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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Anthropology

Holy smokes

smoke in the air over mountainsFor thousands of years, coyote and other types of wild tobacco have provided what many consider a versatile healing remedy and meditative, spiritual channel to the Creator. Much of the botanical lore was muddled, however, with the arrival of Europeans and subsequent cultural upheaval.

WSU researchers Shannon Tushingham and David Gang ’99 PhD are using a combination of archeology and high-end molecular chemistry to help identify and restore wild tobacco and other indigenous smoke plants used by Northwest Native groups.

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Prehistoric turkey DNA used to track human migration

In the mid-to-late 1200s, some 30,000 ancestral pueblo farmers left their homes in southwestern Colorado’s Mesa Verde region and never returned.

Where these people went and why they left are two of American archeology’s longest-standing mysteries. » More …

Top Ten Senior Awards

Five of this year’s Top Ten Seniors are receiving a degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. A sixth is receiving two CAS minors.

For more than 80 years, Washington State University has recognized 10 of the top seniors in each graduating class. These five women and five men represent the Pullman campus’ highest standards in specific aspects of the college experience, including academics, athletics, campus involvement, community service, and visual and performing arts.

Read about all ten students on the WSU.edu homepage >>

WSU looks for practices to thwart antimicrobial resistance

The death last year of a woman in Reno, Nev., from an infection resistant to every type of antibiotic available in the U.S. highlights how serious the threat of antimicrobial resistance has become.

Washington State University scientists are addressing growing global concern about the spread of antimicrobial resistance in Africa, where the World Health Organization predicts that, by 2050, drug resistant tuberculosis and other bacteria could lead to the deaths of 4.15 million people each year. Their work identifying practices that lead to bacterial transmission could help save African lives and prevent the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria to the U.S. and other parts of the globe. » More …