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Making Waves for Coastal Careers on Olympic Peninsula

Energy from currents, tides, and waves is a crucial part of reaching clean energy targets and addressing climate change. But harnessing this predictable and environmentally friendly energy source requires an eye to the future. This future includes both the communities along the coast and the people who develop, manufacture, and support energy technologies.

“There’s a weekly lunch with the scientists that lets us hear from individual scientists how broad the research is and also how they developed their careers,” said David Cancino, a Washington State University senior studying biology with plans to apply to graduate school. This summer he monitored an eelgrass field in Sequim, adding measurements to a database that catalogs the influences of climate change as far back as 1991. “I didn’t know the specifics about eelgrass before the internship. Before, I always wanted to work with large marine mammals, but this experience has made me want to focus more on ecology and the entire system.”

Overall, the educational benefits of the program are expected to ripple out from the teachers and reach over 1,600 students in the next year alone. For many of these students, this is the first time they may be learning of possible careers in marine renewable energy.

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Mirage News 

A Message to the EU: Address the Spiralling Public Health Crisis by Banning Glyphosate

The herbicide glyphosate – the most widely used herbicide on the planet – is authorised for use in the EU until December 2022. The EU is currently assessing whether its licence should be renewed.

Washington State University (WSU) researchers have found a variety of diseases and other health problems in the second- and third-generation offspring of rats exposed to glyphosate. In the first study of its kind, the researchers saw descendants of exposed rats developing prostate, kidney and ovarian diseases, obesity and birth abnormalities.

Michael Skinner.

Michael Skinner, a WSU professor of biological sciences, and his colleagues exposed pregnant rats to the herbicide between their eighth and 14th days of gestation. The dose – half the amount expected to show no adverse effect – produced no apparent ill effects on either the parents or the first generation of offspring.

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Counter Punch
Before It’s News

WSU receives $3 million for graduate research to improve Columbia River

With a new National Science Foundation grant, Washington State University will prepare graduate students to tackle a difficult problem that is more than 1,200 miles long: the Columbia River.

The five-year, $3 million award will fund a research training program focused on the relationships among rivers, watersheds, and communities. The program is intended to transform graduate science education, creating a diverse workforce that will not just conduct research but also first engage with the many communities that depend on the Columbia for clean water and food.

Dylan Bugden.
Erica Crespi.
Alex Fremier.

The training program will be run by WSU’s Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach or CEREO, which brings together hundreds of WSU faculty from multiple disciplines. CEREO’s interim director, Boll is a civil and environmental engineering professor, and his co-principal investigators on this project are Dylan Bugden in sociology, Erica Crespi from the School of Biological Sciences, Alexander Fremier from the School of Environment, and Zoe High Eagle Strong from the Nez Perce Tribe who directs the WSU Center for Native American Research and Collaboration.

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WSU Insider


Endangered frog species released into Columbia National Wildlife Refuge

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) released hundreds of an endangered frog species into the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge last week.

Native to the Pacific Northwest, the northern leopard frog used to be all over North America. Over time, their numbers have rapidly diminished in parts of Washington, Oregon and western Canada.

Erica Crespi.

“The Washington state population of northern leopard frogs has a unique genetic variation relative to the rest of the species range, and they are part of the natural diversity of amphibians of the region,” said Erica Crespi, WSU associate professor of biology.

“We are working to keep them here!”

WDFW first collected northern leopard frog eggs back in the spring of 2021. After several months of growing in the Oregon Zoo and Northwest Trek, the frogs were ready to be released.

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Q13 Fox
Northwest Trek

WSU Pullman community invited to attend Convocation Aug. 20

WSU Pullman Faculty and staff are invited to attend this year’s University Convocation Friday, Aug. 20.

The official kick-off of the 2021-2022 academic year begins at 10 a.m. inside Beasley Coliseum. New Cougs will be introduced to academic and community leaders before they launch into their fall semesters. For many sophomores, it’ll be the first time they’ve been on the Pullman campus after spending their first year learning at a distance.

Melissa Parkhurst.

This year’s keynote speakers are Melissa Parkhurst, an associate professor in the School of Music and Isabelle Busch, a sophomore majoring in biological sciences.

Attendees who are not fully vaccinated must wear a mask while inside Beasley Coliseum. Those who are fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear a mask as well.

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WSU Insider