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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Graduate student

Increasing trend of concurrent wildfire air pollution and severe heat

Orange skyline resulting from wildfiresLarge wildfires and severe heat events are happening more often at the same time, worsening air pollution across the western United States, a study led by Washington State University researchers has found. In 2020, more than 68% of the western U.S.—representing about 43 million people—were affected in one day by the resulting harmful-levels of air pollution, the highest number in 20 years.

“We have seen an increasing trend in » More …

Scouting for a forgotten few

Man standing with white car.WSU Vancouver teaching assistant Ryan Booth (’21 PhD history) spent last summer traveling the American West with a cooler loaded with smoked salmon and Cougar Gold cheese, a stack of Pendleton blankets with the price tags removed, and a suitcase full of every possible academic tool needed.

His research focuses on the Northern Cheyenne and White Mountain Apache who served as scouts for the US Army from » More …

PhD research program leads to national laboratory

Electric car charging it's batter.Batteries developed by Shuo Feng could someday revolutionize the nation’s power grid and help electric vehicles go further on one charge than ever before.

Feng is one of five doctoral students who completed their doctorate program through the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Washington State University Distinguished Graduate Research Program (DGRP) in 2021. » More …

Concurrent heat waves becoming more frequent

Bright orange sunset silhouetting water tower on WSU Pullman campus. In a study of climate data from 1979 to 2019, WSU environmental researchers found the number of large-area heatwaves occurring simultaneously in the mid- to high-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere was seven times greater in the 2010s than in the 1980s.

On average, there were concurrent heatwaves on 143 days each year of the 2010s—almost every day of the 153 days of the warm months of May through » More …

Radiocarbon dating adds a millennium to Sakaro Sodo stelae

Sakaro Sado pictured in 2014.Rising as high as 20 feet, ancient stone monoliths in southern Ethiopia are 1,000 years older than scientists previously thought, according to a new study in the Journal of African Archaeology led by Ashenafi Zena (’19 PhD).

“This is one of the most understudied archaeological sites in the world, and we wanted to change that,” said Zena, who is now at the State Historical Society of North Dakota. » More …

The vital role of camus cultivation

Molly Carney.An environmental archaeologist, Molly Carney (’21 PhD) connects Native American history, wisdom, and experiences to our 21st century world and links the evolution of human life to earth’s botanical life.

Carney is currently reconstructing the cultural history and plant food used by Northwest Native communities, specifically camas (Camassia quamash), a bulb plant that has been a valuable food for tribal communities for thousands of years. » More …

WSU’s first Fulbright-Hays scholar

Daphne Weber kneeling for a photo while surrounded by monks.Anthropology doctoral candidate Daphne Weber is headed to Thailand as WSU’s first recipient of a Fulbright-Hays award, part of the renowned Fulbright suite of awards.

Weber will spend a year living with and interviewing Thai female monks, formally known as bhikkhuni. She will conduct extensive research for her PhD dissertation on the healing effects of ordination. While female monks are recognized in » More …

Tribal connection inspires efforts to save salmon

Stephanie Blair.In her research of toxic runoff to help save iconic salmon species, WSU scholar Stephanie Blair draws on her science background as well as the knowledge and connections of her Native American community.

“We’re taught to think seven generations ahead, about people we won’t see in our lifetime,” Blair said. “Having experienced what happened to my family when salmon » More …

WSU artists paint the town colorful

Sarah Barnett standing next to a mural. Vivid displays of color, shape, and beauty are popping up across Pullman, thanks largely to the talents of a group of muralists at Washington State University.

Students and faculty in the fine arts department have worked in recent months with other artists in the community to create a vibrant bouquet of public art on walls of buildings at the center of town and at the » More …

A new wave of aquatic biology technology

Students in a lab view frogs in a plastic tub.Bolstered by a $1 million upgrade in equipment and facilities, WSU researchers in biology, neuroscience, agriculture, veterinary medicine, and related fields anticipate significant breakthroughs in aquatic phenomics research with wide-ranging applications for human and animal health and ecology.

“The new aquatic phenomics system (APS) technology will enable rigorous » More …