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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Environment

Hutton honored with Crimson Spirit award

Sophia Hutton.Sophia Hutton, administrative manager for the School of the Environment, received a 2020 Crimson Spirit award in recognition of her creative problem-solving skills and outstanding service to her unit and the University.

Hutton manages the  School of the Environment main office and staff, and assists the director and faculty, facilitates faculty searches, helps advise graduate students, and more.

A critical thinker who is always solving problems and anticipating » More …

Canada lynx disappearing from Washington state

A lynx.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 WSU researchers has found lynx on only about 20% of its potential habitat in the state. The results paint an alarming picture not only for the persistence of lynx but also many other cold-adapted species, said Dan Thornton, an assistant professor in the School of the Environment.

“Lynx are good sentinel species for climate change,” said Thornton, the corresponding author on » More …

2019 news recap: CAS research made headlines worldwide

CAS logo on white with borderFrom Instagram selfies to an ancient tattoo tool, research from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) made headlines around the world in 2019. The University distributed press releases for more than 65 scientific papers last year, including many from CAS faculty and scientists. Together, the findings were seen potentially billions of times by readers and viewers worldwide, elevating WSU’s profile as a premier public research university.

Four CAS stories graced the top 10, and eight more rounded out the top 50 stories. » More …

Mapping natural and legal boundaries to help wildlife move

A forest stream.Wildlife need to move to survive: to find food, reproduce and escape wildfires and other hazards. Yet as soon as they leave protected areas like national forests or parks, they often wind up on a landscape that is very fragmented in terms of natural boundaries and human ones.

To help create more corridors for wildlife movement, a team led by School of Environment graduate student Amanda Stahl has developed a way to map » More …

Documenting the collapse of the white-lipped peccary

White-lipped peccary in profile.White-lipped peccaries of Central America have declined by as much as 90% from their historical range, signaling a population collapse of a key species in the region, according to a study by WSU researchers and colleagues published recently in the journal Biological Conservation.

“White-lipped peccary populations are in more of a critical condition than previously thought,” said lead author Dan Thornton. “While these results are sobering, they also » More …

Seeding big-picture, interdisciplinary research

A detail of a classic Mayan polychrome vessel depicting a deer hunt.With support from Interdisciplinary Research and Innovation Seed (IRIS) grants, CAS faculty and graduate students in diverse areas are combining forces with colleagues across the university to tackle critical questions by integrating knowledge in a wide array of fields—criminology, biology, English, medicine, archaeology, nursing, and more.

“The IRIS grant program supports faculty efforts to build collaborative relationships and advance our interdisciplinary creative activities, scholarship, and » More …

Former Cougar Crew members share life lessons

1973 WSU Cougar Crew on a dock.Out here, among the rolling hills of the Palouse, generations of rowers have pulled hard. They’ve learned life lessons on the Snake River, where conditions can change instantaneously and team work is essential. They’ve forged lifelong friendships. They’ve made memories.

As the Cougar Crew prepares to celebrate the team’s 50th anniversay, a few former WSU oarsmen, including three CAS alumni, shared their stories with » More …

First-generation scholar shines, represents college at commencement

Hilary Zuniga.Hilary Zuniga dreams of someday working for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, earning her doctoral degree in international development studies, and enjoying a fulfilling career with the United Nations. This month, the determined 22-year-old took one giant step closer to her goals by graduating from WSU with two bachelor’s degrees and a record of outstanding academic and research achievement, student leadership, and community service.

For her accomplishments as an undergraduate, the college honored » More …