Product Development Technician

Project Term Availability: Winter 2020

Specific Duration Details: June 2019 thru September 2019  dates dependent upon applicants availability

Faculty Mentor Name:  Sarah Masoni

BES Facility Name: Food Innovation Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Portland

Student Hourly Salary: $15/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 40 hours per week

Hourly Working Parameters: There may be some after hours work depending upon projects, this will not be typical

Housing Benefit: There is no housing available

Driver's License Required: No

Project Description: This summer internship will be working in the labs and kitchens at the Food Innovation Center.  You will be part of the product development team.  We will have a variety of projects involving product development of new foods.   

Student Responsibilities: The summer intern will be working in the kitchen and lab, and will be handling food products in the concept and development phases of a new food.  Lab work will include:  pH analysis, Water Activity Analysis, and Refractometer for Brix analysis.  Student may work independently on a project based upon current project load, and will be participating in day to day work flow of the Food Innovation Center.

Preferred Skills/Experience: General food science skills and experience would be preferred.  Lab skills and use of computer Microsoft Office a plus.

Project Objectives: Objective will be to develop a new novel food product based upon direction from the culinary manager and the product development team.

Criminal Background Check Required: No

Vertical, Soilless Strawberry Production Systems for Fresh Market, Year One

Project Term Availability: Spring 2019, Summer 2019, Fall 2019

Specific Duration Details: The internship starts one week after spring term ends and ends one week before fall term begins. Summer is preferred but if students are available during other terms, to work at the research site (NWREC) opportunities are available.

Faculty Mentor Name: Javier Fernandez-Salvador

BES Facility Name: North Willamette Research and Extension Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Wilsonville/Aurora Oregon

Student Hourly Salary: $11/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: minimum 30 maximum 40. Regular 40 hour work week is expected.     

Hourly Working Parameters: Field work in the summer requires starting at early hours of the day (5 - 6 AM) and sometimes stay longer than 8 hours at times, with flexibility to adapt. There may also be days when Saturday work is needed due to the data collection/crop maintenance schedule.

Housing Benefit: A small stipend for housing may be provided to round up the total amount of hours worked and any remaining funding until the entire amount ($5000) is used, between wages (40h/week for 3 months) and housing.

Driver's License Required: Yes

Project Description: This project will expand upon the research currently underway by the Berry Initiative on field production systems for fresh market strawberries, by exploring vertical, soilless production of the same crop. While fresh organic strawberries can be profitable for growers, their production is labor intensive, requiring frequent weeding and application of pesticides. Vertical, soilless systems could reduce labor and resource costs over multiple seasons, by cutting down on pest pressure, and making plants more easily accessible for fast and efficient management and harvest. This project will explore the feasibility and equipment needs for two different vertical system designs.

Student Responsibilities: For this project, the student intern will work a total of 40 hours per week, split between 30-35 hours outdoors/in the field, and 5-10 hours in the office. Field work will include research plot maintenance and care, such as harvesting, weeding, adjusting irrigation schedules, applying fertilizer and other amendments, taking soil and leaf tissue samples, and data collection. Office work will include data entry, analysis and writing up preliminary findings, conducting literature reviews, and assisting with field recordkeeping. Student may also assist with other strawberry project trials from time to time. Students must have their own transportation to and from site. Some additional travel may be required, to collect data at collaborating farm sites.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Previous experience with agricultural systems, and an interest/understanding of vertical and soilless production and/or organic systems is preferred. Experience driving manual shift preferred. Any machinery and mechanical skills (irrigation, repairs, etc) is always a plus.

Project Objectives: The goal of this project is to conduct a preliminary study on new technologies that may improve efficiencies and yields in Oregon strawberries. Specific research objectives include:

  • Evaluate different planting media combinations for their effect on plant yields;
  • Determine best practices for the use of organic and conventional fertilizers, including combinations with microbial amendments to assist with nutrient mineralization and a combined irrigation/fertigation recirculation system, for plant yields and fertilizer use efficiency;
  • Explore two different tower arrangements to compare costs and impact on yields;
  • Determine overall equipment and labor costs for vertical, soilless production of strawberries under greenhouse cover in Oregon.

Criminal Background Check Required: No

Up-Potting Trials for Better Olive Orchard Establishment, Year Two

Project Term Availability: Summer 2019, Fall 2019

Specific Duration Details: The internship starts one week after spring term ends and ends one week before fall term begins.

Faculty Mentor Name: Javier Fernandez-Salvador

BES Facility Name: NWREC North Willamette Research and Extension Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Wilsonville/Aurora Oregon

Student Hourly Salary: $11/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: Minimum of 30h maximum of 40h/week

Hourly Working Parameters: Field work in the summer requires starting at early hours of the day (5 - 6 AM) and stay longer than 8 hours at times, with flexibility to adapt. There may also be days when Saturday work is needed due to the data collection/crop maintenance schedule.

Housing Benefit: A small stipend for housing may be provided to round up the total amount of hours worked and any remaining funding until the entire amount ($5000) is used between wages (40h/week for 3 months) and housing.

Driver's License Required: Yes

Project Description: The olive up-potting project is part of a larger comprehensive research project on organic olive planting establishment in Oregon. Olives are a relatively new crop in Oregon, and there is limited available research on best practices and guidelines for their management in this region. The “up-potting” trial consists of a multi-year evaluation in which trees of various ages and sizes will be planted out in the field according to a staggered timeline. This project will enter year two in 2019, with both one year old and two year old plants being transplanted out into irrigated and non-irrigated research sites. Additional components of the larger research project include propagation studies and cold hardiness and cold injury evaluations. The overall project also involves collaborations with local olive growers.

Student Responsibilities: For this project, the student intern will work a total of 40 hours per week, split between 30-35 hours outdoors/in the field, and 5-10 hours in the office. Field work will include research plot maintenance and care, such as tree planting, weeding, adjusting irrigation schedules, applying fertilizer and other amendments, taking soil and leaf tissue samples, and data collection. Office work will include data entry, analysis and writing up preliminary findings, conducting literature reviews, and assisting with field record keeping. Student may also assist with other olive project trials from time to time. Students must have their own transportation to and from site. Some additional travel may be required, to collect data at collaborating farm sites.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Previous experience with agricultural systems, and an interest/understanding of orchard production and/or organic systems is preferred. Experience driving manual shift preferred.

