The sky was falling. And Richard “Dick” Mack gathered a group of graduate students to help collect it. In the first few days after Mount St. Helens erupted—sending some 540 million tons of ash over an area of 22,000 square miles—the WSU ecology professor was already thinking of its potential research value.
Mack‚ now a professor emeritus in WSU’s School of Biological Sciences, spent the summer of 1980 doing field work between Pullman and Vantage, studying the effects of the ash on vegetation—particularly native plants, such as certain willows and grasses. For about five years or so after that, he and … » More …
Niels Sparre Nokkentved
WSU Press: 2019
“Thinking like a mountain” is the name of a short essay from Aldo Leopold’s 1949 book A Sand County Almanac. In it, he reflects on an old wolf he shot and killed as a young hunter and how he came to realize wolves play a critical role between prey, such as deer and elk, and the flora of the forest and other natural habitats. He lamented humans need to learn to think … » More …
Washington State University biologist Caren Goldberg visits a pond where she studies amphibians.
Video by University Marketing & Communications Video Services
Over the last several years, people in Washington state have been exposed to worsening air quality for longer periods of time. The following charts show that increase, based on information from Rahil Dhammapala ’06 PhD (Civ. Eng.) at the Washington State Department of Ecology.
When Omar Cornejo got his genomic analysis back from 23andMe, he and his wife, fellow population geneticist Joanna Kelley, were both a bit surprised and vindicated. Venezuelan, Cornejo expected to see the alleles, or variations of a gene, from Native American, western European, and North African populations. But he was unaware that his family’s deep history also included ancestors from sub-Saharan Africa.
That just goes to show the importance of broadly sampling the genome, says Kelley. “The lesson is that if you just look at the mitochondria, you’d assume this person is from Africa. But if you look at just the Y chromosome, you’d assume … » More …