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College of Arts and Sciences Environment

International internships, research inspire new direction

Collecting samples in Portland. Heading next to Switzerland in search of new insights about aquatic invasive species, world traveler and newly minted Ph.D. Eric Dexter is a late-blooming research success story.

Dexter was planning to become an acupuncturist when he inadvertently discovered a love for scientific research. » More …

Annual awards honor faculty, staff, student achievement

group photo on the stageSixteen faculty, six staff, and six graduate students were honored for outstanding achievement at the 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Appreciation and Recognition Social earlier this month.

Professor Mechthild Tegedar, an international leader in plant biology, and Gary Collins, a pioneer in the study of material defects, received the top two faculty awards. Chuck Cody and Paul Wheeler, both in » More …

Scientists seek causes, better predictions for South Asia’s changing monsoon

Deepti Singh, assistant professor in the School of the Environment, is trying to understand how and why the South Asian summer monsoon is changing.

Weather patterns in the region are becoming harder to predict, with rain falling in unusual amounts and locations, putting billions of lives and livelihoods at risk.

Working with colleagues in the U.S. and India, Singh has authored a new review exploring » More …

Dr. Universe: How do volcanoes erupt?

Dr. Universe behind a sleeping volcano.Wherever we find a volcano on the surface of our planet, we can find the source of an eruption beneath it. That’s what I found out from my friend John Wolff, a volcanologist at Washington State University in Pullman.

Our planet is home to all kinds of volcanoes that erupt in different ways. Some eruptions are quiet and continuous, with a slow flow of lava. Other volcanoes erupt explosively and » More …

Dr. Universe: All about bunnies

Dr. UniverseBunnies are hopping all over our planet. Some hop through snow and deserts while others hop through wetlands and woods. There are lots of different kinds of rabbits and they are all a little different. For the most part, a bunny hops, or actually runs, anywhere between 25 and 45 mph That’s even faster than most house cats can run.

My friend Paul Jensen, a graduate student researcher at WSU, studies snowshoe hares in northcentral Washington state to learn more about » More …

On the straight, tall, and narrow

Travis Keatley.The straight, long rows of tall and thin loblolly pine grow very fast in the South’s flat lands, especially compared to the slow-growing Douglas fir on steep Pacific Northwest slopes. It’s just one of many differences that Travis Keatley (’99 Forest Mgmt.) has witnessed as he manages more than seven million acres of timber across 11 states for Weyerhaeuser.

As vice president of southern timberlands for the timber, land, and forest products company, Keatley works out of » More …

Undergraduate Symposium highlights research and art

student explains research projectStudents highlighted their semester course projects, research, and art as part of the fall Undergraduate Research Symposium and Art Exhibition at WSU Tri-Cities.

“The symposium and art exhibition provides our students with an excellent opportunity to practice communicating their research and course projects, which is an essential skill for when they go out into the professional environment,” said Allison Matthews, clinical assistant professor of psychology. » More …

Six feet under: Deep soil can hold much of the Earth’s carbon

Infographic about soil carbon.One‑fourth of the carbon held by soil is bound to minerals as far as six feet below the surface, a Washington State University researcher has found. The discovery opens a new possibility for dealing with the element as it continues to warm the Earth’s atmosphere.

One hitch: Most of that carbon is concentrated deep beneath the world’s wet forests, and they won’t sequester as much as global temperatures continue to rise. » More …

Defining his own non-traditional path

graduate with familyFamily is core to who Geoff Schramm is as a friend, a person, but especially as a father and husband.

It’s the reason why he decided to go back to school at Washington State University Tri-Cities in his late 30s – a decision that led to many people asking him, “Why?”

» More …

Researcher warns of possible reprise of worst known drought, famine

Engraving showing the plight of animals as well as humans in Bellary district A Washington State University researcher has completed the most thorough analysis yet of The Great Drought — the most devastating known drought of the past 800 years — and how it led to the Global Famine, an unprecedented disaster that took 50 million lives. She warns that the Earth’s current warming climate could make a similar drought even worse.

Deepti Singh, an assistant professor in the School of the Environment, used tree‑ring data, rainfall records and climate reconstructions to characterize the conditions leading up to the Great Drought, a period of widespread » More …