Personal Information

I grew up in Newbury Park, California, went to Cornell University for a BS degree in agronomy. After receiving a BS degree, I worked in the mountains of Nepal for the Peace Corps on a sustainable agriculture development project. I lived in a small town, a five-day walk from the nearest road at the base of Mount Everest. I served for three years in this isolated province with few resources and virtually no disposable income among its residents. It was, needless to say, quite an eye-opening experience for a 23-year old. Following Peace Corps, I worked in the Plant Sciences Department at the University of the South Pacific in Alafua, Western Samoa as an agroforestry researcher and lecturer. In 1990, I received an MS degree in horticulture from the University of Hawaii. I earned a PhD in agricultural plant ecology from University of California, Davis in 1996. I did a two year post doc at UC Davis and USDA, Beltsville, MD before joining the College of Agriculture at California State University, Chico in 1998. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, skiing, biking, rock climbing, and traveling.


My teaching philosophy focuses on helping students learn how to learn. I believe that active/collaborative learning will promote life-long learning and increase integration of the material and critical thinking. In the classroom, this can be promoted by getting students to discuss the material in groups (think—pair—share), to deliver oral presentations, and to lead problem-based case studies. My ultimate goal is to organize my classes so students can talk about what they are learning, relate it to past experiences, and apply it to their daily lives.. I’ve taught classes in the plant sciences in a wide variety of subjects both at CSU, Chico and abroad. My courses include

  • PSSC 266 – Orchard Management
  • PSSC 366 - Fruit and Nut production
  • AGRI 331 - Agricultural Ecology
  • PSSC 305 - Introduction to Wines
  • PSSC 101 - Introduction to Plant Science
  • AGRI 490/491 - Agriculture Research Methods

Research and Professional Interests

My expertise has been in fruit tree physiology and plant mineral nutrition and water relations. My research has focused on topics which impact fruit tree productivity including tree usage of essential mineral nutrients, efficient use of fertilizer nitrogen, cover cropping, plant water relations, and pollination biology in fruit and nut species, i.e., olive, avocado, almond, pistachio, prune, and walnut. My applied research projects have focused on improving management practices in orchard crops. For example, I have developed a nitrogen model for avocados, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, and currently working on one for olives. In addition to my fertility management research, I am working on regulated deficit irrigation and mechanical pruning strategies in high density oil olives orchards.

I received two Fulbright Scholar Awards to work and teach at the University of Stellenbosch, near Cape Town, South Africa and at Cukurova University in Adana, Turkey. At these universities I taught classes in plant propagation, plant mineral nutrition, and advanced fruit science.

Relevant Publications

Rosecrance, R.C. and W.H. Krueger (submitted). Moderate regulated deficit irrigation can increase olive oil yields, and decrease tree growth in super high density ‘Arbequina’ olive orchards.

Rosecrance, R.C. (submitted). Sweet Cherry Harvesting Moving from Manual to Mechanical: A Review.

Rosecrance, R.C., Faber, B.A. and C.J. Lovatt 2012. Patterns of Nutrient Accumulation in ‘Hass’ Avocado Fruits. Better Crops. 96(1): 12-13.

Steyn, W.J., S.J.E. Wand, G. Jacobs, R.C Rosecrance, and S.C. Roberts. 2009 Evidence for a photoprotective function of low-temperature-induced anthocyanin accumulation in apple and pear peel. Physiologia Plantarum 136(4):461-472.

Burns, J.K., Ferguson, L., Glozer, K., Krueger, W.H., and R.C. Rosecrance. 2008. Screening Fruit Loosening Agents for Black Ripe Processed Table Olives. HortScience 43(5):1449-1453.

Steyn, W.J., S.C Roberts, S.J.E Midgley, and R.C Rosecrance. 2007. Evidence of Anthocyanin Photoprotection in Pear Peel. South African Journal of Botany 73(2):314-315

Ali M Sadeghi A. M., Starr, J.L.,Teasdale, J.R., Rosecrance, R.C. and Rowland, R.A. Real-Time Soil Profile Water Content as Influenced by Weed-Corn Competition. 2007. Soil Science 172 (10): 759-769.

Teasdale, J.R., A.A. Abdul-Baki, Y.B. Park, and R.C. Rosecrance. 2007. The potential for allelopathy during decomposition of hairy vetch residue. Pages 211-225 in Y. Fujii and S. Hiradate (eds.) Allelopathy: New Concepts and Methodology. Science Publishers Inc. Enfield, NH, USA.

Rosecrance, R.C., Weinbaum, S.A. and Brown, P.H. 2004. The Almond and Walnut Nitrogen Fertilization models. Website:

Agriculture change
you! time for action!
global warming