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Viewscapes podcast from Washington State MagazineViewscapes Archive

from Washington State Magazine

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Stories from Washington State Magazine—connecting you to Washington State University, the state, and the world. We’ll take you into the lives, research, and experiences of the WSU community, where Cougs from all over talk with us about everything from new ideas and fascinating memories to books and food.

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Season 2

December 6, 2022
Empire of Ice and Stone: A chat with author Buddy Levy
Episode 17

The treacherous Arctic is the setting of a harrowing true story of shipwreck, disaster, and survival in the early twentieth century. Acclaimed adventure writer Buddy Levy, also a creative writing and English professor at Washington State University, talks with Washington State Magazine associate editor Adriana Janovich about his latest book, Empire of Ice and Stone: The Disastrous and Heroic Voyage of the Karluk.

The second of three nonfiction historical narratives by master storyteller Levy about survival and exploration in the Arctic wilderness, this book tracks the voyage of the Karluk to the Bering Sea and its destruction in the ice, leaving crew, Inuit guides, and passengers to struggle for their lives.

In this episode, Levy talks about this captivating story of endurance, his inspiration for Arctic tales, research process—and a teaser for his third Arctic adventure book in progress, which takes to the skies.



Read the review of Levy’s book, Empire of Ice and Stone, in the Spring 2023 issue of Washington State Magazine.

November 11, 2022
Art experiences and happiness: a visit to the museum
Episode 16

Can experiencing art improve your wellbeing? What better way to answer that question than to visit an art museum at Washington State University.

Ryan Hardesty, executive director of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU, takes Washington State Magazine editor Larry Clark on a tour of the museum in WSU Pullman’s Crimson Cube. They have plenty to discuss about how people benefit from seeing, hearing, and experiencing art as they visit the exhibits—including Trimpin’s sound sculpture, Keiko Hara’s works of landscapes and dreams, Juventino Aranda’s powerful explorations of identity and home, and Irwin Nash’s photographs of Latino lives in migrant worker communities of the Yakima Valley.


See the exhibits and find out how to visit the museum at

Read more about art and happiness in “The joy of handiwork” in the Fall 2022 issue of the magazine.

November 4, 2022
A boatload of ideas for fungi
Episode 15

There are a million things to do with fungi, from boats to book covers to medicine for bees. Katy Ayers, a Washington State University student and avowed mycophile has done some pretty amazing things with mushrooms and fungi, including a world record canoe and homes for bees.

In this episode, we talk with the bioengineering and biochemistry major about her many ideas, the fungal revolution, and that famous MyConoe.


Read more about fungi saving the bees, helping plants, and modeling a way to make biofuel stock in “It’s fungi to the rescue,” Winter 2022 issue.

October 19, 2022
Larkin Campbell: A view from the middle
Episode 14

Larkin Campbell calls himself an unknown actor. Now the Washington State University alum takes us behind the scenes of a life in Hollywood, not as a celebrity but as someone who loves the industry even if only a few recognize him.

In this episode, Larkin talks about his WSU memories, getting into the acting business, and playing Coach Shane in the 125th episode of The Office, as husband of the girlfriend of main character Michael Scott.


Read about Larkin’s hilarious memoir, A View from the Middle: How an Unknown Actor Managed to Stay That Way, in the Summer 2022 issue.

July 11, 2022
Blanca Blanco breaks the mold
Episode 13

Actress, model, and author Blanca Blanco grew up around Chelan in north-central Washington state. Her parents from Mexico—her dad was a farmworker and her mom took care of peoples’ kids—had very little money, but Blanco had big dreams for her future.

In her recent memoir, Blanco tells her story of tenacity and determination, how she went from a tough youth to graduating from Washington State University with a psychology degree, and finally to a career in Hollywood.

In this episode, she talks with Washington State Magazine associate editor Adriana Janovich about her childhood in Chelan, time at WSU Pullman, acting career, and writing her memoir during the pandemic lockdown.

Read about Blanco and her book in the Summer 2022 issue of Washington State Magazine.


Season 1

February 28, 2022
Enrique Cerna’s podcast pulls no punches
Episode 12

Enrique Cerna and Matt Chan, two veterans of television work, had many conversations as people of color in the industry and in the United States. They decided to start a podcast, Chino Y Chicano, to talk about the tough complexities of race, and invite guests to join those discussions.