Project Objectives: The objectives of this project are to compare plant growth and survival for olive trees of differing ages and sizes. As such, the student will be expected to help with planting new batches of trees, and caring for and collecting data on all trees currently planted, as well as those kept in the greenhouse for planting in future years.

Criminal Background Check Required: Yes

Sensory and Consumer Research

Project Term Availability: Spring 2019, Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020

Specific Duration Details:

Faculty Mentor Name: Aimee Hasenbeck

BES Facility Name: Food Innovation Center

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

Student Hourly Salary: $15/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 20-40

Hourly Working Parameters: We occasionally run evening focus groups or weekend off-site taste tests at local grocery stores, farmers markets, etc.

Housing Benefit: n/a

Driver's License Required: No

Project Description: The BES Sensory Intern will be assisting the Sensory Program Staff with all aspects of sensory  consumer testing.   Consumer tests are conducted both at the FIC laboratory complex in Portland and off-site. The laboratory complex includes a reception area, 10 booths and a staging area, focus group room, observation area and commercial kitchen.  The student intern will gain excellent real world, hands on skills, such as dealing with clients, designing and administering sensory tests, analyzing and reporting results.

Student Responsibilities: Duties will include: client meetings to determine project objectives, creating a budget and formal proposal for the client, designing recruitment screeners in Qualtrics, conducting a category review with the sensory team, recruiting consumers from an existing database using Qualtrics, Microsoft Access and Microsoft Outlook, advertising through social media and other sites, preparing a test questionnaire in Compusense® data acquisition system, assisting with experimental design for testing, as well as miscellaneaous test preparation tasks (e.g., printing labels, making copies, coding serving materials, food sample preparation, serving food samples to consumers and clean up of the sensory reception facilities post test). In addition, the student will assist with analyzing test data and preparing a full report for the client. The student will be responsible for reporting the final results to FIC Staff before completion of their internship.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Preferred student candidates will be available for a minimum of 6 months, have a current Food Handlers License and will have solid knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access and Outlook).  Some sensory laboratory experience is also preferred, but not mandatory.

Project Objectives: Students will be expected to assist with taking a sensory project from beginning to end as described in the student responsibilities. If the project is funded by research dollars, assistance with publications are also a possibility.

Criminal Background Check Required: No

Agricultural sustainability and resource conservation in food crops

Project Term Availability: Spring 2019, Summer 2019, Fall 2019

Specific Duration Details:

Faculty Mentor Name: Scott Lukas

BES Facility Name: Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HAREC)

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

Student Hourly Salary: $13.5/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 40

Hourly Working Parameters:

Housing Benefit:

Driver's License Required: Yes

Project Description: Resource conservation and agricultural sustainability are ever-growing challenges in modern production systems.  The Integrative Horticulture Lab (IHL) is seeking a summer 2019 intern who has an interest in developing research-based methods to improve food crop sustainability. This project aims to reduce water consumption and nutrient pollution in onion cropping systems.  The student on this project will be evaluating modern irrigation technologies (Sub-surface drip) and the associated environmental and crop production benefits.  The research will utilize a network of underground sensors to model soil-water movement and nutrient losses due to leaching.  This internship will have responsibilities to manage the experimental onion plot, which will consist of general maintenance, experimental setup, data collection, data entry, and interpretation.

Opportunities to work on other crops (watermelon, sweet corn, broccoli, saffron, etc.) and horticultural management strategies (grafting) will also be available.

Student Responsibilities: The student joining this project will have a key role in managing the field research program.  This will entail activities of:

  • routine maintenance (repairing irrigation, weeding, planting)
  • experimental maintenance (troubleshooting sensors and data instrumentation)
  • data collection (reading instrument data, taking soil samples, extracting nutrient solutions)
  • data handling (uploading, inputting and organizing data)  
  • data processing (using programs to visualize and analyze results).

The student will be working closely with the faculty research leader, as well as overseeing a high school student employee.

Preferred Skills/Experience: 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.  Previous experience or interest in topics related to crop production, soil science, nutrient management, and data collection are desired, but not required.  A strong drive to learn and to think creatively is necessary.

Project Objectives: The primary objective of the internship will be to focus on increasing the sustainability of cropping systems.  Specifically focusing 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 research as needed. The intern will have the opportunity to work with advanced sensors and data collection tools for modeling water and nutrient use efficiency.   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.    

Criminal Background Check Required: Yes

Sustainable plant disease management in the dryland wheat production system

Project Term Availability: Spring 2019, Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020

Specific Duration Details:

Faculty Mentor Name: Christina H. Hagerty

BES Facility Name: Columbia Basin Agriculture Research Center

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

Student Hourly Salary: $14/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 40h minimum 50h maximum. We are able to accommodate most scheduling conflicts.

Hourly Working Parameters: Most weeks we work 7:30am - 4pm M-F, However student may be asked to work 40 hours as 4-ten hour days in some weeks during peak harvest and sample processing.

Housing Benefit: In addition to the salary, we are able to offer a $500 monthly stipend for housing. We have arrangements with a furnished apartment in Pendleton or the student is welcome to find their own rental to apply the $500 monthly stipend.

Driver's License Required: 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, stripe 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/warehouse.
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.

  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, clean seed, and enter data
  5. Help maintain a clean and safe working environment

Interest in science/agronomy and farm experience is desirable.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Interest in science/agronomy and farm experience is desirable. Farm experience, 4H experience, or FFA experience is preferred but not required. Timeliness, good attitude, attention to detail, able to work in hot/dry/dusty conditions is required. Work will be challenging but gratifying and impactful to local farmers.

