Oregon State University has hired a veteran educator and vineyard manager to head its wine research program.
Mark Chien, who was Penn State University's top winegrape expert, will become program coordinator of OSU's Oregon Wine Research Institute May 28, according to a news release.
The institute comprises 12 core scientists with expertise ranging from viticulture and enology to pest management and sensory analysis.
In his new role, Chien will manage the institute's daily operations, monitor progress of funded project and oversee educational efforts, among others.
First on his agenda is to get to know the state's winegrape growers and winemakers.
"I don't have an agenda," Chien said in the release. "I'll get a sense of what the industry wants and match that with resources here. Part of my job is to make sure that there's open communication between industry and researchers and that expectations are clear."
Chien is no stranger to Oregon, having managed grape-growing operations at Temperance Hill Vineyard near Salem from 1985-1999. From 1983-1985, he was vineyard manager and winemaker at Pindar Vineyards in New York.
Chien assumed the role of viticulture educator at Penn State in 1999 to establish its winegrape Extension program.