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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Environment

Eight proteins regulate insulin in hibernating bears

A giant grizzly bear walking past some logs in a grassy field.Feeding honey to hibernating bears helped Washington State University researchers find the potential genetic keys to the bears’ insulin control, an advance that could ultimately lead to a treatment for human diabetes.

Every year, bears gain an enormous amount of weight, then barely move for months, behavior that would » More …

Methane emissions from reservoirs are increasing

A dam with turbulent water emerging from its turbines.Over time, the water collected behind dams will release greater amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas with even worse effects than carbon dioxide, according to a recent study by researchers at WSU and the University of Quebec.

“On a per mass basis, methane has a much stronger impact on climate than carbon dioxide does,” said John Harrison, » More …

Global Campus: 30 years of opportunity

A student works on a computer outside.In 1992, Washington State University extended its land-grant mission by launching one of the nation’s first opportunities for students to pursue a degree from anywhere on the globe through distance delivery.

Today, our Global Campus is the second largest campus by enrollment in the WSU system with more than 4,000 students enrolled in one of 21 undergraduate majors, 13 graduate programs, or more than » More …

Merging virtual and in-person field trips

A mule deer and two fawns in a green field.Prior to 2020, students enrolled in Washington State University’s natural resource ecology course (SOE 300) made field trips to Kamiak Butte County Park, 20 minutes north of Pullman, as part of a semester-long project. As lovely as spending class time off-campus in nature is, it’s also a challenge for students who don’t drive. During the pandemic, in-person field trips were not possible.

Enter the Virtual Ecology project, where School of the Environment instructor William Schlosser, affectionately known as “Dr. Bill,” worked with » More …

New leaders in arts and sciences bring wealth of experience to posts

Keri McCarthy, Cliff Berkman, and Allyson Beal-King.Three academic units in the College of Arts and Sciences are welcoming new leadership this fall.

In the School of Music, Professor Keri McCarthy succeeds Dean Luethi as director, and in the Department of Chemistry, Professor Cliff Berkman  succeeds Kirk Peterson as chair.

In the School of the Environment—which is part of both CAS and the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences—Allyson Beall King, associate professor, career track, succeeds Kent Keller as director. » More …

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 …

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 …

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 …