Branch Experiment Stations – Experiential Learning Initiative

Comparison of Heading Date and Harvest Maturity in Winter Cereals

Faculty Mentor Name: Ryan Graebner

BES Facility Name: Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Adams, OR (near Pendleton, OR)

Specific Duration Details: The BES Intern should be able to begin work no later than June 15, and continue working until at least September 4.

Student Hourly Salary:  $14.50/hr

Expected Hours/Week: Students are expected to work 40-50 hours per week.

Hourly Working Parameters: Work generally runs from 7:30 am-4 pm Mon-Fri. However, the BES intern will assist with harvesting the OSU cereal variety trials, which are mostly off-station. On harvest days and for other off-station work, we may get back as late as 9 pm. In addition, sometimes we will take overnight trips to harvest trials that are further away. While the BES Intern is expected to attend several of these trips, we expect to have a crew that is large enough to allow flexibility in work schedules.

Housing Benefit: For out-of-town interns, we are able to offer a $500 housing credit, which covers approximately half of the rent for an apartment that is available on the research station over a 2.5 month period.

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description: The student's core project will focus on comparing the harvest maturity dates of winter wheat varieties to heading dates, which are often used to estimate harvest maturity dates. This is for identifying the conditions each variety is adapted to, and has implications for controlling some weed species. Because we don't expect students will be able to begin work before the academic year is done, we plan to record heading dates before the student arrives. Once the BES Intern begins, they will be responsible for monitoring approximately 85 varieties in the OSU wheat variety trial located at the Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center, and recording when each variety reaches key maturity stages (milk, soft dough, hard dough, and final maturity). After all varieties in the trial have matured (approximately July 15), the BES Intern will run basic analyses to determine whether these maturity stages are correlated with varietal performance in several of Oregon's key growing regions (based on yield data from the OSU Variety Trials). The BES intern will also have the opportunity to explore additional analyses as they see appropriate. Results will be summarized in a report and a poster by the end of the internship period. If the project is successful, we anticipate writing a publication for peer-review after we've collected a second year of data, which would include the BES intern as an author.

Student Responsibilities: The student will be expected to spend approximately 40% of their time recording wheat maturity and summarizing results, and approximately 60% of their time helping with general program tasks (including weeding, harvesting, and post-harvest analysis). This position is required to work in a field environment with exposure to heat, cold, rain, wind, biting and/or stinging insects, and plant and dust allergens.

Preferred Skills/Experience: No specific skills are needed, but the BES intern is expected to have an interest in agricultural research, and some experience with statistics is preferred.

Student Learning Outcomes: After completing this internship, we expect the student will have become familiar with physiological difference between wheat varieties, and how they relate to each variety's adaptation to different growing regions. In addition, we expect students will finish the summer with a better understanding of how experimental plots are managed, harvested, and evaluated.

Project Objectives: With this project, we hope to gain a better understanding of how physiological wheat traits (in this case how quickly wheat grain matures) are associated with variety performance in Oregon's diverse agricultural regions.

Mineral supplementation of pre-weaned calves: What is the current recommendation?

Faculty Mentor Name: Juliana Ranches

BES Facility Name: Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center (EOARC)

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Burns (Harney County)

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary:  $12/hr

Expected Hours/Week:  Minimum of 20 hours and a maximum of 40 hours.

Hourly Working Parameters: It may be necessary to check the cows during the weekends prior to weaning but not feeding will be required. However, after weaning calves will be fed daily, therefore for a month after weaning it will be necessary to work during the weekends (4 weekends).

Housing Benefit: Housing is available at the EOARC. Our facility has two smaller houses and one bunkhouse. Summer is the busiest season at EOARC,  which permits the student to increase her/his network as she/he will interact with scientists and technicians working at OSU, USDA/ARS and The Nature Conservancy for example.

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: No

Project Description: A two- year study will be conducted at Eastern Oregon Agriculture Research Center (EOARC‚ Burns, OR) to evaluate the mineral status of calves at weaning and subsequent performance of calves supplemented prior to weaning, with limit-fed supplements fortified with trace minerals at the NRC (2016) recommendation or five times above the current NRC (2016) recommendation.

Forty-eight cow/calf pairs (n = 24 pairs/year) will be randomly assigned to twelve pastures (n = 2 cow-calf pairs/pasture) with free-choice access to water and supplemental white stock salt with no added minerals. Each pasture will be equipped with one cow exclusion area, where calves will have access to supplement. Calves will be supplemented 3 times weekly (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) for 84 days prior to weaning. The pre-weaning treatment consisted of two trace mineral supplementation levels: (1) Control; trace mineral supplementation will be provided based on current guidelines of nutrient requirements for beef cattle (NRC, 2016); and (2) Super-nutritious; trace mineral supplementation will be provided five times above the current guidelines of nutrient requirements for beef cattle (NRC, 2016). The trace mineral supplements will be weighed individually for each pasture and mixed in a grain-based energy and protein supplement.

Eight-four days prior to weaning (d 0) body weight, blood samples and liver samples will be collected from all calves enrolled in the study. Subsequent body weight will be collected every 21 days. On d 84 (weaning), body weight, blood samples, and liver samples will be collected from all calves. Immediately after weaning calves will be moved to individual pens where they will have access to ground hay and a grain-based supplement. During the post-weaning phase, blood samples to access the acute phase proteins (haptoglobin and ceruloplasmin) and cortisol, will be collected on days 85, 87, 88, 91, 95, and 99. Additional body weights will be collected on days 99 and at the end of the study d 121.

Student Responsibilities: The student will be involved in all phases of the study and will be responsible for the preparation of supplements (minerals) and feeding of the calves prior and post-weaning as well as assisting with the collections (blood and liver) at weaning.    

Preferred Skills/Experience: It is preferred that the student have some previous experience working with cattle. However, no specific skills are required.

Student Learning Outcomes: The student will have the opportunity to learn how to handle cattle properly, how to collect blood and liver samples, will learn about the mineral requirements of beef cattle, and will learn about the scientific methods while conducting research.

Further, the student will have the opportunity to interact with scientists and technicians from OSU, USDA/ARS, and The Nature Conservancy.

Project Objectives: The objective of this study is to evaluate mineral status at weaning and subsequent performance of calves supplemented prior to weaning, with limit-fed supplements fortified with trace minerals at the NRC (2016) recommendation or five times above the current NRC (2016) recommendation.

Reducing Water and Nitrate Losses in Crop Production Systems

Faculty Mentor Name: Scott Lukas

BES Facility Name: HAREC

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Hermiston

Specific Duration Details: Summer 2020

Student Hourly Salary:  $14/hr

Expected Hours/Week: 30 minimum, 40 preferred

Hourly Working Parameters: Regular work hours

Housing Benefit:

Hazard/Minor: Yes

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description: 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.

Student Responsibilities:

The Integrative Horticulture Lab (IHL) is seeking a summer 2020 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.

Preferred Skills/Experience: 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.

Student Learning Outcomes: The student selected for this opportunity will learn many facets of sustainable crop production systems.  Experiences will be focused on water and nutrient availability but will have a broad range of learning.  Specific skills on irrigation system design, soil moisture sensing, and data modeling will be acquired.

Project Objectives:

  1. Install field sub-surface drip irrigation in cropping systems.
  2. Automate irrigation through advanced in-ground monitoring instrumentation.
  3. Model soil moisture movement through sensor data.
  4. Collect soil samples to quantify nitrogen movement within the soil.
  5. Draw conclusions on water and nutrient savings/losses
  6. Maintain field experiment.
  7. Collaborate with other students and staff on other research experiments as needed.
Improving management of potato virus Y in potato production systems with innovative treatments

Faculty Mentor Name: Aymeric Goyer

BES Facility Name: Hermiston Ag Research & Extension Center (HAREC)

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Hermiston

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary:  $12/hr

Expected Hours/Week:  35-40

Hourly Working Parameters:

Housing Benefit:

Hazard/Minor: Yes

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description: Potato is the fifth top crop commodity in Oregon with 46,000 acres planted, 1.29 million tons harvested, and a production value of $176.9 million in 2018. Potato is an important component of the American diet with a per capita consumption of 52.7 kg per year in 2012. Potato contributes a significant portion of the total daily intake of several essential dietary nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, fiber, vitamin B1, vitamin B9, vitamin B6, and polyphenols. One major issue to the production of potatoes in Oregon and other states is potato virus Y (PVY). PVY is an aphid-borne virus that impairs yields and, in the case of recombinant necrotic strains, produces necrotic ringspots on tubers, also known as potato tuber necrotic ringspot disease, which leads to a total loss of marketable tubers. PVY infections are the major reason potato seed lots in Oregon (and other states) are down-graded each year. Methods to control PVY include insecticides and mineral oils to inhibit aphid vectors, the planting of resistant varieties, and strict seed certification. However, insecticides and mineral oils have limitations in controlling virus spread on potato crops. Indeed, it only takes seconds for aphid vectors to acquire or inoculate the virus. This fast mechanism of transmission prevents many insecticides or mineral oils to fully act. Another problem is that there is correlation between increased mineral oil application and yield reduction. The planting of resistant varieties is very efficient, but varieties that are resistant to all strains of PVY found in growers‚ fields are currently scarce. Therefore, seed certification is the best PVY management tool for the industry, as it helps to provide producers with clean seeds to minimize the initial PVY inoculum in the field. However, seed certification relies on visual inspections to assess the percentage of PVY infection in seed lots. This method has shown limitations in recent years because of the cultivation of new varieties and the emergence of new strains of PVY that produce no or few foliar symptoms, thereby underestimating the levels of PVY infection. A solution to this problem is to find methods that trigger the development of clearly visible symptoms due to PVY infection in varieties that would not otherwise show symptoms, and thus improving the detection and rogueing of infected plants. The objectives of this project are to test the efficacy of foliar application of compounds to increase symptoms in PVY-infected plants.

