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PHOTOS: A day on the pumice plain with biologist John Bishop

John Bishop.
Bishop

A glimpse into a day in the life of Mount St. Helens researcher John Bishop who has studied the landscape’s transformation from decimation to revitalization since 1990, 10 years after the 1980 eruption. Bishop, a biologist with Washington State University Vancouver, has dedicated the better half of his professional career to studying the slow-growers and creepy-crawlies of the pumice plain. This collection of photographs documents one research day with Bishop and his students on the pumice plain during July 2019.

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The Daily News

If we’re all caught in a dangerous pandemic, where does the impulse to help others come from?

Why, when their own welfare is so clearly at stake, do people share resources or risk exposure to the virus to help others?

Craig Parks.
Parks

It comes down to the term “prosocial.” According to Craig Parks, a professor of social psychology and a vice provost at Washington State University, “ ‘Prosocial’ means that when you have a choice between acting in your personal best interests or acting in the best interest of the collective, that you opt for the latter.”

While looking out only for ourselves is sometimes extremely important, we have evolved to be concerned with the greater good. “Humans are naturally prosocial,” says Parks. “They had to be in order to survive.”

Imagine being a prehistoric man, hunting woolly mammoth. Alone, you might manage to kill the beast, but it would be difficult to protect the carcass from other predators. Form a multi-person hunting party, though, and “you’re not going to get nearly as much meat as if you hunted by yourself, but you’ve got a much greater chance of success and a much greater chance of living to see another day,” Parks says.

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Washington Post

Investigation into body cameras finds nagging challenges for UK police

An Engineering & Technology investigation finds gaps in research on the benefits of police body-worn cameras, as well as shortcomings in the reporting of complaints against officers wearing them.

David Makin.
Makin

David Makin, an associate professor and director of the Complex Social Interactions Lab at Washington State University, argues police forces may have the ability to purchase body-worn cameras yet few have the infrastructure to analyse the footage. If footage is not analysed, its value is limited: “Failure to integrate the technology into organisational practice will relegate it to a cost expenditure and not a cost benefit.”

Makin mentions another area of concern in the United States: the involvement of private companies. “There’s also a move towards having private companies taking over some of the administrative tasks, including providing redaction, transcription, and generally managing the data.” Trusting private companies with sensitive material can backfire, especially if it is not encrypted and held securely.

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Engineering & Technology

Where you live may influence your baby’s behavior

Infants from rural families tend to display negative emotions such as anger and frustration more frequently than their urban counterparts, according to a recent study in the Journal of Community Psychology.

Babies born in big cities, on the other hand, typically are less fussy and not as bothered by limits set by their caregivers.

Alyssa Neumann.
Neumann
Masha Maria Gartstein.
Gartstein

The study, led by Washington State University psychologist Maria Gartstein and WSU graduate student Alyssa Neumann, examines differences in infant temperament, parent-child interactions and parenting stress between families of similar socioeconomic and racial composition in the Inland Northwest and the San Francisco Bay area.

The researchers found urban moms tend to be better at picking up on when their babies wanted or needed something, or were ready to be done with play, and responding accordingly. This in turn could have led to their infants generally being calmer and “This in turn could have led to their infants generally being calmer and less easily upset. Rural moms reported more frequent expressions of negative emotions from their infants, particularly when they were distressed due to limitations.

The results of Gartstein and Neumann’s work in many ways reflect the findings of previous research investigating differences in child-rearing practices between urban and rural families. However, unlike past studies, which have looked at the effects of living in an urban vs. rural environment on older children, Gartstein and Neumann’s analysis specifically focuses on infants.

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Mirage News

WSU Insider

Science Daily

Hindustan Times

CAFE 541: Avantika Bawa’s unambivalent art now showing at Ditch Projects in Springfield

Avantika Bawa.
Bawa

In this week’s edition of “Five Questions With …,” CAFE 541 sits down with Portland artist Avantika Bawa, associate professor of fine arts at Washington State University Vancouver, who is currently showing ”#FFFFF,” part of her “Scaffold Series,” at Springfield’s Ditch Projects gallery. Bawa’s utilitarian structures, appearing in Mumbai and the White Salt Desert in India and in Astoria lose their function to become strange, stark elements of what are often already strange, stark settings.

You have been a contemporary artist for many years. I’m curious what or who inspired you to follow the path of becoming a contemporary artist?

It just happened! I cannot pinpoint exactly when it started but working with drawing tools was always part of my life. I recall one day, when I snuck into my father’s office at age 6 and began to draw with staples. I wondered how many other non-art materials I could draw with. From there, my curiosity and explorations only grew. The inspirations have been many, ranging from an endless number of artists, filmmakers, musicians and friends to traveling to new and obscure places. The list is endless. We would need a longer interview for this!

As a contemporary artist, is there a tool or a material component that you couldn’t imagine going without? Why is this so integral to your work?

Yes and no. I like the challenge of landing in a site and working with the materials I find there. I embrace the “locally sourced” and “fabricated” materials and see how far I can go with just that.

Having said that, I do like a box of 2B pencils, a 12- to 16-inch straight edge and a mechanical sharpener that won’t suddenly die. That’s technically three tools, but I see them as related. I use a lot of graphite lines in my work, and I need my lines to be sharp and straight! Although ”#FFFFFF” does not use any of these, the aesthetic is still evident. You can observe a lot of sharp straight lines in the scaffolds and its shadows.

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The Register-Guard