Steven - Research Technician


Research Technician

University of Idaho, Parma R&E Center

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in La Grande Oregon and moved to Parma Idaho in 2000 and have lived in this area since then.

What brought you to Idaho?
What brought me to Idaho in 2000 was my dad received a promotion and moved the family out here. 

Why did you choose to work in agriculture?
The reason I choose to work in agriculture is because I really enjoy it, I grew up working outside and for different farms while I went to school.

What education and experience you obtained that is useful in your ag-related career?
While I was going to high school I worker for a farmer down the road from my parents’ house. There I learned how to irrigate. As I went to college for and Agriculture Science degree from Oregon State at Eastern Oregon University, I worked for a farmer and learned how to do tractor work and anything else that I could about the farming practices around La Grande OR.

What do you like most about your job?
What I like most about my job is that I’m working in a field that I love and that I get to help with research that will hopefully impacted farmers in a positive way to help them save money and increase their yields.

What are challenging aspects of your job?
What is challenging for me in this job is the different practices we do. Instead of growing a crop like a normal farming operation would we add fertilizers at different times or take samples more often than a farmer would and use practices that they are not using yet, for example using drip tape to water wheat. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Research Technician will provide assistance to the PI as part of the cropping systems agronomy research and extension program, and will conduct field, greenhouse, and laboratory experiments focused on plant nutrition, fertilizer, and water use efficiency.

Assisting in the implementation of experiments in the field, greenhouse and laboratory.
Preparing and implementing field plot plans and assisting with care of field experiments according to treatment structure.
Driving to various field sites.
Assisting with seed preparation, planting, plot maintenance, harvest, and grain processing.
Coordinating field trial work with supervisor and farm manager in terms of irrigation, fertilization, and weed and pest management.
Collecting soil, plant, water, and gas samples and preparing them for analysis and utilizing laboratory instrumentation to measure samples.
Using database management programs (experimental design, statistics), and other spreadsheet, word processing, and graphics software to analyze, compile, and summarize research findings.
Keeping organized and up-to-date record of all work activities related to experiments.

Developing educational materials, such as leaflets, short publications, slides, and posters and reporting research results at grower and professional meetings locally, regionally, and nationally, as required.

Assisting in organizing field days, workshops and seminars and other educational extension/outreach events.

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