Student Responsibilities:

  • Preparation of tissue culture medium
  • Preparation of soil mixture
  • Propagation of potato plantlets in tissue culture
  • Transfer of tissue culture plantlets to soil in pots
  • Growth management of potato plants
  • Mechanical virus inoculation of potato plants
  • Leaf sample collection
  • Grinding of leaf tissue for nucleic acid extraction
  • Data collection and analysis in Excel
  • General lab housekeeping

Preferred Skills/Experience:

  • ‚Good communication
  • Punctual
  • Enthusiastic

Student Learning Outcomes: The student will learn the fundamentals of plant tissue culture, and plant growth and disease management as well as molecular tools for virus detection. The student will also learn scientific experimental design, and data collection and analysis.

Project Objectives: The objectives of this project are to test the efficacy of foliar application of specific compounds to increase symptoms in PVY-infected plants in a greenhouse.

  1. Test a range of concentrations and determine the minimal active concentration
  2. Test different application schedule and determine the minimal number of applications needed for best results
Management of aphids in red clover production

Faculty Mentor Name: Dani Lightle

BES Facility Name: North Willamette Research and Extension Center   

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Aurora

Specific Duration Details: Preferred start is week of June 15th.

Student Hourly Salary:  $13-14/hr

Expected Hours/Week: 20-35. Most weeks between 25-30 hours.

Hourly Working Parameters: Early morning starts (6am) occur regularly, in order to beat the daytime temperatures while working outside. Depending on the timing of trials, the occasional Saturday may be requested.

Housing Benefit:

Hazard/Minor: Yes

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description:

Chlorpyrifos is a broad-spectrum insecticide that has been relied on in agriculture for over 40 years. It is considered critical in Oregon clover systems to control insects ranging from aphids, weevil larvae, cutworms, and symphylans. However, due to economic and legislative activity, it is likely that growers will lose access to chlorpyrifos over the next 1-3 years. The objective of this project is to develop data showing the efficacy of alternative insecticides for control of aphids in clover, which will then be used to support registration of those materials for use by clover growers.

As a lab team-member, the student will participate in other ongoing research projects. The lab will be working on projects related to understanding the amount of pesticide residues on caneberries and blueberries over time, and how those residues affect the ability to export to international markets.

Student Responsibilities:

75% field work:

  • Collect insect and plant samples from field plots
  • Note-taking of observations in field plots
  • Hand harvest of blueberries and raspberries
  • Plot maintenance tasks (e.g. weeding, tying raspberries/blackberries)

25% lab work:

  • Counting aphids in each plot with aid of dissecting microscope
  • Data entry

Preferred Skills/Experience:

  • Interest in entomology or agriculture
  • Experience working outside, sometimes in hot conditions
  • Familiarity with a compound microscope
  • Effective communication skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Driver's license and ability to safely drive a pickup truck
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Word and Excel

Student Learning Outcomes: Outcomes include: increased understanding of applied entomology, microscope skills, data entry using Excel, basic experimental design and analysis, increased knowledge of pesticide registration processes and requirements for export markets.

Project Objectives:

Primary project: The objective is to determine how well candidate insecticides will work for controlling aphid pests in red clover. These data will be used to support registration of these insecticides for clover production.

Secondary project: The objective is to understand how pesticide residues decline over time and how measurable residues may impact a grower's ability to export their crop.

Expanding Integrated Pest Management in Pear Orchards

Faculty Mentor Name: Richard J. Hilton

BES Facility Name: Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center   

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Central Point

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary: $12/hr

Expected Hours/Week: 40 hours

Hourly Working Parameters:

Housing Benefit:

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description:  Integrated pest management (IPM) is the coordinated use of information about pests, the environment, and evidence-based pest control methods to prevent and manage pest populations in a cost effective and socially responsible manner. The goal of this project is to further the development and implementation of IPM in pear orchards.

Student Responsibilities: The student will be assessing insect population levels using a wide variety of insect sampling methods. This work will be conducted both at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center’s facilities and in collaborating growers’ orchards. Different management techniques will be assessed and insect populations will be followed over the course of the summer. These insect populations include both pests and beneficial insects such as natural enemies which can aid in the biological control of pests.

Preferred Skills/Experience: A student majoring in a STEM field would be preferred. Knowledge of the scientific method, familiarity with data collection, and the importance of accurate and precise measurements will be helpful in this position.

Student Learning Outcomes: The primary objective of this project is to improve our understanding of the population dynamics of pear pests in relation to levels of natural enemies. Our hypothesis is that natural enemies are key regulators of pest levels in pear orchards. By examining orchards using a variety of management styles (i.e. organic, IPM, and conventional) and employing an array of sampling techniques we will obtain new information on the relationship between the levels of pests and natural enemies in the pear agroecosystem. A major goal of this research is to determine the effect of preserving natural enemies on increasing biological control of pest species. This information can then be utilized to improve our current pest management guidelines.   

Project Objectives: The student will experience agricultural research first hand and participate in data collection and compilation. The student will learn about integrated pest management and develop skills in insect identification and sampling methods. This information will be entered into a database and analyzed and the student will have an opportunity to participate in the process of hypothesis testing and graphically representing the results which were obtained.

Food Safety Research

Faculty Mentor Name: Jovana Kovacevic

BES Facility Name: Food Innovation Center   

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Portland

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary:  $15/hr

Expected Hours/Week:  Up to 40 h per week.

Hourly Working Parameters: Occassionaly, the intern may have to come on a weekend to read results, or refrigerate their experiments; however, this will depend on student’s experimental planning and time management. Overall, weekend work is discouraged.

Housing Benefit:

Hazard/Minor: Yes

Vehicle/Machinery: No

Project Description: The student intern will be expected to work in a Food Microbiology Laboratory at the Food Innovation Center on a variety of food microbiology projects. The student intern will receive training required to work in a biosafety level 1 and 2 microbiology laboratories, and will be expected to handle potentially pathogenic microorganisms, such as Listeria monocytogenes. The student intern will also be involved in developing and updating standard operating procedures (SOPs), and writing of abstracts/posters for participation in seminars and/or conferences. At the end of the internship, the student will give a presentation of their project to FIC staff and invited guests.

Student Responsibilities: Applying aseptic techniques when performing research in Biosafety Level 1 and 2 Food Microbiology laboratories. Responsibilities will involve preparation of media, autoclaving, growth and handling of food borne microorganisms, handling of antimicrobials, development and following of lab standard operating procedures, cleanliness and safety maintenance in the labs. Student will also be involved in preparation of abstracts and presentations.   

Preferred Skills/Experience: Previous microbiology laboratory experience and application of aseptic techniques is required.  Advanced writing skills are desirable.

Student Learning Outcomes: Gain microbiological skills pertaining to growth properties of foodborne microorganisms and associated analyses.
Become proficient in aseptic techniques and working in BSL2 lab.
Assist in analyses of survey data from food industry.

Project Objectives: Student will be a part of a team that will investigate growth and genotypic characteristics of foodborne microorganisms. Specific objectives will vary depending on the project.

Epidemiology and IPM of Diseases in Central Oregon Seed and Specialty Crops

Faculty Mentor Name: Jeremiah Dung

BES Facility Name: Central Oregon Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Madras

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary:  $11.25/hr

Expected Hours/Week: Minimum: 32 hours/week; Maximum: 40 hours/week

Hourly Working Parameters: Work hours may vary depending on crop maturity, weather, grower schedules, or other factors that cannot be controlled.

Housing Benefit:

Hazard/Minor: Yes

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description: The Plant Pathology Lab at the Central Oregon Agricultural Research and Extension Center (COAREC) is focused on the study and control of plant diseases affecting the high-value specialty crops of the region. We use both traditional and molecular techniques to answer applied and basic questions related to the biology and control of fungal and bacterial plant pathogens, with the goal of developing integrated disease management programs for long-term, sustainable control. Specific research focuses on pathogen detection and quantification, population biology of plant pathogens, spatial and temporal dynamics of plant disease, and identifying environmental factors that contribute to plant disease epidemics.

Student Responsibilities: The intern working on this COAREC Branch Experiment Station (BES) Experiential Learning Experience will have the opportunity to be involved one or more research projects. Specific research projects will depend on the intern's interests, academic and career goals, funding availability, and project needs. Research projects planned for 2020 include, but are not limited to, understanding the epidemiology and aerobiology of pathogens affecting carrot seed and grass seed crops, evaluating cover crops and green manures for the control of soilborne pathogens in peppermint, using biostimulants for white rot control in garlic, and identifying novel controls for bacterial blight in carrot seed crops. Experiments will be conducted in the laboratory, growth chambers, greenhouses, and field.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Although not required, a background in biology, microbiology, molecular biology, and/or plant pathology (either courses or prior lab experience) would be advantageous for this experiential learning experience. The intern will work  with basic computer software (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) to help generate figures and reports associated with their project.

Student Learning Outcomes: By the end of the project, the intern will have gained hands-on experience related to experimental design, field research, microbiology, molecular biology, and basic plant pathology techniques. The intern will learn methods associated with data collection from lab and field-based experiments, basic data analyses, and summarizing research results for diverse audiences including growers, industry stakeholders, and the scientific community.

Project Objectives: The COAREC BES Experiential Learning Experience intern will get experience working under laboratory, greenhouse and field conditions.  Depending on the research project, the intern will have the opportunity to gain skills related to field research (survey and sampling protocols, small plot research), microbiology (aseptic technique and culturing of fungi and/or bacteria), molecular biology (DNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis), and/or basic plant pathology techniques (inoculating plants, determining disease incidence and severity, and isolating plant pathogens from infected tissues). Results and outcomes will be presented in a final report and as a scientific poster.

