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Natural sciences

Clouds over Hood Canal
Fall 2017

Streaming views

Over 500 streams and rivers (and thousands of other inflows) enter Puget Sound. Here are four that you can view close-up as they make their way into the second largest estuary in the United States.

Clear Creek

Clear Creek in Kitsap County is a major stream system flowing into Dyes Inlet at Silverdale. It had, over years agricultural and then urban development, lost its floodplain, resulting in increased flooding, erosion of roads and trails, and degradation of salmon populations. The Clear Creek restoration project removed 1,500 feet of an existing road, replaced and upgraded two aging culverts, created 500 feet of new stream channel … » More …

Spring 2012

On Closer Inspection—The curiouser and curiouser world of the small

In some ways, with so much science now involving tools that detect things outside the five senses, examining the world with a microscope seems quaint. But a corps of WSU researchers—let’s call them microscopists—are wrangling photons, electrons, glowing proteins, exotic stains, and remarkably powerful devices in their pursuit of the small.

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Fall 2011

How to protect your home from wildfires

If you live in a wildfire-prone area, preparation and forethought is key to your personal safety and preserving your home.  You can follow these ten FireSafe steps to prepare your home and land.

(Courtesy www.firesafespokane.com, a service of the Washington Department of Natural Resources)

1. Recognize the hazard

Fire is a natural part of our environment. In Spokane County, the grasses and pine forests have been subjected to fires every 3 to 30 years. This is a normal part of our Eco-system. There are more than 300,000 people living in Spokane County and many live in or adjacent to forestland. Understand the steps … » More …

Fall 2011

When wildfire comes to town

Flames ripped through the pines and brush in the Dishman Hills west of Spokane Valley in July 2008, just as they’ve done for thousands of years. A dry wind pushed the fire up a hill, hotter and faster, and straight into a new development of expensive homes, destroying 13 of them and burning 1,200 acres.

The wildfire’s destruction was not surprising or unexpected. But the number of homes and residents who survived the blaze serves as a testament to smart planning, an awareness of inevitable fires, and research into the interaction of fire-prone wildlands and the growing number of people who live near them.

Although … » More …

Fall 2011

Above & Beyond

In the spring of 1792, George Vancouver praised “the delightful serenity of the weather.” A few years later, William Clark complained of a dour winter that was “cloudy, dark and disagreeable.” How right they both were. Weather patterns determined by mountains and ocean grant the Pacific Northwest a temperate climate that also has a dark and unpredictable side. » More ...
Summer 2007

Jill Harding: A love of nature

When Jill Harding was growing up in Maple Valley, Washington, there was a patch of woods on her street where she nurtured a love of nature. Then the trees vanished, victims of urban development elbowing out from Seattle and Tacoma.

“Those woods won’t be there for other kids,” Harding says, a twinge of sadness still in her voice.

Yet here she was on a sunny August morning, helping to preserve a much different development site: the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s 200-year-old winter encampment. The land surrounding Fort Clatsop in northwest Oregon once more is cradled by conifers.

Harding (’92 Wildlife & Wildland Rec. Mgt.) is … » More …