Washington State University Puyallup Research and Extension Center


Avian Health and Food Safety Laboratory

Avian Health and Food Safety Laboratory (WADDL) is part of Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The state of the art diagnostic laboratory, located at WSU Puyallup, provides diagnostic services including complete necropsy, bacteriology, mycology, virology, serology and DNA testing of all avian species. Services are also provided to back yard poultry, waterfowl, wild birds, zoo birds and rabbits.

Agricultural Economics

The primary research and outreach program goal is to enhance value-added agribusiness opportunities for specialty crops in the state of Washington. As such, areas of research are focused on consumer demand analysis and economics of technological change; specifically research assessing consumers’ preferences for fresh fruit quality, and understanding the profitability and various other factors affecting growers’ adoption of new technologies, such as new cultivars, improved pest management systems, and labor enhancing mechanisms.

Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR)

The mission of the CSANR is to develop and foster agriculture and natural resource management approaches that are economically viable, environmentally sound, and socially acceptable. Rather than duplicate ongoing efforts, the center strives to facilitate interdisciplinary linkages and coalitions between WSU, growers, industry, environmental groups, agencies, and the people of Washington. As a university center devoted to sustainability, CSANR is uniquely positioned to leverage the resources of the land grant university and communities in our state. Some of the Center’s current activities include: Biologically Intensive Agriculture and Organic Farming (BIOAg), Climate Friendly Farming, Community Capacity Building and Conflict Resolution, Education on Farming and Food Systems, Policy Research and Education, Small Farms Program.

Conference Management

Conference Management offers more than 80 WSU programs a year from both eastside and westside offices. The Puyallup office consists of a dynamic team of professionals who are among the most experienced conference leaders in the state. Their outstanding work promotes life-long learning and professional excellence by linking WSU’s resources to learning opportunities. Some of the programs lead by this team include: the Sewing and Stitchery Expo, boasting an annual attendance of 32,000 people from as far away as Spain and Australia; workshops for WSU’s Energy, Dairy, and 4-H programs; Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Igniting Innovation Conference; Pierce County Association for the Education of Young Children; NW Biosolids Management Association Conference, and the ongoing Partners in Emergency Preparedness Program.

Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD)

WSU’s Master of Science Coordinated Program in Dietetics Nutrition and Exercise Physiology combines classroom education with “real world” experience in dietetics including community nutrition programs, clinical dietetics and foodservice management. In this program, students first must complete the academic requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology as well as 1,200 hours of internship experience. This master’s degree program is designed for those whose career goal is to become a Registered Dietician through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For more information on this program, visit the WSU Nutrition and Exercise Physiology website or email Janet Beary (beary@wsu.edu).


The mission of the Ecotoxicology Program at WSU Puyallup is to study the impacts of pesticides and other toxicants on populations, communities, and food webs with particular emphasis on aquatic organisms inhabiting rivers and streams in the Pacific Northwest, including salmon and the invertebrates that they feed upon. This is accomplished through a mix of laboratory and field studies. The laboratory studies involve developing toxicity data for animals exposed to various chemicals. The effects of low concentrations of the mixtures and concentrations of pesticides commonly found in Washington fresh water systems are also being investigated. The WSU Salmon Research Laboratory was developed to investigate the effects of multiple pesticides and other toxicants commonly found in Pacific Northwest surface waters on salmon health. The program is supported in part by cooperative agreements with the National Marine Fisheries Service and their Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle. The WSU Food and Environmental Quality Laboratory in Richland, Washington is a partner in the program and provides analysis of chemical residues.

Environmental Horticulture

The Environmental Horticulture Program incorporates water conservation, recycled organic materials, and stress and pest resistant trees for modern landscapes. In addition, an upper division horticulture course (Hort 332, Interior Plantscaping) is taught from Puyallup via WHETS to students in Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities and Wenatchee during spring semesters. Hort 332 students learn about the selection, design, installation, management and maintenance of plantings inside commercial buildings, as well as the effects of interior plants on people and the environment.

Integrated Pest Management and Pesticide Education

The WSU Urban Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Pesticide Safety Education Program helps landscape and turf professionals manage pests and develop a successful integrated pest management program. The program provides pre-license courses and recertification workshops, including pesticide applicator and IPM training in Spanish.