Insects of the Treasure Valley

Faculty Mentor Name: Stuart Reitz

BES Facility Name: Malheur Experiment Station

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Ontario, OR

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary: $12/hr

Expected Hours/Week: 20 - 40

Hourly Working Parameters: No work outside of normal business hours would be expected.

Housing Benefit:

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description:

The Malheur Experiment Station maintains a reference collection of insect specimens from the Treasure Valley of eastern Oregon and western Idaho. The specimens are used to aid in the identification of insects in the region, including where and when they are likely to be found. The specimens are routinely used in presentations to schools and in other public events.

Through this project, we wish to expand the collection and make it more accessible. We are seeking a student with interests in learning about insect biology and identification and constructing relational databases.

We are looking to better organize and catalog the collection, and improve the collection’s database. These improvements will make it easier to locate specimens within the collection and find information on the species in the collection. We wish to increase the public’s knowledge by making the collection more accessible through the web. This would be accomplished by taking photographs of specimens and uploading them with appropriate content to a webpage on the Experiment Station’s website.

We are interested in expanding the collection by having the student conduct collecting trips through different habitats in the region and appropriately curating specimens (pinning and preparing for display, recording collection information, and identifying specimens to an appropriate taxonomic level.) The project can be tailored to focus on any particular interests and/or aptitudes the student has.

Student Responsibilities:

  1. To help gain familiarity with different groups of insects and improve our collection’s information, the student will assist with sorting specimens and entering appropriate information for specimens in the collection’s database.
  2. To expand the collection, the student will make collections, curate those specimens, and use appropriate identification resources to identify specimens.
  3. The student will use the Station’s cameras and computers to photograph specimens and upload them to the station website.
  4. The student will receive hands-on instruction in all of these methods from the mentor (Stuart Reitz) and other personnel at the Experiment Station. The project is broad enough that it can be tailored to best suit the particular interests and aptitudes of the student.

Preferred Skills/Experience:

  1. Willingness to learn and ask questions.
  2. Interest in learning about insect biology and identification.
  3. Interest in photography
  4. Interest in learning database management
  5. Ability to use a stereomicroscope

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Insect identification skills, including collection and curation techniques
  2. Relational database skills
  3. Photography skills
  4. Webpage development and content skills

Project Objectives:

  1. Catalog the Malheur Experiment Station Insect Collection. The collection is reference collection of insect specimens from the Treasure Valley of eastern Oregon and western Idaho. We are looking to organize and catalog the collection, and improve the collection‚Äôs database to make it easier to locate specimens in the collection and find information on the species in the collection.   
  2. Add specimens to the collection by using standard entomological collection techniques (e.g., sweep nets, beat sheets, black light trapping). Appropriately pinning specimens for display, recording collection information, and identifying specimens to an appropriate taxonomic level.
  3. Photographing specimens to display on the Malheur Experiment Station website.
Evaluating 30 years of post-fire recovery in subalpine forests of the Blue Mountains Ecoregio

Faculty Mentor Name: Bryan Endress

BES Facility Name: EOARC-Union Station

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Union / La Grande

Specific Duration Details: 10 weeks; late June - early/mid September

Student Hourly Salary: $12/hr

Expected Hours/Week: 40 hours per week

Hourly Working Parameters: We generally work four, 10 hour days (Monday-Thursday). 1 week will spend camping in the forest for field sampling.

Housing Benefit: Free housing is available at Starkey Experimental Forest and Range (free); it is about a 45 minute drive from La Grande.

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: No

Project Description: The Wallowa Whitman National Forest and asked us to collaborate on a project that evaluates post-fire recovery of subalpine fir forest stands that were burned 30 years ago. The Forest Service has maintain forest plots documenting recovery (understory and tree species) 1,5,10, and 20 years following the fires, and would like our assistance to re-measure stands after 30 years. The project involves summarizing data from past surveys, conducting the 30-year survey, and analyzing and summarizing the results. This information will the be shared with USFS staff to inform management of subalpine forest stands and better understand trajectories of forest recovery in the region.

Student Responsibilities:

  1. Collect, and summarize existing data on forest recovery
  2. Participate in data collection and field measurements
  3. Enter data and summarize findings
  4. Assist with other collaborative forest management and restoration projects as time permits

Preferred Skills/Experience:

  1. Experience (or relevant coursework) in collecting forest/vegetation data
  2. Experience with MS Excel and/or Access
  3. Ability to work well with a diverse team
  4. Genuine curiosity land management, natural resources, and ecology
  5. Willingness to learn new skills and techniques

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Summarize and describe forest community composition and structure
  • Evaluate changes in forest composition and structure over time
  • Collect data on understory and overstory vegetation composition (richness, diversity, frequency, abundance) and structure (size, height, diameter)

Project Objectives: Describe and document the long-term recovery of subalpine forest stands following stand-replacing fires in the Blue Moutains Ecoregion. This includes understory (grass, forbs, shrubs) and overstory (trees) recovery.

Multi-Crop Research Intern - Klamath Basin Research & Extension Center

Faculty Mentor Name: Brian A. Charlton

BES Facility Name: Klamath Basin Research & Extension Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Klamath Falls, OR

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary: $14.50/hr

Expected Hours/Week: 40 hrs per week, may occasionally exceed during peak rouging events

Hourly Working Parameters: Intern may occasionally need to irrigate on weekends and frost events

Housing Benefit: On-site housing is available if needed.

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description: KBREC research efforts include winter and spring cereal trials, alfalfa and pasture deficit irrigation trials, pasture interseeding trial, hemp, potato variety trials, seed potato production, and early generation potato breeding populations, and various alternative crop efforts.  Intern will have opportunities to work with Project Leaders in each of these areas.

Student Responsibilities: Intern will collect and read insect trapping cards weekly.  Insect identification for psyllids, leafhoppers, tubermoth, and aphids will be counted and disseminated to producers via a weekly newsletter.  Intern will learn to visually detect potato viruses and confirm results using field diagnostic kits.  Data collection such plant emergence, vigor, plant height, maturity, etc. will be performed for various research projects.  Forage sample collection, weighing and grinding of samples will also occur.  Intern will have opportunity to operate farm machinery as research trial needs dictate.  Data entry and summaries will be performed as appropriate.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Good communication skills, ability to operate farm machinery, and eagerness to learn are preferred skills.  Intern will need to obtain ATV and forklift certification.  We will provide the training necessary to obtain these certifications if Intern doesn't already possess them.  We provide on-the-job training so experience isn't necessary.

Student Learning Outcomes: Intern will learn how to design various field plot arrangements, basic data entry and statistical analysis.  Intern will learn basic insect identification, disease diagnosis, irrigation scheduling, weed identification, etc.  Intern will also have opportunities to analyze soil sample results and interpret nutritional status of sample.

Project Objectives: Learn research field plot technique, analyze and interpret data, broad understanding of agronomic disciplines - pathology, entomology, soil science, etc.  Intern will work closely with Project Leaders and independently as appropriate.  Intern will work in varying conditions both indoors and outdoors including inclement weather.  Q15 also provides more detail of expectations.

Summer Research assistant

Faculty Mentor Name: Christopher Adams

BES Facility Name: MCAREC

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Hood River

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary: $15/hr

Expected Hours/Week: 40 hours

Hourly Working Parameters: not expected to work weekends or past normal working hours

Housing Benefit:

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: No

Project Description: The Adams Tree Fruit Entomology Lab, located at the Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center (MCAREC) in Hood River, has a number of research projects planned in both Pear and Sweet Cherry orchards. We are currently working on two invasive species that impact the tree fruit industry; the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) and Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD). Projects will include understanding and improving trapping and monitoring of these key insects. We are also investigating parasitoid wasps for control of these and other insect pests. Pear psylla is a key pest that pear growers must control. The primary control tactic is promotion and protection of a large complex of predators. We will be trying to understand how we can make this diverse beneficial complex more productive for growers. Western Cherry X Disease is a phytoplasma that lives and replicates in the vascular phloem of infected trees. It is vectored by several species of leafhoppers. We will be conducting leafhopper serves to determine the species complex and the phenology of these insects in the hopes of reducing their numbers. Other exciting projects are being developed and the candidate will have an opportunity to work on many novel projects.

Student Responsibilities: The student is expected to learn how to identify insect pests of tree fruit, there predators, and parasitoids. The Student will deploy and check monitoring traps and help to collect and process data. Much of this work will be outside in the fresh air, sunshine and occasional wet weather, so students should enjoy being outside. Many of these studies will require insects to be identified and counted under the microscope, so quality time at the scope can also be expected.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Working well with others, a positive attitude, attention to detail, love of insects.

Student Learning Outcomes: Students will see first-hand the challenges of growing quality fresh fruit. Students will gain experience in insect identification, experimental design, data collection and analysis, team work, and the beauty of the Hood River area.

Project Objectives: The objectives of all the lab’s projects will be to collect insect related data, to better understand, and mitigate, the entomological challenges of fruit growers. It is our hope that students will see the many opportunities for potential tree fruit scientist, and come back to work in this field.

Long-term Forage Production of Perennials Effects on Soil Health under Limited and Competing Water Resources in Eastern Oregon

Faculty Mentor Name: Guojie Wang

BES Facility Name: Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center (EOARC)

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Union

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary: $14/hr

Expected Hours/Week: The minimum expected hours per week: 24
The maximum expected hours per week: 40

Hourly Working Parameters: This project deals with soil sampling and processing, field irrigation and maintenance, agronomic plots monitoring and harvesting, and fertilization and pest control. These duties will need to be completed in a timely manner. Intern may need to work in the early morning, late afternoon and/or weekends to finish the necessary field work on time.   

