Pear Entomologist - Postdoctoral Research Associate

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Wenatchee, WASHINGTON
Job Type: FullTime


306-NN - Postdoctoral Research Associate

Business Title:

Pear Entomologist - Postdoctoral Research Associate

Additional Titles:



Employee Type:

Faculty (+) (Fixed Term)

Job Family:

Faculty - Academic - Not OT Eligible

Position Details:

Summary of Duties:

This position will lead a project to develop and test a model Pear IPM scouting network. The project will create a database and online mobile Ap which will allow scouts to upload information which will be available through the Ap to growers and consultants. During the pilot the incumbent will train and mentor two scouts annually. Said scouts working with the incumbent will scout fifty blocks (approximately 1,000 acres). The incumbent will work with the Pear IPM team to create a model which can be scaled to cover the portion of pear acres actively transitioning to a selective IPM Program. Data gathered through the scouting network will be used to test economic thresholds based on psylla and natural enemy densities. Working with the scouts psylla, mite and natural enemy populations will be measured for 26 weeks per year. Pest incidence, fruit quality and profitability will be compared. Pear IPM programs based on scouting and thresholds will be compared to standard practice. Research results will be published in scientific journals and Extension publications. Extension to pear growers throughout the region will help improve profitability for growers and sustainability for the planet. Two years of funding currently available. Position renewable based on further funding acquisition.

The incumbent will conduct field trials including scouting, insect identification and data entry. The incumbent will supervise and train scouting staff. Project management will include collaboration with stakeholders, and grant management. The incumbent will lead evaluation and outreach of project efforts.

Duties Performed:

Laboratory and Field Research (60%)

  • Identify and define research problems.
  • Design research approaches and methodology.
  • Conduct field experiments including collection of psylla, mite and natural enemy numbers, as well as fruit quality data.
  • Train and supervise scouts in scouting, insect identification and data entry procedures.
  • Analyze results and summarize research results for grantors and publication.
  • Ensure quality control.

Project Management (15%)

  • Organize planning meetings with consultants, growers and researchers involved in the project.
  • Hire and supervise two scouts annually.
  • Completion of travel and grant paperwork.
  • Locate and purchase supplies.

Evaluation (10%)

  • Conduct annual evaluation surveys to identify project impacts.
  • Organize meetings with consultant to design and refine scouting program mobile Ap.

Outreach (10%)

  • Communicate with growers and industry through phone calls, online database, email, and participation in local meetings.
  • Work with Extension to organize, market, and evaluate educational events including field visits and intensive trainings under the mentorship of the project lead.

Other (5%)

  • Other duties as assigned.

Essential Work Competencies

Knowledge, skills and abilities

  • Working knowledge of agricultural systems.
  • Able to communicate clearly though both spoken and written communication.
  • Experimental and analytical skills, precision, reliability, understanding and knowledge of research theory.
  • Basic field work skills necessary.

Mental Requirements

  • Initiative: takes ownership of his or her work, does what is needed without being asked, follows through on tasks and commitments.
  • Efficiency and Organization: Plans ahead, able to manage time and always thinking of better ways to do things.
  • Coachable: Receptive to feedback and willing to learn and embrace continuous improvement.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Ability to work as part of a team and work independently.

Physical Requirements

  • This position requires significant outdoor work from March to September which will require significant walking, squatting, and carrying of light field equipment. Wenatchee is hot in the summer and the incumbent will have to work in all weather conditions.
  • Ability to lift and carry 35 lbs for 3-5 hrs comfortably.
  • The incumbent will drive to study locations in the vicinity which may be multiple hours in a day most days.

Required Qualifications:

  • Earned Ph.D. in Entomology or closely related science field within the last five years,
  • Strong interest in applied research and outreach,
  • Strong analytical and statistical skills,
  • Ability to work independently as well as with an interdisciplinary team of researchers, extension specialists, and other project participants,
  • Interest in apple, pear, integrated pest management and sustainability,
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills,
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Have or be able to obtain a valid driver’s license at the time of hire.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Evidence of high-quality publications and presentations, experience working with growers and agricultural industry, and familiarity with tree fruit production, pest management and ecology preferred.

Additional Information:

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

In accordance with Washington State Governor's Proclamation 21.14.2, as a condition of employment, you must be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical/religious accommodation by time of hire. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their last shot in a vaccine series. Full vaccination status or an approved accommodation will be verified prior to your first day of work. Should you not be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical/religious accommodation you will not be able to start employment with WSU. Information regarding vaccine verification and/or requesting a medical/religious accommodation is available at Please contact HRS at or 509-335-4521 if you have questions.

College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS)

Department Name:

Extension ANR

City, State, Zip:

Wenatchee, WA, 98801

Department Link:

Monthly Salary:

$4,583.00 | Commensurate upon qualifications and experience.



Tenure Track:


Position Type:


Temporary End Date:

This is a temporary position expected to end on January 14, 2024. Renewal is dependent on the need for extension and/or if additional funding is secured to extend employment.

Screening Begin Date:

This position has been posted as Open until Filled. The screening of applicants will begin September 12, 2022.

Background Check:

This position has been designated by the department to require a background check.

Application Instructions:

Applicants must attach the following documents to their online application: 1) resume and 2) cover letter. Applicants are required to include contact information for professional references within the application. Application materials should clearly communicate how the applicant meets all required qualifications and additional requirements.

For more information about the team visit

Required Documents:

1) Resume/CV

2) Cover Letter

Time Type:

Full time

Position Term:

12 Month

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EDUCATOR AND EMPLOYER. Members of ethnic minorities, women, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam-era, recently separated veterans, and other protected veteran, persons of disability and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply.

WSU employs only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized non-U.S. citizens. All new employees must show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

WSU is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact Human Resource Services: 509-335-4521 (v), Washington State TDD Relay Service: Voice Callers: 1-800-833-6384; TDD Callers: 1-800-833-6388, 509-335-1259(f), or .

View or Apply