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WSM staff

Summer 2010

WSU Big Ideas, Discoveries, Creations, Conceptions, People (a suggestive list)

The Uniqueness of Pacific Northwest Flora and Fauna
C.V. Piper

Largely self-taught as a naturalist, Piper believed he needed to classify the flora and fauna of the PNW so other scientists could better understand the uniqueness of area. Published Flora of the Palouse Region (1901), Flora of the State of Washington (1906), Insect Pests of the Garden, Farm, and Orchard (1895), and many other books, including works on hay, soybeans, and other crops.

Allopolyploid formation as a mode of speciation
Marion Ownbey

Ownbey’s work on Tragopogon (goat’s beard, salsify, or oyster plant) on the Palouse was a first, seminal demonstration of the … » More …

Summer 2010

Letters for Summer 2010

North Cascades

Loved the article in Washington State this issue, on Cascade Pass archaeology, with Bob Mierendorf. The big mystery at the end, comparing the photos from 1910 and today and showing MORE trees NOW than back then, implying that nothing was “pristine” when whites arrived is probably fine, but the answer is also probably quite simple: FIRE suppression by whites (the cult of Smokey the Bear) has allowed smaller trees to live in places that fire would have burned them routinely over the millennia. Natives also burned, but natural fire was enough to do the job, most agree.

Philip Fenner

I really … » More …

Spring 2010

Letters for Spring 2010

Track to the future

What a joy to hear about the possible return of the Palouse Goose! (Winter 09/10) I have many great memories of traveling between Spokane and Pullman in the early 60’s on the single-car “train” that carried us to and from college. Most of the time we were able to sit in the passenger side of the car but on one memorable trip the seats were full and several of us got to ride with the baggage. Accompanying us were several caged roosters, bound possibly for a future cockfight. We eyed each other throughout our transit, their dark beady eyes shining through … » More …

Winter 2009

Old News

Just as several of Washington’s newspapers have vanished from the landscape, librarians and volunteers are bringing our state’s near-forgotten newspapers to light. Through a project in the Washington Secretary of State’s office, library employees and about 15 volunteers are digitizing the Washington State Library’s extensive newspaper collection to make it accessible to teachers, students, and the general public. In addition, WSU’s own Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections division recently assumed responsibility for an aging newspaper collection in the Holland library that contains Pacific Northwest papers dating back to 1851 as well as Colonial America papers dating to 1728.

Both … » More …

Winter 2009

Letters in the Winter 2009 issue

We want our print edition

I doubt that I pull up the Summer 2010 version of Washington State Magazine, though I may. I generally read the magazine over lunch, when I’m taking a break from a day in front of the computer — I don’t want to have lunch with the machine! I may pick it up some other time, but that’s pushing it. I have no doubt of the economic necessity of only putting the issue on line — I’m only glad I went to WSU 40 years ago when I could afford it! — but it doesn’t work well for me.

Ruthann Knudson … » More …

Winter 2009

Fast boat

It may look like a child’s model, but the four-foot boat skimming the surface of the Snake River is a prototype of a new kind of watercraft—a boat that can run up on shore to be unloaded, scoot over marshy ground without tearing up the sensitive vegetation, and zoom over snow on its way to remote outposts.

Designed and built by Konstantin Matveev, an assistant professor in Washington State University’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and mechanical engineering students Zach Malhiot ’07, Ryan Soderlund ’08, and Alex Ockfen ’07 B.S., ’08 M.S., the vehicle can go much faster than conventional cargo boats carrying the … » More …

Fall 2009

Letters in the Fall 2009 issue

Living large

I very much enjoyed the article “Living Large” in your Summer 2009 edition. I am always impressed by the dedication of the large animal veterinarians. My hope is that WSU continues to turn out excellent large animal vets and continues to be able to recruit students into the field.

I do have one nitpicky point about the story. The story indicates that Tom Kammerzell’s property was built in the 1930s by his grandparents. The barn shown on page 25 was built in 1912 or 1913 by my great-grandfather Mike Kroll. Tom’s grandparents Delbert and Miriam Kammerzell purchased the property in the late 1930s … » More …

Summer 2009

Letters in the Summer 2009 issue

Celebrated lentils
We at the Pullman Chamber of Commerce were so delighted to see your article in the most recent issue, titled “Local, Delicious, Neglected,” about our lovable legume: the lentil. We sincerely agree that lentils are local and delicious and having worked at the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council before starting at the Chamber, I can indeed verify that all information you printed about the agronomic qualities is accurate and the recipes you printed are indeed delicious.

However, as the National Lentil Festival Director, I was disappointed to see the word “neglected” applied to lentils which have an entire festival devoted to … » More …

Spring 2009

Letters in the Spring 2009 issue

A time machine
My hat is off to your staff for what should be an award-winning issue. It was like a time machine for me. I spent many hours in the Conner Museum as an undergrad, marveling at the enormous moose and large black wolf. My high school friends and I explored Point Defiance Park in Tacoma every time our basketball team made it to the state tournament. Your article, “Rethinking the fundamentals,” is a classic. I can’t agree more that we need to rethink the way we farm. I’m glad you had as much fun with Shepherd’s Grains’ co-owner Fred Fleming as I … » More …

Spring 2009

Hunger for justice

On November 5, an overflow crowd in the CUB Senior Ballroom heard some hard truths about the global food crisis. Dr. Vandana Shiva, founder of several organizations that promote agricultural diversification in India, described how corporate/government practices that are billed as beneficial to farmers, such as patenting seed and outlawing local varieties of crops, have driven rural people off the land and caused massive food shortages in more than 40 countries.

Shiva laid out her case in warm, often humorous, tones that didn’t entirely mask her anger at what she has witnessed.

“If you want to get me really engaged,” she said, “tell me a … » More …