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James Owen Jr (Jim)

Research Horticulturist

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James (Jim) S. Owen Jr.   

Application Technology Research Unit 

1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, Ohio 44691 

(757) 374-8153 


Jim Owen’s research includes developing, designing, and optimizing systems that improve irrigation water security and water quality, and improve the quality of water leaving container production sites. His program is directed by ARS National Program 305-Crop Production. Jim is located at the Application Technology Research Unit (ATRU) in Wooster, Ohio. His research is national in scope and conducted across U.S. eco-physiographic regions. To accomplish this, Jim collaborates with a national team of scientists who are innovating production strategies for the greenhouse and nursery industries via funding by USDA-ARS, extramural grants, and the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative. Additionally, Jim oversees the USDA-ARS ATRU Environmental Horticultural Analytical Laboratories. His primary research today focuses on optimizing resource efficiency to reduce production costs, extend finite resources, namely water and mineral nutrients, and mitigate production impacts to ecosystems at local, regional, and national scales. Ongoing projects include: 


 A complete list of refereed and popular press publications can be found at Google Scholar and LinkedIn, respectively. Jim's most recent ARS scholarly contributions can be found under the “publications” tab below.  

Please contact Jim if you are a stakeholder or scientist interested in collaborating on research to help address water-related challenges and opportunities in nursery and greenhouse production.   


Research Experience 

2006-2011 Assistant Professor, Oregon State University, Department of Horticulture, Aurora, OR 

2011-2017 Assistant Professor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Department of Horticulture, Virginia Beach, VA 

2017-2020 Associate Professor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Beach, VA 

2020-present GS-14, Research Horticulturist, USDA, ARS, Application Technology Research Unit, Wooster, OH 


Educational Background 

1996-1999 University of Kentucky; major, Plant and Soil Science; B.S. 1999 

1999-2002 University of Rhode Island; major, Environmental Science; M.S. 2002 

2002-2006 North Carolina State University; major, Horticultural Science; minor, Soil Science; Ph.D. 2006