I enjoyed reading “Waste Not” in the Spring ’17 issue of Washington State Magazine. I learned a lot and was especially intrigued by the part about microwave sterilization and preservation.
I thought I would clarify to readers that, while composting food waste still releases greenhouse gasses, if treated properly with balanced carbon-to-nitrogen ratios, aeration, and moisture, decaying food waste favors carbon dioxide and releases less methane than that same material would in a landfill, where moisture, aeration, and the rot recipe are far from optimal. Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
Last August, shifting sands on a well-trafficked beach along Oahu’s west coast revealed 400-year-old carvings left behind by Hawaiian indigenous people. The 17 petroglyphs etched into the sandstone on Waianae Coast, and the stories they tell, had never been recorded. Without the right conditions, they may have remained hidden for years or centuries.
Water and time are money if you’re a farmer. Trees are especially slow, and to get a new apple variety growing at a commercial scale can take years. It not only takes a couple of years after planting for fruit production to start, but it’s a long time just getting trees to plant.
The number of trees needed to plant a commercial-scale orchard is daunting. Even a small orchard of 100 acres needs nearly a quarter million trees to get going. And while it might take only a couple years to “raise a few rootstocks, thousands can take many years,” Washington State University apple breeder … » More …
ViviAnne Fischer practices midwifery in her clinic near Pullman, where you can see her connection to the long and complicated history surrounding the practice.
In a green-colored house along a dirt road, at the top of a set of stairs, a large, nondescript black suitcase stands before a crammed bookshelf, her “library” for families. Inside the suitcase is a mix of new, modern medical equipment beside bottles of herbal extracts.
On the other side of the room is an odd-shaped stool at the foot of a bed. The bed is almost cot-like but the wooden frame poking out from beneath the quilt is carved. The … » More …
Working for a Portland, Oregon, staffing firm in the late 1990s, Kristin McKinney ’95 helped recruit employees to the city’s burgeoning tech industry. The job unleashed her own geek.
“I found I had a bit of an inner nerd,” says McKinney, who got her degree in business. “I never really knew that.”
Her newfound enthusiasm was tempered by a sobering reality: Women then, like now, accounted for less than 30 percent of the computing and information technology workforce, according to the National Science Foundation.
McKinney, now a recruiter in Nashville, Tennessee, is working to reverse the trend. In 2013, she joined computer application engineer Rachel … » More …
I enjoyed the article “Wood Takes Wing” in the Winter 16 edition of Washington State Magazine on the many possibilities for wood as a new source of carbon molecules for all of those polymers we take for granted. Technologies that allow us to reduce burning of fossil fuels for energy recognize its highest value. The potential for atmospheric carbon reduction is a plus.
But there was an unasked question hanging behind the article—where will the timber come from to fill the old mills? The same environmental groups who just say no to transporting or burning fossil fuels also eagerly block … » More …
Growing up in the foothills of Mount Rainier, Anna King ’00 figured she’d end up either a veterinarian or a writer. Her family ran a small cattle farm in Roy, and she loved animals.
King participated in 4-H projects, raising animals but also giving presentations that taught her to communicate with an audience. When a TV reporter from the Seattle area paid a visit to her high school class, she remembers thinking, “This person is so smart, so edgy, so inspiring.”
For almost half a century, scientists have been measuring carbon dioxide in the air two miles above sea level in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. At first, Charles David Keeling counted 310 parts of carbon dioxide for every million parts of air. When he died in 2005, the number was 380. On May 9, 2013, the number topped 400, “a milepost,” wrote National Geographic’s Robert Kunzig, “on a far more rapid uphill climb toward an uncertain climate future.”
We might get wistful over the elegance of what is now known as the Keeling number: a solitary data point, like the Dow Jones industrial average, … » More …
Graceful tropical fish circle around me as a sea turtle glides overhead. Slowly and steadily, hundreds of pink jellyfish swarm from behind and a curious striped creature moves in for a better look at what I assume is my virtual reality headset. In awe, I blindly reach out and it pulls away with alarm. The scene is so realistic I’m speechless.
Don McMahon is laughing. “You look pretty engaged right now,” says the director of the Washington State University Neurodiversity Lab located in the College of Education. “Fun is engaging and engaged students learn,” he’s been intoning, seemingly miles away in the background.
James Moll (’72 Comm.) was recognized as a local hero in Butte County, California, by the local newspaper. Moll, who has worked in radio and serves as emcee for community events, is known as “The Voice of Oroville.” He was recognized for his efforts to help restore the historic State Theatre in downtown Oroville. Moll served as president of the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and led a drive to build a new shelter for the surrounding community.
Pierce College Chancellor Michele Johnson (’74 Poli. Sci., ’75 MA Poli. Sci.) won the Chief Executive Officer award for the Pacific region, … » More …