About Us

Dr. Carol Miles.

Program Leader

Carol Miles
Professor
Director, Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research & Extension Center
Email Address: milesc@wsu.edu

Dr. Carol Miles has diverse international experiences both growing up and in her early career where she has lived in subsistence agriculture communities in places such as Panama, Afghanistan, Cameroun, Malawi and Tanzania. Carol received her B.S. (1983) in Bio-Agricultural Science from Colorado State University, and her M.S. (1989) and Ph.D. (1993) in Vegetable Crops from the Department of Fruit and Vegetable Science at Cornell University. Carol’s goal has been to work with farmers to create sustainable production systems which provide a source of well-being to both the family and the community.

Ed Scheenstra

Program Technical Staff

Edward Scheenstra
Associate in Research
Email Address: escheenstra@wsu.edu

Ed Scheenstra grew up in eastern Washington, living on farms in both the Yakima Valley and the Tri-Cities area.  After obtaining his B.S. in Environmental Science in 1999, he spent 4 years working with the Weed Science Dept. and USDA-ARS in Pullman, WA.  Ed has lived in the Mount Vernon area since 2004 and is excited to be back with WSU as a part of the Vegetable Horticulture team.

Adam Elcan

Program Office and Field Staff

Adam Elcan
Field Assistant
Email Address: adam.elcan@wsu.edu

Adam Elcan’s work focuses on cider apple research with Aidan Kendall in addition to helping with other Vegetable Horticulture projects. Born and raised in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains in Virginia and currently residing in Bellingham, Adam made the move from the east coast after graduating with a B.S. in Geology from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. During the winter months he can typically be found exploring the Cascades on skis and honing his skills as an amateur photographer. He also enjoys hiking, biking, and sea kayaking when there’s no snow in the mountains and has recently been experimenting with brewing fruit wines.

Radhika
Radhika Koppuravuri
Communications Assistant
Email Address: radhika.koppuravuri@wsu.edu

Radhika Koppuravuri has a Masters degree in Computer Applications from India. She moved to Washington State in February 2021 from Colorado. Radhika is currently working as a web technician at WSU Mount Vernon NWREC.

Seth Brawner

Program Graduate Students:
Current

Seth Brawner
Graduate Assistant
Email Address: seth.brawner@wsu.edu

Seth Brawner grew up on a small farm near Madison, Indiana where he developed a deep reverence for the natural world. During his time studying ecology, geology, and music at DePauw University, Seth worked on small, organic farms in Indiana, the Netherlands, and Norway — discovering a passion for regenerative horticulture. After graduating in 2020, he took over as DePauw’s Campus Farm Manager and Assistant Director of Sustainability. In this role, Seth implemented a small apple orchard and grew organic produce for the campus dining hall and surrounding community. Seth moved to Washington in 2021 and decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Horticulture in the Fall of 2022 to expand his horticultural knowledge and skill sets. Seth’s research will focus on the mechanized hedging and harvest of cider apples.

Alex
Alexander Cornwall
Ph.D. Student
Email Address: acornwall@wsu.edu

Alex Cornwall is a lifelong native of Western Washington and being surrounded by such a lush environment, he developed a great love of plants and nature. He graduated from Washington State University in 2010 with a BS in Environmental Horticulture and joined the USDA-ARS Plant Introduction Unit in Pullman in 2011 as the Field Technician for the Horticultural Crops Program regenerating the highly diverse collection under the direction of the curator, Barbara Hellier. He has worked with the USDA for the last 10 years and will begin his studies in a PhD in horticulture in conjunction with his work in the fall of 2020 with major advisor Dr. Carol Miles. His project will be identifying Lactuca sp. with genetic barcoding and taxonomy and gene exploration of wild relatives of Lactuca sativa. Alex’s personal interests include running, botanical illustration and the fine art of cheese making.

