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College of Arts and Sciences research

Unique imaging instrument expands WSU capabilities

Two people look into an imaging source on a 20-foot-long machine.An X‑ray beamline with a first-of-its-kind imaging source is being installed at Washington State University’s Dodgen Research Facility. The instrument, valued at over $1 million, will allow researchers to study a range of materials at nano- and atomic-scales.

“It’s a very versatile instrument,” said Liane Moreau, a WSU assistant professor of chemistry. “It’s the only one currently in the United States that…allows us to take images and get data from a specific spot on a sample and correlate it to » More …

Q&A on gender equality

Closeup of women putting their fists together in a circle.August 26 has been observed as Women’s Equality Day in the United States for nearly 50 years, but equality is still a distant goal, says Amy Mazur, the Johnson Distinguished Professor in political science at WSU Pullman and a global expert on gender equality who has consulted with the World Bank, the European Union, and most recently, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). » 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 …

Research exchange to explore resilient, high-yielding crops

School of Biological Sciences postdoctoral researcher Mingzhu Lu and doctoral candidates Sandi Thu, Samantha The, and Rachel Snyder show some of their research experiments into plant biology and traits in professor Mechthild Tegeder’s lab.Students from Washington State University will travel to Germany next summer for a new research exchange program exploring complex plant traits underlying resilience and yield.

Funded by a $300,000 award from the National Science Foundation’s International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) initiative, the 10-week program expands WSU’s partnership with Germany’s CEPLAS—Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences—which integrates resources at the » 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 …

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 …