Washington State Magazine
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Category: Environmental studies

35 article(s) found that match this category.

The Scrambled Natural World of Global Warming, A Travelogue
Winter 2014

More than 20 years ago, entomologist Jesse Logan ’77 predicted that global warming would lead to the rise of the mountain pine beetle and the devastation of forests around the West. He was right. Now a menagerie of creatures, including beetles, salamanders, ticks, and birds, are caught up in climate change.


Categories: Environmental studies, Biological sciences
Tags: Insects, Forest ecology, Climate change, Entomology


Mission accomplished
Fall 2014

After the 2009 failure of launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, WSU emeritus professor George Mount kept working on it. The new OCO launched successfully this July.


Categories: Space sciences, Engineering, Environmental studies
Tags: Satellites, Greenhouse gases


Watching the sea
Winter 2013

WSU Extension and its partners at the Northwest Indian College launched the Salish Sea Research Center in northwestern Washington to look at complicated environments of the region.


Categories: WSU Extension, Environmental studies
Tags: Salish Sea


Eugene Rosa 1942–2013—Working for people and the planet
Fall 2013

Environmental sociologist Gene Rosa was a pioneer in his field, keeping his eye on the increasingly threatened natural environment and the people in it. He passed away in February 2013.


Categories: Environmental studies, Sociology, WSU faculty
Tags: In memoriam


The forgotten forest
Spring 2013

Early successional forests, the stage following a major disturbance such as fire, windstorm, or harvest, has a valuable ecological role for plants and wildlife, according to WSU forest ecologist Mark Swanson.


Categories: Forestry, Environmental studies
Tags: Forest ecology, Early successional forests, Forest management


Tiny cracks, big effect
Spring 2013

Kenton Rod looked closely at the soil beneath Hanford Nuclear Reservation's 300 Area and found it has a way of holding on to uranium, slowing its release into the environment, including seeping into groundwater and the Columbia River.


Categories: Engineering, Environmental studies
Tags: Hanford, Groundwater, Nuclear waste


Passing the Smell Test
Spring 2013

Throughout the living world, the nose leads the way, pioneering a course through the environment with the ability to spot virtually invisible perils and prizes.


Categories: Biological sciences, Business, Environmental studies
Tags: Smell, Smelling, Olfaction, Scents


The Ethics of Climate Change
Winter 2012

A political scientist, a geologist, a philosopher, and a sociologist contemplate the ethical implications of an imminent problem: global climate change.


Categories: Environmental studies, Philosophy, Political science, Sociology
Tags: Climate change, Ethics


Not quite right as rainwater
Summer 2012
Jen McIntyre is something of a rainwater connoisseur, but you wouldn’t want to drink from her collection. Her preferred source is a drainpipe that runs from State Route 520 to a parking lot in Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood. Tens of t...
Categories: Biological sciences, Environmental studies
Tags: Fish, Pollution, Stormwater


What moves you at WSU
Summer 2012
One fuzzy old photograph of construction in downtown Pullman shows images of early days in the city: men laying a foundation by hand, a horse-drawn carriage on the street, a bicycle leaning on a post in the foreground. The photo has no date, b...
Categories: WSU students, Environmental studies, Campus life
Tags: Transportation, Transit, Sustainability


Mulch ado about garden plastics
Spring 2012
In 2001, Carol Miles certified WSU’s first piece of organic land, a three-acre parcel at the WSU Vancouver Research and Extension Unit. It was a landmark moment, leading the way for organicall...
Categories: Agriculture, Environmental studies
Tags: Gardening, Sustainability, Organic foods


Above & Beyond
Fall 2011
In the spring of 1792, George Vancouver praised “the delightful serenity of the weather.” A few years later, William Clark complained of a dour winter that was “cloudy, dark and disagreeable.” How right they both were. Weather patterns determined by mountains and ocean grant the Pacific Northwest a temperate climate that also has a dark and unpredictable side.
Categories: Earth sciences, Natural sciences, Environmental studies
Tags: Weather, Meteorology, Storms, Climate