Srijana Shrestha
Srijana Shrestha
PhD Student
Email Address: srijana.shrestha@wsu.edu

Srijana Shrestha was born and raised in the Lamjung district in Nepal. She completed her B.S. in Agriculture in 2018 from the Agriculture and Forestry University, Nepal. She worked for one year as a project officer in Biodiversity and Resource Management for Sustainable Food Security in Mountain Community Project with the Nepal Group of Helping Hands, in the very remote Dailekh district of Nepal. She joined the Vegetable Horticulture program at WSU Mount Vernon NWREC in Spring 2020 and completed her MS project in Spring 2022 with a focus on new crops for the region and soil-biodegradable plastic mulch. She commenced her PhD project in Fall 2022 with a focus on tea plant propagation.

Completed

  • Ann Kowenstrot. M.S in Ag (2023). Research Focus: Rhubarb Research in Alaska and Recommended Varieties for Commercial Production.
  • Aiden Kendall. M.S. 2020-2022. Regulated deficit irrigation and the effects of mechanical hedging in cider apples.
  • Abigail Attavar. M.S. 2017–2019 (Committee chair). Grafting as a management practice for Verticillium wilt: Evaluating Cucurbitaceae and Solanaceae rootstocks for resistance.
  • Kelly Atterberry. M.S. 2013–2015 (Committee chair). Nutrition education and school garden projects with K-12 students to promote consumption of dry beans. 
  • Travis Alexander. Ph.D. 2015-2018. Advancing Washington state cider apple production through a branch-to-bottle assessment of mechanized harvest and a comparison of regional juice quality.
  • Callie Bolton. M.S. 2009–2011 (Committee co-chair). Organic weed control in a newly established vineyard.
  • Fairuz Boujaila. Ph.D. 2016–2018 (Committee chair). Tomato production under high tunnels; application rates and timing of different types of fertilizer.
  • Jamie Cummings. M.S. 2006–2007 (Committee member). Evaluation of seed and drench treatments for management of damping-off and seedling blight pathogens of spinach for organic production.
  • Jeremy Cowan. Ph.D. 2010–2013 (Committee chair). The Use of Biodegradable Mulch for Tomato and Broccoli Production: Crop Yield and Quality, Mulch Deterioration, and Grower’s Perceptions.
  • Sahar Dabirian.M.S. 2015–2017 (Committee chair). Optimizing watermelon grafting to control Verticillium wilt in Washington.
  • Pinki Devi. Ph.D. 2017-2021. Optimizing watermelon grafting to enhance grafting efficiency and its impact on fruit maturity and quality.
  • Whitney Garton. M.S. 2015-2017 (Committee chair). Apple anthracnose canker control in cider apple orchards in western Washington.
  • Shuresh Ghimire. Ph.D. 2015–2018 (Committee chair). Biodegradable plastic mulch for pumpkin and sweet corn production.
  • Charlene Grahn. M.S. 2013–2015 (Committee chair). Direct market production of baby-leaf salad greens during spring and fall seasons in Western Washington. 
  • Holly Ingle. M.S. 2008–2010 (Committee member). The effect of environment and management on yield and NO3-N concentrations in organically managed leafy greens.
  • Sacha Johnson. M.S. 2010–2012 (Committee chair). Grafting Eggplant, Tomato, and Watermelon to Manage Verticillium Wilt Caused by Verticillium Dahliae.
  • Yao Mu. M.S. 2017-2019 (Committee chair). Identifying bulb fennel cultivars suitable for organic production in NW WA.
  • Vincent Mwale. M.S. Bunda College of Agriculture, Malawi, 2004-2006 (Committee member). Performance and stability of advanced bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) lines under two systems of on-farm evaluation in thee bean agro-ecological zones of Malawi.
  • Kristy Ott. M.S. 2006–2007 (Committee member). Impacts of winter growing conditions on yield and nitrate accumulation in organically produced leafy greens.
  • Robin Taylor. MSAG 2015-2016 (Committee chair). Quantification of food policy groups within the Puget Sound region.
  • Jennifer Wagner. M.S. 2004–2006 (Committee Chair). Heirloom-niche market dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) as an alternative crop for small-scale farmers.
  • Jesse Wimer. M.S. 2013–2015 (Committee chair). Grafting Watermelons to Manage Verticillium Wilt in Washington State.

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