Cerna, an alum and Regent of Washington State University, discusses the start of the podcast, the guests they’ve talked to and topics they covered, and other topics from personal history to advice for aspiring journalists of color.

Read about Cerna’s life, work, and the podcast in “Talk the walk,” Fall 2021 issue of Washington State Magazine.


January 14, 2022
Medical leadership and 3D-printed cartilage
Episode 11

The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University emphasizes leadership as part of its curriculum for medical doctors. Founding Dean John Tomkowiak talks about why leadership training is so crucial as health care evolves into medical teams. Physicians who are prepared to be leaders could provide better care for people and take a stronger role in their communities.

Also in this episode:

WSU bioengineering researcher Arda Gozen studies another exciting advancement in medical and health sciences: 3D printing of cartilage. Additive manufacturing—3D printing—holds great potential for personalized medicine, treatment of osteoarthritis, and joint replacement.

Read more about the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine’s first graduating class of doctors and about 3D printing of tissues in medicine.


September 21, 2021
Bruce Barritt and the Cosmic Crisp® apple
Episode 10

Cosmic Crisp® just might be the perfect apple.

Crisp, firm, juicy, sweet, slow to brown, and all around pleasing in appearance, it’s good for eating fresh as well as for cooking, in both sweet and savory dishes.

Since its commercial release at the end of 2019, the inherently festive, crimson-colored apple, flecked with tiny golden lenticels and dubbed “The Apple of Big Dreams,” has received positive attention around the world.

But it was bred at Washington State University specifically for Washington’s climate and growers.

Bruce Barritt oversaw the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee and developed the now-famous apple, a cross between Honeycrisp and Enterprise apples.

In this episode, he talks about how Cosmic Crisp came to be, its attributes, and its potential.

Learn more about Cosmic Crisp.
Find Cosmic Crisp recipes.
Read about the WA 2 apple (Sunrise Magic).


July 30, 2021
YAZZ Band: New Normal
Episode 9

We take a listen to the new album, recorded during the pandemic lockdown by Regents Professor of music Greg Yasinitsky along with guest musicians, on Viewscapes, the podcast of Washington State Magazine. Along with guest musicians, Yasinitsky made the “little big band” sound from tracks recorded all over the world and then produced at the WSU recording studio.

July 8, 2021
The future of hydrogen fuel and a Seattle DJ
Episode 8

Hydrogen fuel is emerging as a major part of the future fuel mix. Washington State University mechanical engineer Jacob Leachman has been on leading edge of hydrogen research for over a decade. He talks about hydrogen projects in the Pacific Northwest, reasons why hydrogen is a fuel of choice, and the potential of the fuel.

Also in this episode:

Seattle DJ Taryn Daly, a self-professed rockaholic and a WSU alumna, has her dream job at Seattle’s KISW station. Like most people, Taryn had to make some big adjustments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more about Leachman’s and other WSU researchers’ work on hydrogen, and about Taryn Daly’s career as a rock DJ.

February 26, 2021
Hydrogen fuel start-up, a Coug love story, and healthy plant relationships
Episode 7

How do you take innovative research from the university lab to the public? Three WSU engineering researchers working on unique hydrogen fuel tanks, fueling stations, and other technology started their own company to move their findings into the commercial world. We spoke with two of the founders about the challenges of launching a business and the potential of green hydrogen fuel.

Also in this episode:

  • Two Cougs meet at a stoplight … a love story about a pair of Washington State University alumni in Austin, Texas, whose serendipitous connections led to marriage.
  • Plants and microbes can and do have healthy symbiotic relationships. Stephanie Porter, a microbiologist at WSU Vancouver, talks about her research into the important symbiosis of crops and other plants with organisms in the soil.

Read more about Porter’s symbiosis research, Coug love stories, and WSU hydrogen fuel research.

January 27, 2021
Bats and viruses
Episode 6

Bats could be a key to help prevent a future pandemic.

Washington State University researchers Stephanie Seifert and Michael Letko explain why the flying mammals are important for improving our understanding of viruses and diseases that spill over from animals to humans, such as Ebola, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Seifert and Letko also take on misconceptions about the pandemic and talk about the challenges of studying bats.

Both scientists work in the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, where Seifert is a research assistant professor studying molecular ecology. Letko is an assistant professor and molecular virologist focused on cross-species transmission and viral-host interactions.

