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Roads

Winter 2016

Ice control of a different color

As snowstorms gather in the Cascades, highway safety crews traditionally turn to salt and chemical deicers to clear the roads. The corrosive arsenal keeps traffic moving but is damaging to both vehicles and the environment. Now, thanks to the culinary genius of a Washington State University engineer, deicers are getting a green makeover with a distinctive local flavor.

Apple, grape, and cherry skins—waste products from Washington’s fruit and wine industries—are being reborn as sustainable ice melt in an effort to reduce the amount of salt used for snow and ice control.

The transformation is taking place in a basement laboratory where associate professor of civil … » More …

Talk Back
Spring 2015

Posts for Spring 2015

Mapmaker mystery

Of all the names that were mentioned in the [previous issue] article (those that I studied under in geology), I know Dr. Campbell would have had your answer. I was a graduate student in geology in the early ’70s and I knew Dr. Rosenberg (my advisor), Dr. Webster, and Dr. Campbell. These people were phenomenal teachers and mentors. But when important questions come up, like historical geology questions, Dr. Campbell was your man. He would have known. I remember his research, his retirement, and his death later. Another person who would have known was Al Butler in physics (also my advisor) because … » More …

John Mullan
Summer 2014

Lost Highway

John Mullan closed the last link of the Northwest Passage and vanished from history—until now

On a May morning in 1858, along a small creek on the northern edge of the Palouse, hundreds of warriors from several Inland Northwest Indian tribes closed in on 160 Army soldiers led by Col. Edward Steptoe. An Army retreat turned into a 10-hour running battle. Two company commanders were mortally wounded, panicking the men. At last, the troops took up defensive positions on a hillside in what is today Rosalia. As night fell, they were surrounded, outgunned, and down to two rounds of ammunition apiece.

More than a … » More …