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Zeroing in on critical zones
Spring 2017

Zeroing in on critical zones

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 …

Winter 2016

When Jermiha marched home

Military homecoming is usually a time of immense joy and relief, but for many veterans the weeks that follow are daunting. Each month in Washington state alone, 1,000 service members transition from active duty to civilian life—moving from a structured, often traumatic environment into the looser routines of home. Along the way come unexpected challenges, especially when returning to college or entering the job market.

Jermiha White ’16 served eight and a half years as an Army cavalry scout on the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan. As a combat veteran, White began experiencing anxiety when he enrolled as a student at Washington State University … » More …

Putting feeling into the digital world thumb
Summer 2016

Putting feeling into the digital world

A new touchstone for virtual reality

On its own, the gleaming silver skeletal hand looks like a disembodied limb from The Terminator. Strap it on a human and it becomes a glove to grasp things within virtual, computer-generated worlds.

Hakan Gurocak, the mechanical engineering professor at Washington State University Vancouver who designed the glove with his former graduate student Randy Bullion, says the haptic interface can be used in conjunction with virtual reality headsets and position sensors to add a new sense of touch to the experience of being in a digital environment.

More than just immersive computer games or movies, virtual reality and … » More …

Amy Eveskcige, Courtesy The News Tribune
Winter 2015

Dream maker

“My earliest memories of school were full of hope,” says Amy Eveskcige ’13 EDD, the new superintendent of Chief Leschi Schools and the first Puyallup Tribe member to hold the position. She’s eager to instill that same hope to the kids attending her schools. Chief Leschi Schools, operated by the Puyallup Tribe, is one of the largest Bureau of Indian Education schools in the nation. That she even became superintendent took support of her own teachers.

As a child, her hopes were slim. Her dreams, muted. Her father died when she was three. Her mother was an X-ray technician but spent most of her time … » More …

Wall Street
Spring 2013

Sick stocks

It’s cold and flu season. And no one is immune, not even Wall Street.

That’s the notion Brian McTier, a WSU Vancouver-based business school faculty member, and his colleagues explored when examining the impact of influenza on the U.S. stock market. McTier has been examining external events that might affect the stock market that weren’t normally modeled. Those effects include class action suits in securities, electronic funds transfer errors driven by sentiment, and the flu.

For the study, which is being published in the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the authors started with the hypothesis that high rates of influenza could affect trading as … » More …

No Room of Her Own
Winter 2012

No Room of Her Own: Women’s Stories of Homelessness, Life, Death, and Resistance

No Room of Her Own

Desiree Hellegers

Palgrave Macmillan

2011

“As a form of social punishment, homelessness is far sterner in many respects than sentences handed out in court for most criminal offenses,” writes Desiree Hellegers, an associate professor of English and founding co-director of the Center for Social and Environmental Justice at WSU Vancouver, in her introduction. In presenting the individual stories of 15 women in Seattle collected over two decades, Hellegers offers a view … » More …

Hal Dengerink
Spring 2012

Hal Dengerink 1943-2011—Tribute to Hal

On September 14, 2011, the first chancellor of Washington State University Vancouver, Hal Dengerink, passed away at the age of 68.

I first met Hal Dengerink when he came to WSU Vancouver from WSU Pullman to oversee the programs that were offered at Bauer Hall on the Clark College campus. The process of selecting a site for the WSU Vancouver campus was underway when he joined the site recommendation task force that was appointed by WSU President Sam Smith. As members of the task force, we spent many months and endless weekends meeting regularly to complete our charge, which included visiting potential campus sites in … » More …

Spring 2012

Lessons from the Forest—The anthropology of childhood

Fresh out of college in 1971, with a little money saved up, Barry Hewlett bought a one-way ticket to Europe. He trekked around Europe for a while, but eventually started to get bored. He noticed many of his fellow youthful travelers were heading for India. So he headed south, for Africa.

He found a cargo boat that was going to Alexandria, Egypt, and booked passage. And kept going, up the Nile to Khartoum in Sudan. Along the way, he says, other travelers told him, you’ve got to see the pygmy people. So he made his way to Uganda to visit pygmies.

He didn’t stay long, … » More …

Carol Miles
Spring 2012

Mulch ado about garden plastics

In 2001, Carol Miles certified WSU’s first piece of organic land, a three-acre parcel at the WSU Vancouver Research and Extension Unit. It was a landmark moment, leading the way for organically managed land at all of WSU’s research facilities.

But one thing kept nagging her: the plastic.

In the absence of conventional herbicides, weed control was her number one issue, and laying down a layer of plastic took care of the problem handily. But it’s nonrenewable and not recycled.

If it’s going to be used in an organic production system, reasoned Miles, now a vegetable horticulturist at the WSU Mount Vernon … » More …