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How does a river breathe? The answer could lead to a better understanding of global carbon cycle

Take a deep breath. Pay attention to how air moves from your nose to your throat before filling your lungs with oxygen. As you exhale your breath, a mix of oxygen and carbon dioxide leaves your nose and mouth. Did you know that streams and rivers “breathe” in a similar way?

One of the drivers behind understanding how streams and rivers breathe is a set of processes known as respiration—a collection of chemical reactions that together determine how much carbon stays put and how much enters the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

It’s important to understand whether water or sediment in rivers and streams has more respiration. To answer this, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory partnered with researchers at Washington State University and the University of Montana. The team found that in the Columbia River, most respiration is done by organisms in the water. This is likely because the Columbia River contains a lot of water in which respiration can happen.

Research has produced models and data that can help predict how to protect the nation’s streams and rivers and the communities that depend on them. The work is published in the journal Frontiers in Water. Co-authors include PNNL earth scientist James Stegen, an affiliate faculty member in the School of the Environment.

Read the full story:
Smart Water Magazine

What life was like when Kennewick was a “sundown town”

From the early 1940s, legal segregation and the attitudes of the Tri-Cities community made Black people feel unwelcome, according to Robert Bauman, a history professor at WSU Tri-Cities.

“Kennewick was a sundown town…,” Bauman said. “There were some African Americans who worked there, not a lot. And Blacks could come to Kennewick to shop whatever during the day. But the understanding was you had to be out by sundown.”

At that time the only place Black Americans were allowed to own a home was east Pasco, according to Bauman.

Bauman said the sundown town practice wasn’t something city officials tried to hide, citing an interview by the Washington State Board Against Discrimination.

“One of the times they interviewed the police chief who said, yeah, this is, you know, we don’t allow Blacks to live here and if people are here after sundown, we remove them,” Bauman said.

It took years of persistence for civil rights organizations and community members to change the way things were with marches and even individual actions, according to Bauman.

Watch the video and read the full story:
KNDO Tri-Cities

Art exhibit honors late faculty member

An art exhibit currently on display at Washington State University Tri-Cities honors the memory of a former staff member.

Four current WSU Tri-Cities faculty contributed their own art creations in various mediums for the exhibit titled “NO PROGRAM”, which honors the life and artistic legacy of Doug Gast, who died in 2020.

In addition to artwork created by Peter Christenson, Phillip Mudd, Kayleigh Lang, and Marguerite Finch, the exhibit also features some of Gast’s work.

“I was excited to have the opportunity to help curate this exhibition,” said Finch. “I briefly knew Doug but knew how much he cared about promoting art on this campus and creating art opportunities for students.”

“NO PROGRAM” contains art from several mediums, ranging from photography, painting, installation, sound, and sculpture. The public is invited to view the exhibit through February in the Consolidated Information Center (CIC) on the WSU-TC campus.

“I believe this exhibition gives students at WSU Tri-Cities a way to engage with art and see what faculty currently working on this campus are doing in their art practice,” said Finch.

Source: (KNDU)

Preschoolers show cultural differences in generosity, competitiveness

In a set of sharing experiments, Spanish-speaking Latino preschoolers were more likely to choose options that would be more generous to others, even over a more equal sharing choice.

Their English-speaking peers in the Washington State University study more often chose the most competitive option, one that advantaged themselves over others. The most competitive among that group were English-speaking Latino children, a finding that the researchers believe may reflect their desire to transition to the more individualistic American culture.

Paul Strand.

This study not only adds evidence that children from collectivist cultures, which prioritize the good of the group over the individual, show those values early, but also helps distinguish their motivations.

“We knew that Spanish-speaking kids tended to be more cooperative, but we didn’t know whether that had to do with generosity or wanting things to be equal. Our work shows that they’re not more driven by equality. They’re just flat out more generous,” said Paul Strand, a WSU psychologist and senior author of the study published in The Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.

Strand, along with WSU graduate students Erinn Savage and Arianna Gonzales, ran a set of game-based experiments with 265 children ranging in age from 3 to 5 who were all enrolled in a Head Start preschool program. They used three “economic dictator games,” originally developed by Swiss and German researchers, which give children choices on keeping and giving items they liked.

Read the full story:
The Sector
WSU Insider

FBI’s secret search for lesbians in Manhattan Project revealed

In 1943, thousands of workers began arriving at remote outposts in Washington, New Mexico and Tennessee where American ingenuity would be pressed to its limit in a secret and frantic push to build the first atomic bomb.

One particular group of eight women at Hanford in Eastern Washington and Los Alamos in New Mexico would have been among the forgotten, if not for the FBI’s feverish hunt for private details about their lives. The government that had recruited them to the elite Manhattan Project was now trying to strip them of vital security clearances by proving they were lesbians.

Declassified FBI records and Atomic Energy Commission memos reviewed by The Seattle Times chronicle the women’s experiences trying to live their authentic lives while staying ahead of the FBI in a chase that stretched from Los Alamos to Hanford and spanned a decade.

Robert Franklin.

“The [Atomic Energy Commission], in saying these people are going to be security risks, they’re damning them. You’re also lumping them in with groups that might wish the U.S. and its allies harm,” Robert Franklin, assistant professor of history at Washington State University, Tri-Cities, and assistant director of the Hanford History Project, told the paper. “They’re not enemies, but the fact is they could be compromised just because of who they are.”

“It’s deeply unsettling and really should be a cautionary tale,” he added. “They wouldn’t have been a risk if we had been able to accept people for who they are.”

Find out more:
The Seattle Times
The Advocate