Washington State Magazine

Fall 2011 Earth, Wind and Food


Fall 2011

Earth, Wind - and Food

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In This Issue...

Features

A Fine Thin Skin—wind, water, volcanoes, and ice :: Different as they seem, the soils of Eastern and Western Washington have one thing in common. They come—either by water, wind, or ice—generally from elsewhere. And what takes eons to form can be covered over or erode away in a geologic heartbeat. by Tim Steury

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Map: Washington soils }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Story: How you contribute to soil health }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Story: When soil goes sour }

Above & Beyond :: 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. by Hannelore Sudermann

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Links: Links to weather news, AgWeatherNet, and other resources for following Pacific Northwest weather }

Billions Served :: Seven billion people will soon become nine billion before the global population levels off. Can so many people be fed from a finite Earth? Yes, they can, say WSU researchers. But the solutions will necessarily be many. by Eric Sorensen

Panoramas

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Gallery: Images of Antarctica: WSU geochemist Jeff Vervoort and interior design assistant professor Kathleen Ryan discuss their exhibit of photos from the frozen continent. }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Puzzle: Creature crossings: A lesson in teaching the nature of science }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Video: Valley View Fires of 2008 and Firewise Community Produced by the Spokane County Conservation District }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Map: Historic wildfires of the Pacific Northwest }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Story: How to protect your home from wildfires }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Video: Small forest management }

Departments

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Project: Coug-o-lantern Stencils for carving the WSU Cougar head logo on pumpkins }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Illustrations: Plans and sketches for new WSU football facilities and Martin Stadium }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Recipes: Pumpkin recipes }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Interactive photo: Tour the Admiralty Head Lighthouse }

Tracking

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Gallery: Cougar logo through the years }

New media

:: The Docks by Bill Sharpsteen ’80

:: L.A. Rendezvous by Charles Argersinger

:: A Chinaman’s Chance by Alex Kuo


Cover photo: “Small Forest in the Palouse Hills” by Chip Phillips

Fall 2011
Web Exclusives

Creature crossings: A lesson in teaching the nature of science

| © Washington State University

How quickly can you determine which expression most accurately describes the animated interaction below? (click the play button to start; rewind button to restart)

But not so fast... (click for more)

Whereas the 1 + 1 = 1 may be the obvious answer in expressing the interaction, 1 + 1 = 2 is equally valid given possible alternative explanations: Does the larger “creature” carry away the smaller creature as its young? Or maybe the smaller creature just flies away at a certain point? Do you have an alternative answer or explanation?

This is an example of how inference and analogy are as important to the acquisition of scientific knowledge as the making of observations—science is a creative endeavor. By incorporating that into the teaching of science it will help promote, according to WSU educational science teacher Judy Morrison, “making school science reflect the scientific endeavor.”

Based on the “footprint puzzle” used in teaching the nature of science, from the National Academy of Sciences. (from the free PDF version of the 1998 book Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science.)

Categories: Education | Tags: Science education