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Thomas Chastain

Department Head
thomas.chastain [at]

Office: 541-737-5730
Other: 541-737-2821

Crop Science Building

Crop Science Building 109B

3050 SW Campus Way

3050 SW Campus Way
Corvallis, OR 97331

Welcome to the Department of Crop and Soil Science

The Department of Crop and Soil Science (CSS) is an academic enterprise with nearly 150 faculty located at the Corvallis campus, branch experiment stations and county extension offices across Oregon. Faculty and associated staff are engaged in CSS’s four missions: research, teaching, extension, and service. Our aspirational vision is to lead in the creation, application and distribution of scientific knowledge specific to crops and soils, contributing to the cycle of life encompassing soil, plant, atmosphere, water, animals, and humans. One of our goals is to foster a department-wide culture of equity and inclusiveness. CSS faculty are entrepreneurs in learning and investigative discovery having created OSU’s Sustainability double-degree program, the Global Hemp Innovation Center, and launched the nation’s first online degree programs in Agronomy and Soil Science. Three on-campus units support the service mission – OSU Seed Laboratory, OSU Seed Certification, and the Soil Health Lab.

The department is a special place where we strive to provide students with a transformative educational experience. CSS has a positive learning and study environment where you can pursue the scholarly and academic goals of your degree program. There are 115 students seeking CSS degrees ranging from the BS to PhD.

Seed Crop Physiology and Ecology Research

My research program has been focused on addressing problems that are of economic importance to producers of Pacific Northwest crops.  While the research is often directed at solving a practical problem or developing new applications of previous research, the work also serves a secondary goal of increasing our understanding of the underlying biological processes limiting greater economic and environmental efficiency of crop production.  The disciplinary approaches that have been utilized in the research program include agronomy, physiology, and ecology.