Vineyard Irrigation Research Internship

Romancing the Vine: Use of Irrigation to Enhance Grape Quality/Yield – SUMMER 2020

Position Description:

A student is sought to join a team of scientists engaged in the study of grapevine responses to a new method of irrigating vineyards to conserve water, reduce weeds, and produce high quality grapes. The student intern will assist in research plot installation and data collection in working commercial vineyards to determine how vines react to differences in types of irrigation applications, comparing standard surface drip application with a new form of sub-surface micro-irrigation technique. The student will have hands-on experience operating field portable scientific instruments and learning techniques to assess plant stress levels from varying levels of available soil moisture throughout a growing season. A vehicle is provided for use in the field setting. After initial training, the student will work on occasion without daily supervision.

“If you enjoy working in an outdoor environment and engaging in hands-on application of leading-edge research instrumentation in high value crop production, this is the work experience of a lifetime. If interested, please file an application. We would like to visit with you and talk about this fantastic summer learning experience opportunity.” – Pete Jacoby, Project Leader

Mentor: Pete W. Jacoby, Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Affiliated Faculty member in Horticulture, Viticulture & Enology, CPAAS, and WSU Water Center, jacoby@wsu.edu 509-335-3495

Duration of Internship: Summer 2020 for 12 weeks, up to 40 hrs/week @ $15/hr. Flexibility of work schedule on approval by mentor. Field work is located near Tri-Cities and preference will be given to students living in that area

Desired Starting and Ending Dates: May 18, 2020 – August 7, 2020

Location of Internship: Lower Columbia Basin (Tri-Cities)

Flexibility of Work Schedule: Work schedule is flexible with mentor approval.

Majors with Best Fit for this Internship: Crops, Soils, Horticulture, Viticulture & Enology, Bio-Systems Engineering, Ag Technology & Management

Student Learning Outcomes: The following specific outcomes will be gained during this internship and fall within the general array of WSU academic student learning outcomes.

  1. Development of Self-reliance – student will be able to conduct field activities without supervision by the end of the internship.
  2. Communication – student will learn the importance of improving communication skills, involving by developing both speaking skills and effective listening.
  3. Planning and Scheduling – student will maintain a field book into which will be recorded daily plans of work, field notes, experiences and accomplishments, and reflections of the work experience. Student will learn to develop a check list of items to have on hand to accomplish field research activities.
  4. Decisiveness – student will develop skills for decision-making related to field activities
  5. Skillful use of hand tools and scientific instruments – student will work closely with mentor in the field setting to master manual skills related to installing and maintaining irrigation systems and the operation of scientific instruments to assess plant activity and soil moisture status.
  6. Field expedience and physical well-being– student will become competent in conducting field research and maintaining physical well-being while working in the field settings with varying climatic and environmental conditions.
  7. Assessment of plant responses to treatment effects – student will become familiar with use of visual and sensory assessment of plant responses to water stress and other factors
  8. Experimental Design – student will gain an appreciation for site assessment and use of appropriate statistical tools to differentiate influences of environmental variables from treatment effects.
  9. Statistical sampling and data analyses – student will learn the importance of obtaining adequate sample size and some basic factors involved in the analysis of variance in data

Contact: 

Pete W. Jacoby
509-335-3495
jacoby@wsu.edu