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College of Arts and Sciences Research

Where you live may influence your baby’s behavior

Babies lying down.Infants from rural families tend to display negative emotions such as anger and frustration more frequently than their urban counterparts, according to a recent study in the Journal of Community Psychology.

Babies born in big cities, on the other hand, typically are less fussy and not as bothered by limits set by their caregivers.

The study, led by WSU psychologist Maria Gartstein and » More …

Scientists look to public to help collect migratory data

During the Western Monarch Mystery Challenge, which started on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, and runs through April 22, Earth Day, California residents are asked to report sightings of monarchs. The data they collect will give much-needed insight into the butterflies’ habitat needs during the spring months, so researchers can better target conservation efforts.

“We are already receiving sighting reports, which is very exciting,” said Cheryl Schultz, a WSU biology professor and a lead researcher on the project. “The reports show » More …

Mapping natural and legal boundaries to help wildlife move

A forest stream.Wildlife need to move to survive: to find food, reproduce and escape wildfires and other hazards. Yet as soon as they leave protected areas like national forests or parks, they often wind up on a landscape that is very fragmented in terms of natural boundaries and human ones.

To help create more corridors for wildlife movement, a team led by School of Environment graduate student Amanda Stahl has developed a way to map » More …

BAM! Documenting creativity, action, and art in the 1960s

Three Queens, 1971, Wadsworth Aikens JarrelThe Black Arts Movement of Chicago is the subject of a documentary by two WSU Vancouver associate professors of English, Thabiti Lewis and Pavithra Narayanan. The 50-minute film took four years to make. It’s quick-cut style keeps viewers riveted and hungry to learn more about a period of American history that birthed a rich aesthetic based on Black American experience. » More …

The sky isn’t falling

Cannabis.More than a few citizens held their breath when Washington legalized recreational cannabis in 2012.

“There were many who believed it would trigger a massive increase in youth use and marijuana-related traffic collisions and fatalities,” says Clay Mosher, sociology professor at WSU Vancouver.

“But in the five years since sales began, those increases in youth use have not manifested, and while there have been some spikes in polydrug driving, they aren’t as significant as predicted.” » More …

Documenting the collapse of the white-lipped peccary

White-lipped peccary in profile.White-lipped peccaries of Central America have declined by as much as 90% from their historical range, signaling a population collapse of a key species in the region, according to a study by WSU researchers and colleagues published recently in the journal Biological Conservation.

“White-lipped peccary populations are in more of a critical condition than previously thought,” said lead author Dan Thornton. “While these results are sobering, they also » More …

Microscopic partners could help plants survive stressful environments

fungi slider.Tiny, symbiotic fungi play an outsized role in helping plants survive stresses like drought and extreme temperatures, which could help feed a planet experiencing climate change, report WSU scientists.

Recently published in the journal Functional Ecology, the discovery by plant-microbe biologist Stephanie Porter and plant pathologist Maren Friesen sheds light on » More …

Combating rising incarceration in rural areas

County jail.While big cities across the United States are making progress to reduce the number of people entering local jails, smaller cities and rural counties are experiencing an alarming rise in incarcerations.

Understanding the factors behind this shift and helping rural Washington communities overcome their justice system challenges is the goal of new, grant-funded research by WSU sociologists. » More …

Funding boost to develop rice for the future

Rice fields.WSU is part of an international effort involving seven institutions to revolutionize rice production. Led by co-principal investigator Asaph Cousins, a professor in WSU’s School of Biological Sciences, and colleagues at University of Oxford, the “C4 Rice Project” recently earned a five‑year, $15 million grant renewal from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The project aims to develop rice strains that are not only more productive but also more resilient. The long‑term effort, which was first conceived in » More …

History project to share stories of fallen WWII Cougars

Archie Buckley and Harry Cole.A legendary quarterback, class president, and triple-sport letterman turned husband, father and high school coach. A first-generation college student and son of a modest farming family. A business major, fraternity brother, and newlywed turned Wildcat fighter pilot. An international scholar who left the Philippines to attend college 7,000 miles away … and never returned.

The touching tales of these four young men’s lives, their connections to Washington State University and » More …