Position Available: Extension Pear Pest Management Assistant | WSU Tree Fruit | Washington State University Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Position Available: Extension Pear Pest Management Assistant

Washington State University seeks a full time Tree Fruit Extension Assistant at the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee WA. This position will support the research and outreach activities of the Tree Fruit Extension program focusing on sustainable pear pest management. The incumbent will work as part of the Tree Fruit Extension program team in North Central Washington which concentrates in the areas of sustainable pest management, organic tree fruit production, and soil health. Washington is one of the largest and most innovative tree fruit production regions in the world, providing strong leadership in Integrated Pest Management and organic production. Washington state is ranked first in pear production, growing nearly one half of the nation’s pears. Currently this pear industry is threatened with increasing pest pressure from pear psylla and mites. Join a project team seeking to provide the nation’s most important pear region with an economically viable option for sustainable pear pest management.

The incumbent will perform a wide range of duties including field work, laboratory analysis, and organization of workshops and outreach activities. The incumbent will be responsible for scouting pear blocks, counting and identifying insects, entering data, and communicating weekly with industry. Other required activities include data entry, summary, statistical analysis, preparation of presentations and reports, workshop evaluation, and workshop marketing. He/She will assist in facilitating and advertising educational events and creating educational materials. High level of capability in computer software (spreadsheets, word processing and presentation) and the ability to learn new software required. Requirements include the ability to locate and purchase supplies, schedule and execute activities independently, and learn new procedures and protocols as required. Experimental and analytical skills, precision, reliability, understanding and knowledge of research theory, excellent organizational skills are required. Ability to work outdoors in all weather required.  WSU is an equal opportunity organization.

 

University Title           Scientific Assistant

Working Title              Tree Fruit Extension Assistant

Position Number         124173

College/Area               College of Agriculture Human and Natural Resources

Department                Agriculture and Natural Resources

Work Location Wenatchee

Position Supervisor     Tianna DuPont

 

Summary of Duties    This position will support the research and outreach activities of the Tree Fruit Extension program focusing on sustainable pear pest management. The incumbent will work as part of the Tree Fruit Extension program team in North Central Washington which concentrates in the areas of sustainable pest management, organic tree fruit production, and soil health. The incumbent will perform a wide range of duties including field work, laboratory analysis, and organization of workshops and outreach activities. The incumbent will be responsible for scouting pear blocks, counting and identifying insects, entering data, and communicating weekly with industry. Other required activities include data entry, summary, statistical analysis, preparation of presentations and reports, workshop evaluation, and workshop marketing. He/She will assist in facilitating and advertising educational events and creating educational materials. High level of capability in computer software (spreadsheets, word processing and presentation) and the ability to learn new software required. Requirements include the ability to locate and purchase supplies, schedule and execute activities independently, and learn new procedures and protocols as required. Experimental and analytical skills, precision, reliability, understanding and knowledge of research theory, excellent organizational skills are required. Ability to work outdoors in all weather required.

Appointment Status   Temporary

Appointment FTE%     100%

Duties Performed

Fieldwork 25%

  • Conduct fieldwork according to protocols provided.
  • Scout grower fields for pest and beneficial insect species following protocols and training provided.

Laboratory analysis 25%

  • Conduct experiments per the protocols provided.
  • Count and summarize insects collected.
  • Enter and summarize data using computer spreadsheets and an online database.

Outreach 25%

  • Communicate with growers and industry through phone calls, online database, email, and participation in local meetings.
  • Organize, market, and evaluate educational events including field visits and intensive trainings under the mentorship of the project lead.
  • Assist in the development of presentations, reports and educational materials (which may include activities, videos, and manuals).

Project Organization 10%

  • Locate and purchase supplies.
  • Schedule and execute activities independently.
  • Completion of purchasing and travel paperwork.

Other         15%

  • Other duties as assigned

Required Qualifications

A Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate related scientific or engineering discipline and three (3) years of progressively responsible related professional research experience. Any combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted for the educational requirement on a year-for-year basis. A Master’s degree in an appropriate related scientific or engineering discipline may be substituted for up to one year of the required work experience.

Additional Qualifications

Masters degree preferred.

The incumbent must have a valid drivers license.

Demonstrated written and oral communication skills.

Essential Work Competencies

Knowledge, skills and abilities

  • Working knowledge of agricultural systems.
  • Able to communicate clearly though both spoken and written communication.
  • Experimental and analytical skills, precision, reliability, understanding and knowledge of research theory.
  • Basic field work skills necessary. Insect scouting experience preferred.

Mental Requirements

  • Initiative: takes ownership of his or her work, does what is needed without being asked, follows through on tasks and commitments.
  • Efficiency and Organization: Plans ahead, able to manage time and always thinking of better ways to do things.
  • Coachable: Receptive to feedback and willing to learn and embrace continuous improvement.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Ability to work as part of a team and work independently.

Physical Requirements

  • This position requires significant outdoor work from March to September. The incumbent will spend five mornings per week in the field 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.
  • 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.

 

Washington State University