Housing Benefit: A room in a trailer house, located on site, will be assigned to the intern to use during the internship with no charge to the intern. Intern may/may not share the trailer house with other interns. Necessary cleaning and housekeeping work need to be done on intern's side. Rooms are available on a first come-first serve basis.

Hazard/Minor: Yes   

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes   

Project Description: One of the benefits of perennial forage production system is soil health improvement. Less seeding and other equipment use will lower the risk of soil compaction. The deep root system of perennials will increase soil organic matter. Legumes will fix nitrogen to the soil for the following crops to use. Quantifying the benefit of soil health related to perennial forages is very necessary to monetize and motivate farmers and ranchers to adopt a more diverse perennial forage production system. We seeded 20 perennial forage species including 10 cool season grasses, 5 legumes, and 5 warm season grasses in 2016. We collected the yield data in last three years. This ongoing project present us a unique opportunity to study the long-term perennial forage production system effects on yield stability, species maturity timing, forage quality, stand longevity, and soil health. Soil samples will be collected in each plot in the end of 2020 to quantify the soil health improvement of perennial forage production system. The soil health parameters will include soil organic matter content, soil nutrients, and pH with four depths: 0-6', 6-12', 12-24', and 24-36'.

Student Responsibilities: The intern will be responsible for

  1. searching perennial forage species information indoor and writing a literature review about them,
  2. managing field plots including pest control, irrigation, and fertilization,
  3. monitoring field plots including species developmental stages, height, density, and production,
  4. collecting soil samples from each plot and sending them to the soil lab,
  5. inputting and analyzing the collected data, and
  6. interpreting results and making a poster.     

Preferred Skills/Experience: The expectations to the intern from project mentor is to

  1. communicate with mentor, summer tech, graduate student, and other personnel effectively and work together efficiently;
  2. perform the necessary daily tasks the intern responsible for smoothly with help from mentor and other personnel;
  3. meet deadlines for this internship program midterm report and final poster presentation;
  4. learn new scientific and practical knowledge daily and actively by asking questions, searching internet, and other means.

Student Learning Outcomes: The leaning outcomes of this internship is to

  1. have hands-on opportunities in agriculture related activities, such as field measurement, seeding, fertilization, weed control, and irrigation;
  2. have scientific training such as experimental design, data collection, field monitoring, and results interpretation;
  3. interact with local producers and scientists and have a broader perspective on agriculture production through field tours and producers' meetings.

Project Objectives: The research goal is to quantify long-term perennial forage production system efficiency and potential under limited irrigation water situation. The specific objectives are:

  1. Evaluate the perennial forage species yield and its stability
  2. Document the perennial forage species maturity timing and its variability
  3. Analyze the perennial forage quality related to maturity timing
  4. Assess stand longevity of different perennial forage species and
  5. Quantify soil health improvement with different perennial forage species over six years under limited and competing water resources in eastern Oregon.
Impact of Grapevine Red Blotch Disease on Vine Physiology and Performance in Oregon Pinot Noir

Faculty Mentor Name: Alexander Levin

BES Facility Name: Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Central Point, OR

Specific Duration Details: Flexible start and end date

Student Hourly Salary: $12/hr

Expected Hours/Week: 30-40 hours/week

Hourly Working Parameters: N/A

Housing Benefit: N/A

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: No

Project Description:

Grapevine Red Blotch Disease (GRBD) is a recently discovered viral disease that is increasingly threatening wine grape production in Oregon. The deleterious effects of the disease on fruit quality (e.g. low sugar, high acidity, low pigment concentration) and, subsequently, wine quality are well documented, but the cause of these impacts is not well understood. It is likely that GRBD affects vine physiology and performance even before fruit ripening begins and continues to hamper fruit development throughout ripening. In 2019, we collected preliminary data in a commercial vineyard of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Pinot noir in Southern Oregon where GRBD has been identified. We observed lower rate of gas exchange, higher stem water potential, and increased leaf sugar concentration in association with GRBD. The lower rate of photosynthesis and buildup up sugar in leaves might explain lower concentrations of sugar in mature fruit.

In 2020, we will be monitoring vine physiology throughout the ripening period in order to more completely understand the progression and impact of disease. The measurements of interest include gas exchange (photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, transpiration), water status (stem water potential), leaf sugar (nonstructural carbohydrates), and berry composition (sugar, pH, acidity). We are expecting to find significant differences in these variables between infected and healthy vines, so we are aiming to understand the timing and magnitude of these differences. During the ripening period, we expect vine performance variables to correlate with fruit composition.

As time permits, we will also be collecting data from an established field trial in a difference commercial vineyard with a high rate of GRBD incidence. Here, we are investigation the impact of different cultural practices on the effects of GRBD. Thus far (2018-2019), we have seen significant impacts of irrigation and crop load adjustment on the composition of fruit from infected vines. Similar vine physiology and fruit composition data will be collected as described previously, but in this trial we will be looking for differences based on experimental treatments and not disease status. The results from this trial will potentially guide growers in the management of infected vines.

Students will be trained to perform all of the specialized viticultural and lab skills. This opportunity will be particularly engaging for students with an interest in: wine grapes, viticulture, enology, agriculture, botany, horticulture, food science, and plant pathology.

Student Responsibilities:

  • Field work: collecting leaves for analysis, operating a pressure chamber to take water status measurements, assisting in measurement of gas exchange, sampling berries for analysis
  • Lab work: preparing leaf samples for analysis, leaf sugar quantification assays, preparing berry samples for analysis, measuring pH/sugar/acidity in berry juice
  • Data analysis: recording and organizing collected data, statistical analysis

Below is an example of an average day:
8:30 - arrive at station; review literature, record data, prepare materials for field work
9:30 - depart the station for field site
10:00 - arrive at field site; collect leaf/berry samples
11:30 - collect water status and/or gas exchange measurements
2:00 - return to station
2:30 - prepare/store leaf samples and juice berries for analysis
3:00 - conduct chemical analysis of berries (sugar, pH, acidity)
4:00 - enter data from berry analysis
4:30 - end of day

Preferred Skills/Experience:

  • Field work: ability to stand for long periods of time, ability to lift up to 50 lbs., ability to work outside in varying weather conditions, experience with agriculture or field work is a plus
  • Lab work: pipetting, operating a balance, labelling/organization
  • Data analysis: some statistical knowledge preferred

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Field work: operating a pressure chamber, proper field sample collection
  • Lab work: operating pH meter/centrifuge/refractometer/titrator/microplate reader, leaf sugar quantification assay
  • Viticulture: grapevine structure and function, vineyard practices, interpretation of gas exchange data, interpretation of vine water status data, interpretation of leaf sugar data
  • Data analysis: R statistical software, preparation and presentation of data, interpretation of statistical analysis, technical writing/drafting of scientific manuscript

Project Objectives:

  1. In collaboration with other lab members, collect samples, take field measurements, and conduct lab analyses associated with the GRBD field trials.
  2. Record, enter, and analyze vine physiology/performance data; statistical interpretation of data related to either disease status or field treatments.
  3. Prepare data tables, summarize findings, and present of results in both poster and report formats.
Weed Control in the 21st Century

Faculty Mentor Name: Judit Barroso

BES Facility Name: Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center (CBARC)

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Adams

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary: $14/hr

Expected Hours/Week: The minimum would be 20 and the maximum 40.
If the student has availability for full time, I would prefer he/she to expect 40 hours per week.

Hourly Working Parameters: The student is not expected to work on weekends.
Due to high temperatures in summer, certain days when we need to sample in the field, the student could expect to start working earlier than 8am, but those few days, he/she could finish earlier as well.

Housing Benefit:

Hazard/Minor: Yes

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description:

Global wheat production is threatened by the escalating selection of herbicide resistant weed populations. The continuing evolution of herbicide resistance in major crop weeds is a driving force to develop new weed control strategies in field crops and to preserve the utility of herbicides.

This project will concentrate on two main goals: 1) Evaluate the potential benefits of two harvest weed seed control practices, chaff lining and chaff tramlining, to reduce weed infestations and protect yields in wheat-production systems in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). In Australia, those practices are successfully controlling weeds, but we do not know their efficacy in the USA, and 2) Evaluate site-specific weed management (SSWM) with optoelectronic sensors, such as WeedSeeker or WEEDit that can discriminate between plant presence and absence, compared to uniform weed control practices. Some of the benefits of using precision spraying are the significant reduction in chemical usage with resultant cost savings, reduction in community exposure to farm chemicals, ability to use higher rates strategically on hard to kill weeds and water and grower time savings due to fewer tank fills per day. In addition to those benefits, the use of precision spraying could help control glyphosate-resistant weeds by allowing growers to use more expensive herbicides and, consequently, help maintain farm sustainability in fallow-wheat systems of northeastern Oregon.

Student Responsibilities: For this project, the student will be expected to spend about 20 hours per week outdoors and about 20 hours per week indoors.
Among the different tasks where the student is expected to help are:

  1. Collect weed plants from crop fields near CBARC once per week before and during harvest season,
  2. Evaluate seed production and seed retention of the collected plants in the lab,
  3. Help to sample plots to evaluate the efficacy of spot spraying and uniform treatments,
  4. Help to evaluate the effect of residue management on the performance of the WeedSeeker and WEEDit sensors,
  5. Help to sample weeds in the field from other on-going projects in the weed program at CBARC.
  6. Help to analyze data and interpret results.

Preferred Skills/Experience: An interest in Weed Science and/or Agronomy is desirable.
Knowledge of Excel and R programs will help to develop some of the activities but it is not required.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • To recognize important weed species in crops.
  • To be familiar with seeds of different weed species.
  • New technologies to control weeds in fields.
  • Important agronomic factors that can impact weed control.
  • Wheat production systems of northeastern Oregon.
  • Some notions to analyze data and interpret results.

The student will also gain experience developing field and lab work to find the answers to the hypotheses in a scientific work.

Project Objectives: The main goal of this project is to evaluate:

 

  1. The benefits of chaff lining and chaff tramlining to reduce weed infestations in the dryland wheat production systems of northeastern Oregon.
    The particular sub-objectives are:
    1. Evaluation of seed retention, seed height, and seed production of important weed species at harvest.
    2. Evaluation of weed infestation and crop yield loss harvesting with chaff spreaders or with chaff lining.
    3. Evaluation of soil compaction on crop and weed germination to determine viability of chaff lining or chaff tramlining in the region.
  2. The benefits of real-time precision spraying systems to improve or maintain the sustainability of the fallow-based cropping systems of northeastern Oregon.
    The particular sub-objectives are:
    1. Evaluate the control efficacy and herbicide savings of precision spraying compared with uniform applications to control important weed species in fallow and post-harvest.
    2. Evaluate the impact of residue management on the performance of precision spraying applications with both sensors compared to uniform applications.
Supplying Nitrogen for Organic Tree Fruit Production

Faculty Mentor Name: Gordon Jones

BES Facility Name: Southern Oregon Research and Experiment Station (SOREC)

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Central Point

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary: $12/hr

Expected Hours/Week: 30-40 hours

Hourly Working Parameters:

Housing Benefit:

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description: Providing adequate and affordable Plant Available Nitrogen is a challenge for organic tree fruit growers. This project will research using leguminous cover crops to supply nitrogen to pear trees.  Nitrogen fixing cover crops will be compared to standard grass cover in a plot that has been managed organically for 8 years.

Student Responsibilities:

Student will take and process soil, leaf and  fruit  samples to be analyzed for nitrogen and other nutrient composition.  At end of the season student will prepare a report and poster comparing the different management approaches and results.

The student will also participate in all orchard, vineyard and grounds maintenance operations including mowing, weed control, irrigation and harvest. (student will not apply pesticides).

Preferred Skills/Experience: Ability to perform moderate to heavy physical labor in all kinds of weather ( but mostly hot). Some experience with  scientific research preferred but not required.

Student Learning Outcomes: She/he will learn how pears,  grapes, apples and other crops are cultivated as well as some basics about agricultural research focusing specifically on how to supply sufficient, affordable nitrogen to organic tree fruits.

Project Objectives: To determine if leguminous cover crops can economically supply adequate nitrogen to an organic  tree fruit crop.

Irrigation and Water Conservation for Pears in Southern Oregon

Faculty Mentor Name: Rich Roseburg

BES Facility Name: Southern Oregon Research and Experiment Station (SOREC)

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Central Point

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary: $12/hr

Expected Hours/Week: 30-40 hours

Hourly Working Parameters:

Housing Benefit:

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description:

It is a tenet of the pear industry that fruit must be "plumped up" with irrigation water to produce larger, more marketable fruit. However decreasing snow packs and increasing competition for water supplies necessitates addressing the research question: "How much water do pears really need?"

The project will compare two plots of pears. One will be watered with the standard 12 hour weekly set. The other will be irrigated to replace the water lost to evaporation and transpiration. At the end of the season fruit in each plot will be harvested and weighed.

Student Responsibilities:

  1. The student will calculate the irrigation application rates per hour in each of the two plots.
  2. She/he will irrigate one plot on the standard 12 hour irrigation set.
  3. The other plot will be irrigated to replace the water lost to evaporation and transpiration as measured at a nearby Agrimet weather station.
  4. At the end of the season she will harvest, weigh and measure samples of fruit from each of the two plots.
  5. She will prepare a report and poster presenting the results of the experiment.

The student will also participate in all orchard, vineyard and grounds maintenance operations including mowing, weed control, irrigation and harvest. (student will not apply pesticides).

Preferred Skills/Experience: Ability to perform moderate to heavy physical labor outdoors in all kinds of weather (but mostly hot). Some experience with scientific research preferred but not required.

Student Learning Outcomes: She/he will learn how pears,  grapes, apples and other crops are cultivated as well as some basics about agricultural research focusing specifically on irrigation issues in Southern Oregon pears.

Project Objectives: To increase irrigation efficiency in pear production in Southern Oregon.

Potential contribution of irrigation systems to the spread of weed propagules in Central Oregon.

Faculty Mentor Name: John Spring

BES Facility Name: Central Oregon Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Madras

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary: $12.5/hr

Expected Hours/Week: 32-40

Hourly Working Parameters: Work hours may vary depending on crop maturity, weather, irrigation or cooperator schedules, harvest timelines, or other factors that cannot be controlled. Total work week will not exceed 40 hours, and weekend work is not anticipated.

Housing Benefit:

Hazard/Minor: Yes

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description: The Integrated Pest Management program at the Central Oregon Agricultural Research and Extension Center (COAREC) focuses on the study and control of problematic weeds of the region. The program emphasizes applied research questions related to weed control and integrated management systems for weeds, but applied and basic questions related to herbicide resistance and weed biology are also pursued where they can contribute to more effective and sustainable weed management. High value irrigated specialty crop systems are the major emphasis, but research is also conducted in agronomic crops, forages, and rangeland.

Student Responsibilities:

The intern working on this Branch Experiment Station Experiential Learning Experience at COAREC will have primary responsibility for day to day conduct of 2 field research projects related to weed presence and distribution in irrigation systems of the North Unit Irrigation District in Jefferson County Oregon. Project one is a survey of aquatic weed species found in irrigation storage ponds and other possible off-channel habitats for aquatic species of concern in the larger Deschutes River watershed, emphasizing possible presence of invasive Eurasian milfoil. The second project will involve monitoring, collection, and identification of weed seed that may be dispersed by irrigation canals and surface irrigation systems in the Irrigation District. Both projects will involve close cooperation with North Unit Irrigation District and Jefferson County weed program staff, and a large amount of independent field and lab work.

In addition to these dedicated projects, the intern will have opportunity to gain experience with a wider range of applied research projects relating to weed control and biology and associated experimental approaches. Research projects planned for 2020 include herbicide development and evaluation in Kentucky bluegrass and carrot seed crops, peppermint, and rangeland revegetation; description and quantification of herbicide resistance on a regional basis; and studies of the seedbank dynamics and ecology of several particularly problematic weed species of carrot seed production.

Preferred Skills/Experience: This internship will require the intern to work in field, greenhouse and laboratory conditions, and with basic computer software (Microsoft Office Suite), and microscopes.  Although not required, a background in biology, crop science, agronomy, or a similar field, as well as experience with production agriculture and irrigation systems would be advantageous for this learning experience. Previous experience with GIS systems would also be helpful, but is not necessary.

The intern will be required to operate pickups on improved and unimproved roads, and spend considerable time working independently collecting and identifying weeds and weed seeds in the field, around active irrigation systems, and on the private, commercial farms of cooperators. Considerable time will also be spent separating, counting, and identifying weed seeds in lab and greenhouse settings. Willingness to work in all of these environments is required, although previous experience is not

Student Learning Outcomes: The intern will have the opportunity to gain skills related to applied field research (survey and sampling methods, small plot experimentation), application of herbicides to experimental plots, evaluation of weed control efficacy, weed and weed seed identification, and to interact with a range of research collaborators, including growers, agronomist, and irrigation district and county weed district employees. Additionally, the intern will be exposed to the crops, weeds, and crop production systems found in Central Oregon, and the day-to-day operations and variety of research and Extension programs found at an Agricultural Experiment Station.

Project Objectives: By the end of the project, the intern will have gained direct experience related to experimental design, applied field research, survey design, herbicide application, terrestrial and aquatic weed and weed seed identification, weed biology, and a basic exposure to irrigation systems and high value seed crops. The intern will learn methods associated with data collection, basic data analyses, and the presentation of research results to diverse stakeholders, including growers, industry, and the scientific community. The intern will also have had the opportunity to work directly with collaborating growers and staff of partner agencies (Irrigation District and County Weed District) in conducting research. Results and outcomes will be presented in a final written report to collaborators, and presented as a scientific poster to peers.

FIC Product and Process Development Intern

Faculty Mentor Name: Sarah Masoni

BES Facility Name: Food Innovation Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Portland, Oregon

Specific Duration Details: June through September

Student Hourly Salary: $15/hr

Expected Hours/Week: Monday thru Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Hourly Working Parameters: Occasional evening events may be optional

Housing Benefit:

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: No

Project Description: Work with the product and process development team on food product development projects. Basic laboratory work including: pH, water activity & brix analysis.  Learn to use the Genesis ESHA nutrition program, and bench top formulation.

Student Responsibilities: Arrive at the Food Innovation Center st 8:00 am each morning and meet with the team to check in for the days work.  Each day is different, with varied projects working on food product formulation and development.  Kitchen duties including dish washing, and putting away equipment from the day before.  Assist the Culinary Manager, Food Scientist and Director with daily development projects, learn about client intake and the development process.  Hands on food development, laboratory work will be part of everyday.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Proficiency in Microsoft Office, including Excel, and Word.  Laboratory analysis of food using pH meter, Refractometer, water activity meter, and moisture analysis.  Record keeping, laboratory notes, and formula calculations.  Dish washing, laboratory tidiness, and general lab and ingredient organization.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Food formulation
  • Nutrition data analysis
  • Food product development process

Project Objectives: learn to be a team member, and work effectively as a Food technologist.

