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Research

Winter 2011

The lost and found flourmill

Steve Fulton grew up in the 1960s with his uncle Leonard’s flour milled with a process called Unifine. Fulton ate whole wheat bread baked by his mother Lee x’38 from the flour. His father Joseph x’39 promoted and delivered the flour all over the Northwest. But the Spokane area mill closed in 1986.

So in 2008 when Fulton started researching the family mill—built at Washington State University—he was surprised to learn that Oregon company Azure Standard was using the Unifine name for its flour.

He emailed Azure Standard’s president, David Stelzer. “David called my cell phone and said, ‘I know where your uncle’s mill is,’” … » More …

Village Fete by Hans Wertinger
Winter 2011

Tolerance in an intolerant time

In 1530, a group of Lutheran princes composed a statement of faith, requesting legal recognition, and presented it to Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor. Although the Emperor rejected it, the Augsburg Confession would become the statement of belief that defined Lutheranism. Toward the middle of the century, the Catholics followed with their version, the Council of Trent. Indeed, a succession of churches that emerged from the breakup of the monolithic medieval church during the Reformation distinguished themselves through statements of faith that became known as confessions.

Not coincidentally, the Age of Confessionalism is also known as the Age of Religious Wars.

Gradually, says … » More …

Fall 2011

Using technology to address the challenges of aging

An increasing number of families know the stress of trying to deal with an elderly parent or spouse who is losing his or her ability to live independently. How can we maintain dignity for those who are having trouble completing daily tasks? How do we keep our elders safe, and who takes care of them?

A WSU research team, led by Diane Cook, Huie-Rogers Chair Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, professor in the Department of Psychology, will be studying approximately 10-20 residents in Horizon House, a Seattle-based continuing care retirement community, for three years as part of … » 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 2011

After a fashion

Fall fashion week in Pullman featured a stovepipe silhouette and shorter hemline. Black and rhinestones were in, as were gold shoes and feathered cloches.

These weren’t new designs. They were elegant Jazz Age outfits hand-picked by students in a “Costume and Museum Management” class and on display last November in the Terrell Library atrium.

Sophomore Amanda Harris is one of five students who culled through the University’s historic costume collection to decide on a theme and create the 20s in Vogue display. She is one of dozens each year who have the opportunity to dig through an extensive collection of clothing and accessories housed on … » More …

Summer 2011

The fate of a blue butterfly

A century or so ago, late spring in Oregon’s Willamette Valley saw waves of delicate blue and brown butterflies across a million acres of prairie, lighting on equally delicate lupines to lay their eggs.

At least we can imagine it that way. The region has long since been settled and farmed, and the prairies were the first to go. With them went the vast number of Fender’s blue butterflies and their host plant, the Kincaid’s lupine. The butterfly appeared to the eye of science only briefly, first in 1929, and occasionally until 1937. Then it vanished. Scientists assumed it was extinct.

In 1988, Paul Severns, … » More …

Summer 2011

What’s the catch?

The rainbow trout has evolved over millions of years to survive in varied but particular circumstances in the wild. The hatchery rainbow fl ourishes in its relatively new, artificial surroundings, but its acquired skill set compromises its evolution. The rainbow has so straddled the worlds of nature and nurture, says biologist Gary Thorgaard, that it has become “a world fish.” » More ...