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Environmental Studies

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 think … » More …

Omar Cornejo and Joanna Kelley in their WSU lab
Spring 2018

It’s in the genes

When Omar Cornejo got his genomic analysis back from 23andMe, he and his wife, fellow population geneticist Joanna Kelley, were both a bit surprised and vindicated. Venezuelan, Cornejo expected to see the alleles, or variations of a gene, from Native American, western European, and North African populations. But he was unaware that his family’s deep history also included ancestors from sub-Saharan Africa.

That just goes to show the importance of broadly sampling the genome, says Kelley. “The lesson is that if you just look at the mitochondria, you’d assume this person is from Africa. But if you look at just the Y chromosome, you’d assume … » More …

Jaguar
Spring 2018

To catch a cat

Trekking through one of the largest unexplored rainforests in the world, La Mosquitia in Honduras, Travis King set up traps last spring to catch jaguars—or whatever other animal came into range of the cameras.

King, an environmental science graduate student at Washington State University, was one of twelve biologists conducting the first biological survey of the area known as La Ciudad Blanca or the Lost City of the Monkey God, astounding ruins first identified in 2012.

It was already familiar work for King, who has used remote-sensing camera traps and other methods to identify the behavior and distribution of elusive big cats … » More …

Cougar head on camera
Spring 2018

Gallery: Central Washington wildlife caught on camera

Using over 400 motion-activated camera traps, Washington State University wildlife biologist Daniel Thornton and his graduate students Travis King and Arthur Scully searched for the rare and elusive lynx in the Kettle Mountains and north Cascades of central Washington.

An assistant professor in the School of Environmental Science, Thornton led the largest lynx camera survey ever done in the state in 2016. The researchers found the first photographic evidence of a lynx in the Kettles in nearly two decades.

Read more about Thornton’s research on lynx. You can also read about Travis King and his work in both Washington and Central America in “» More …