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Larry Clark ’94

First Words
Spring 2018

Forged by fire

The intricate mastery of Japanese swordmaking relies on a smith’s deep understanding of fire, metal, and techniques to control both. Each unique sword shimmers with thousands of layers from the folding of the metal, a work of art in steel. That steel, though, traditionally comes from an iron-rich sand full of impurities, pounded and blended by the smith. A smith then uses a secret mix of water, clay, ash, and other ingredients over the blade as they once again plunge the sword into fire to create a keen edge. Only when the blade glows a certain color is it quenched in water.

Humans have learned … » 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 …

Iraqi students in Pullman
Spring 2018

No barriers to a better world

Eman Ibrahim started volunteering in Iraq’s first cancer support center in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil when she was 18, providing psychological support and reading to patients. It was satisfying work for the energetic young woman, if heart-wrenching at times.

Yet, when the 21-year-old Kurdish medical student from Hawler Medical University became head of the Erbil Hub center last year, she wanted to do even more to help—and that meant learning new ideas. Last July, she got her opportunity with the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program.

The highly competitive scholarship program brings 100 Iraqi college students to the United States for … » More …

E. Garry Hill
Spring 2018

Running up the competition

If you want the facts about track and field records, ask a statistics junkie like E. Garry Hill ’69. But he might throw you with another fact, this one culled from long experience as editor of Track & Field News, announcer at the Olympics and World championships, and expert on the sport: Track and field as a spectator sport is struggling mightily.

Rows and rows of empty seats faced runners and field athletes competing at the Rio Olympics. And where can you watch big track events on TV? Hill calls it like he sees it, and he’s seen a lot since he competed for Washington … » More …

Beet cross section
Spring 2018

Beets

Not everyone will love a beet, but it has long been a vegetable of love.

The deep red of a beet and its earthy sweetness speak to some people, who adore the vegetable in all kinds of dishes. Beets have a lot of healthy qualities, too, and even potential chemical uses in solar panels.

That’s not to say beets don’t have detractors. That same earthiness, produced by the substance geosmin, puts off some palates.

The beet—Beta vulgaris, also known as garden beet, blood turnip, beetroot, or red beet—was cultivated in ancient Greece and Rome, but there are stories of beets in the Hanging Gardens of … » More …

Spring 2018

Communities for the golden age

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made

 
(From poem Rabbi Ben Ezra by Robert Browning)

It’s never easy to find a new home.

Just ask Barbara Nelson, a former account manager from Seattle. When her husband passed away, she moved from the century-old house where they had lived for 48 years. She has piercing eyes and a strong voice, but it trembles slightly as she explains: “It was so traumatic. After the estate sale, I took five things out of that house and walked away. I … » More …

Cover of Losing Eden: An Environmental History of the American West
Spring 2018

Losing Eden: An Environmental History of the American West

Cover of Losing Eden: An Environmental History of the American West

Sara Dant ’91 MA, ’00 PhD

Wiley: 2017

 

The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition welcomed millions of people to Chicago to celebrate the rise of industrial America, the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival on the continent, and the romanticization of the “frontier” West. Historian Frederick Jackson Turner presented his thesis that the western advance into a wild and savage frontier defined the American spirit, and … » More …

Winter 2017

Reconsidering health

Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates proposed that four basic personalities were driven by excess or lack of bodily fluids, the “humors.” Discredited by biochemistry, we may consider the idea humorous, but Hippocrates’ theories began a centuries-long consideration of temperaments and personality in psychology and philosophy.

Other ideas of human health were first spurned and then accepted. Germ theory, the thought that many diseases are caused by microorganisms, was treated with disdain when it was proposed in the sixteenth century. It didn’t receive its due until nineteenth-century experiments by cholera researcher John Snow and chemist Louis Pasteur, among others, proved germ theory’s validity.

Even today we continue … » More …

Peace-Weavers cover
Winter 2017

Peace Weavers: Uniting the Salish Coast through Cross-Cultural Marriages

Peace-Weavers cover

Candace Wellman ’68 

WSU Press: 2017

 

Clara Tennant Selhameten was born the daughter of Lummi tribal leader in what became Whatcom County, and eventually married John Tennant, the son of a famous Methodist minister around 1859. Tennant established the first permanent farm in the region, on Lummi land. In later years, she and John traveled as missionaries and built many churches. It was clear that the couple were true partners in both spiritual … » More …

Green and Roughshod cover
Winter 2017

Green and Roughshod: I Should’ve Stayed a Montana Cowboy

Green and Roughshod cover

Dan H. McLachlan ’66, ’69 MA

Aventine Press: 2016

 

The dream of a little boy to become a cowboy came true for Dan McLachlan. He read a 1927 text, All in the Day’s Riding, as an eighth-grader in Palo Alto, California, and became enamored with the vision of a wide blue sky viewed from horseback. After earning enough to buy two horses and tack, he eventually ended up in Montana for … » More …