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Organic Fertilizers for Vegetable Production

Internship Details

  • Mentor: Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, Professor of Soil Science and Sustainable Agriculture
  • Location: WSU Main Campus, Pullman, WA
  • Dates: May 29 – August 2
  • Stipend: $4,500. (Housing Provided. Costs of Travel Covered.)


The intern will contribute to research on organic fertilizer materials for organic vegetable production. Our program works with biologically based materials such as composts and their extracts and teas, crop byproducts, and biochars. A broad array of materials are available for soil fertilization and amendment, but the effects they have on crops and soils also vary widely. Our program works to identify the types and characteristics of organic materials that are best suited to specific crop and soil outcomes. For instance, some materials will increase water holding capacity of soil but do not supply nutrients to plants; other materials will supply nutrients to plants late in the growing season but not early. Sustainable production of organic foods increasingly depends on more efficient and effective use of the right amendments at the right time and place to produce the desired outcomes. The student will have opportunity to engage in and learn about all stages of a research project from project design to management, data collection, interpretation, and presentation. This will include hands-on work in the lab and greenhouse or field, to apply organic amendments and assess effects on soil and plants. This work contributes to building the growing organic agriculture industry, increasing sustainable food production, and strengthening the impact of research on human and environmental health. 

Learning Outcomes

The intern will learn about experimental design, management of field or greenhouse experiments, data collection on plant growth and organic fertilizer characteristics, data management, interpretation, and presentation.