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Research

Lens held in a hand
Winter 2020

A lens for thinking

The value of a robust undergraduate research experience goes far beyond doing science.

“As public educators, it’s our job to instill critical thinking in our students because, fundamentally, that’s how democracy works,” says Stephanie Porter. Porter is a microbiologist at Washington State University Vancouver investigating symbiosis.

“I see science in a similar way. Our job is not just to train more scientists but to help all students understand the scientific process of taking information, developing a hypothesis, and then seeing how well it’s supported and, finally, interpreting what you find.”

 

For Porter, that means that undergraduates working in her … » More …

Greg Urquhart (Photo Robert Hubner)
Winter 2018

Peace for the wounded warrior

Since the earliest days of the republic, Native Americans have stepped up to defend the United States at higher rates than any other ethnic group.

From General Washington’s inclusion of Tuscarora and Oneida warriors at Valley Forge, through the world wars and Vietnam to today’s conflicts in the Middle East, Native Americans continue to answer their cultural calling to serve.

Traditionally, these soldiers were welcomed home with healing ceremonies that helped reintegrate them with the tribe and wider society. Compassionate medicine men, and women, used time-honored practices to mend the emotional, spiritual, and physical trauma of war.

“Unfortunately, the U.S. government banned Native religious ceremonies … » More …

Frog in Honduras. Photo Travis King
Spring 2018

Gallery: Wildlife of Honduras

WSU environmental biology doctoral student Travis King joined a team of biologists in 2017 to monitor wildlife in the remote region of La Mosquitia in Honduras, home to the newly-discovery “City of the Lost Monkey God.”

Travis and his colleagues in Conservation International and the Honduran government used motion-activated camera traps, hair collecting traps, and other methods to identify the wild animals in this untamed region. Below are some of the images that King brought back.

 

Read more about Travis and his research in “To catch a cat.”

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 …

Winter 2017

Going postal

While digital communication has made a lot of things easier—like video calling someone on the other side of the world—it has made collecting public opinion and behavior data more challenging.

Government agencies rely on that data from censuses, public opinion, and behavior surveys to make extensive policy and financial decisions that impact quality of life, such as healthcare measures that curb smoking.

Don Dillman, a Washington State University Regents Professor in sociology and internationally renowned survey methodologist, has dedicated his career to improving the design of surveys to collect that information.

When he started his career in the 1970s, he had to worry about … » More …