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Washington State University is seeking candidates for two faculty positions that have been created as a result of a commitment of $27 million made recently by the Washington pome fruit industries. The money will come from a special research assessment on growers.

One of the positions is an endowed chair in tree fruit physiology and production systems, based at the Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee. This person will work on practical fruit production issues that will enhance the profitability and competitiveness of the Washington apple and pear industry. Areas of research may include crop load management, training systems, rootstock/scion interactions, drought and nutrient stresses, flowering and fruit set, plant growth regulators, physiological aspects of orchard system performance, whole tree photosynthesis, and cold or heat tolerance.

WSU Molecular Biologist Dr. Amit Dhingra is chair of the search committee, which will begin screening applications for the physiologist position on April 22. The target hiring date is September 1.

The second new position is Extension tree fruit program leader, who will lead efforts to disseminate information and technologies from WSU’s expanding tree fruit research programs and develop an applied research and extension program that relates to major issues or opportunities in the tree fruit industry. This position can be based either in Wenatchee or at the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser. Dr. Jay Brunner, executive director of the Wenatchee Research and Extension Center, is chair of the search committee. Screening of applications will begin on May 13, with a target hiring date of August 16.