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Research

Fall 2010

The kinder, gentler orchard

The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 initiated the gradual phasing out of organophosphate pesticides. By 2012, the major chemical defense against wormy apples will no longer be available. But not to worry, thanks to a continuous refinement of Integrated Pest Management and collaboration amongst growers, industry fieldmen, and WSU researchers.

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Fall 2010

Cultivating new energy

With just a whiff of irony, let’s sing a song of praise for gasoline.

A single gallon contains more than 30,000 calories. You wouldn’t want to drink it, but in straight-up energy terms, that’s enough to power a human for about two weeks.

Gasoline is convenient, portable, and for the most part, cheap. For the purposes of this story, I used it to log more than 1,000 miles around Washington State and make appointments, easily, and always on time. Tank low? More than 2,000 filling stations were out there for me to fill her up and pay with a piece of plastic.

“The liquid fuel … » More …

Spring 2010

Finally, a Washington apple

A Washington apple? you say. You might respond, correctly, that Washington and apples are almost synonymous. After all, we produce more than half of the nation’s eating apples. Visit a market in Mexico, Thailand, Houston, or Saudi Arabia, and there, you will find Washington apples.

Still prominent among the selection is the iconic Red Delicious. Up through the 1980s, it represented more than three-quarters of Washington production. But now, other varieties, the sweet Gala, the tart Granny Smith, the intensely sweet-tart Pink Lady, are steadily usurping the Red’s status.

But neither in the era of the Red’s dominance nor in this new age of increasing … » More …

Spring 2010

Gangs of Chicago

Fifty years ago James F. Short Jr., a young sociologist at Washington State University, was asked to lead a study of Chicago gangs.

In smoky pool halls on Roosevelt Road, the baseball fields of Douglas Park, and the windy street corners of Lawndale, Short and a team of youth workers and sociologists spent three years trying to figure out if boys with monikers like Smack Daddy, Duke, and Commando were so very different from their counterparts in wealthier parts of the city.

The resulting groundbreaking analysis opened a window into the everyday experience of the Vice Lords, the Egyptian Cobras, the Imperial Chaplains, and the … » 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 …

Winter 2009

Housing by the numbers

From his corner office in Johnson Tower in the midst of Washington State University’s Pullman campus, Glenn Crellin is far from the most populated parts of the state. Still, from his vantage, he contemplates rental rates around the Puget Sound, home sales in Spokane, and real estate in Moses Lake.

Crellin is the state’s real estate numbers guy and in mid-summer he’s just about to release a report that will stir up homeowners and real estate agents with news that home sales were showing some positive signs.

Crellin and his reports appear regularly in newspapers throughout the state. He’s also well placed in Washington where … » More …