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Earth Sciences

Flowers among ruined trees on Mount St. Helens
Summer 2020

Mount St. Helens: The aftermath and lessons learned

The sky was falling. And Richard “Dick” Mack gathered a group of graduate students to help collect it. In the first few days after Mount St. Helens erupted—sending some 540 million tons of ash over an area of 22,000 square miles—the WSU ecology professor was already thinking of its potential research value.

Mack‚ now a professor emeritus in WSU’s School of Biological Sciences, spent the summer of 1980 doing field work between Pullman and Vantage, studying the effects of the ash on vegetation—particularly native plants, such as certain willows and grasses. For about five years or so after that, he and … » More …

Cover of To Think Like a Mountain
Spring 2020

To Think Like a Mountain: Environmental challenges in the American West

Cover of To Think Like a Mountain

Niels Sparre Nokkentved

WSU Press: 2019

 

“Thinking like a mountain” is the name of a short essay from Aldo Leopold’s 1949 book A Sand County Almanac. In it, he reflects on an old wolf he shot and killed as a young hunter and how he came to realize wolves play a critical role between prey, such as deer and elk, and the flora of the forest and other natural habitats. He lamented humans need to learn to … » More …