If the world of cutting-edge research has a glamorous side, it was lost on Laurel Graves this summer as she found herself digging trenches for soil probes on the Cook Agronomy Farm north of Pullman. In the high summer heat, Graves dug for two hours. Palouse soil covered her arms.
It was a hard-earned insight into the nature of science.
“You mean I’m not doing complex equations constantly?” she wondered. “Oh wait, I’ve got to be a farmer for a while.”
She was not alone in the grunt work department. Jeronda Hunt wrangled scores of petri dishes harboring white, smelly bacteria. Naeh Klages-Mundt spent three … » More …