WSU News science writer Sara Zaske is the guest host.

Read more about Letko’s coronavirus research in “Viral haystack,” Fall 2020 issue.

[Thank you to Felix Blume for the recording of bats in Southern France.]

December 22, 2020
Roast goose, researcher parents, and a plague journal
Episode 5

“There never was such a goose. … Its tenderness and flavour, size and cheapness, were the themes of universal admiration,” wrote Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol. On this episode, Washington State University executive chef Jamie Callison offers ways to roast and serve the classic holiday goose and sides. It’s a dish ready for a comeback.

Also in this episode:

  • WSU Vancouver biologist Stephanie Porter on balancing life as a scientist and a parent. Research, teaching, and family is possible, as Porter explains through her own experiences.
  • John Streamas from WSU was intrigued this year by Daniel Defoe’s plague journal written in 1722. Streamas penned his own scholarly observations in a modern plague journal for 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world along with protests and examinations of racism.

Read more about roasting goose, biologist Stephanie Porter’s research on symbiosis, and John Streamas’s plague journal of 2020.

November 27, 2020
Glenn Johnson: Voice of the Cougs for 40+ years
Episode 4

We’re all missing the Apple Cup tradition this year, but we can still listen to the Voice of the Cougs.

Glenn Johnson, mayor of Pullman and WSU football and basketball announcer, talked with associate editor Adriana Janovich via Zoom about his 40 plus years as Voice of the Cougars, and the surreal experience of announcing a 2020 football game at Martin Stadium without a crowd of fans.

Read more about Johnson’s career in “The Voice.” (Fall 2020 Washington State Magazine)

November 16, 2020
Rowing for 50 years, listening to art, and encouraging women in STEM
Episode 3

Cougar Crew, a scrappy and resilient group of rowers at Washington State University, recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. They had to cancel a banquet and other events due to COVID-19, but former coach Ken Struckmeyer and rower Doug “Doc” Engle reminisce about the team, catching a crab, and rowing on the Snake River near Pullman.

Also in this episode:

  • Seattle-based artist, composer and inventor Trimpin created Ambiente432, an innovative sound installation at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at WSU. Visitors to the museum activate the artwork by walking around the entry pavilion and talking, which creates sounds that have calming effects.
  • WSU engineering professor Noel Schulz talks about her experiences as a woman in engineering. She shares ways to encourage girls and women to enter and stay in the science and engineering fields.

Read more about Cougar Crew, Ambiente432, and women in STEM.

September 2, 2020
Hunting the western toad, recognizing courage, and delving into the novel Stripland
Episode 2

Erim Gómez lives his childhood dream: catching frogs, toads, and salamanders. The doctoral student in environmental studies hunts for the western toad along the Snake River, as he works to determine the biodiversity of amphibians on the Palouse prairie.

Also in this episode:

  • Carla Peperzak risked her life and freedom in World War II as a member of the Dutch Resistance. She was only 16 when she secretly saved a number of Jews by making fake IDs. Now a 96-year-old Spokane resident, Carla was honored as Washington state Person of the Year for 2020.
  • Joan Burbick, a retired English professor at Washington State University, talks about Stripland, her novel that explores trauma, perceptions of reality, violence, and connected relationships in the aftermath of a shooting of a Nez Perce man by a white police officer. Her powerful and moving book references the steep stretch of road in Lewiston, Idaho, that slices through the valley from the Snake River to the Nez Perce reservation.

Read more about disappearing amphibiansCarla Peperzak’s life, and the novel Stripland.

July 16, 2020

Composing music, living with wasps, and relishing Rainier cherries
Episode 1

Composer and Washington State University music professor Greg Yasinitsky hears a band in his head when he’s creating music. In the premiere episode of Washington State Magazine’s podcast, Yasinitsky dives into the art and craft of composition…and why writing music for kids requires special attention.

Also in this episode:

  • Megan Asche, a WSU entomology doctoral student, wants us to better understand—and be less fearful of—those frequent barbecue visitors, wasps and yellowjackets.
  • Rainier cherries, developed at Washington State in 1952, offer a delectable summer treat. WSU Executive Chef Jamie Callison serves up some ways to enjoy them in your meals.

Read more about WSU’s music studio, wasp research, and Rainier cherries.


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