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Eric Sorensen

Summer 2015

Key to My Cage

Key to my cage

Michael Kirkpatrick ’01
2014

The human voice is our oldest acoustic instrument and it’s still one of the most captivating. Add a few well struck strings—just a few chords even—and you have a remarkable symphony of bass, harmony, lyrics, and emotion.

This is the beguiling formula of Michael Kirkpatrick ’01. He’s a troubadour, both self-described and according to the 2014 Telluride Troubadour Competition, which he won. Performing some 150 dates a year from his Fort Collins, Colorado, base, he writes his own tunes and for the most part plays all the … » More …

Barry Hewlett and Aka man
Spring 2015

We’re one big counterculture

Back in the early 1970s, Barry Hewlett was part of the whole counterculture thing. He designed his own major at California State University, Chico—sociology, anthropology, and psychology—and set off after graduation for Europe. By the time he got to Greece, he was bored.

“I thought, ‘This is so familiar to me,’” recalls Hewlett, now a Washington State University anthropology professor.

Other people his age and temperament were heading to India. Not wanting to follow the crowd, “I went the other way, directly south,” he says, “and there were no other European folks with me.”

He ended up in central Africa, encountering hunter-gatherers for the first … » More …

Prehistoric rock art depicting Nabataen trading caravan—eighteenth century B.C.E. Photo Avi Horovitz
Spring 2015

Gentle commerce

From humankind’s long history of violence, two chapters have come under the scrutiny of Washington State University researchers that point the way to a more peaceful world.

Tim Kohler, who has spent four decades pondering the people of the ancient southwestern United States, saw violence drop in one sector of the region as its people took up a sort of “peaceful commerce” with other groups. And Jutta Tobias ’06 MS, ’08 PhD, after helping Rwandan coffee farmers use computers to broaden their customer base, found they eventually came to think more charitably about people with whom they had been in conflict during the brutal ethnic … » More …

Winter 2014

The scrambled natural world of global warming, a travelogue

Jesse A. Logan ’77 PhD is hiking up a mountainside in Yellowstone National Park and walking back in time. He starts at 8,600 feet above sea level, in a forest thick with the scent of fir and lodgepole pine, and with almost every spry step, the scenery changes. There’s an understory of grouse whortleberry, then accents of mountain bluebells and higher still, the whitebark pine, one of the oldest organisms of the Interior West.

Finally, the vegetation gives way to large swatches of scree. Logan’s 70-year-old legs have gone up 2,000 feet and back more than 10,000 years, from the lush vegetation of the twenty-first … » More …

Caviar and sparkling wine
Winter 2014

Holiday sparklers and caviar

Holiday Sparklers

by Hannelore Sudermann

At Karma Vineyards, where grapevines pour down the hillside toward the southern shore of Lake Chelan, a 3,000-square-foot cave holds the next few years’ of sparkling wine.

Three different grapes from the 14 acres of vines go into the bubbly: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. They’re treated much the same way they would be in the Champagne region of France, where the complex and labor-intensive method of making sparkling wine was perfected.

“The méthode champenoise is worth the work,” says Julie Pittsinger ’06, who owns Karma with her husband Bret. They opened Karma’s doors in … » More …

Cori Kane
Winter 2014

Diving deep in a unique tropical paradise

Cori Kane calls it “underwater skydiving.” She’ll be out in the middle of the North Pacific, more than 1,000 miles from Honolulu and most anything else that might be called civilization. Flopping out of a perfectly good boat, she will rocket down nearly 300 feet in just a few minutes, encountering a strange and largely unexplored layer of ocean that’s less familiar to science than the deep sea. It’s the ecosystem of the mesophotic reefs, which lie at a depth often called the “Twilight Zone.”

“When you jump in, it’s like you’re transported to this other world,” says Kane. “There are fish everywhere. There are … » More …