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Tree Fruit Extension Technician Position Open

In this position you will be part of the Extension program based in Wenatchee WA focusing on sustainable pest and disease management as well as soil and water management in Tianna DuPont’s lab. This position is an early career opportunity for someone interested in a career in Extension, research or the tree fruit industry. Visit http://treefruit.wsu.edu/tianna-dupont/ for more information about the team. Visit https://www.wsujobs.com/postings/36327 to apply, position number 126903.

POSITION DESCRIPTION

This position will focus on soil quality, fire blight, replant disease and irrigation research and extension. The incumbent will work as part of Tianna DuPont’s 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 managing and implementing fire blight, orchard floor management, soil quality and irrigation trials, and assisting in outreach efforts. Required duties include field work including implementation, maintenance and data collection in trials. 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. Strong communication skills including written and verbal communication a must. Spanish language fluency highly desired to present and write outreach materials to Spanish language audiences. 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.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study or equivalent related field experience performing professional-level work with scientific or clinical research protocols. Any combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted for the educational requirement on a year-for-year basis.
Experimental and analytical skills; understanding and knowledge of research theory; interviewing experience; excellent organizational and project management skills.

ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

Must have, or be able to obtain, a valid unrestricted driver’s license at time of hire. Ability to travel to study locations, which may include driving long distances.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

Master degree in a relevant field of study.

JOB DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

Conduct Field Experiments

  • Manage and implement in-field research projects including 100 soil quality sites.
  • Design/select and adapt field protocols to meet project requirements.
  • Conduct fieldwork according to protocols.
  • Trial set up and application including application of new fire blight sprays.
  • Data collection including yield, tree growth, cover crop sampling, fire blight strike counts.
  • Tractor work including cultivation, mowing, etc.
  • Initiation of irrigation technology demonstrations including irrigation efficiency analysis and fruit quality indicators.
  • Assist in experimental design for irrigation and fire blight research projects

Laboratory Activities

  • Design/select and adapt laboratory protocols to conduct laboratory experiments.
  • Conduct experiments independently per protocols and ensures quality control.
  • Processing of soil samples.
  • Enter and summarize data using computer spreadsheets and statistical software.

Outreach

  • Communicate with growers and industry through phone calls, online database, email, and participation in local meetings.
  • Organize, market, and evaluate educational events.
  • Develop presentations, reports and educational materials (which may include activities, videos, and manuals).
  • Present technical information to grower audiences in Spanish.
  • Organize grower educational events in Spanish.

Project Management

  • Statistical analysis.
  • Evaluate research data and prepare research reports for granting agencies and stakeholders.
  • Monitor and track budgets.
  • Locate and purchase supplies.
  • Schedule and execute activities independently.
  • Completion of purchasing and travel paperwork.

 Other

  • Other duties as assigned

ESSENTIAL WORK COMPETENCIES

Knowledge, skills and abilities

  • Working knowledge of agricultural systems.
  • Advanced knowledge in biological or physical science.
  • 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.

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. 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 away. He or she must have a high driving competency.
  • Physical ability to lift and carry 25 lbs, walk quickly for multiple hours, stand, kneel, crouch and climb ladders repetitively for multiple hours per day for multiple day stretches.
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