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Greenhouse gas emissions from water reservoirs higher than previously expected

A new study in Global Biogeochemical Cycles shows per-area greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s water reservoirs are around 29% higher than suggested by previous studies, but that practical measures could be taken to help reduce that impact.

John Harrison.

Led by John Harrison, a professor in the WSU Vancouver School of the Environment, and co-authored by colleagues at the University of Quebec at Montreal, the study is the first to include methane degassing in its estimate of global greenhouse gas emissions from manmade reservoirs. The research team also factored in numerous other unaccounted for variables into their analysis such as water temperature, water depth and the amount of sediment entering into thousands of different reservoirs located around the world. Previous studies that calculated overall greenhouse gas emissions from reservoirs relied solely on average emission rates per reservoir surface area.

“While a number of papers have pointed out the importance of aquatic systems as sources of methane to the atmosphere, this is the first paper that I know of to look explicitly at which kinds of reservoirs are big sources and why,” Harrison said. “It gives us the ability to start working toward understanding what we could do about methane emissions from these types of systems.”

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WSU Insider
The Shillong Times

WSU, Pullman PD research program earns national recognition

A Washington State University research program developed in partnership with the Pullman Police Department has been recognized for its trailblazing approach.

David Makin.

The Research Fellowship Program, a collaboration between David Makin, a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology and Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins, was among the efforts highlighted by this year’s Smart 50 Awards.

Pullman PD has already seen dividends from this program, including having a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis done for a new municipal building as well as research briefs prepared on evidence-based practices associated with domestic violence. The first six months of the program also allowed for the assessment of a traffic camera system and a grant proposal to the National Institute of Justice to examine the use and effectiveness of de-escalation within police-citizen interactions.

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WSU Insider
Daily News

Seeds of economic health disparities found in subsistence society

No billionaires live among the Tsimane people of Bolivia, although some are a bit better off than others. These subsistence communities on the edge of the Amazon also have fewer chronic health problems linked to the kind of dramatic economic disparity found in industrialized Western societies.

Aaron Blackwell.

For a study in the journal eLife, a research team led by Aaron Blackwell of Washington State University and Adrian Jaeggi of University of Zurich tracked 13 different health variables across 40 Tsimane communities, analyzing them against each person’s wealth and the degree of inequality in each community. While some have theorized that inequality’s health impacts are universal, the researchers found only two robustly associated outcomes: higher blood pressure and respiratory disease.

“The connection between inequality and health is not as straightforward as what you would see in an industrialized population. We had a lot of mixed results,” said Blackwell, a WSU associate professor of anthropology. “These findings suggest that at this scale, inequality is not at the level that causes health problems. Instead maybe it’s the extreme inequality in a lot of modern environments that causes health problems since it’s unlike any inequality we’ve ever had in our evolutionary history.”

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WSU Insider

Cannabis research center established at Washington State University

Washington State University’s early efforts on cannabis research have now grown into a full, multi-disciplinary research center with nearly 100 scientists working on a diverse range of cannabis-related projects.

The newly christened Center for Cannabis Policy, Research and Outreach, or CCPRO, was officially approved by the WSU Faculty Senate and Board of Regents in May. WSU started organizing spearheading research into cannabis in 2011, even before Washington state became the first in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana the following year. The formal designation as a research center signifies its importance and WSU’s commitment as the state’s land-grant university to critically needed scientific understanding of the growing industry.

Nicholas Lovrich.

Center researchers have also been studying how Washington’s 2012 law legalizing cannabis has impacted law enforcement, and professor emeritus of political science and former CCPRO director Nick Lovrich is now taking the lessons learned from Washington officers to a national law enforcement conference.

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WSU Insider
AP News

State History Museum exhibit spotlights portraits of a transgender West

On the eve of Pride Month, Saturday, May 29, the Washington State History Museum will open an original exhibition about transgender people in the West from the 1860s-1940s.

Peter Boag.

The exhibition was created in collaboration with historian, author and educator Peter Boag at Washington State University-Vancouver.

“It is an honor,” Peter Boag explained, “to be a part of the visionary inclusiveness of the Washington State Historical Society, bringing to attention varied peoples marginalized in and by our history.

“Our exhibit shares stories that are of central importance to our state and region, but stories largely ignored or purposely misconstrued. As such, what we share is not only affirming of the lives of the people we explore, but also of fundamental interest to everyone.”

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The Stranger
Washington History
South Sound Magazine