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College of Arts and Sciences School of the Environment

Summer scholars connect research to the real world

Student Jeannette Lilly (center) works with graduate student Erica Bakker (left) and Sarah Roley, assistant professor of environmental science, in an environmental science lab as part of her Chancellor’s Summer Scholars experience.This past summer, ten WSU Tri-Cities undergraduate students in the Chancellor’s Summer Scholar Program got to experience first-hand how top-tier university research can impact their local community.

“Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree get the opportunity to be a part of intensive research that could positively influence the Tri-Cities community,” said Kate McAteer, WSUTC vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Ranging from engineering, to the arts, to the sciences, there are a variety » More …

Auvil Fellowships support undergraduate research

WSU spirit mark.The WSU Office of Undergraduate Research announced three College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate students will receive Auvil Fellowships to support of mentored research, scholarship, and creative activities for the 2019-20 academic year.

“Undergraduate resarchers contribute in meaningful ways to WSU’s standing as a top research university » More …

Ecological legacy of the Palouse Prairie

Close up of spadefoot toad.It’s the cutest photo ever—innocent black eyes, little mottled snout covered with sand. Erim Gómez has won several awards for his angelic close-up of a spadefoot toad.

The doctoral student in environmental and natural resource sciences admits to a soft spot for the shy creatures. Working with associate professor Rodney Sayler in the WSU Endangered Species Lab, Gómez is conducting the first comprehensive survey of frogs and salamanders on the Palouse Prairie since the 1930s. » More …

Researchers honored for work on environmental DNA

Collecting water samplesWSU researchers Caren Goldberg, Katherine Strickler, and Alex Fremier are being honored this week for their use of a technique that can detect minute amounts of DNA to see if at-risk species are in an area.

The researchers took the Project of the Year for Resource Conservation and Resiliency award during the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program and Environmental Security Technology Certification Program Symposium. » More …

Undergraduate research enables WSU junior to give back

Lambert in the mountainsWashington State University junior Lambert Ngenzi wants to use what he is learning about geospatial analysis to help farmers in rural Africa conserve and manage vital water resources.

“Where I come from, water is a big issue,” Ngenzi said. “If I could do something in any way, if I could help the people back home, I would love to do it.” » More …

Ancient Inland Northwest volcanic eruptions blocked out sun, cooling planet

Palouse Falls (c)WSU Photo ServicesThe Pacific Northwest was home to one of the Earth’s largest known volcanic eruptions, a millennia-long spewing of sulfuric gas that blocked out the sun and cooled the planet, Washington State University researchers have determined.

“This would have been devastating regionally because of the acid-rain effect from the eruptions,” said John Wolff, a professor in the WSU School of the Environment. “It did have a global effect on temperatures, but not drastic enough to start killing things, or it did not kill enough of them to affect the fossil record.”

The research, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, appears in Geology, the top journal in the field. Starting 16.5 million years ago, they say, vents in southeast Washington » More …