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Apple and Pear Pathology Extension

Job description

Employee Type:



Postdoctoral Research Associate

Working Title:

Apple and Pear Pathology Extension

Position Number:



WSU Extension

Hiring Unit:

WSU Wenatchee Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center

Department Link:

WSU Tree Fruit

Work Location:


Zip Code:


Summary of Duties:

This position will run Research and Extension activities for Fire Blight Management as part of a national collaboration as a member of the Washington Tree Fruit Extension program based in Wenatchee WA. This position will also collaborate on Extension activities related to X-disease and Little cherry disease of cherry and stone fruit. The incumbent will: conduct blossom blight protection trials; conduct shoot blight protection trials; conduct on-farm demonstrations of fire blight cultural strategies; and extend research results through local meetings. He or she will perform a wide range of duties including field work, laboratory analysis, data analysis, grant management and organization of workshops and outreach activities. This project will require a high degree of communication and collaboration with industry. The individual will manage the project including overseeing student workers, organizing trials, and working with collaborators. Duties will include actuating spray trials, rating damage, conducting laboratory assays, and communicating with trial hosts. Other required activities include data entry, summary, statistical analysis, preparation of presentations and reports. Experimental and analytical skills, precision, reliability, understanding and knowledge of research theory, excellent organizational skills are required. Extension duties will include creating and giving presentations, writing newsletter and website materials, organizing workshops and creating innovative outreach materials. Ability to work outdoors in all-weather required.

Additional Information:

Fire Blight is a devastating bacterial disease affecting apple and pear. Recent disease epidemics in WA have caused up to 5% loss of production in apple and pear and more than $100 million in losses. A national collaboration initiated in 2020 has been funded to 1) improved non-antibiotic management options and strategies validated on a national scale, 2) improved methods to minimize systemic spread of the pathogen that too often results in tree death, and 3) provide effective extension to support implementation of optimized management.
X-disease has reached epidemic levels in Washington state over the last three years resulting in the removal of hundreds of acres of cherries and stone fruit. Effective extension involvement is necessary to help growers apply new research on effective management for the phytoplasma and its vectors.
•This position requires significant outdoor work from March to September which will require significant walking, squatting and carrying of light field equipment. Wenatchee is hot in the summer and the incumbent will have to work in all weather conditions.
•This position requires ability to apply applications in spray trials which involves spraying with a backpack type sprayer weighing approximately 30 pounds, walking through the orchard for approx. 4 hrs in a day for several days each season.
•The incumbent will drive to study locations in the vicinity which may be multiple hours in a day most days.
•The incumbent should be able to lift and carry 30 lbs comfortably.

View the Benefits overview for information regarding competitive benefits available.

Anticipated Start Date:


Tenure Track:



Full Time

Appointment Status:


Position Term in Months:


Monthly Salary:

Commensurate with Qualifications and Experience

Required Qualifications:

Earned Ph.D. in Plant Pathology or closely related science field within the last five years, 2) Strong interest in applied research and outreach,3) Strong analytical and statistical skills, 4) Ability to work independently as well as with an interdisciplinary team of researchers, extension specialists, and other project participants, 5) Interest in apple, pear, integrated pest management and sustainability, 6) Excellent organizational and project management skills, 8) Excellent written and oral communication skills. 9) Have or be able to obtain a valid driver’s license at the time of hire.

Preferred Qualifications:

1) Evidence of high-quality publications and presentations, 2) Experience working with growers and agricultural industry, 3) Familiarity with tree fruit production, pest management and ecology

Background Check:


Type of Recruitment:

Open Recruitment

Posting Open Date:


Posting Close Date:


Open Until Filled (overrides close field) :


Special Instructions to Applicants:

Applicants must attach the following documents to their online application: 1) CV 2) a cover letter and 3) contact information for at least three (3) professional references.

Application materials should clearly communicate how the applicant meets all required qualifications and additional requirements

EEO Statement :

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EDUCATOR AND EMPLOYER. Members of ethnic minorities, women, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam-era, recently separated veterans, and other protected veterans, persons of disability and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply.

WSU is committed to excellence through diversity and faculty-friendly policy action, including partner accommodation and NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation programs (http://www.advance.wsu.edu/).

WSU employs only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized non-U.S. citizens. All new employees must show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

WSU is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact Human Resource Services: 509-335-4521(v), Washington State TDD Relay Service: Voice Callers: 1-800-833-6384; TDD Callers: 1-800-833-6388, 509-335-1259(f), or [email protected]

Posting Number:





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Job No:
Posted: 11/15/2020
Application Due: 12/6/2020
Work Type: