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College of Arts and Sciences Environment

Measuring greenhouse gas emissions from water reservoirs

Artificial dam.A new study in Global Biogeochemical Cycles shows per-area greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s water reservoirs are around 29% higher than suggested by previous studies, but that practical measures could be taken to help reduce that impact.

According to the analysis by Washington State University and University of Quebec at Montreal scientists, much of the increase in » More …

Top Ten Seniors for 2021

Hobbs, Brandt, King-Shaw, Mederios, Kopta.Five of the WSU Top Ten Seniors are graduating with degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences: Dallas Hobbs, Brandt Fischer, Samantha King-Shaw, Kyle Kopta, and Ariel Medeiros.

For more than 80 years, WSU has recognized top seniors in each graduating class. These women and men represent the highest standards in specific aspects of the college experience: academics, athletics, campus involvement, community service, and visual and performing arts. » More …

Too much of a good thing?

Lake Vancouver.On most summer days, Vancouver Lake is a popular place for windsurfing, boating, and birdwatching. More and more, however, this picturesque place is closed to recreation for months at a time due to harmful algae blooms (HABs) that contain toxins which can cause sickness, or even death, in people, pets, fish, birds, and wild animals.

Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens, associate professor in the School of the Environment and co-director of the WSU Aquatic Ecology Lab at WSU Vancouver, has spent more than a decade working to identify contributing factors and » More …

Eyes in the sky

A drone flies over the landscape.With the support of the Biologically Intensive Agriculture & Organic Farming grant program at WSU, environmental scientists are using satellites and drones to help local conservation districts monitor areas near rivers and streams to help improve agricultural sustainability.

“The state’s program is really a bottom-up approach, where the state encourages local stewardship to improve riparian areas and monitor them,” said Alexander Fremier, associate professor in » More …

Most-read research stories of 2020

College of Arts and Sciences - Washington State University.In a year dominated by COVID-19, popular research news played on questions of how things could get worse, or how we might leave this troubled planet altogether. Overall, news stories about WSU research that did the best still had a focus on real world impact.

CAS faculty featured in five of the top 10 most popular stories, and were well-represented in the next 90-plus press releases tracked by WSU News.

» More …

New research in these interesting times

In March 2020, when the University moved to distance learning to comply with stay-at-home orders, some WSU Vancouver researchers who were unable to pursue their existing projects turned instead to look at how COVID-19 was affecting various communities.

The new projects are “a lot broader than what people might expect. We are not looking for better testing or a vaccine or methods of contact tracing, but rather the impacts of the pandemic on various communities,” said Christine Portfors,  vice chancellor for research and » More …

A look back: Showcase 2020 honorees

Showcase.Each year the WSU Showcase awards recognize the outstanding achievements of faculty and staff. Eight CAS faculty were among those honored in the spring of 2020. These individuals stand among the world’s top scholars, the nation’s most effective and beloved instructors, and the University’s most dedicated and visionary professionals.

The 2020 CAS honorees are: » More …

Wildlife ecologists document rare jaguar-ocelot interaction

A trail camera shows jaguar attacks an ocelot at night..In what may be a sign of climate-change-induced conflict, researchers have captured rare photographic evidence of a jaguar killing another predatory wild cat at an isolated waterhole in Guatemala.

Captured in the Maya Biosphere Reserve in March 2019, a dry month in a drought year for the tropical forest, by wildlife ecologists from WSU and the Wildlife Conservation Society, the event is » More …

Beavers may help amphibians threatened by climate change

The recovery of beavers may have beneficial consequences for amphibians because beaver dams can create the unique habitats that amphibians need.

“Beaver-dammed wetlands support more of the amphibian species that need a long time to develop in water as larvae before they are able to live on land as adults,” said Jonah Piovia-Scott, assistant professor in the School of Biological Sciences and one of » More …