Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences research

The notorious “Tacoma Method”

Xiuyu WangOn a miserably cold November day in 1885, a mob of 500 White businessmen, police, and political leaders stormed Tacoma’s Chinatown, determined to immediately force out the residents.

“This so-called, and notorious, ‘Tacoma Method’ was lauded by Tacomans and other city leaders as a lawful and orderly way to expel the Chinese population from town,” says Xiuyu Wang, associate professor of history at WSU Vancouver and a » More …

Testing arrest deferrals, early release amid the pandemic

County jail.Sociology professor Jennifer Sherman studies rural jails in eastern Washington. Together with fellow WSU sociologists Jennifer Schwartz and Clay Mosher, she investigates why rural jail populations are on the rise despite declines in urban and suburban jails.

“Our research began before the pandemic hit, so we did our best to adapt and used COVID as a natural experiment,” Sherman says. “We learned a lot about the resilience of our communities by » More …

Canada lynx disappearing from Washington state

Lynx traveling on a forest path.Canada lynx are losing ground in Washington state, even as federal officials are taking steps to remove the species’ threatened status under the Endangered Species Act.

A massive monitoring study led by Washington State University researchers found lynx on only about 20% of its potential habitat. The results paint an alarming picture not only for » More …

Research and innovation highlights

WSU Spirit Mark.As COVID-19 swept the nation in March 2020, faculty with ongoing studies were required to put them on hold or pivot to make the research relevant to the pandemic.

“Science and teamwork are our best hope for a way forward,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz in October 2020. “I am incredibly proud of our faculty whose persistence and innovation will help us get through this crisis and prevent a future one.” » More …

New technology to uncover wrongs from the past

Colin Grier.Colin Grier, a WSU professor of anthropology, is the principal investigator for a National Science Foundation-funded effort to shed light on the capabilities of ground penetrating radar (GPR) to find and identify archaeological features, including graves, that are many decades or even centuries old. He hopes that ultimately his work will help bring closure to the families of the thousands of First Nation children who went missing at Canada’s Indian Residential Schools, which operated between 1883-1996. » More …

Cannabis research center established

Cannabis plants.Early efforts in cannabis research at WSU have now grown into a full, multi-disciplinary research center with nearly 100 scientists working on a diverse range of cannabis-related projects. More than a dozen CAS faculty across chemistry, sociology, psychology, criminal justice, and political science are affiliated with the newly christened Center for Cannabis Policy, Research and Outreach, or CCPRO. » More …

Leveraging the secrets of hibernation to treat diabetes

Grizzly bears.WSU evolutionary biologist Joanna Kelley studies genetic adaptation to extreme environments: tropical fish that thrive in waters thick with hydrogen sulfide; an Antarctic midge which can survive brutally cold temperatures of -50 degrees Celsius; and now, the charismatic grizzly bear, a species that is insulin-resistant—a metabolic state similar to diabetes in humans—during hibernation but insulin-sensitive during its active season. » More …

Secret investigation of radioactive fallout is focus of historian’s research

Nuclear bomb blast.After years of polluting Earth’s atmosphere and ecosystems with nuclear material from atomic bomb tests, the U.S. government in 1953 launched “Project Sunshine,” a secret, international program to study the amount of radioactive fallout in the environment. The cheery-sounding program sought particularly to understand the impact of strontium 90, an unstable, radioactive version of a naturally occurring element which threatened to riddle people and animals with cancer. » More …

A growing international research collaboration

A plant scientist working in a greenhouse.Plant scientists at Washington State University and in Germany are launching a new research collaboration through a series of virtual talks about advances that help feed and sustain our world.

“Direct cooperation between German and U.S. scientists and collaborative education of our scholars helps expand society’s knowledge about beneficial crops,” said Mechthild Tegeder, Herbert L. Eastlick Distinguished Professor in » 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 …