Plant disease management in the dryland wheat production system

Faculty Mentor Name: Christina H Hagerty

BES Facility Name: CBARC

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Pendleton

Specific Duration Details: Can start as soon as June 1 but flexible to start after

Student Hourly Salary:  $14.5/hr

Expected Hours/Week: min 35, average 40, max 50

Hourly Working Parameters: Typical work schedule is 7:30AM - 4PM

Housing Benefit:

Hazard/Minor: Yes

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description: The Pendleton Cereal Pathology lab is focused on serving the producers and stakeholders of high quality Oregon wheat. Our is to conduct relevant, practical, and applied research on the biology and control of plant-pathogenic fungi and nematodes that limit yields of dryland wheat production in the Inland Pacific Northwest. We work with many pathogens including Soilborne wheat mosaic virus, Fusarium crown rot, rust, Septoria leaf blotch, Eyespot, and nematodes including Cereal cyst nematode and Root lesion nematode. Ultimately, these pests hurt profitability for farmers; our research effort is to develop affordable solutions to help farmers. Our lab is focused on many solutions including: identifying sources of genetic resistance to pests of interest, trialing seed treatments, and testing fungicides. We are also working to understand pathogen/nematode dynamics, variety blends, and fungicide resistance.

Student Responsibilities:

For this project, the student intern will be expected to spend 20-35 hours per week outdoors and up to 20 hours per week in an indoor lab/greenhouse.

The intern will be working directly with other lab members to develop project work plans as part of a general research effort in the program. We can accommodate if the student has specific interests (e.g. Seeking lab experience? Seeking field work experience? Seeking data management experience?), as there are many projects going on in the program.

Preferred Skills/Experience:

  • Punctuality and a good attitude
  • Interest in science/agronomy and farm experience is desirable.
  • Attention to detail, able to work in hot/dry/dusty conditions. Work will be challenging but gratifying.

Student Learning Outcomes: How to conduct yourself in the field, how to interact with farmers, how to troubleshoot issues, how to develop scientific protocols,

Project Objectives:

  1. Help prepare for research plot harvest. Manage plots maps and label harvest bags
  2. Sample plants from research plots, evaluate for root mass and disease
  3. Help harvest plots
  4. Weigh grain from harvested plots and enter data
  5. Help maintain a clean and safe working environment
  6. Prepare inoculum for fall planting
  7. Prepare for Field Day
Isolation and identification of grapevine trunk disease pathogens

Faculty Mentor Name: Achala KC

BES Facility Name: Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Central Point

Specific Duration Details: Mid June - Mid September

Student Hourly Salary: $15.00 /hr

Expected Hours/Week: 30 to 40 hrs

Hourly Working Parameters: Given the type of research and data needed, students are expected to work on weekends and / or outside of 8am-5pm. This will not be a regular schedule but expected once or twice throughout the internship period.

Housing Benefit:

Hazard/Minor: Yes

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description: Grapevine trunk disease (GTDs) is a complex of multiple fungal pathogens. Vineyards in several grape producing regions in Oregon showed symptoms of this disease while surveyed in 2019. We are collecting samples from these vineyards to identify what are the primary fungal pathogens prevalent in these vineyards in different regions. This will involve travelling to vineyard sites in Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon, collecting wood tissue samples, bringing them to lab, processing, culturing them in artificial media, and identification based on culture morphology and/or DNA sequences.

Student Responsibilities: Student will be responsible for assisting post-doctoral research associate in preparing day to day activities for wood tissue collection, media preparation for culturing the tissues, processing samples, prepare for DNA extraction and/or extract DNA following standard laboratory protocols.    

Preferred Skills/Experience: While not required, it is preferred that students possess skills for laboratory research, sanitation, and sterilization techniques. Attention to details and be able to follow lab rules and regulations are required for this internship.

Student Learning Outcomes: From this experience, it is expected that students learn basic skills in plant pathology research. Specific skills would include processing of disease samples, artificial media preparation, sterilization techniques, culturing fungal specimen, DNA extraction, sequencing, and species identification.

Project Objectives:

  1. To collect GTDs samples from affected vineyards in Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon
  2. To isolate fungal species inhabiting the grapevine trunks
  3. To identify the GTD pathogens prevalent in OR based on culture morphology and DNA sequences
Improving pollinator health in grasslands and forests: investigating effects of land management on native bees

Faculty Mentor Name: Sandra DeBano

BES Facility Name: Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Hermiston

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary: $14/hr

Expected Hours/Week: Students will be expected to work 40 hours a week.

Hourly Working Parameters: Students may work more than 8 hours a day when doing fieldwork (but not more than 40 hours per week), or may start earlier than 8 AM or end later than 5 PM.

Housing Benefit: We will provide $150 a month in housing benefits.

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description: Grasslands and forests serve agriculture in numerous ways, including providing extensive rangeland habitat for livestock production and forest products. These rangelands also serve as important habitat for pollinators, including native bees which, in turn, are important crop pollinators. In fact, native bees are estimated to pollinate over $3 billion of crops in the US annually. Because of this, producers and land managers are interested in developing management plans that not only focus on forest and livestock production goals, but also on maximizing pollinator habitat in these areas. This internship focuses on how various types of land management influence native bees in eastern Oregon.

Student Responsibilities: The internship will involve both field and laboratory work. Field work may last all day and involve physical activities such as extensive walking to and among field sites while carrying up to 25 pounds of equipment, collecting bees and other insects using nets and other trapping techniques, and sampling plants and soils. It is anticipated that 50-70% of the intern’s time will be spent in the field and the remaining time in the laboratory. Most field work will take place at remote locations that involve staying in field station housing or camping for up to a week at a time. Laboratory work will consist of preparing insect specimens for identification (e.g., washing, drying, pinning, and labeling specimens), organizing insect collections, cataloging plant specimens, and entering data into Excel. The intern may also be involved in soil sampling and other field sampling methods necessary to characterize study sites.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Although helpful, no previous experience with insects or plants is necessary. The intern must have a driver's license.

Student Learning Outcomes: The intern can expect to learn or further develop existing skills in vegetation and soil sampling, bee sampling methods, laboratory techniques (including bee and plant preparation and preservation), data entry and analysis, and presentation skills in the development of their final project.

Project Objectives: The intern involved with this project will work on projects focused on how land management influence native bees in forests and grasslands. Projects will take place at various locations in Oregon, and potentially in Idaho. Specific objectives will be to:

  1. collect native bees at various grassland and forested sites using nets and traps;
  2. sample blooming plants along transects at each site;
  3. prepare bee specimens for identification by washing, drying, and pinning; and
  4. enter data into Excel spreadsheets following methods necessary to ensure targeted quality assurance and control.
Invasive Crayfish in Eastern Oregon

Faculty Mentor Name: David Wooster

BES Facility Name: Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Hermiston

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary: $14/hr

Expected Hours/Week: Students will be expected to work 40 hours a week.

Hourly Working Parameters: Students may work more than 8 hours a day when doing fieldwork (but not more than 40 hours per week), or may start earlier than 8 AM or end later than 5 PM.

Housing Benefit: We will provide $150 a month in housing benefits.

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description: Invasive crayfish have large, negative effects on freshwater ecosystems.  We will be examining the ecology and distribution of two invasive crayfish found in eastern Oregon, the rusty crayfish and the red swamp crayfish. The rusty crayfish has invaded the John Day River basin and will reach the Columbia River  in the next year or two. We will trap crayfish along the invasion front and determine characteristics of individuals at the front. We will also examine the diets of rusty crayfish. Work using stable isotopes and gene metabarcoding has been conducted on these crayfish to determine their diets. However, we hypothesize that cannibalism is a density-dependent means of population regulation and is an important component of rusty crayfish diet in areas where their densities are high. Cannibalism cannot be detected through stable isotopes or metabarcoding. Rusty crayfish will be collected and their diets will be determined through dissection. Red swamp crayfish have invaded a series of ponds in a wildlife management area. For this species, we are monitoring the abundance of this species and are trapping in nearby ponds and the Columbia River to detect whether they are spreading.

Student Responsibilities: The student will be responsible for all aspects of our work on invasive crayfish. This includes trapping crayfish and measuring a variety of environmental parameters in the field. The student must be able to handle live crayfish and should not have a problem with euthanizing invasive crayfish (through freezing).  The student must also be capable of dissecting crayfish and learning to identify gut contents. We will also bring live crayfish back to the laboratory to conduct behavioral experiments. The student will be responsible with feeding the crayfish and cleaning their tanks. From day-to-day the student will be spending time in the field and must be willing to work in hot conditions, wade in rivers, and handle live animals.  On non-field days, the student will be working in the laboratory at a dissection station as well as feeding crayfish and cleaning their tanks.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Although helpful, no previous experience with insects is necessary. The intern must have a driver’s license.

Student Learning Outcomes: The student will learn a variety of field techniques including trap-setting and measuring stream flow velocity. The student will also learn how to enter data into a spreadsheet and use summary statistics and graphs to aid in interpreting data. The student will also learn dissection techniques and sample preservation.

Project Objectives:

The main objectives for the rusty crayfish project are:

  1. Determine the makeup of the crayfish population at the invasion front (sex ratio, size, morphology).
  2. Determine whether cannibalism appears to be an important part of the diet of rusty crayfish in areas of high density.

For the red swamp crayfish project, the objectives are:

  1. Estimate population size in ponds where the red swamp crayfish occur
  2. Determine whether the population has spread into nearby water bodies.
Evaluation of Nutrient Requirement for Different Potato Varieties in the Columbia Basin

Faculty Mentor Name: Ruijun Qin

BES Facility Name: HAREC

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Hermiston

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary: $14/hr

Expected Hours/Week: ideally 40 hours/week, but it is adjustable depending on the requirement of the student

Hourly Working Parameters: In general, the works should be done during 8am-5pm.

Housing Benefit: HAREC might be able to help the student to find lodging with very low cost.

