Located halfway between Seattle and Vancouver BC, the Skagit Valley is one of the most beautiful and diverse agricultural regions in the country. Graduate students housed at the Mount Vernon Research and Extension Center have access to modern laboratory and greenhouse facilities, and an experimental field research farm. Seven research and extension programs in crop breeding, entomology, fruit and vegetable horticulture, vegetable and vegetable seed pathology, and weed science focus on 32 different crops ranging from tulips to wheat to organic grapes and potatoes. Students are exposed to the complex farming and political systems that make up a strong and multigenerational agricultural community. Growers and the community insure that agriculture continues in the region, which was recently illustrated by over $2M in local donations which helped improve the Center’s research capabilities.
Graduate Student Cohort
The graduate student cohort based in Mount Vernon is a self-governing group that includes all agricultural science disciplines. Students meet on a regular basis (minimum one meeting per term) and are responsible for hosting a symposium or seminar in alternating years, planning field trips and educational opportunities, allocating space within the graduate student offices, maintaining the graduate student website. One student is elected as the graduate student representative each school year and this person is responsible for attending faculty meetings as well. The students manage a budget which is meant to support student attendance at professional meetings, fund guest speakers and field trips, and to improve graduate student space at the research center. The group is offered guidance by Brianna Ewing, the graduate student faculty advisor in Mount Vernon. Graduate students are welcome to contact the current grad student rep or graduate student faculty advisor for specific questions on being a student at WSU Mount Vernon.
Made possible by considerable community support, WSU opened the $8 million Agricultural Research & Technology Building at Mount Vernon in 2006. The design includes graduate student offices with space for 18 students, a T1 line for electronic connections, and a small conference room so that graduate students can attend meetings, seminars and some classes via video conferencing. The building has a public auditorium and demonstration kitchen. New laboratory and greenhouse facilities have helped modernize research capabilities. Each student has office space, including desk space, computer and printer access. Lab, greenhouse, and field space are also available as needed and are arranged through the student’s major advisor.
Prospective students interested in visiting the research center should make schedule arrangements with a faculty member. The closest airport is in Bellingham WA, but people often fly to Seattle and take a shuttle to Burlington, just a 10 minute drive from the research center. Prospective students can make arrangements to stay at the Olson House on campus or can find lodging at a nearby hotel.
Graduate Student Assistantships
WSU Mount Vernon NWREC is accepting applications for Graduate Research Assistantships for students working toward M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Assistantships are available for students to work in a wide variety of applied agricultural research areas. Student thesis projects usually include laboratory, greenhouse and field experiments, with required course work done on the main campus in Pullman. Student housing is available at both locations. Annual half-time stipends are generally $18,552 ($1,546/mo.) for M.S. students or $19,686 ($1,640.50/mo.) for Ph.D. students and include a tuition waver and health insurance. Details regarding assistantships may vary by academic department, so check the department website and the graduate school website for specific information. If you would like to speak with someone about graduate education program, please contact AMS.MountVernon@wsu.edu.
Student Internships and Training
WSU Mount Vernon NWREC is accepting applications for students seeking training and internship opportunities in a wide variety of applied agricultural areas. See the list of Research Programs at WSU Mount Vernon NWREC. Contact the program leader in your area of interest to apply and make arrangements.
Applying to the WSU Graduate School
Visit the WSU Graduate School website to learn more about admission requirements, how to apply, tuition and fees, life on and off campus, and student resources.
If you are a student that has been accepted for admission and will be conducting your research at WSU Mount Vernon NWREC, please read the Graduate Student Handbook to prepare for your arrival at the Center.