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Michael Holloman selected to lead promotion of Native arts partnerships

Michael Holloman.

Michael Holloman, associate professor of fine arts, recently was named coordinator of Native Arts Outreach and Education in the College of Arts and Sciences, with the goal of expanding arts-based experiences and learning among native and indigenous communities.

A member of the Colville/Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Holloman will work directly with the CAS Department of Fine Arts and School of Music, WSU’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and Office of Tribal Relations, as well as a number of student organizations and the tribal signatories to WSU’s memorandum of understanding with native nations. With these groups, he will develop ongoing and future arts-based relationships and programming specifically focused on engaging a wide range of communities and individuals located in Washington, Idaho and beyond.

“The arts and culture for Native American communities are so intricately linked,” Holloman said. “How this finds its way into our contemporary world of the arts, particularly in the field of digital arts and design, is fluid and natural,” he said.

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WSU Insider

Dogs Have Co-Evolved With Humans Like No Other Species

The connection between human and dog runs deep. Early signs of domestication date back to33,000 years ago and unambiguously domesticated dogs are common in the archaeological record beginning 15,000 years ago. The pairing makes for a striking case in coevolution — no other species has been so thoroughly integrated into human society. Dogs are our sentinels and shepherds, hunting partners and cancer detectors. And more importantly, to those of us who have had dogs in our lives, they are our dearest friends.


More likely, domestication happened slowly, in fits and starts. “This symbiotic or commensal relationship,” says Robert Quinlan, professor of anthropology at Washington State University, “probably initially happened accidentally.”

Wolves more likely became acclimated to humans while scavenging the remains of their kills — they essentially kicked off the domestication process themselves. “Wolves on their way to becoming dogs were a great alarm system,” Quinlan says. Domestic dogs are in fact more vigilant than wolves. The off-spring of these more-tolerant wolves were likely then selected for other useful skills, such as hunting.

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Discovery Magazine

Tasmanian Devils Are Having Their Own Pandemic. Here’s How They’re Doing

In the midst of a human pandemic, we have some good news about a wildlife one: our new research, published today in Science, shows Tasmanian devils are likely to survive despite the infectious cancer that has ravaged their populations.

Tasmanian devils have been devastated by a bizarre transmissible cancer. Devil facial tumor disease, or DFTD for short, was first detected in 1996 in northeast Tasmania. Transmitted via biting, DFTD has spread over almost the entire state, reaching the west coast in the past two or three years. It has led to a decline of at least 80% in the total devil population.

This paper, in addition to several we have published recently, shows there have been rapid evolutionary changes in Tasmanian devils and in the tumors themselves since the emergence of this transmissible cancer. Already, frequencies of gene variants known to be associated with immune function in humans have increased in Tasmanian devil populations, suggesting the devils are evolving and adapting to the threat.

Andrew Storfer.

Contributions by Andrew Storfer, associate professor of biology, Washington State University.

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Interesting Engineering

Increases in extreme humid-heat disproportionately affect populated regions

The world is not only getting hotter but also more humid. New research by Washington State University scientists shows that people living in areas where humid-heat extremes are already a significant hazard are bearing the brunt of the impact.

“We identify a greater increase in population exposure to humid-heat as compared to dry-heat, emphasizing the importance of understanding humidity changes in a warming world,” said study lead author Cassandra Rogers of Washington State University.

Deepti Singh.

“For example, increases in the occurrence of humid-heat were strongest over populous regions in South and Southeast Asia and the southeastern U.S., where changes in dry-heat frequency, as measured by temperature alone, are small or non-significant,” said study co-author Deepti Singh.

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National Science Foundation

Critically queer: L Heidenreich explores transgender Mestiz@ history

Linda Heidenreich

As someone who identifies as gender queer, Mestiz@, materialist, and Catholic, L Heidenreich brings a unique perspective to the study of history that is hard to find in most classrooms.

“I loved my history classes growing up, but my family wasn’t in them,” said Heidenreich, an associate professor of history at Washington State University. “It wasn’t until I got to grad school and could choose my focus that I had the opportunity to study the histories I wanted. I think we as history educators have an obligation to make it easier for future generations.”

In the classroom, Heidenreich said the goal of their work is to give young people a broader perspective about the lives and history of LGBTQ people, an area of history which is integral to America’s past and present but is often marginalized. “October is LGBTQ History Month and it’s sad that we need a month to acknowledge the history of our communities,” Heidenreich said. “But nevertheless, I think it is important to send a message about the vital importance of recognizing and exploring the role of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in American history.”

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WSU Insider