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: No

Project Description: Columbia Basin is a very important region for potato production. In recent years, with the efforts of potato breeders, the Tri-State potato cultivar program has released a number of varieties suitable for the potato industry. The new potato varieties may have very different nutrient requirements, but their fertilization methods are based on the guidelines of the traditional variety, Russet Burbank, which was developed from Washington and Idaho many years ago. Therefore, there is a need for validating and revising the current fertilization guideline for the new varieties to maximize yield and quality. For addressing this issue, we are carrying out field trials and laboratory incubation studies with the objectives of understanding soil nutrient availability and the fate of fertilizer in the soil after application and updating nutrient management guidelines for new potato varieties. This project will benefit the growers in the Columbia Basin region to generate more profits by improving nutrient use efficiency, potato yield, and quality of the new varieties.

Student Responsibilities: The main work responsibility will be observing and measuring crop growth, take soil and plant samples, learning techniques for field measurement, recording and processing data, and/or reporting project progress. Besides potato, the students may work on other crops such as wheat, bluegrass, mint, dry beans, and alfalfa, by collaoraing with other team members.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Applicable majors include soil and crop science, agronomy, horticulture, and other agriculture-related majors. Applicants should be motivated, hardworking, team-player, and physically able to work in field conditions.

Student Learning Outcomes: This project will provide good opportunities for students to gain experience and knowledge in agronomy and soil science through lab study and field trials. The student may learn the skills in carrying out research projects. The student may also have the chance to gain experience and knowledge of the large crop industries.  Besides potato, the students may have the opportunity to learn other crops such as wheat, bluegrass, mint, dry beans, and alfalfa.

The student may acquire skills on crop growth measurement, soil and crop sampling, weed management, fertilization, irrigation, planting and harvesting, data recording and processing, and project reporting.

Project Objectives: This project will be based on field trials with the objectives of 1) understanding soil nutrient availability, 2) evaluating the field performance of potato crops in response to different fertilizer rate for updating nutrient management guidelines for new potato varieties.

Potentially Funded Opportunities

Using GPS-activated shock collars to prevent cattle grazing of burned rangeland.

Faculty Mentor Name: Juliana Ranches

BES Facility Name: Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center (EOARC)

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Burns (Harney County)

Specific Duration Details: This study will begin in mid-late may and will be conducted until mid-August.

Student Hourly Salary: $12/hr

Expected Hours/Week: Minimum of 20 hours and a maximum of 40 hours.

Hourly Working Parameters: It may be necessary to check the cows during the weekends, but not animal training/activity will be required.

Housing Benefit: Housing is available at the EOARC. Our facility has two smaller houses and one bunkhouse. Summer is the busiest season at EOARC,  which permits the student to increase her/his network as she/he will interact with scientists and technicians working at OSU, USDA/ARS and The Nature Conservancy for example.

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: No

Project Description:

Each year wildfires burn millions of acres of western US rangeland.  Much of this area is within public domain rangeland, generally sagebrush steppe.  On publically-managed lands, grazing restrictions generally dictate that burned sagebrush rangeland cannot be grazed for a period of 2 years following fire.  Grazing livestock are attracted to burned areas and may overutilize plants within these areas and slow recovery from burning.  If a portion of a pasture burns, that pasture is either excluded from grazing for the two-year period, or temporary fencing has to be constructed to exclude the burned portion.  Traditional fencing is expensive, timing consuming, and often delayed by procedural and logistical barriers (e.g., NEPA, archeological clearances, contracting, etc.).  Recent technology using behavioral modification based on GPS-activated shock collars (i.e. virtual fencing) may offer a less expensive and less logistically challenging alternative to traditional fencing as well as allow grazing to occur on the unburned portions of burned pastures in the absence of additional fencing.  

Virtual fencing can be defined as a structure serving as an enclosure, a barrier, or a boundary without a physical barrier. Usually, animals in virtual fencing receive an auditory warning cue followed by an electric stimulus if they trespass the determined boundary (Umstatter, 2011). A recent study conducted in Europe (Campbell et al., 2018) demonstrated that virtual fences are highly effective at keeping heifers at designated locations after heifers were trained to respond to the GPS-activated shock collars. However, it has been observed in other studies (Lee et al., 2009) a high variation in how individual animals respond to cues, including animals that shows undesirable responses as running forward after an electric stimulus.

We hypothesized that GPS-activated shock collars will be an efficient tool for cattle being managed in rangeland. Thus, the main objective of this study is to determine the efficacy of GPS-activated shock collars for excluding cattle from burned sagebrush steppe. A second objective of this study is to evaluate cattle behavior, and performance when using GPS-activated shock collars.

With this study we aim to answer the following questions:

  • What will be the required training for cattle to learn how to positively respond to the GPS-activated shock collars?   
  • Will the use of GPS-activated shock collars in any way hurt cattle performance and behavior?     If so, will the observed changes in cattle performance and behavior be short-termed or will it have long term consequences?

Student Responsibilities:

Tests will be conducted to evaluate the cattle behavior when using the GPS collar. The main responsibility of the student will be to conduct these testing as well as to evaluate the cattle behavior. Briefly, Cattle (dry cows) will be conditioned to GPS-activated shock collars during the May of  2020. In order to condition and accurately measure cattle learning behavior two tests will be conducted using 12 na√Øve cows. Cows that successfully learn how to positively respond the GPS-activated shock collars will be subsequently used in the grazing trial. Tests will be performed in a testing arena where an attractant will be positioned in different locations (exclusion areas) to stimulate cattle displacement within the testing arena. Prior to the beginning of each test cows will be familiarized with the testing area. Each test will be performed at least three times for each individual cow. Each repetition of the test is called session, which will last 10 minutes. We will consider that cows were successfully conditioned (i.e to not cross/enter the exclusion area) when measures taken at the initial session to the final session differ by approximately 75%. For example, if a cow received 10 sensory cues during the initial to, she will be considered successfully conditioned if at the final session she receives 2.5 or less sensory cues.
Two main tests will be conducted before the grazing trial:

Test 1: How will cows react to virtual fencing?  In this first test, we will evaluate how cattle will react to the first exposure to virtual fencing. At the beginning of test 1 each cow will be brought to the testing arena (figure 1) individually and will be allowed to move freely around the testing arena (virtual fencing turned off).  until the cow locates the attractant (feed). Time spent to locate the attractant will be measure (latency to approach the feed). As soon as the cow finds the attractant, the cow will be removed from the testing arena and placed in a holding area. Virtual fencing will be turned on to protect the attractant creating an exclusion area. The cow will be released into the testing arena again. At this time, we will measure time spent at the exclusion area, number of audio and electric cues given by the collar and cattle behavior. Reaction to virtual fencing will be recorded using a video camera and annotated by two observers using pre-established behavioral reactions: Stop, Turn to the side, Turn 360¬∞ Walk forward, Trot forward, Run forward, Turn around and walk back, Turn around and trot back, Turn around and run back (Campbell et al., 2018). Virtual fence boundary will be physically determined by paint to allow the observer to capture behavioral data.

Test 2: How the previous experience with the virtual fencing will affect cattle behavior? In this second test, we will evaluate how cattle behave towards a new exclusion area and how cattle will behave in the area that was previously specified as an exclusion area (figure 2). This test will be performed very similarly to test 1, however a new exclusion area will be designated within the testing arena. All measurements taken in test 1 will be taken in test 2. Additionally, to understand If cattle will associate a previously established exclusion area as a place that cannot be visited again (negative association) we will evaluate cattle behavior and interaction with the exclusion area established in test 1. Time spent in the previous exclusion area, as well as, activities as stand, walk, rest, play and grooming will be recorded by video camera and two observers.

Preferred Skills/Experience: It is preferred students that have been in contact with cattle before, and know-how to handle them. No preferred skill/experience is needed regarding behavioral observations. The students will be trained at EOARC to conduct the behavior tests.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Students will learn how to handle cattle appropriately, how to evaluate behavior,  how to use a brand new technology, and will learn about the challenges of grazing public lands. Further, they will learn about the components of scientific methods while conducting research.

They will also have the opportunity to network with scientists and technicians from OSU, USDA/ARS, and The Nature Conservancy.

Project Objectives: The main objective of this study is to determine the efficacy of GPS-activated shock collars for excluding cattle from burned sagebrush steppe. A second objective of this study is to evaluate cattle behavior, and performance when using GPS-activated shock collars.

Evaluating riparian restoration to support salmonid restoration

Faculty Mentor Name: Bryan Endress

BES Facility Name: EOARC-Union Station

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Union / La Grande

Specific Duration Details: mid June- mid September

Student Hourly Salary: $12/hr

Expected Hours/Week: 40 hours per week.

Hourly Working Parameters: We generally work four 10-hour days (Monday-Thursday); and are off Friday-Sunday

Housing Benefit: Free housing is available at Starkey Experimental Forest

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: No

Project Description: Assist research team from OSU, ODFW & USDA Forest Service assessing riparian restoration for salmon, and the role of cattle, elk, and deer in influencing riparian health, condition and recovery. Work is conducted at Starkey Experimental Forest and Range and is a long-term collaborative effort seeking to find ways to restore habitat and manage for multi-use, including cattle grazing. Assist with data collection and project implementation. Work will include vegetation, habitat and environmental data collection in riparian and upland habitats; collect and analyze trail camera data on location and movement of cattle and wildlife; measure and monitor stream channels and streamside vegetation in response to cattle, elk and deer use to evaluate effects of herbivory on riparian restoration efforts to improve salmonid habitat in the Blue Mountains.