Project Objectives: Our objective is to develop research to help farmers with profitability issues due to plant disease. By the end of the summer, our BES intern will be able to manage data, navigate plot maps, drive a combine, operate seed cleaning equipment, conduct a simple statistical analysis, explain a disease cycle, read a scientific paper, and have an excellent working knowledge of a typical crop production cycle.

Criminal Background Check Required: Yes

Intensified Aquaculture of Red Macroalgae on Panels Deployed in Land-Based Raceways and Marine Waters

Project Term Availability: Summer 2019

Specific Duration Details: Summer Session 1, June 24 - Sept 6 (11 weeks)   

Faculty Mentor Name: Ford Evans (CBEE) and Chris Langdon (COMES)

BES Facility Name: Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC)

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Newport   

Student Hourly Salary: $11.36/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 30 to 40

Hourly Working Parameters: Work will occur weekdays between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

Housing Benefit: Free housing is available at HMSC.

Driver's License Required: No

Project Description: The overarching goal of the research project, with which the student's work will be affiliated, is to develop new cultivation technology for the scalable production of commercially valuable red seaweeds (macroalgae) used for food (sea vegetables) and value-added products. The heart of this new technology is the cultivation of red seaweed strains on mesh panels deployable in either marine waters or land-based aquaculture systems. This approach has three innovations with potential to advance red seaweed aquaculture technology and stimulate red seaweed aquaculture in the US. First, labor-intensive hatchery operations will be replaced with automated inoculation of red seaweed onto flat mesh panels. Second, seaweed stocking density will be intensified using these panels which will result in increased productivity. Third, seaweed on mesh panels can be flexibly deployed in marine water aquaculture systems, including offshore systems or land-based raceways.  Pacific dulse (Palmaria mollis) is a red seaweed, native to the Oregon coast, and will serve as the model species to test this innovative cultivation technology.  Researchers will work closely with industry partners on the west coast to further assess feasibility, and facilitate technology transfer and adoption.

Student Responsibilities: The student will evaluate aspects of innovative Pacific dulse culture systems in an effort to scale-up production from small, indoor experimental culture units to larger, outdoor culture units. The student will be responsible for the daily husbandry of seaweed cultures located at HMSC, including cleaning, harvesting, and weighing seaweed stocks.  The student will also prepare and deliver supplemental nutrients to culture units to enhance seaweed growth.  The student will assist researchers in the optimization of culture parameters for land-based raceway systems employing experimental grow-out panels.  The student will be encouraged to interact with industry partners during meetings at HMSC and during visits to local field sites if applicable.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Students should have experience and/or interest in aquaculture.  Some lab experience is preferred.  Students should have a strong work ethic, be able to work independently, and be detail-oriented.

Project Objectives:

The objectives for the student's project will be to:

  1. Evaluate aspects of innovative marine seaweed culture systems in an effort to scale-up production from small, indoor experimental culture units to larger, outdoor culture units at HMSC.
  2. Obtain hands-on experience with land-based marine seaweed husbandry.
  3. Obtain hands-on experience fabricating marine aquaculture systems (e.g. plumbing, water filtration, etc.).
  4. Gain an understanding of the marine seaweed aquaculture industry in California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska.

Criminal Background Check Required: Yes

Production and Phenology of 20 Perennial Forage Species with Four Irrigation Treatments in Eastern Oregon

Project Term Availability: Summer 2019

Specific Duration Details:

Faculty Mentor Name: Guojie Wang

BES Facility Name: Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Union

Student Hourly Salary: $13/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 40

Hourly Working Parameters: This project deals with seeding, irrigating, raising, and harvesting forages. 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 complete the necessary field work.

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.

Driver's License Required: Yes

Project Description: The precipitation in June, July, August, and September of eastern Oregon is scarce. However, the forage demand in these summer months is comparable to the need in the spring and fall, if it is not more, creating a forage gap known as “summer depression”. In order to overcome the summer depression in forage production, forage and beef producers in eastern Oregon need to develop a production system that conserves water use with higher water use efficiency, and in the same time produce comparable or higher quantity and quality forages. Alternative perennial forage species such as birdsfoot trefoil, cicer milkvetch, wheatgrasses, wildryes, and bromegrasses along with traditional perennial forage species such as alfalfa, tall fescue, and timothy should be evaluated under different irrigation schedules.

The field study will be carried out at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center in Union, OR. The project general design is: 1) 20 alternative perennial forage species included; 2) four irrigation schedules including irrigation all season, irrigation until August 1, irrigation until June 15, and no irrigation imposed to those 20 forage species; 3) all the combinations of 20 species and four irrigation schedules replicated four times. Forage production and phenology will be monitored and analyzed in the growing season of 2019.

Student Responsibilities: The intern will be responsible for 1) searching each forage species information indoor and writing a literature review about the selected 20 alternative forage species, 2) managing forage plots including pest control, irrigation, and fertilization, 3) monitoring forage plots including species developmental stages, height, density, and production, 4) inputting and analyzing the collected data, and 5) interpreting results and making a poster.
The leaning objective 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.

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 Internets, and other means.

Preferred Skills/Experience: The ability to pay close attention to detail;
Tolerance of repetitive work;
Mature and responsible with the ability to work independently or in a group;
Interest in agronomic practices."

Project Objectives: The project objective is to study alternative perennial forage species production and phenology under different irrigation scenarios. The specific objectives are: 1) Evaluate 20 alternative perennial forage species production and phenology; 2) Compare 20 alternative perennial forage species production and phenology under different irrigation schedules in eastern Oregon. Those 20 perennial forage species were seeded in 2016.    

Criminal Background Check Required: Yes

Production and Phenology of 200 Alfalfa Cultivars in Eastern Oregon

Project Term Availability: Summer 2019

Specific Duration Details:

Faculty Mentor Name: Guojie Wang

BES Facility Name: Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Union

Student Hourly Salary: $13/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 40

Hourly Working Parameters: This project deals with seeding, irrigating, raising, and harvesting alfalfa forages. 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 complete the necessary field work.

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.

