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Book review: The Whaler and the Girl in the Deadfall

Book cover: The Whaler and the Girl in the Deadfall, by Mahlon E. Kriebel.Influenced by real events of fall 1998 to spring 1999, when the Makah harvested their first whale in seven decades and made headlines worldwide, Mahlon Kriebel (’58 zoology) blends fact with fiction and explores the history of the whale hunt as well as complex cultural issues and tensions past and present. He provides historical context peppered with references to Native works of art, fiction, films, museum exhibits, and more. » More …

Ask Dr. Universe: How do mountains form?

Dr. Universe. A cartoon cat in a lab coatWhen you walk around on land, you are walking on top of Earth’s rocky crust. Below the crust is another thick layer of rock. These layers form Earth’s tectonic plates and when those plates collide with each other, they often form mountains.

To find out about how mountains form, I visited my friend Julie Menard, a professor at Washington State University who is very curious about geology. » More …

Music student wins international competition

Timothy Schrader holding a tuba. Timothy Schrader, a music performance major from Blaine, Washington, recently earned first prize in the European music division of the 2021Charleston International Music Competition with a performance of Georg Philipp Telemann’s Sonata in F Major.

Schrader studies with Chris Dickey, assistant professor of tuba and euphonium in the WSU School of Music, and regularly performs with » More …

Improving WARNS, a K-12 at-risk assessment tool

Stacked books.An interdisciplinary team of Washington State University researchers received a $1.4 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to refine and expand the Washington Assessment of the Risks and Needs of Students program (WARNS), an assessment that helps address truancy in K-12 schools.,

Developed in 2008, the program uses evidence-driven procedures to track and improve interventions with students. More than 100 schools in Washington state and across the nation » More …

Wildfire changes songbird plumage

Red backed fairywren.Fire can put a tropical songbird’s sex life on ice.

Following habitat-destroying wildfires in Australia, a team of researchers led by WSU biology doctoral student Jordan Boersma found that many male red-backed fairywrens failed to molt into their red-and-black ornamental plumage, making them less attractive to potential mates. They also had lowered circulating testosterone, which has been associated with their showy feathers. » More …

Dr. Universe: How do trees give us air to breathe?

Dr. UniverseOur planet is home to all kinds of different plants, and they help make a lot of the oxygen we breathe. To find out how plants make oxygen, I asked my friend Balasaheb Sonawane, a scientist at WSU who researches photosynthesis, or the ways plants use energy from the sun and make oxygen. He said that in a way, plants breathe, too. » More …

Finding his voice

Brandt Fisher playing a saxophone.During recess, most third graders go outside to play. Some, however, play the marimba with their fellow students. Brandt Fisher was one of those recess marimba players.

“When I joined the marimba band in third grade, we learned music by ear,” Brandt said. “This taught me how to truly listen to music and the musicians I played with. And, playing during recess was so much fun.” » More …

Q&A with alumnus Edward Felt

Edward Felt.A biology and organizational communication double major, Edward Felt (’09) is the north American sales manager for VMRD, Inc., a Pullman-based company that develops and manufactures veterinary diagnostic test kits and reagents for distribution in more than 77 countries, as well as performing specialized testing for the global serum, veterinary, and pharmaceutical industries. » More …

New technology to uncover wrongs from the past

Historic photo of a schoolhouse.Colin Grier, a WSU professor of anthropology, is the principal investigator for a National Science Foundation-funded effort to shed light on the capabilities of ground penetrating radar (GPR) to find and identify archaeological features, including graves, that are many decades or even centuries old. He hopes that ultimately his work will help bring closure to the families of the thousands of First Nation children who went missing at Canada’s Indian Residential Schools, which operated between 1883-1996. » More …