Livestock Nutrient Management

The livestock Nutrient Management Program targets dairy, beef, swine, and poultry, focusing on whole farm nutrient management. This involves the integration of animal nutrition, agronomy, crops and soils, engineering, and economics. In addition, the program has developed specific outreach for allied agriculture industry professionals. The combined value of these industries in Washington is approximately $2 billion annually. The program also maintains the Dairy News electronic newsletter.

Master Gardener Program

The WSU Master Gardener Program is WSU’s most famous outreach program and the only uniquely WSU program that has been adopted both nationally and internationally. Active in 36 of our 39 counties, the WSU Master Gardener Program has over 4,000 active adult Master Gardener Volunteers working on behalf of WSU Extension, providing an annual contribution of more than $3.5 million in donated time, about the same as having an additional 65 county faculty positions. WSU Master Gardener volunteers in Washington each give an average of 52 hours of volunteer service during the year, annually serving over a 250,000 people with science-based horticultural information and programs. The WSU Master Gardener Program also includes a network of 167 “Plant Clinics” operating in 105 communities that offer plant, insect, and disease diagnosis to the public. Approximately 800 persons are trained each year, with approximately 95% becoming WSU Extension volunteers.

Natural Resource Science

The Natural Resource Science Program involves the breeding and testing of hybrid poplars for growth, disease resistance, and wood chemical and physical traits as it relates to energy content and conversion efficiency to ethanol. A clone arboretum is managed for breeding purposes, and research is conducted on the production physiology of fast growing tree species including hybrid poplars, alders, willows and selected conifers. New directions in research include the breeding and testing of hybrid alder, the physiology of poplar leaf rust, and environmental uses of these tree species in riparian buffer plantings, for carbon sequestration and for wastewater reuse in the Pacific Northwest.

Nutrition Education

The Nutrition Education Program addresses important nutrition education issues for individuals and families in Washington state. Some of the projects this group is involved in are: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed), Extension Family and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), Food $ense, and the Nutrition Education Network of Washington (NEN).

Organic Farming Systems and Nutrient Management

The goal of our program is to build soil productivity, support local agriculture, protect water quality, and facilitate recycling of organic wastes, by applying soil science principles to agricultural, development, and waste management issues.

Ornamental Plant Pathology

The Ornamental Plant Pathology program conducts research relating to diseases of ornamental plants. Specifically, our program focuses on ornamental bulb crops, diseases and postharvest keepability of Christmas trees, and Phytophthora ramorum, the causal agent of sudden oak death and ramorum foliar blight.

Plant and Insect Diagnostic Laboratory

The WSU Puyallup Plant Diagnostic Lab provides one-on-one identification of both home and commercial pests. The clinic deals with over a thousand specimens per year. Clients are able to bring in samples of plants and insects for an accurate problem diagnosis.

Small Farms

With leadership from the statewide Small Farms Program, WSU’s Small Farms Team engages in Extension, research, and teaching activities that benefit small- and mid-sized family-owned farms. The 40 team members help our state’s growers manage the new realities of urban-influenced agriculture. These growers face development pressure, increased costs, and competitive global markets, but also enjoy advantages that come with smaller scale production. They can more quickly adapt to emerging markets, tend to be viewed positively by their communities, and are poised to benefit from increased demand for sustainably grown farm products. Team members represent a wide variety of specialties, and are based in WSU programs, state agencies and non-profit organizations.

Small Fruit Breeding and Genetics

The Small Fruit Breeding and Genetics Program works to develop new raspberry and strawberry cultivars adapted to the Pacific Northwest that have excellent flavor, high yields and improved disease resistance. The program also conducts research on genetic variation and cultivar responses. Research in the near future will be on the nutritional properties of raspberries, root rot tolerance and machine harvestability of raspberries. For more information about this program, contact Pat Moore (moorepp@wsu.edu).

Structural Pest IPM

The WSU Structural Pest IPM program trains professionals to reduce the number of inaccurate wood-destroying organism inspections and reduce the potential health risks from unnecessary or improper pesticide applications. A trained workforce of Structural Pest Inspectors and Pest Management Professionals will be more knowledgeable about identification of structural pests, conditions conducive to pest infestations, and integrated pest management (IPM) techniques. A Structural Pest Research and Demonstration Facility is located at WSU Puyallup. This facility offers unique opportunities for research and demonstration workshops related to structural pests and their management. In addition, it will provide both hands-on demonstration workshops and pre-license training classes for Structural Pest Inspectors, Pest Management Professionals, and other clientele. For more information about this program contact Carrie Foss (cfoss@wsu.edu).