Driver's License Required: 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 alfalfa information indoor and writing a literature review about the queen of forages, 2) managing alfalfa plots including pest control, irrigation, and fertilization, 3) monitoring alfalfa plots including species developmental stages, height, density, and production, 4) inputting and analyzing the collected data, and 5) interpreting results and making a poster.

The leaning objective 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.

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 Internets, and other means.

Preferred Skills/Experience: The ability to pay close attention to detail;
Tolerance of repetitive work;
Mature and responsible with the ability to work independently or in a group;
Interest in agronomic practices.

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

Criminal Background Check Required: Yes

Weed Control With Real-Time Precision Spraying Systems

Project Term Availability: Summer 2019

Specific Duration Details:

Faculty Mentor Name: Judit Barroso

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

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

Student Hourly Salary: $14/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: The minimum number of hours per week will be 20 but I would expect the student to be working close to 40.

Hourly Working Parameters: Occasionally, the student maybe requested to work outside of 8am to 5pm to avoid working during the hottest parts of the day.

Housing Benefit:

Driver's License Required: Yes

Project Description: Site-specific weed management (SSWM), more commonly known as spot spraying or precision spraying, is not a common practice adopted by growers to control weeds in the region. However, optoelectronic sensors, such as WeedSeeker or WEEDit, that can discriminate between plant presence and absence could be suitable and useful to detect and spray weeds in fallow fields and post-harvest. Some of the benefits of using this technology are:

 

  • Significant reduction in chemical usage with resultant cost savings.
  • More environmentally sustainable than tillage options.
  • Reduction in community exposure to farm chemicals.
  • Ability to use higher rates strategically on hard to kill weeds.
  • Water and grower time savings due to fewer tank fills per day.

In addition to those benefits, the use of precision spraying could help to control resistant weeds. In fallow-wheat systems of northeastern Oregon, with the increasing cases of glyphosate resistant weeds such as kochia (widely spread) or Russian thistle (in the spreading phase), the use of precision spraying systems could be one of the most important solutions to maintain farm sustainability.

Student Responsibilities: For this project, the student will be expected to spend 20 hours per week outdoors and 20 hours per week indoors.

Among the different tasks where the student is expected to help are:

  1. Establish the trials at CBARC farm,
  2. Evaluate the efficacy of the different treatments in the trials,
  3. Evaluate the effect of the residue management on the performance of the WeedSeeker and WEEDit sensors,
  4. Help to analyze data and interpret results.

Preferred Skills/Experience: An interest in agronomy and/or in weed science is desirable.
Knowledge of Excel and R programs will help to develop some of the activities.
The intern/student, as a member of a team, will be expected to help and learn from other activities/projects that the Weed Science Program is developing at CBARC.

Project Objectives: The main goal of this project is to evaluate the benefits of real-time precision spraying systems with commercially available sensors such as, WeedSeeker and WEEDit 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 both sensors 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.

Criminal Background Check Required: Yes

Western Oregon Vegetable Variety Trials

Project Term Availability: Spring 2019, Summer 2019, Fall 2019

Specific Duration Details: Ideally this scholar would work with us full-time over the summer, and possibly be willing to work part-time in late spring, and part-time in the fall.   

Faculty Mentor Name: Nick Andrews

BES Facility Name: NWREC

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Aurora

Student Hourly Salary: $12/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 24-40 in summer   

Hourly Working Parameters:

Housing Benefit:

Driver's License Required: Yes

Project Description: The Vegetable Variety Trial program at NWREC, and the Culinary Breeding Network are collaborating with experienced vegetable farmers, seed companies, public and private plant breeders, wholesale produce buyers and chefs to identify and test vegetable varieties at NWREC. Our project involves variety trials, an annual grower field day, and annual Vegetable Variety Showcase in Portland. Chefs prepare varieties for taste tests at the field day and Variety Showcase, and breeders highlight new cultivars under development.

Western Oregon has a robust farm to table food community with strong relationships between farmers and chefs. This project brings plant breeders, seed company representatives and produce buyers together to identify traits that farmers, chefs and wholesale buyers are looking for. The vegetable variety trials promote and expand awareness of cultivars created by public and independent plant breeders for organic systems.

Vegetable varieties selected by breeders and seed companies will be grown in using organic methods at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center’s Learning Farm. Variety selections will be listed on the Variety Trial website and photos will be posted on the site or emailed to breeders and seed companies to keep them aware of the varieties progress and address any growth issues in a timely manner.

Farmers, chefs, breeders, produce buyers and seed growers come together for a mid-September field day to discuss and taste the vegetables in the trials. We work with the Culinary Breeding Network chef to prepare vegetables for flavor evaluations. The fields are open throughout the season for particpants to evaluate. 

Student Responsibilities: During this project the student will work closely with Heidi Noordijk and Lane Selman, the variety trial coordinators, to plan and maintain the vegetable plots and assist with the field day and Variety Showcase. The student will be working 15-30 hours per week outdoors and up to 8 hours per week of computer work inside.

The student will assist in maintaining the trial plots which will involve: marking out plots, seeding, transplanting, irrigation set-up and maintenance, weeding, training tomatoes, nutrient management, harvesting crops and washing crops. The student will be trained to operate tractors and will assist in bed preparation and mechanical weed cultivation using tractors.

Photos and written observations will be made throughout the season and updates sent to seed companies and breeders.

The student will assist in planning the mid-September field day. Tasks will include outreach, creating and installing signs, tent and table set-up and take down, creating and collecting evaluations, and assisting in preparation for flavor evaluations. The student will follow and evaluate the varieties from one crop throughout the season and share their findings during the field day. The student will write an article for the Down on the Farm (NWREC newsletter) and the Oregon Small Farm News (OSU Small Farms newsletter) about the project. They can also develop a poster or other scholarship for their BES program report.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Experience with Word and Excel. Good verbal communication skills. The student should have some experience in farm production and an interest in sustainable agriculture.

