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College of Arts and Sciences ecology

Inside the undergraduate research experience

Madison ArmstrongMadison Armstrong, a senior studying evolutionary biology and ecology, has spent much of her time experiencing the world through research and scientific exploration. To say that she has been involved in an abundance of research experiences, would be a massive understatement.

Armstrong started her research experience in Ecuador at age 17, working for “Operation Wallacea,” a conservation company that is based out of the United Kingdom. She met scientists from all over the world that had the same interests and » More …

Huge carbon sink exists in soil minerals

artists depiction of carbon in soilA Washington State University researcher has discovered that vast amounts of carbon can be stored by soil minerals more than a foot below the surface. The finding could help offset the rising greenhouse-gas emissions helping warm the Earth’s climate.

Marc Kramer, an assistant professor of environmental chemistry at WSU Vancouver, reports his finding in one of two related papers demonstrating how the right management practices can help trap much of the carbon dioxide that is rapidly warming the planet. » More …

Off the beaten path

monarch butterfly on yellow plant“The monarchs were a big surprise for me,” says Rod Sayler. “It’s the first time I’ve seen them at WSU except for fly-bys. I thought, ‘Wow, it finally happened!’”

Sayler, an unabashed naturalist known for his signature straw hat, is project director for the WSU arboretum and an associate professor in the School of the Environment. In an age of climate specialists and policy wonks, Sayler revels in the down-to-earth study of nature in all its intricate bounty.

For the last nine years, he and his colleagues have painstakingly transformed a wedge of farmland into a botanical garden alive with wildflowers, native bees, meadowlarks, amphibians, rabbits, deer, and more. It’s a campus dream over a century in the making, says Sayler, one that finally came to fruition in 2008.

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