Turfgrass Science

The WSU Puyallup Turfgrass Science program provides research and extension information on turfgrass in the Pacific Northwest, primarily west of the Cascade Mountains. Topics include golf courses, athletic fields, lawn care, mowing practices, European Crane fly, turfgrass diseases, turfgrass weeds, turfgrass fertility, turfgrass cultivar evaluations, turfgrass irrigation, turfgrass integrated pest management, and other environmentally related issues.

Urban Horticulture

Urban horticulture is an emerging field with few academic experts; it encompasses all facets of selecting, installing, and managing plant materials in home landscapes, public greenspaces, restoration sites, and commercial settings. The Urban Landscape Horticulture Program at WSU Puyallup is relatively new, beginning in April of 2004. The Extension Horticulturist provides outreach seminars to WSU Master Gardeners, the nursery and landscape industries, landscape architects, and community groups reaching over 3,000 individuals in the past year. For more information about this program, contact Linda Chalker-Scott (lindacs@wsu.edu).

Washington State Pesticide Management Resource Service (WSPRS)

WSPRS is the main mechanism used to facilitate communication between Washington agricultural interests and state, regional and national entities involved in pesticide issues. WSPRS is one of several Washington State Links with the Western Regional Integrated Pest Management Center. WSPRS serves as a hub for research-based information about pest management practices, including both chemical and alternative control methodologies. This hub allows web clients to connect directly with WSU researchers working in different areas of pest management around state. This hub also allows clients to obtain information about pesticides registered in Washington and Oregon as well as specific information submitted to EPA/USDA on pesticide use practices of Pacific Northwest growers. Clients include Washington State agricultural producers, researchers, Extension staff, and local, state and national policy makers. On an internal basis the Pesticide Coordinator’s Office reviews and approves all WSU publications containing pesticide recommendations. WSPRS also maintains a database of analytical laboratories, consultant and laboratory services available to perform testing for the general public—especially agriculture—in the Pacific Northwest.

Washington Stormwater Center

The Washington Stormwater Center is a collaboration between Washington State University and the University of Washington which serves NPDES permittees and stormwater managers as they navigate the complexities and challenges of stormwater management. We provide tools for stormwater management by supporting municipalities, stormwater permittees, and businesses in their efforts to control stormwater and protect water quality.

Water, Water Quality, and Stormwater Programs

Water, Water Quality and Stormwater programs at WSU Puyallup are focused on one of the state’s most critical issues: polluted run-off (stormwater) and the resulting degradation of healthy aquatic environments. These programs foster leading research, education and training to identify and reduce invisible threats to water quality. The result is new and more effective stormwater management practices committed to improve, restore and sustain healthy fresh and marine water systems.

4‑H Foundation

The Washington State 4‑H Foundation is a private non-profit foundation governed by a 21 member Board of Trustees for the purpose of serving 4‑H youth programs in Washington State. Established in 1961, the foundation currently maintains its funding base through corporate, individual and group contributions. Since it’s beginning the foundation has actively supported programs such as urban low income, personal development, forestry and natural resources, leader forums and seminars, county, state and national awards, international exchanges, scholarships and camperships and state 4‑H conferences.

4‑H Youth Development

The Puyallup Research and Extension site is home to one of two state offices of Washington State University Extension 4‑H Youth Development. The staff direct and oversee the activities of a variety of programs offered by Washington’s 39 counties and has direct involvement in the following statewide and national programs: 4‑H Know Your Government Conference, State 4‑H Forum, National 4‑H Congress, Washington State 4‑H Camp Rally, Western Regional 4‑H Forum, National 4‑H Conference, National 4‑H Technology Leadership Conference, 4‑H Science Camp-In, State 4‑H Teen Conference, Washington State 4‑H Fair, and Cultural Exchange. 4‑H is a community of young people who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. 4‑H clubs are open to youth ages 5-19. Project areas include technology, photography, public speaking, animal science, clothing, digital imaging and the arts. These hands-on projects are designed to assist youth acquire knowledge, develop skills and form attitudes that will enable them to become self-directed, productive and contributing members of their communities. 4‑H provides youth with opportunities to be challenged, given responsibility and be recognized for their achievements.