Project Objectives:(see student responsibilities)

  • help plan and maintain the vegetable plots
  • assist with the field day
  • collect data as needed on vegetable trials

Criminal Background Check Required: No

Analysis of aerial photography for plant protection

Project Term Availability: Spring 2019, Summer 2019, Fall 2019

Specific Duration Details:

Faculty Mentor Name: Kristine Buckland

BES Facility Name:  North Willamette Research and Extension Center   

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

Student Hourly Salary: $13/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 30 hours per week

Hourly Working Parameters: Occasionally work earlier than 8 am on field visits

Housing Benefit: No

Driver's License Required: Yes

Project Description: Plant stress such as too little water, insect damage, or disease damage can be detected through photography. This project is in the second year of a new program for the early detection of plant stress indications using aerial photography from a unmanned aerial system (UAS). We will use a UAS for taking photos and hope to detect early signs of plant stress. We will compare photographs over time and with visual ratings of the plants.

Student Responsibilities: The BES intern will be helpful in organizing and analyzing the images and comparing the images to visual indications of plant stress in the field. This will involve indoor time at a computer, with data management skills needed. The intern needs to be familiar with spreadsheets, digital photography and be willing to learn new technology skills. The intern will also be expected to help take visual ratings in the field which involves outdoor work, for approximately 1-2 days per week for 2-3 hours per day.

Preferred Skills/Experience: experience with software like Pix4D, ArcMap, Excel

Project Objectives:
The objectives are to capture aerial photographs of plant trials and grower fields to compare plant indices (algorithms) with visual ratings and determine best strategies for use in grower field.

Criminal Background Check Required: Yes/No

Food Innovation Center Waste Reduction and Reutilization Prioject

Project Term Availability: Summer 2019

Specific Duration Details: No specific dates.

Faculty Mentor Name:  David Stone

BES Facility Name: Food Innovation Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Portland

Student Hourly Salary: $15/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: Up to 40

Hourly Working Parameters: N/A

Housing Benefit: None

Driver's License Required: No

Project Description: This student would assist with a Business Oregon High Impact Opportunity Program grant based on evaluating the potential to repurpose beverage processing waste into value-added goods.  The grant includes consumer sensory/conceptual feedback on reusing waste, pilot R & D on food prototypes, site visits to facilities and examining opportunities to adopt clean technology. 

Student Responsibilities: The student would be responsible for aggregating data collected from an industry needs assessment survey, discussions from site visits with facilities, identification of data gaps, aggregation and interpretation of results and assistance with developing a final report and potential materials for dissemination of results to the industry and stakeholders.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Food and beverage background, computer skills, literature searching experience.

Project Objectives:

  1. Summarize opportunities for Oregon's beverage industry to repurpose beverage processing waste into value-added products.
  2. Identify gaps and opportunities from an industry needs assessment survey.  
  3. Identify technologies or policies that would help reduce food waste and grow this sector.

Criminal Background Check Required: No

Evaluation of the effect of rangeland stressors of fire, grazing and invasive plants on soil health parameters of the Zumwalt Prairie Preserve

Project Term Availability: Summer 2019

Specific Duration Details:

Faculty Mentor Name: Scott Lukas

BES Facility Name: HAREC

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

Student Hourly Salary: $13/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 40

Hourly Working Parameters: The intern may have the opportunity to work 4-ten hour days some weeks during field sampling.   

Housing Benefit:

Driver's License Required: Yes

Project Description: This project will be conducted on the 33,000 acre Zumwalt Prairie Preserve (ZPP) located in Northeastern Oregon.  The ZPP supports bee pollinators which play an important role in fostering the health of the prairie and the surrounding agricultural systems. Bee populations are on the decline nationwide, and there is a lack of research directed at studying the effects of rangeland stressors on bee pollinators. The proposed project aims to understand how three widespread and growing stressors (livestock grazing, fire, and invasive grass) may affect bee populations. The objectives are to determine how the abundance and community composition of native bees, their floral resources, and variables associated with nesting are impacted.  Of the three stressors, the effect of livestock grazing on bees is most widely studied. Grazing alters various environmental factors that may influence bees including plant growth, diversity, and quality; soil compaction and stability; and microhabitat temperature and humidity.  Most native bees are ground‐nesters, so proxies, such as soil compaction and bare ground, are often used to quantify habitat suitability for nesting. This internship will work collaboratively with a team to collect data on all parameters of the study, but will take responsibility for the soil related data collection and interpretation.

Student Responsibilities: This internship is seeking a motivated student interested in working on the Zumwalt Prairie Preserve for the 2019 summer period.  Working conditions will primarily be outdoors on the prairie while collecting data, components of the time will be indoors to facilitate data entry, analysis and interpretation of results.  Aside from the responsibilities of data collection and processing, other tasks associated with managing the site and experimental parameters may be required.  The work may be physically demanding and require long durations of lifting, standing and walking while in the field.  The work schedule will be 40 hours per week which may be accomplished in 4-ten hour days to match the needs of the project and desires of the other members of the team.  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.  This opportunity will be a unique summer experience for the intern to practice scientific research methods in the picturesque landscape of the Zumwalt preserve.

Preferred Skills/Experience: A strong drive to learn and to think creatively is desired.  Students with an interest in range management, soil science, plant science, environmental studies and other related disciplines are encouraged to apply.   

Project Objectives: This internship will work collaboratively with a team to collect data on all parameters of the study, but will take responsibility for the soil related data collection and interpretation.  Data on soil parameters will be collected, such as compaction and bare ground values.  The project in entirety will be conducted over a three year period, but the soils related subset of research for this internship position will focus over a summer period, enabling the intern to collect data, interpret results and draw conclusions.

Criminal Background Check Required: No

Evaluating riparian restoration to support salmonid recovery

Project Term Availability: Summer 2019

Specific Duration Details: June 17 - September 17

Faculty Mentor Name: Bryan Endress

BES Facility Name: Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center, Union

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

Student Hourly Salary: $11-12/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 40 hours / week

Hourly Working Parameters: We generally work four, 10-hour days, Monday-Thursday

Housing Benefit: Free housing at Starkey Experimental Forest and Range is available.

Driver's License Required: 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 iinclude 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.

