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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences research

Undergraduates tackle important questions in sciences, humanities

Monarch butterfly, BLM protestors, and greenhouse gases emitted from smokestacks. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, relieving chronic pain, understanding protest behavior, and conserving wildlife are among the goals of eight undergraduate research projects funded this spring by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Students from across the college—in mathematics, chemistry, foreign languages, and political, psychological, environmental, and biological sciences—are working with faculty mentors to solve questions as diverse as » More …

New leadership for WSU undergraduate research efforts

Jeremy Lessmann.An experienced researcher, instructor, and student advisor and mentor, Jeremy Lessmann has been appointed as the director of the WSU Office of Undergraduate Research.

Faculty-mentored research activities benefits students in all majors and helps them engage deeply in their education. In any field, research can take the form of seeking resolutions to contested questions, creating original work, making empirical observations, using cutting-edge technologies, and more. » More …

Scouting for a forgotten few

Man standing with white car.WSU Vancouver teaching assistant Ryan Booth (’21 PhD history) spent last summer traveling the American West with a cooler loaded with smoked salmon and Cougar Gold cheese, a stack of Pendleton blankets with the price tags removed, and a suitcase full of every possible academic tool needed.

His research focuses on the Northern Cheyenne and White Mountain Apache who served as scouts for the US Army from » More …

PhD research program leads to national laboratory

Electric car charging it's batter.Batteries developed by Shuo Feng could someday revolutionize the nation’s power grid and help electric vehicles go further on one charge than ever before.

Feng is one of five doctoral students who completed their doctorate program through the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Washington State University Distinguished Graduate Research Program (DGRP) in 2021. » More …

Melting sea ice forces polar bears to travel farther for food

Two polar bears on a snowy landscape.In recent years, polar bears in the Beaufort Sea have had to travel far outside of their traditional arctic hunting grounds which has contributed to an almost 30% decrease in their population.

“Having to travel farther means these bears are expending more energy which can threaten their survival,” said Anthony Pagano, a postdoctoral researcher in WSU’s School of the Environment and lead author of » More …

Studying black holes with the new Webb telescope

Model of James Webb Space Telescope.Vivienne Baldassare, a WSU assistant professor of physics and astronomy, is part of a research team that will use NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope to determine if distant star clusters and small galaxies have black holes at their center, similar to larger galaxies such as the Milky Way.

In addition to being the largest telescope ever sent to space—upon reaching orbit the James Webb will unfold to the size of a tennis court—the $10 billion successor to the Hubble Telescope is 100 times more powerful and » More …

Joint seminar series on data science

WSU Spirit mark and PNNL logo. Washington State University and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) recently kicked off the new Discuss, Discourse, Disseminate with Data (D4) joint seminar series. During the coming months, faculty and scientists from WSU and PNNL will provide short synopses of their data work and host an open discussions to encourage research collaboration and knowledge exchange. » More …

The vital role of camus cultivation

Molly Carney.An environmental archaeologist, Molly Carney (’21 PhD) connects Native American history, wisdom, and experiences to our 21st century world and links the evolution of human life to earth’s botanical life.

Carney is currently reconstructing the cultural history and plant food used by Northwest Native communities, specifically camas (Camassia quamash), a bulb plant that has been a valuable food for tribal communities for thousands of years. » More …