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Ozette: The US’ lost 2,000-year-old village

Richard Daugherty examining an artifact shaped like a whale fin.
Daugherty examining an artifact.

In 1970, a violent storm uncovered a Makah village that was buried by a mudslide more than 300 years earlier. A newly re-opened museum tells the fascinating story of the ancient site.

Due to the suddenness of the event and the exceptional levels of preservation, scientists hailed the find a “Western Pompeii” and the Washington Post called it “the most comprehensive collection of artefacts of a pre-European-contact Indian culture ever discovered in the United States.”

Anxious the material might be engulfed by the sea and lost, the tribe called in Richard Daugherty, an influential archaeologist at Washington State University who’d been involved in fieldwork in the area since the 1940s. Having good connections with Congress, Daugherty helped secure federal funding for an exhaustive excavation.

“Dr. Daugherty was instrumental in the excavation work,” recounted Rebekah Monette, a tribal member and historic preservation programme manager. “He was very progressive and interested in working alongside the tribe in the process. He worked to gain financing for 11 years.”

The Ozette dig lasted from 1970 until 1981 and ultimately unearthed around 55,000 artefacts from six beachside cedar houses covered by the slide. The Makah, like many indigenous groups, have a strong oral tradition, with much of their history passed down through storytelling, song and dance. The evidence unearthed at Ozette affirmed these stories and added important details.

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BBC.com

Nine faculty selected to receive seed grants

The WSU Office of Research has awarded nine faculty with 2022 New Faculty Seed Grants.

The grant program provides support for junior faculty to develop research, scholarly, or creative programs that lead to sustained professional development and extramural funding. The program is sponsored by the Office of Research and the Office of the Provost.

Since the New Faculty Seed Grant program began in 2000, junior faculty have submitted 963 proposals to the program. Of these, 279 awards were given with $4.75 million invested in the program. Over the years, seed grant winners have submitted 734 external proposals related to their projects, bringing in over $49.4 million in externally funded awards.

Jacqueline Wilson.
Wilson
Andra Chastain.
Chastain
John Blong.
Blong

The 2022 New Faculty Seed Grant recipients in the College of Arts and Sciences include:

  • John Blong, Department of Anthropology, will apply a novel suite of methods to investigate how prehistoric people in the Great Basin region of western North America maintained food systems over millennia of climate change.
  • Andra Chastain, Department of History, will research how urban air pollution is represented, experienced, and ultimately understood as a public health crisis in Santiago, Chile; Mexico City; and Los Angeles.
  • Jacqueline Wilson, School of Music, will create an album of works for the bassoon by Māori composers to bring new depth to the Indigenous representation in the bassoon repertoire, combat monolithic racial depictions, and promote artistic sovereignty.

Full descriptions of these projects are available online.

Two WSU Faculty Members Named to National Academy of Sciences

Tim Kohler.
Kohler

Washington State University Biochemistry Professor John Browse and anthropology Professor Tim Kohler have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their achievements in original research, the college announced Sunday.

Browse and Kohler are among 150 new members named to the National Academy of Sciences on May 3.

The National Academy of Sciences, which was first established in 1863 by U.S. Congress and then President Abraham Lincoln, is a nonprofit society of scholars charged with providing independent, objective advice about science and technology to the nation.

According to the university, Kohler studies the social dynamics of prehistoric cultures, specializing in the U.S. Southwest. His research explores the relationships among demography, violence, wealth inequality, social evolution, and climate variability.

Kohler’s current projects include the SKOPE project to make interpreted paleoenvironmental data widely accessible, and another National Science Foundation-funded project to generate and analyze measures of wealth inequality in societies around the world over the last 10,000 years.

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Big Country News
WSU Insider

 

Emeritus Society presents undergraduate researcher awards, grants

The Washington State University Emeritus Society of retired faculty has presented to students five undergraduate research awards and two grants in arts and humanities.

“Our organization underscores its mission to continuously advance our university, community, and state by making awards each year to exceptional students engaged in scholarly pursuits,” said Tom Brigham, society executive secretary and retired psychology professor.  “We are very pleased that our awards are something of a tradition at WSU, and we are happy to make a difference for so many.”

Society member Larry Fox, retired veterinary clinical science and animal sciences professor, made the award presentations at an April 14 event hosted by the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement (DAESA).

First presented in 2009, these $500 awards in five categories are intended to encourage students to strive for scholarly excellence. Recipients for 2022 include:

Emeritus Society Excellence in Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Awards

Diana Alonso, a digital technology and culture major mentored by Ruth Gregory; in the award category of arts, humanities, and creative activities for the project, “Design a Website for Undocumented Students Interested in Higher Education in Washington State.” It seeks to identify the obstacles that undocumented students encounter when pursuing a higher education and help overcome those barriers by creating a resource website for incoming and current undocumented Washington college students.

Shir Levy, a communication and society and psychology major mentored by Christopher Barry; in the award category of social, economic, and behavioral sciences for the project, “Perceptions of Confrontational Behavior in Sport Situations as a Function of Athlete Status, Narcissism, and Psychopathy.” The research shows that confrontational behavior is viewed differently as a function of sport versus non-sport contexts, and a person’s history as an athlete or non-athlete, and the perceiver’s self-reported narcissism, psychopathy, and self-esteem.

Wyatt Wallis, a physics and astronomy major mentored by Mark Kuzyk; in the award category of physical sciences and mathematics for the project, “Characterizing Dye Doped PMMA by the Young’s Modulus Measured Against Intensity of Light, CTA Concentration, and Method of Fastening.” The research investigated the consequences of applying tensile stress to a number of properties of PMMA fibers.

Emeritus Society Undergraduate Research Grant in Arts and Humanities

These awards were new in 2021 and each provides $1,000 to support original undergraduate scholarships in the arts and humanities. Recipients for 2022 are:

Nakia Cloud, an anthropology major and linguistics minor mentored by Trevor Bond. His project, carried out in cooperation with the Tribe Cultural Resource Program, is part of a grant-funded effort to digitize and interpret Nez Perce Native American material culture as it is linked to the McWhorter Collection at WSU. This will help preserve Nez Perce tribal history by recording video interpretations and memories of current members as they respond to historical photos, documents, and artifacts.

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WSU Insider

Women of Distinction Awards presented

Two CAS women are among six Washington State University women who were honored for their professional accomplishments and contributions to their communities at the Women* of Distinction Awards in April.

Jan Dasgupta.
Dasgupta

Boeing Distinguished Professor of Math and Sciences Nairanjana (Jan) Dasgupta was named Woman of the Year for her tireless work in advancing statistics and increasing opportunities for women in the field. Dasgupta has an impressive professional record: she is a fellow in the American Statistical Association, has co-authored more than 60 papers, organized WSU’s Center for Interdisciplinary Statistical Education and Research (CISER), serves as the director of WSU’s multidisciplinary and multi-campus Data Analytics program, and has advised more than 70 graduate students in her career – more than half of whom are women.

Amanda Westbrook.
Westbrook

As a WSU Global Campus student, Undergraduate Woman of Distinction Amanda Westbrook balances school, work, and a host of extracurricular activities aimed at enhancing the student experience. Westbrook is an anthropology student who maintains a 4.0 GPA while working full-time in the travel industry and serving as the ASWSUG director of communications and compliance. In that role, she creates content for the weekly Global Campus student newsletters, keeping students informed about campus issues and activities.

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WSU Insider