WENATCHEE — Growers and others in the tree fruit industry can learn about new practices and research at a series of seminars in February, March and April. “Science in Our Valley” seminars are held at the Fruit Tree Research and Extension Center, Washington State University, 1100 N. Western Ave., Wenatchee.

Each seminar is at 4 p.m. Admission to all seminars is free.

The series is sponsored by the Apple STEM Network, a group of schools, universities, and community partners in north central Washington State working to promote STEM careers.

The first seminar is scheduled for February 1; WSU graduate student Thiago de Botton Campbell will talk about new research on using apple hedges as an alternative to hand pruning.

Aina Baro Sabe, Postdoctoral Research Associate, will speak about antimicrobial peptides and their potential to control plant diseases on February 8. Tara Barrett, researcher with the US Forest Service, will discuss changes in the habitat of tree species on February 15.

Anthropology professor Amy Snively-Martinez will detail some of her findings on family poultry farming in Guatemala on February 22. The March 1 seminar will focus on pests and diseases affecting grapevines in Northern California. The speaker is Dylan Beal, WSU entomologist.

Fruit trees and climate change will be the subject of a presentation by WSU associate professor Lee Kalsits on March 8. Jessica Waite, postdoctoral research assistant, will speak about pear rootstocks on April 12. The series will conclude on April 19 with a presentation on global supply chains and their impact on efforts to develop hydrogen as an alternative fuel. Aaron Fearver, executive director of the Joint Center for Development and Research of Earth-Abundant Minerals, is the speaker.

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