nitrogen indexing methods need to be evaluated to correlate irrigation methods with nitrate losses in the region.  This internship will have responsibilities to manage the experimental onion plot, which will consist of general maintenance, experimental setup, data collection, data entry and interpretation. 

The internship will be located at the Oregon State University (OSU), Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HAREC), Integrative Horticulture Lab (IHL).  HAREC is located in Hermiston, OR at the center of 450,000 acres of high yielding, irrigated crop land in North central Oregon and South central Washington's Columbia Basin. This is a diverse production area with over 200 cultivated plant species.  Specifically, this internship opportunity will be conducting field based research and data collection with the IHL, which focuses on fostering environmental stewardship while maintaining competitive vegetable production outputs.  Research programs are primarily based in the field setting.  The student will acquire knowledge in field production systems, experimental design and data collection in row crops and will work closely with, and report directly to the principal investigator.


The Integrative Horticulture Lab (IHL) is seeking a summer 2018 intern who has interest in developing research based methods to improve food crop sustainability in large scale production systems.  The candidate will be expected to work 40 hours per week, but will have flexibility for time off and work scheduling.  Previous experience working outdoors is desired, as this opportunity will be primarily working in the elements outdoors in an agricultural setting.  Laboratory work and data entry / analyses will be coupled with field work as necessary.  The intern must be able to work independently and as part of a team, and will report and work closely with the project director to ensure goals are met. 

The primary objectives of the internship will be to focus on the evaluation of drip irrigation in onion production systems, the intern will also be asked to assist with other field experiments, such as watermelon field research as needed.  

Previous experience or interest in topics related to crop production, soil science, nutrient management, and data collection are desired, but not required.  This internship is designed to be a learning experience for the student to provide educational diversity to aid in a more informed career / academic path.  A strong drive to learn and to think creatively is desired.