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Dr. Mark Uchanski
Specialty Crops Program Coordinator
Shepardson 211

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Natalie Yoder
Research Associate
Specialty Crops Program Assistant
Horticulture Center 100

Maria Chavez
Graduate Student (Ph.D.)

Maria is studying the insect ecology on organic dairy farms. Additionally she will explore alternative manure management practices that utilize insect biology in order to improve manure quality, reduce pest populations, and reduce runoff and infiltration into freshwater ecosystems.

Tabitha Covey
Graduate Student (M.S.)

Tabitha’s creating an inventory of irrigated crops and cropping systems throughout Colorado. Through interviewing farmers and cataloging research performed at CSU’s experiment stations she’s developing a tool to assist farmers in strategizing during times of drought or water restriction.

Tyler Mason
Graduate Student (Ph.D.)

Tyler is taking on much of CSU’s participation in the Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC), studying cultivars that perform particularly well in certified organic production systems.

Brian Mitchell
Graduate Student (Ph.D.)

After finishing his research on fruit load management in organic high tunnel tomato systems for his M.S., Brian is beginning a Ph.D. exploring hemp production in Colorado agroecosystems and cover cropping in vegetable systems.

Deborah Ray
Graduate Student (M.S.)

Deb is evaluating drought tolerance in cucurbit crops (squash and watermelons) to identify lower water use alternative cultivars for Colorado growers.

Paul Battafarano
Field Research Assistant

After graduating from CSU with a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture, Paul has joined our team as a research assistant extraordinaire.

Harley Combs
Research Field Assistant

Harley is a student in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and aids graduate students in our program with field research activities.

Program Mascot and General Trouble Maker

Program Alumni

Andrea Stuemky
Graduate Student (M.S.)

Andrea researched the impact of different LED lighting treatments on hydroponic strawberries.

Check out this video summarizing her study.

Tara Burns
Graduate Student (M.S.)

Tara researched LED lighting impacts on hydroponic greenhouse tomato production.

Check out this video summarizing her study.

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