Rob Curtiss was hired in February 2018 as the Special Projects Coordinator, and is responsible for working with growers, WSU faculty and staff, and other stakeholders to develop a technology roadmap for orchard automation and mechanization research and development. Among other projects, Rob is also working on developing a comprehensive web/social media strategy, and developing a long-term strategy for WTFRC-owned properties. He grew up in Upstate New York, but has lived in Wenatchee, British Columbia, and Hawaii before returning to Wenatchee to work for the Commission.
Rob earned a B.S. (2002) in Environmental and Forest Biology - Entomology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), a M.S. (2008) in Entomology from Washington State University, and he is currently working on his Ph.D. in Entomology at Michigan State University. Rob’s Masters and Doctoral research is in tree fruit pest management.
Rob worked as a research technician in several entomology labs at SUNY-ESF and Cornell University from 2002-2004, and was the assistant curator of entomology at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia from 2008-2012. Rob was the Hawaii State Entomologist from 2012-2017 before joining the Commission. Rob has also worked as an independent contract entomologist/identifier.