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Social Sciences

Houses on the Arctic
Winter 2018

Days of future past

Rapid global cooling 13,000 years ago challenged early occupants of Alaska to adapt. People used to hunting mammoths and other megafauna with big stone tools suddenly found their weapons shattering in the cold. Access to the stone they used to make them got buried under snow.

As with any climactic change, the cold resulted in a shift in fauna, requiring new tools. Early Alaskans turned to microblade technology, a technique they’d kept alive for hundreds of years along with their dominant hunting tools. Microblades made efficient use of now-scarce toolstone and met the needs of a changing climate.

“Throughout the Holocene, the importance of microblade … » More …

Bags of donated food
Winter 2018

Hungry

At Rosario’s Place, food on the shelves comes and goes like a tide. When staff at the Women’s Center at Washington State University, which manages Rosario’s, puts out a call for donations, stock rises and then falls again as students take what they need to get by.

Rosario’s Place has a private entrance on the Pullman campus, and that simple fact, says Women’s Center director Amy Sharp, reduces stigma; no one asks who you are or what you are doing. You just come in, take what you need (or leave what you can). In addition to food, Rosario’s also stocks baby and toddler supplies … » More …

Scott Bender
Winter 2018

From the horse’s mouth

When an international archaeology team needed to understand how an ancient civilization cared for its horses, they turned to Scott Bender ’95, a veterinarian with the Navajo Nation in Arizona.

Bender will be the first to admit that his career didn’t turn out like he expected—in fact, unforeseen twists are among his favorite parts. This particular turn got him involved in a research project that has changed our understanding of a pivotal point in human history: the emergence of horse domestication for war and transportation.

It started with a surprise phone call. Archaeologist William Taylor was examining horses exhumed from ancient … » More …

Fall 2013

If You Don’t Snooze, You Lose

About an hour before sunrise on August 27, 2006, Comair Flight 5191 was approaching 120 miles per hour on its takeoff from the Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky, when co-pilot James Polehinke noticed something strange about the runway.

“That is weird,” he said in a conversation captured by the flight recorder. “No lights.”

“Yeah,” said Capt. Jeffrey Clay.

Sixteen seconds later, their 50-seat commuter jet ran out of runway. Polehinke just managed to get airborne but not enough. The plane hit an earthen berm, clipped a fence and a clump of trees, and went down in a ball of flames.

The pilots had gone … » More …

Caroline Heldman
Fall 2018

Ask Caroline Heldman ’93

 

A leading voice on sexual harassment, Caroline Heldman ’93 has had a busy year. She coauthored the 2018 book Sex and Gender in the 2016 Presidential Election, and the 2017 book Women, Power, and Politics: The Fight for Gender Equality in the United States. And the associate professor of politics—who specializes in the presidency, media, gender, and race at Occidental College in Los Angeles—frequently appears in documentaries and on news programs to speak about the #MeToo movement and harassment—partly because of her own experience.

Heldman, who had been a regular guest of host Bill O’Reilly on The O’Reilly Factor, alleged in 2017 that … » More …