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

Criminal Background Check Required: No

Integrated Management of Diseases in Central Oregon Seed and Specialty Crops

Project Term Availability: Summer 2019

Specific Duration Details:

Faculty Mentor Name: Jeremiah Dung

BES Facility Name: Central Oregon Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Madras

Student Hourly Salary: $12.5/hour    

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:

Driver's License Required: 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 2019 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.

Preferred Skills/Experience: This COAREC BES Experiential Learning Experience will require the intern to work in laboratory, greenhouse and field conditions and with basic computer software (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). 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).     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.

Project Objectives: 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, basic data analyses, and summarizing research results for diverse audiences including growers, industry stakeholders, and the scientific community. Results and outcomes will be presented in a final report and as a scientific poster.

Criminal Background Check Required: Yes

The potential impact of grassland plant community changes following prescribed fire on important floral resources for pollinators

Project Term Availability: Summer 2019

Specific Duration Details: June 17 - September 13, 2019

Faculty Mentor Name: Lesley Morris

BES Facility Name: EOARC Union Station

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

Student Hourly Salary: $12/hour with per diem for travel/field work

Expected Hours/Week: 40 hours/week

Hourly Working Parameters:

Housing Benefit:There is no housing benefit included with this position.

Driver's License Required: Yes

Project Description: The Zumwalt Prairie Preserve (ZPP) is a large (13,300 ha) remnant of the Pacific Northwest Bunchgrass (PNB), a grassland system that once stretched across eight million hectares of the Pacific Northwest states in the United States and into British Columbia region of Canada. Since an estimated 90% of the PNB has been converted to agriculture, very little is known about fire on this prairie type. What is known is that the ZPP hosts over 100 different species of bees. Their habitat conservation is important not only for the diversity of the ZPP, but also for the sustainability of surrounding agriculture and crop production.

This internship will be centered on assisting in data collection on the ZPP for research that examines how prescribed fires have changed the floral resources that are important for pollinators in this grassland. Information regarding these questions is important to a large number of stakeholder groups including management agencies, livestock producers, and wildlife enthusiasts.

Student Responsibilities: The intern for this project will participate in fieldwork data collection, drying and weighing clipped vegetation, data entry and analysis, and presentation of a portion of the data collected for this study as the intern’s own project poster. The fieldwork will take place primarily on the Zumwalt Prairie Preserve in northeastern Oregon. This fieldwork includes monitoring the vegetation two years after a prescribed burn. The student will gain experience in botany, field collection of plant community monitoring data collection, database management, experimental design, laboratory methods, data analysis, and how to interpret research data and apply it to management and presentation. The student will also participate with advisors in data analysis and will create a project poster. The work could potentially lead to co-authoring a paper if interested.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Students with an interest in range management, natural resources, botany, invasive plant species, or environmental studies are encouraged to apply. Some background in plant identification is preferred, but not required. The intern will receive the necessary training to complete field and project components of job.

Project Objectives: Our objectives for the overall project are to collect field data regarding vegetation, soils, and floral resources connected to the needs of native pollinators. We then want to enter, analyze and present our results. A question within this larger framework will be selected by the student to work on for a research poster presentation. Therefore, work will include time in the field as well as in the lab and in the office.    

Criminal Background Check Required: No

Evaluation of Nutrient Requirement for Different Potato Varieties in the Columbia Basin

Project Term Availability: Spring 2019, Summer 2019, Fall 2019

Specific Duration Details: May-October

Faculty Mentor Name: Ruijun Qin

BES Facility Name: Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Hermiston

Student Hourly Salary: $14/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 20-40

Hourly Working Parameters: no

Housing Benefit: There is a possibility for the student living in the station dorm at a low rate.

Driver's License Required: Yes

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: This project will provide good opportunities for students to gain experiences and knowledge in agricultural sciences through laboratory study and field trials. The student may also have the chance to gain experience in the commercial fields of the crop industry.  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 have the opportunity to learn other crops such as wheat, bluegrass, mint, and/or dry beans.

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.

Project Objectives: This project will be based on field trials and laboratory incubation studies with the objectives of 1) understanding soil nutrient availability, 2) determining the fate of fertilizer in the soil after application, and 3) evaluating the field performance of potato crops in response to different fertilizer rate for updating nutrient management guidelines for new potato varieties.

Criminal Background Check Required: Yes

Effect of Manure Amendment on Soil pH and Soil Health in Grass Seed Fields

Project Term Availability: Spring 2019, Summer 2019, Fall 2019

Specific Duration Details: May-September

Faculty Mentor Name: Ruijun Qin

BES Facility Name: Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Hermiston

Student Hourly Salary: $14/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 20-40

Hourly Working Parameters: no

Housing Benefit: The student might have a chance to live in the experimental station dorm at a low rate.

Driver's License Required: Yes

Project Description: Kentucky bluegrass (KBG) often receives a high amount of nitrogen (N) fertilizer for achieving the ideal seed production. The N application is found to result in soil acidification and impact soil health adversely. Through laboratory incubation studies and field trials, this project is designed to 1) evaluate the effect of N application on soil health and N dynamics in soils, 2) develop feasible field management practices by using organic manure to improve soil health and sustain grass seed production. The execution of this project may help growers in selecting proper nitrogen types and rates and it will provide an optimal strategy to growers in applying manure in grass seed field. Through conducting active extension activities, the research findings will be delivered to growers and other stakeholders in a timely manner. This project benefit grass seed growers in Columbia Basin directly. It will also benefit growers across the Pacific North West region and the Mid-west.

Student Responsibilities: This project will provide good opportunities for students to gain experiences and knowledge in agricultural sciences through laboratory study and field trials. The student may also have the chance to gain experience in the commercial fields of the crop industry. The main work responsibility for this project will be mainly focusing on laboratory incubation experiments. Additionally, the student will work on field measurement on crop growth, soil sampling, recording and processing data, and/or reporting project progress. Besides bluegrass, the student may have the opportunity to learn other crops such as potato, wheat, mint, and/or dry beans. She/he will also have the opportunity to conduct biochar 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.