The fate of a blue butterfly
Summer 2011
A century or so ago, late spring in Oregon’s Willamette Valley saw waves of delicate blue and brown butterflies across a million acres of prairie, lighting on equally delicate lupines to lay their eggs. At least we can imagine it tha...
Categories: Biological sciences, Environmental studies
Tags: Butterflies, Endangered species


Where land and water meet
Winter 2010
For Todd Mitchell '97, the purchase of Kiket Island near Deception Pass meant the return of  a cultural resource to his people. For the other myriad residents of the Puget Sound area, it is another decisive step toward restoring a priceless resource.
Categories: Washington state history, Environmental studies
Tags: Conservation, Parks, Deception Pass, Puget Sound, Kiket Island


A New Land
Winter 2010
John Bishop was late getting to Mount St. Helens.He was only 16 years old when it blew in 1980, and it would be another decade before he began crawling around the mountain as part of his doctoral studies.“I was worried I missed all the action...
Categories: Environmental studies, Botany, Biological sciences
Tags: Mount St. Helens, Volcanoes


Mary Kaufman-Cranney ’78—Call of the wild
Winter 2010
Last summer Mary Kaufman-Cranney culled a batch of black dresses from her closet and replaced them with hiking boots and trail shoes. Having left her job with the Seattle Opera, where she was director of development, she has less use for the ...
Categories: Environmental studies, Public affairs, Alumni
Tags: Conservation, Fundraising, The Nature Conservancy


Too much of a good thing
Fall 2010
Science has been predicting and measuring our warming planet for more than a century now. But it was only in the last two decades that most Americans came to believe the earth’s temperature was indeed rising and that the main culprit is the...
Categories: Biological sciences, Agriculture, Environmental studies
Tags: Nitrogen, Greenhouse gases, Nitrate fertilizer, Climate change


Interview with Michael Pollan
Summer 2010
Michael Pollan has been a leading voice in the re-evaluation of how we eat and farm. The author of Omnivore’s Dilemma, the book selected for this year’s Common Reading, Pollan visited campus in January to talk with the students who had be...
Categories: Agriculture, Environmental studies
Tags: Organic foods, Food


Leave it to beavers
Spring 2010
As we crunch through the snow in the hills above Winthrop, Steve Bondi ’02 and Ryan Anderson ’08 are eager to see evidence that their project to improve riparian habitat and provide late season water to the Methow Valley is working. They...
Categories: Biological sciences, Environmental studies
Tags: Ecology, Beavers


Stormwater central
Winter 2009
There’s nothing mundane about the new parking lot at the WSU research and extension center in Puyallup. It is a state-of-the-art polluted water collection system. The 70...
Categories: WSU Extension, Environmental studies
Tags: Sustainability, Ecology, Water quality, Stormwater


Let the invasions begin
Fall 2008
As Beijing prepared to welcome athletes and spectators to the Olympic Games, a quieter and much less welcome influx was already under way. According to a new study by Washington State University ecologist Richard Mack and four Chinese colleagues,...
Categories: Environmental studies
Tags: Invasive weeds, China


A school in the woods
Spring 2008
Many of the children who visit IslandWood have never been to the woods. Some are afraid to try new things, to walk in the woods at night, to touch a slug or pull apart a wild mushroom. Now, they're as much a part of the place as the wildlife.
Categories: Education, Environmental studies
Tags: Environmental education


Time will tell
Winter 2007
Climate change is nothing new to our planet. But this time it's different. The carbon dioxide we are putting into the air through industry, vehicle emissions, and deforestation is changing the way our soil works. That in turn affects plant, animal, and eventually human life. Through their research Washington State University scientists are challenging the conventional view that more plants and forests will solve our CO2 problems.
Categories: Biological sciences, Environmental studies
Tags: Ecology, Climate change


