Tianna DuPont, extension educator with Pennsylvania State University, has been appointed by Washington State University to succeed Tim Smith as tree fruit extension specialist based in Wenatchee.
DuPont grew up near Issaquah, Washington, and earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Whitman College, in Walla Walla, Washington, where she was inspired by the farmers she met. After graduating in 2001, she spent several years working on farms in Oregon, Pennsylvania, and New York, and served two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia.
She earned a master’s degree in integrated pest management from the University of California, Davis, in 2009 and has been an educator in sustainable agriculture at Penn State for the past six years. She has worked on pest management, soil health, and cover crops in vegetable and berry production and has worked with organic and beginner farmers.
DuPont, 36, said she is looking forward to returning to Washington State and working in tree fruits when she starts her new position in November. She’s also eager to work with WSU scientists, who are at the forefront of their fields.
“There’s so much great research going on out there, and my job will be working with different outreach methodologies to get that out to the growers,” she said.
DuPont will also conduct applied research but said her first step will be to talk to growers to assess their needs.