Impact of Genetics and Nursery Practices on Conifer Seedling Drought Resistance
Faculty mentor/Supervisor: 
Maxwell Wightman
Department Affiliation: 
Forest Engineering Resources & Management
Job Location: 
Corvallis, Oak Creek Greenhouse
Description of project or research opportunity: 
This project will assess the impact of different nursery practices on the drought resistance of conifer seedlings from multiple seed sources. The nursery practices include three different watering regimes and were designed to create varying level of drought stress for conifer seedlings growing in the nursery. In this study, seedlings from varying nursery and genetic treatments will be planted in a complete randomized block design in beds next to the VMRC greenhouse at the Oak Creek Complex. The treatments will include varying level of soil water manipulation ranging from complete rainfall exclusion to irrigated treatments. Assessments of seedling growth, physiology and drought stress will be conducted every two weeks after bud break in order to determine: 1) if the nursery practices impact seedling drought resistance in the field, and 2) if the genotypes display different levels of drought stress under similar field conditions.
Tasks student will perform: 
- Caring for seedlings in a greenhouse prior to planting - Plot instillation and seedling planting - Plant water potential measurements - Plant photosynthesis and stomatal conductance measurements - Measurements of seedling height and diameter - Data management - Data analysis
Special skills required: 
- Organized and detail oriented - Ability to work as part of a diverse team
Hourly rate of pay: 
$12/hour
Proposed dates of employment: 
Wednesday, January 1, 2020 to Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Anticipated hours worked per week: 
~10 hours
Proposal Type: 
Mentored Employment Program
COVID-19 Pandemic Response: 
If the student is not able to work on campus the project described above will not be possible, however we have many different projects that could be completed remotely and we would work with the student to design something interesting to them and helpful for the work of the VMRC. One such project would including helping to develop a long-term weather dataset for sites throughout the PNW as part of a project the VMRC is collaborating on through the Center for Advanced Forest Systems.