Project Objectives: This project will evaluate the application of N fertilizer and manure amendment in the grass seed fields with the objectives of finding out the most effective fertilization strategy for improving soil health. The proposed project will provide practical and impactful information to the growers in the Columbia basin and it will benefit the growers in the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest, towards improving N management and soil health.

Criminal Background Check Required: Yes

Alternaria spp. as potential postharvest rot pathogens of pome fruits

Project Term Availability: Summer 2019

Specific Duration Details:

Faculty Mentor Name: Achala KC

BES Facility Name: Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Central Point

Student Hourly Salary: $15/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 30-40 hrs

Hourly Working Parameters: Depending on the research requirement, the student is expected to work on weekends and/or outside of 8am-5pm. In any case the hours will be compensated to match weekly 40 hrs limit.

Housing Benefit:

Driver's License Required: Yes

Project Description: Pear is one of the major commercial agricultural commodity in southern Oregon. Many diseases, including post harvest/storage rots hampers the productivity and marketability of fruits. Among several diseases causing storage rots, a fungal pathogen Alternaria spp. were frequently isolated from fruits with side rot symptoms. While it can be pathogenic on pears, there are several saprophytic forms of Alternaria that may not cause disease and can be of less economical importance. In this project we want to assess the pathogenic ability of approximately 50 Alternaria isolates collected from rotten fruits in southern Oregon. The results obtained from this study will assist in guiding other studies such as pathogen biology, epidemiology, and management.

Student Responsibilities: The student is expected to learn the sterile techniques in Plant Pathology, prepare artificial media to culture and grow fungal pathogens, process samples for pathogen isolation and identification, collect samples from field, assist with field experiments on pear disease management.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Experience working in a research setting is preferred but not required, skills such as attention to details and organization is required.

Project Objectives: 1) Identify the species of Alternaria collected from pear orchards and fruits 2) Understand the pathogenic profile and host-specificity of the isolated Alternaria spp.

Criminal Background Check Required: Yes

Fine Fescue Seed Production in the Absence of Open-Field Burning

Project Term Availability: Summer 2019, Fall 2019

Specific Duration Details: Harvest will take place during the summer but plant and seed sample processing will be on-going.

Faculty Mentor Name: Nicole Anderson

BES Facility Name: North Willamette Research and Extension Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Aurora

Student Hourly Salary: $11-13/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: Minimum = 15; Maximum = 30

Hourly Working Parameters: Grass seed harvest (swathing) sometimes occurs in the early morning, before 8am. This would be limited to 4-6 days over the summer.

Housing Benefit:

Driver's License Required: Yes

Project Description: Open-field burning has been an important management tool to remove post-harvest residue in grass seed production fields in order to maintain high seed yield and quality. Although open-field burning has considerable positive impacts on fine fescue seed production, concern over air pollution and safety issues has resulted in legislative actions that have restricted the total area of seed crops burned in the Willamette Valley each year.  The Oregon Department of Agriculture currently limits open-field burning to 15,000 acres of fine fescue seed fields in specific areas of the Willamette Valley each summer. Future legislation might be enacted that could completely ban open-field burning in fine fescue seed crops, especially if public safety is further jeopardized from smoke.  Thus, it is important to continue the search for field management practices that can optimize seed yield in the absence of open-field burning. The objective of this research is to determine which combinations of management practices, especially nitrogen and plant growth regulators, are most effective at producing high seed yields in the absence of open-field burning.

Student Responsibilities: The BES intern will be helpful in grass seed harvest activities conducted on fields in the local area. This will involve outdoor work 2-4 hours per day, 1-3 days per week. The intern will also assist with plant sample and seed sample processing including measuring yield components (number of stems, number of heads, biomass weights) and cleaning and counting harvested seed. This will involve indoor time and attention to detail will be critical.  The intern will operate small laboratory equipment and will need to be comfortable around large machinery in the field. There will be lots of opportunity to learn about conducting research that leads to applied management practices used by local grass seed farmers.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Experience working outside, sometimes in dusty conditions
Experience working around or operating field equipment
Experience working with plant materials
Experience using a scale and other small laboratory equipment
Ability to drive safely
Ability to communicate effectively
Good organizational skills
Basic data entry

Project Objectives: The objectives will be to measure seed yield from plots that have been treated with different management practices. We will also collect fine fescue plant samples and determine how these management practices affected the growth of the plant. We do this by weighing the samples and then counting stems and heads and measuring plant height.  We also want to determine the weight of the harvested seed which involves harvesting large-scale trials on farmer's fields and then bring seed samples back to the research station for cleaning and weighing.

Criminal Background Check Required: No

Restoration and habitat complexity effects on stream ecosystems

Project Term Availability: Summer 2019

Specific Duration Details:

Faculty Mentor Name:  David Wooster

BES Facility Name: Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Hermiston

Student Hourly Salary: $13/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 20 to 40 hours per week

Hourly Working Parameters: We anticipate some days in the field where we won't be getting back to Hermiston until after 5pm. These would be weekdays only   

Housing Benefit:

Driver's License Required: Yes

Project Description: Our project is designed to examine the relationship between restoration, habitat complexity, and stream biodiversity and ecosystem functions. While some work on monitoring of stream restoration projects have shown impacts of restoration on stream organisms, a large proportion of this type of work has failed to find any effects of stream restoration on organisms. This lack of finding effects might stem from a variety of causes, including measuring inappropriate metrics of impacts and failing to take into account changes (or lack of changes) in habitat composition and complexity. We will be working in a stream in the Blue Mountain foothills. A portion of this stream has undergone intensive restoration. We will be comparing the relationship between habitat complexity and multiple metrics of diversity and function in this section of the stream as well as in un-restored sections.

Student Responsibilities: The student will assist Dr. Wooster and a graduate student in field work and laboratory work. Field work will involve driving to the study site (about 1.5 hours), carrying equipment to the stream sites, and wading in the stream to collect habitat data and invertebrate samples. In the laboratory, the student will assist in sample processing and invertebrate identification, data entry and summary, and cleaning of field equipment.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Students should have some experience working outdoors and should be ready to get a little wet when working in the stream. Some experience with data entry and summary in Exel would be good, but not required.