Uncommon access: Gaylord Mink shifts his focus from viruses to wild horses
Summer 2006
Gaylord Mink, hunched over and quiet as a mule deer, picks his way through rugged rangeland near the center of the Yakama Indian Reservation.Mink stops, straightens, and scans toward Dry Creek Elbow in the distance. Much closer, five wild horses l...
Categories: Biological sciences, Environmental studies, Agriculture
Tags: Animal health, Animal behavior, Horses, Plant behavior


Magpie Forest: Protecting a piece of the past
Winter 2005
Magpie Forest is like something out of the Wizard of Oz, a strange green land in the middle of a field.Nestled in a 33-acre parcel of wheat north of Pullman, the 14-acre tract is a remnant of the original Palouse prairie. Last spring, Washington S...
Categories: Environmental studies, Forestry
Tags: Wildlife, Trees, Palouse


A tiny shrimp threatens to topple an industry
Winter 2005
The stakes are high. The shellfish industry represents well over $60 million to the state's economy. Oyster grower Dick Wilson can hold one of the biggest threats to his livelihood in the palm of his hand-a pink, gnarly, destructive, bu...
Categories: Environmental studies, WSU Extension
Tags: Shrimp, Ocean


Where Water Meets Desert
Spring 2005
Among locals, you occasionally hear the word "wasteland" used to describe sagebrush-studded lands that biologists prefer to call native shrub steppe. It's impossible to take such a harsh view when Robert Kent is your guide to the Columbia Basin Wildlife Areas.
Categories: Environmental studies
Tags: Water, Columbia Basin, Wildlife


Unwelcome Hitchhikers
Winter 2004
More than 30 feet above the ground, Brent Olson steers a mechanical lift across the outstretched limbs of a bigleaf maple tree. He aims his binoculars toward the trunks of two towering cottonwoods beyond, scanning for the enemy."They could be anyw...
Categories: Environmental studies
Tags: Wood, Entomology


An environmental mystery is solved, but answer points to larger concerns
Summer 2004
Vultures in India and Pakistan play a vital environmental role by quickly removing dead livestock, inactivating pathogens, and probably controlling the spread of livestock disease. Vultures are also essential to the "sky burials" practiced by Zoro...
Categories: Environmental studies
Tags: Physiology, Vultures


Gardening on the Palouse
Summer 2004
The area known to practically every Washingtonian as "the Palouse" is one of six large grassland communities in North America. The Palouse stretches from just south of Spokane to the Snake River valley, near Moscow and Pullman. Today, it is a fert...
Categories: WSU Extension, Environmental studies
Tags: Horticulture, Palouse, Gardening


Mount St. Helens: The perfect laboratory
Spring 2004
It is impossible to accept the immensity of Mount St. Helens and the effect of its catastrophic 1980 eruption unless you are able to stand beneath the enormous crater on the pumice plain and listen to John Bishop talk about lupines.
Categories: Environmental studies, Biological sciences
Tags: Mount St. Helens, Volcanoes


Lonely, Beautiful, and Threatened—Willapa Bay
Spring 2004
Willapa Bay is the largest estuary between San Francisco and Puget Sound. It boasts one of the least-spoiled environments and the healthiest salmon runs south of Canada. It produces one in every four oysters farmed in the United States and is a favorite stop for tens of thousands of migratory birds. And it's in trouble.
Categories: Environmental studies
Tags: Oysters, Water, Birds


Extreme Diversity—in Soap Lake
Spring 2004
Soap Lake is surrounded by dark shores, sheer rock walls, a primeval landscape. Its waters have long been thought by some to cure certain maladies. It is also home to strange, hardy organisms that live nowhere else.
Categories: Environmental studies
Tags: Water, Chemical engineering, Microbes


Tackling megacity crud
Spring 2004

A whole new take on the Mexico City blues.


Categories: Engineering, Environmental studies
Tags: Civil engineering, Pollution, Transportation


The sink's nearly full
Winter 2002
Some climate change researchers have placed high hopes in forest and grassland soils and their ability to act as carbon "sinks." These sinks store excess atmospheric carbon and thus partially offset the effect of increasing amounts of carbon dioxi...
Categories: Environmental studies, Earth sciences
Tags: Climate change, Soil