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Environmental Studies

Ethics of Climate change - warming globe
Winter 2012

The Ethics of Climate Change

In 2012 the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, in conjunction with the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs, began a new public symposia series that focuses on the ethical and public policy ramifications of new scientific innovations and knowledge. Each semester the symposia, which are open to the public, bring together WSU faculty with other internationally prominent scholars. The first in the series, “Ethics and Global Climate Change,” was held in April 2012, and brought to WSU’s campus Andrew Light, director of the Center for Global Ethics at George Mason University and a fellow at the Center for American … » More …

Cover of The Republic of Nature
Fall 2012

The Republic of Nature: An Environmental History of the United States

repub-nature

Mark Fiege ’85 MA
University of Washington Press, 2012

Contemplate the founding of the United States, a budding democracy carved out of a vast and unknown (to everyone other than its original inhabitants) wilderness. At some point, one might find oneself unable to extricate American history from Nature and its effects and implications. But we haven’t really, not until Fiege’s remarkable analysis.

Although he is keenly aware of Thomas Jefferson’s warning that “The moment a … » More …

Cover of Finding the River
Fall 2012

Finding the River

finding the river crane book cover

Jeff Crane ’98, ’04 PhD
Oregon State University Press, 2011

In 1992, President George H. W. Bush signed into law the Elwha Act, which called for the removal of two hydroelectric dams from the 45-mile river that flows from Washington’s Olympic Range to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Over the past year, the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams have been removed and now the decades of sediment behind them are … » More …

Water poured on pervious concrete
Summer 2012

Video: Pervious concrete for stormwater management

Liv Haselbach, associate professor with Washington State University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, researches concrete surfaces that can absorb water, rather than allowing water to run off and cause pollution, flooding, or other problems.

Haselbach says, “WSU has been installing various sections of pervious concrete and porous asphalt on the Pullman campus to see how they might help with stormwater management on campus and prevent icing conditions in the winter. Researchers in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department are monitoring various aspects of the placements, and are also testing the materials in their laboratories to determine other environmental benefits, including pollution reduction, and … » More …

Summer 2012

A brush with Snorkel Bob

There is the world of science, of measured and verified observations, of slow-moving knowledge.

And there’s a world of advocacy, of convictions, values, passion, and a desire for fast-moving change.

Only a few slides into his PowerPoint on the West Hawaii aquarium fishery, WSU marine biologist Brian Tissot notes how the two views serve to complicate the conflicts around the aquarium trade.

Science, he says, looks at the interest-based aspects of … » More …

BIXI green bikes at WSU
Summer 2012

What moves you at WSU

One fuzzy old photograph of construction in downtown Pullman shows images of early days in the city: men laying a foundation by hand, a horse-drawn carriage on the street, a bicycle leaning on a post in the foreground. The photo has no date, but that bike, like a relic dropped by a time traveler, looks remarkably modern.

You won’t see a horse-drawn anything on Pullman’s streets now, except in parades, but you still see bikes among the buses, pedestrians, and a lot of cars.

Bridgette Brady, director of Washington State University’s Transportation and Parking Services, envisions bike use on campus increasing over the next … » More …

Jen McIntyre
Summer 2012

Not quite right as rainwater

Jen McIntyre is something of a rainwater connoisseur, but you wouldn’t want to drink from her collection. Her preferred source is a drainpipe that runs from State Route 520 to a parking lot in Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood.

Tens of thousands of cars and scores of buses pass by every day, dropping bits of tire rubber, brake dust, exhaust, and the occasional cigarette butt. In winter, passing showers might rinse off the road surface every few days or hours. In summer, a month might go by between rains, giving McIntyre a particularly potent stormwater cocktail, like the one she harvested last August.

Freshly bottled, it’s … » 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 …