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Dry lightning study could aid wildfire forecasting

Lightning strike.Researchers from the School of the Environment at Washington State University, Vancouver, have developed the first long-term climatology of dry lightning — lightning which occurs with less than 2.5mm of rainfall — in central and northern California,

“Unlike human-caused fires that originate in a single location, lightning outbreaks can strike multiple locations and start numerous » More …

Habitat survey sheds light on survival

Two spotted fawns lying in the grass.Trekking through grasslands in southeastern Washington, Rebekah Lumkes, a School of the Environment master’s student, swept her radio antenna back and forth a few times, quickly homing in on a telltale tone. Moments later, a mule deer doe, radio collar number 877, bolted from cover and bounded down the gully. Lumkes backtracked to the doe’s estimated starting point, then began quartering the area, looking for the fawn born two nights prior.

“Mule deer are an indicator species,” Lumkes said. “They’re sensitive to » More …

Scientists urge preparation for catastrophic climate change

A traffic sign that's partially submerged in flood water.With the unprecedented rapid pace of climate change, it is time to start seriously considering the worst-case scenarios warns Washington State University archaeologist Tim Kohler.

Kohler is part of an international team of climate experts that argue that although unlikely, climate change catastrophes, including human » More …

Launching WSU Climate Initiative teams

A hazy, reddish, city skyline.Eight Arts & Sciences faculty representing four distinct areas are members of the new interdisciplinary research teams formed during the 2022 Washington State University Climate Hackathon.

During the two-day event last spring, participants defined the scope of climate change-related challenges, shared expertise in » More …

New student regent and advocate for mental health

Reanne Cunningham Chilton.Reanne Cunningham Chilton, a clinical psychology doctoral student who has worked with populations ranging from young children and university students to retirees and incarcerated men, is serving as the new student regent on the WSU Board of Regents for academic year 2022–23.

Selected by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Chilton is in » More …

A portrait of the woman

Jacqueline Wilson.When Jacqueline Wilson took the stage at New York City’s Whitney Museum of American Art earlier this month, she and 12 other Native women musicians performed original scores written specifically for each of them by the first Indigenous Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, Raven Chacon.

“It is by far the most special thing I’ve ever » More …

Bollens elected to state Academy of Sciences

Steve Bollens.In recognition of his outstanding research on salt and freshwater aquatic systems “that is both timely and important to understanding the impact of global climate change…and biodiversity in the Pacific Northwest,”  Professor Stephen Bollens has been elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences.

Bollens is a WSU Vancouver professor in » More …

Assessing local impact of Roe v. Wade ruling

United States Supreme Court Building.The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade puts abortion policy in the hands of state lawmakers whose election campaigns traditionally receive less attention from voters than federal offices such as U.S. Congress or the White House.

WSU political scientists believe general voter awareness of state legislative races now could push public interest into uncharted territory. » More …

Maintaining our digital heritage

“Software preservation is almost a losing battle,” says Roger Whitson, WSU associate professor of English who conducts research in the field of media history. “It’s a complicated problem. There is no perfect file format that will be accessible forever. Inevitably, these media types degrade, the actual signal we’re trying to preserve degrades, so you always have to be thinking ahead of the current situation.”

Indeed, computers and formats advance so rapidly that » More …