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How Understanding Soil Could Be One Answer to Help Save the Planet

Marc Kramer
Marc Kramer

The deep, dark depths of the ocean are often called the final frontier—but, according to one researcher, the soils of the Earth are little understood as well.

Some of the soil’s mysteries could reveal how to store carbon, and maybe one day, carbon dioxide—a key greenhouse gas that is causing global temperatures to reach record-breaking temperatures. In a study published on Monday, Marc Kramer, an assistant professor of environmental chemistry at Washington State University Vancouver, digs deeper into what scientists know about soil, particularly uncovering how soil minerals are associated with carbon storage in soil.

“We know more about the surface of Mars than we do about either oceans or soils on Earth,” said Kramer.

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Iron blood levels in Guatemala improve with WSU project

Washington State University students and faculty recently returned from a 10-day volunteer effort to help assess whether a health project designed to increase iron levels in the blood of rural Guatemalan people has been successful.

WSU participants worked hand in hand with Hearts in Motion (HIM), a nonprofit organization, on the medical service project.

“After my first year participating in HIM, I realized Guatemalan diets are primarily starch-based,” said Kathy Beerman, a WSU professor in the School of Biological Sciences and a veteran HIM volunteer. “This caused me to believe that many Guatemalans are probably faced with a lack of iron in their diets, and therefore at increased risk for iron deficiency anemia. That is when we started our research.”

WSU Spokane: Brown steps down, DeWald named new chancellor

Lisa Brown — who for the past four-and-a-half years has guided the rapid development of Washington State University’s health sciences enterprise in Spokane — today announced she will step down from her position as chancellor of the Spokane campus.

DeWald

Daryll DeWald, the current dean of the WSU College of Arts and Sciences, will succeed Brown as chancellor. An accomplished life sciences researcher with more than a decade of experience in higher education administration, DeWald will begin his new duties on September 1.

DeWald is an experienced academic leader and professor with a strong research publication record in cell biology and biochemistry. As dean, he has overseen the teaching, research and outreach activities of the university’s largest academic unit, which spans all five of WSU’s statewide campuses and the online Global Campus. With annual research expenditures of more than $30 million across two dozen disciplines, the college is also one of the largest research enterprises at WSU.

“Daryll has done an outstanding job of leading the College of Arts and Sciences across the WSU system,” Schulz said. “His management skills, expertise in the life sciences, and dedicated outreach efforts to students underrepresented in the sciences are qualities that make him the ideal choice to lead the next chapter in our initiative to expand access to health care across the state.”

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WSU News

Arts & Sciences recognizes top faculty, staff, students

Fourteen faculty, six staff and six graduate students were honored for outstanding achievement at the 2017 College of Arts and Sciences Appreciation and Recognition Social in April.

Greg Yasinitsky
Greg Yasinitsky

Regents Professor Greg Yasinitsky, director of the School of Music and acclaimed saxophonist, received the college’s highest honor, the Distinguished Faculty award, in recognition of his 35-year career as an outstanding educator, world-class performer and prolific composer with more than 200 published original scores.

The WSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble recently premiered his composition “Drive,” written to commemorate the appointment of WSU’s 11th president.

College of Arts and Sciences awards poster
College of Arts and Sciences awards gallery

Outstanding seniors in each of the 24 College of Arts and Sciences’ undergraduate degree programs will be honored at a separate event on May 5, 2017.

To see all award recipients, go to the CAS online award gallery.

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WSU News

Honoring a 100-year legacy: WSU professor receives ROTC award; audience commemorates the ‘war to end all wars’

Ray Sun
Sun

Dr. Raymond Sun, an assistant professor of history at Washington State University, received an Honorary Cadet award from WSU’s Reserve Officer Training Corps on Thursday evening as part of a small ceremony to commemorate 100 years since the U.S. formally entered World War I on April 6 , 1917.

“It feels wonderful,” Sun told the Daily News after the event with the framed award in hand.

As it was being reported by national news sources that the U.S. military had launched approximately 50 cruise missiles at a Syrian military airfield – the first direct U.S. assault on President Bashar al-Assad’s government in six years – Sun spoke to a small audience in the WSU library atrium about what was supposed to be “the war to end all wars.”

Army ROTC member and WSU history student Ian Melendez had been organizing the event since the first of February, coordinating participants and studying the war. “It’s been a very emotional study because the war is so depressing,” Melendez said.

To him and others, World War I made America the power it is today, ending years of European dominance and leading independence movements across the globe.

He said it also paved the way for future conflicts.

“We’re fighting in the countries we are now because of World War I,” Melendez said, citing the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, often credited as creating borders in the Middle East that have resulted in conflict.

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Moscow-Pullman Daily News