Skip to main content Skip to navigation
College of Arts and Sciences Environmental History

A point of reference

A waterway at Meyer's Point“There are oysters out there,” says Ed Bassett, “and they are good.”

Out there are the mudflats of Henderson Inlet where a thriving community shellfish garden supplies delicacies for neighborhood parties and celebrations. Bassett (’89 Ed.) is standing in the eelgrass on the shoreline of WSU’s Meyer’s Point Environmental Field Station. He’s a science teacher at nearby Olympia High School (OHS), and he, his students in the OHS Earth Corps, and Meyer’s Point facilities manager Chuck Cody (’84 MS Hort.) have been planting native trees here since » More …

Losing Eden: An Environmental History of the American West

Book cover of "Losing Eden"The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition welcomed millions of people to Chicago to celebrate the rise of industrial America, the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival on the continent, and the romanticization of the “frontier” West. Historian Frederick Jackson Turner presented his thesis that the western advance into a wild and savage frontier defined the American spirit, and the idea took hold in the national imagination.

Historian Sara Dant (’91, ’00) pulls the curtain away from those oft-spun tales of an unspoiled American West in this book about the interaction between people and nature over time. As she examines “deep” history, it’s clear that the myth of virgin territory ignores Native American influence on the region. » More …