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College of Arts and Sciences Science & Technology

Writing, currency fueled ancient society growth

The Parthenon.When it comes to the great civilizations of human history, the pen really might have been mightier than the sword.

“There’s a fundamental relationship that exists between the way in which societies process information and how large they are able to become,” said Tim Kohler, WSU an archaeologist and a corresponding author of an international study that shows the ability to store and process information was as critical to the growth of early human societies as it is today. “Early innovations in information processing such as writing and coinage » More …

$1.2M NSF grant to support new generation of female leaders

Maria Gartstein.Maria Gartstein found herself in an unfamiliar position when she reached the level of associate professor in 2008.

“I was unsure of what to do next,” Gartstein said. “I always had a pretty good sense of what it would take to get tenure but once I got it I realized I hadn’t really thought beyond that.”

Gartstein’s dilemma was and still is a common occurrence in academia.  Research shows » More …

Watershed planning for rural growth, threatened salmon

Salmon swimming down a stream.A report by scientists with WSU’s State of Washington Water Research Center could help inform decision makers and planners in watersheds across the state, as they develop projects that balance growth with the needs of threatened salmon and steelhead.

“Our guidance highlights available approaches that can benefit endangered species and their habitat, as well as Washingtonians’ increasing need for high-quality water,” said Stephen Katz, project lead and » More …

Interdisciplinary research reveals valuable pine resin possibilities

Light shining through pine trees in forest.WSU researchers have reverse engineered the way a pine tree produces a resin, which could serve as an environmentally friendly alternative to a range of fossil‑fuel based products worth billions of dollars.

Colleagues in the Institute for Biological Chemistry literally dissected the machinery by which loblolly pine produces oleoresin. Key aspects of their work utilized WSU’s Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center in the School of Biological Sciences.

Before the arrival of petroleum-derived alternatives in the 1960s, the sticky, fragrant oil‑resin mixture was central to » More …