Student Responsibilities: Day to day work responsibilities include field data collection (vegetation surveys, riparian assessments, wildlife monitoring, etc.), monitoring and measuring permanent research plots, help maintain extensive wildlife trail camera array (change out memory cards, batteries, download video, and identify wildlife), collecting data using tablets, GPS, and other devices, data entry and proof reading, basic analyses and summary statistics.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Willingness and ability to work long days in a mountain environment under adverse weather conditions. Experiences or coursework in field sampling and plant ID is preferred, but we will provide all the training necessary. The most important skills for this position are the willingness to learn and work well with others in a collaborative environment.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. To conduct a wide variety of field data collection methods and protocols (vegetation surveys, riparian assessments, wildlife monitoring, etc.), including monitoring and measuring permanent research plots,
  2. To manage a wildlife camera trap array (change out memory cards, batteries, download video, and identify wildlife), 3. Summarize field collected data for reports and land managers.

Project Objectives:

Determine the rate of riparian habitat recovery following restoration Evaluate the effects of cattle, elk and deer on restoration effectiveness Assess cattle, elk and deer distribution and use of riparian areas

Seasonal variation in forage quality of native fobs for mule deer and elk

Faculty Mentor Name: Bryan Endress

BES Facility Name: EOARC Union Station

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Union / La Grande

Specific Duration Details: Mid June-Mid September

Student Hourly Salary: $12/hr

Expected Hours/Week: 40 hours a week

Hourly Working Parameters: We generally work 4, 10-hour days (Monday-Thursday) each week.

Housing Benefit: Yes, free housing is available at Starkey Experimental Forest

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: No

Project Description: In collaboration with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the USDA Forest Service, we are evaluating the importance of native forbs to the diet of wild ungulates in the Blue Mountains (mule deer, elk). The goals are to estimate forb abundance, biomass and distribution in PNW Bunchgrass ecosystems and determine how forage quality changes seasonally for key diet species. This information will be used to better understand the importance of forbs to wild ungulate diet.

Student Responsibilities:

  1. Work with a team to collect data in field including species ID, abundance, biomass, and collect samples for forage quality.
  2. Enter and proofread data
  3. Generate basic summaries of field collected data
  4. Assist with other forest and grassland research projects as time permits

Preferred Skills/Experience: experience (or coursework) identifying plants, collecting biological field data, spending long days in the field under various weather conditions, ability to work as part of a team in a collaborative environment, willingness to learn and try new things.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. How to collect field data using various techniques related to forb and grass abundance, biomass, distribution
  2. Prepare sample to send to laboratory for forage quality analysis
  3. How to generate basic summary analyses of data collected

Project Objectives:

  1. Estimate the biomass, abundance, and distribution of forb species important to elk and deer.
  2. Evaluate how forage quality of key forb forage species changes seasonally
Production and Phenology of 200 Alfalfa Cultivars in Eastern Oregon

Faculty Mentor Name: Guojie Wang

BES Facility Name: Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center (EOARC)

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Union

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary: $14/hr

Expected Hours/Week: The minimum expected hours per week: 24
The maximum expected hours per week: 40

Hourly Working Parameters: This project deals with soil sampling and processing, field irrigation and maintenance, agronomic plots monitoring and harvesting, and fertilization and pest control. These duties will need to be completed in a timely manner. Intern may need to work in the early morning, late afternoon and/or weekends to finish the necessary field work on time.

Housing Benefit: A room in a trailer house, located on site, will be assigned to the intern to use during the internship with no charge to the intern. Intern may/may not share the trailer house with other interns. Necessary cleaning and housekeeping work need to be done on intern's side. Rooms are available on a first come-first serve basis.

Hazard/Minor: Yes

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description: Alfalfa is the queen of forages. In order to produce high yield and quality of alfalfa hay, producers need select the right cultivar for their climatic and edaphic conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to test a wide range of alfalfa cultivars to help producers make the right cultivar selection. The field study will be carried out at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center in Union, OR along with another two locations in Idaho and Washington. The project general design is: 1) three locations in three PNW states; 2) 200 alfalfa cultivars.

Student Responsibilities: The intern will be responsible for 1) searching perennial forage species information indoor and writing a literature review about them, 2) managing field plots including pest control, irrigation, and fertilization, 3) monitoring field plots including species developmental stages, height, density, and production, 4) collecting soil samples from each plot and sending them to the soil lab, 5) inputting and analyzing the collected data, and 6) interpreting results and making a poster.

Preferred Skills/Experience: The expectations to the intern from project mentor is to 1) communicate with mentor, summer tech, graduate student, and other personnel effectively and work together efficiently; 2) perform the necessary daily tasks the intern responsible for smoothly with help from mentor and other personnel; 3) meet deadlines for this internship program midterm report and final poster presentation; 4) learn new scientific and practical knowledge daily and actively by asking questions, searching internet, and other means.

Student Learning Outcomes: The leaning outcomes of this internship is to 1) have hands-on opportunities in agriculture related activities, such as field measurement, seeding, fertilization, weed control, and irrigation; 2) have scientific training such as experimental design, data collection, field monitoring, and results interpretation; 3) interact with local producers and scientists and have a broader perspective on agriculture production through field tours and producers' meetings.

Project Objectives:
The project objective is to study alfalfa yield and quality between three sites and 200 cultivars.

Developing Adzuki bean in irrigated fields of Columbia Basin

Faculty Mentor Name: Ruijun Qin

BES Facility Name: HAREC

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Hermiston

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary: $14/hr

Expected Hours/Week: ideally 40 hours per week, but it is adjustable.

Hourly Working Parameters:

Housing Benefit: No

Hazard/Minor: No

Vehicle/Machinery: No

Project Description: In the Columbia Basin region, growers can suffer from low profitability during the production of wheat and corn, which are planted for 2-3 years as the main rotational crops to potatoes or onions. Therefore, there is a need to introduce new crop species into the current cropping system to increase crop diversities and potentially increase growers’ profits. Dry adzuki beans are believed to be a possible rotational crop because of rising demand in domestic and export markets. The inclusion of the dry beans will also benefit the current cropping system by fixing biological nitrogen, conserving water (reduced irrigation requirement), improving soil health, and suppressing pests and diseases. However, agronomic management practices need to be studied and developed for the crop. Through greenhouse studies and field trials, we aim to evaluate the adapted varieties (among 150 varieties) and develop the optimum nutrient, water, and pest management practices. The execution of this project will benefit growers of the Columbia Basin by increased crop sustainability and new market development.

Student Responsibilities: This project will provide good opportunities for students to gain experiences and knowledge in agricultural sciences through greenhouse study and field trials. The main work responsibility for this project will be conducting plant measurement, soil sampling, recording and processing data, and/or reporting project progress. Besides adzuki bean, the student may have the opportunity to learn other crops such as potato, wheat, mint, and/or alfalfa. She/he will also have the opportunity to conduct soil incubation studies.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Applicable majors include soil and crop science, agronomy, horticulture, and other agriculture related majors. Applicants should be motivated, hardworking, team-player, and physically able to work in field conditions.

Student Learning Outcomes: This project will provide good opportunities for students to gain experiences and knowledge in agricultural sciences through greenhouse study and field trials. The main work responsibility for this project will be conducting plant measurement, soil sampling, recording and processing data, and/or reporting project progress. Besides adzuki bean, the student may have the opportunity to learn other crops such as potato, wheat, mint, and/or alfalfa. She/he will also have the opportunity to conduct soil incubation studies.

Project Objectives: This project will be based on greenhouse studies and field trials with the objectives of 1) evaluating and selecting the optimal adzuki bean varieties which are suitable to the Columbia Basin region, 2) determining the nutrient management and water management plan for this new crop.

Monitoring insecticide resistance in onion pests

Faculty Mentor Name: Stuart Reitz

BES Facility Name: Malheur Experiment Station

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Ontario, OR

Specific Duration Details:

Student Hourly Salary: $12/hr

Expected Hours/Week: 20 - 40

Hourly Working Parameters: No work outside of regular business hours would be required.

Housing Benefit:

Hazard/Minor: Yes

Vehicle/Machinery: Yes

Project Description:

Insecticide resistance is a key concern for all farmers. It is an especially critical issue for onion farmers, who have a limited set of insecticides to control onion thrips, the key pest of onions worldwide. Levels of resistance vary by location and time. Documenting the degree of resistance requires testing the response of different populations over time.

Through this project, we wish to establish baseline resistance profiles for commonly used insecticides in populations of onion thrips across the Treasure Valley of eastern Oregon and southwest Idaho, which is one of the nation's largest onion producing regions. The information from this project will help onion growers make informed decisions about their pest management programs.

Student Responsibilities:

  1. The student will be responsible for collecting insects from specifically identified commercial onion fields. This will include driving to field sites, proper handling of plants and collection of insects.
  2. The student will be responsible for setting up experiments, monitoring their progress, and collecting, recording and summarizing data.
  3. The student may need to maintain colonies of thrips in the laboratory to generate sufficient numbers of test insects.
  4. The student will receive hands-on instruction in all of these methods from the mentor (Stuart Reitz) and other personnel at the Experiment Station.

Preferred Skills/Experience:

  1. Willingness to learn and ask questions.
  2. Interest in learning about insect biology, identification and toxicology.
  3. Interest in preparing simple chemical solutions.
  4. Interest in establishing and monitoring insect bioassays.
  5. Interest in learning scientific record keeping, data entry and basics of logistic regression for data analysis.
  6. Ability to use a stereomicroscope.
  7. The student will receive training and guidance throughout the project.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Insect identification skills, including collection and colony maintenance techniques.
  2. Skill in use of stereomicroscopes, basic chemical preparation, including use of micropipettes.
  3. Skill in establishing insect bioassays, using techniques for onion thrips developed in the Reitz lab.
  4. Introduction to logistic regression and other statistical analysis skills to summarize project data.

Project Objectives:

  1. Characterize resistance levels in different onion thrips populations to commonly used insecticides.
  2. Deliver information to growers.