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College of Arts and Sciences Archives

Asked and answered: 50 years of survey innovation

Don Dillman.When you open the envelope for your 2020 Decennial Census next year, you will be directed to an online questionnaire inspired by Regents Professor Don Dillman. His extensive research and experimentation with visual design and social exchange theory have led to better user experience, increased response rates and higher quality data from surveys sent out by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, National Science Foundation, Gallup, Nielson, and many more organizations and governments worldwide. » More …

Physics and Astronomy celebrates centennial with year of public events

collage of imagesFrom critical early developments in television technology to recent detection of cosmic phenomena in faraway galaxies, WSU physicists have been at the forefront of scientific education, innovation, and discovery for 100 years. This fall, the Department of Physics and Astronomy (P&A) will launch a yearlong series of free, public events to celebrate its long history of achievement and strong foundation for future success. » More …

Saving sage-grouse by relocation

A grouse flying across the landscape with Mt. Rainier in the background.Moving can be tough, but eventually most of us acclimate to new surroundings. That’s true for humans, and research from Washington State University shows it’s the same for sage-grouse too.

A team of scientists successfully moved sage-grouse, a threatened bird species in Washington state, from one area of » More …

Helping non-violent offenders take the first step

View of a prison block from behind bars.Two criminal justice faculty members are playing key roles in a national effort to free thousands of non-violent prisoners and help them transition smoothly to civilian life.

The First Step Act signed into law late last year is designed to create a path to release for prisoners convicted of non-violent drug offenses. The prisoners earn credit for good behavior and are issued a risk profile based on a number of factors. That’s where WSU’s Zach Hamilton and Alex Kigerl come in. » More …

Reintroducing endangered northern leopard frogs

several frogs sitting on wetland reedsWith the help of WSU scientists, hundreds of endangered northern leopard frogs have taken a leap back into the wild in recent weeks at the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge in Grant County.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) collected northern leopard frog eggs earlier this spring, and after months of growing in conservation labs at WSU and the Oregon Zoo, the frogs were ready for release in recent weeks.

“It was really exciting to see these frogs go out into » More …

Smith Teaching and Learning grants benefit undergraduate education

A landscape oil painting.Four College of Arts and Sciences faculty members received funding from the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Teaching and Learning Endowment to pursue ideas that focus on enhancing the education of WSU students.

“The applications for this year’s awards presented a broad scope of plans and ideas to boost teaching and learning at our » More …

NIH protein biotechnology program renewed with $2.3M grant

Doctoral student Kaitlin Witherell working in a laboratory.The National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health has awarded the WSU NIH Protein Biotechnology Training Program $2.3 million over the next five years to support training of Ph.D. graduate students. Renewing this competitive grant brings the total NIH investment into the program to more than $10.4 million since it began in 1989 as one of the first nine NIH training grant programs in biotechnology.

This long-running training grant provides essential support for interdisciplinary research and graduate » More …

Sutton to lead Dept. of History

portrait imageAn expert in the historical intersection of U.S. politics and religion, Professor Matthew A. Sutton will serve as chair of the Department of History at Washington State University, effective August 16.

Sutton is the Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor in history. As chair, he succeeds Steven Kale, who is returning to the history faculty.

“Dr. Sutton’s well-rounded background in research, teaching, and leadership will reinforce the department’s solid foundation, empower faculty and create opportunities for » More …

Dr. Universe: What are shooting stars made of?

Dr. UniverseIf you are anything like me, you probably like watching for shooting stars in the night sky. A shooting star, or a meteor, is usually a small rock that falls into Earth’s atmosphere.

When I went to visit my friend Michael Allen, a senior instructor of astronomy and physics at WSU, he told me a lot of shooting stars are no bigger than a pencil eraser.

“The earth is going to pass a random pebble once in a while and that will make a streak in the sky,” he said. » More …

Cowlitz Coug finds her voice

Shana LombardShana Lombard distinctly remembers sitting on the bleachers as an elementary student at Chief Leschi tribal school and hearing ‘Education is knowledge. Knowledge is power.’

“Those words spoke to me and gave me the notion that education is beneficial for Native Americans, and we should pursue it. Most importantly,” Shana reflects, “no one can take away our knowledge or our education.” » More …