Project Objectives: Our main objective is to determine how stream restoration influences stream and riparian habitat and what metrics (e.g., ecosystem function vs. biodiversity) that might be used in restoration assessment are most likely to reflect the impacts of restoration.

Criminal Background Check Required: No

Mitigating negative effects of Grapevine Red Blotch Disease with cultural practices

Project Term Availability: Summer 2019, Fall 2019

Specific Duration Details:

Faculty Mentor Name: Alexander Levin   

BES Facility Name:Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center

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

Student Hourly Salary: $12/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 20-40

Hourly Working Parameters:

Housing Benefit:

Driver's License Required: Yes

Project Description: The overall objective for this two-year project is to address vineyard management concerns by evaluating vine response to cultural practices in Grapevine Red Blotch Virus (GRBV)-infected vineyards. Specifically, project objectives are to (1) conduct on-farm field trials in collaboration with growers to determine best viticultural practices for the mitigation of Grapevine Red Blotch Disease in relation to wine grape production and fruit quality; and (2) determine the effects of mitigation practices on quality and sensory characteristics of wines made from GRBV-infected fruit.

Student Responsibilities:

50% Field Work
Collect grapevine tissue samples for further laboratory analyses of morphology and composition. Assist in recording field plot data related to vine physiology and crop development.

50% Laboratory Work
Process and analyze field samples for various morphological and compositional traits according to established standard operating procedures. Enter data in electronic format. Maintain lab equipment and instruments, and keep lab clean.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Experience working in a laboratory setting, experience working in an agricultural setting, working knowledge in plant biology, physiology, and/or environmental science, ability to count and weigh samples, record data in electronic format (MS Excel)

Project Objectives: Manipulate vine water status, vine nutrient status, and vine crop load in diseased vines in order to determine best management practices for vineyards afflicted with Grapevine Red Blotch Disease.

Criminal Background Check Required: Yes

Improving pollinator health in grasslands and forests: investigating effects of invasive weeds, ungulate grazing, fire, and restoration on native bees

Project Term Availability: Summer 2019

Specific Duration Details:

Faculty Mentor Name: Sandy DeBano

BES Facility Name: Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Hermiston

Student Hourly Salary: $13/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 40

Hourly Working Parameters: Students may be required to work more than 8 hours a day (e.g., four 10-hour days).

Housing Benefit:

Driver's License Required: Yes

Project Description: Grasslands and forests serve agriculture in numerous ways, including providing extensive rangeland habitat for livestock production. 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 livestock production goals, but also on maximizing pollinator habitat in these areas. This internship focuses on how livestock and native ungulate management, fire, non-native annual grasses, and riparian restoration 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.  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.

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

Project Objectives: The intern involved with this project will work on two projects focused on how land management and invasive weeds influence native bees. The grassland project will take place at The Nature Conservancy’s Zumwalt Prairie Preserve near Enterprise, OR – the largest intact remnant of the once extensive Northwest Bunchgrass Prairie. The forest project will take place at the USFS Starkey Experimental Forest and Range near La Grande, OR. The objectives of the project are to:
1) examine how fire, invasive annual grass invasion, and livestock grazing interact to affect grassland native bees and the plants they depend on; and
2) investigate the effect of riparian restoration, native ungulate herbivory, and a new livestock grazing regime on native bees and the plants in forest habitats.

Criminal Background Check Required: No

Evaluation of microparticles for the delivery of nutrients and vaccines to marine and freshwater Finfish

Project Term Availability: Summer 2019

Specific Duration Details:

Faculty Mentor Name: Donald "Matt" Hawkyard   

BES Facility Name: Hatfield Marine Science Center/Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station

Location (town name) of BES Facility: Newport

Student Hourly Salary: $12/hour    

Expected Hours/Week: 40

Hourly Working Parameters: Occasional weekend duties to feed and care for fish, supervised by mentor.

Housing Benefit: Yes, housing will be provided to the student at the Hatfield Marine Science Center housing facility.

Driver's License Required: No

Project Description: The student will conduct feeding experiments with fish (trout and sablefish) to determine if experimental microparticles are ingested and digested by fish juveniles. The student will produce microparticles, such as liposomes and alginate particles, using established lab techniques. They will offer various particle formulations to fish during short-term feeding trials. They will then evaluate fed uptake and particle breakdown via behavioral observations as well as from dissections using light and epiflourescent microscopy. In addition, the student will evaluate the encapsulation and retention of various substances by microparticles following production and suspension in water. Students will gain experience and knowledge of the roles of chemosensory in fish, principles of vaccination, biology, chemistry, fish husbandry, water-quality and aquaculture.

Student Responsibilities: Lab-based actives: The student will produce and evaluate microparticles using lab-based techniques including: 1) various methods to produce microparticles, 2) light and epifluorescent microscopy for evaluating particle size and feed uptake rates by fish, 3) behavior analysis, 4) fluorometer/spectrophotometry and 5) microbiological assays.
Husbandry and fish experimental work: Students will setup and maintain aquaria to house finish. They will be responsible for regular feeding, husbandry and water-quality monitoring in accordance with IACUC approved protocols.
Additional activities: Working at a marine research field station provides occasional opportunities to assist in field research in related programs. Students may be provided opportunities to help with shellfish research (lab and field based) and other ecology/aquaculture research.

Preferred Skills/Experience: Educational background in chemistry and biology is preferred. Knowledge and/or experience in aquaculture would be beneficial but not required. The student should be punctual, reliable and have good attention to detail. Prior lab experience is preferred but not required. The student will need to work systematically in order to maintain high quality research standards. Skills in scientific communication and analysis are preferred.

Project Objectives: The objective of this research is to produce and refine experimental microparticles that can be used to improve the nutrition and disease resistance in finish aquaculture. These methods will lead to more economic and environmentally-friendly aquaculture methods in Pacific Northwest aquaculture.

Criminal Background Check Required: Yes