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Faculty, Research & Programs

Collaborative Study on Biodegradable Mulch Can Create a Better Environment for All

In 2002, when Professor Carol Miles certified the first organic ground in the Washington State University Vancouver Research Extension Unit (REU), she used plastic mulch to keep the pernicious, abundant weeds at bay. Plastic mulch (made of polyethylene) reduces weed pressure, moderates soil temperature, conserves moisture, and results in higher crop yield. Disposing of used plastic mulch, however, crowds landfills, and causes pollution when it is burned or stockpiled. Fragments that remain in the field threaten soil health and the environment, endangering microorganisms, insects, fish, and mammals.

Early in her career at WSU Vancouver REU, Professor Miles started looking for biodegradable alternatives to plastic mulch … » More …

Taking research into the marketplace

thumbnail detail image of a spectrometer reading

Pocket Labs, the research team led by Lei Li, assistant professor in the Washington State University School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, is also a startup that began in Innovation Corps (I-Corps) in fall 2016. The National Science Foundation (NSF) developed the I-Corps program in 2011 to help move academic research from the lab to the marketplace. Last year, the NSF provided WSU with a three-year grant to make the University one of 51 others participating in the NSF National Innovation Network.

Led by the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, and in partnership with the Carson College of Business and College of Arts and … » More …

It Takes a Village to Create a Healthier World

Guy Palmer Paul Allen Global Animal Health Building

“When people say ‘it takes a village,’” Dr. Guy H. Palmer said, “they mean the power of many is greater than the power of one.” Meeting the goal of eliminating rabies as a cause of animal and human suffering by 2030 will indeed take a village. According to estimates by the World Health Organization, rabies takes the lives of nearly 60,000 people every year, including approximately 1,500 in Tanzania. Almost half of those are children under the age of 16.

Palmer, the Jack and Janet Creighton Endowed Chair in Global Health, Regents professor in the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine and founding director … » More …

Meet: Megan Slaker

Megan Slaker grew up in Maple Grove, Minnesota, and always lived within a two hours’ drive of her parents’ house. Even as a child, she remembers feeling incredibly homesick when she went off to summer camp, and again in high school, when she spent a month in Germany as an exchange student. “Moving half way across the country for graduate school,” Megan says, “was one of the scariest things I’ve done. But it’s proven to be one of the best decisions I made.”

It was during middle school when Megan first became interested in human behavior; specifically what caused some individuals to use or … » More …

Simpson Strong-Tie gift supports WSU engineering research

An annual $100,000 donation for the next eight years from Simpson Strong-Tie will support Washington State University construction and engineering research in the new PACCAR Environmental Technology Building on the WSU Pullman campus.

SST-Logo-rgb-white-box-BG-INDICATORThe commitment establishes the Simpson Strong-Tie Research and Testing Laboratory and an excellence fund that will support research in areas such as concrete durability, repair and retrofit; tall timber buildings; deck safety; post-frame buildings and seismic retrofit. The fund will support fellowships for professors and graduate students and equipment purchases.

“We believe this partnership will drive our research innovations and lead to safer and … » More …

Seeing a need; filling a niche at WSU

WSU President’s Associates Gayle (’74) and Alan Weiss

WSU President’s Associates Gayle and Alan Weiss are taking the lead to help students in the School of Hospitality Business Management (SHBM) become well-informed and knowledgeable in the proper and safe handling of foods for special needs guests. Their annual gifts to WSU support Food Allergy Safe Certification training offered to SHBM majors.

Gayle (’74) and Alan know firsthand the risks and dangers of food allergies, food intolerances, and food sensitivities. Fifteen years ago, Gayle and her brother-in-law (Alan’s brother) were diagnosed with Celiac Disease (gluten intolerance) along with other food sensitivities. Having to eat a strict gluten-free diet for life—no wheat, rye, barley, or … » More …

Sharing their knowledge, expanding their reach

WSU sophomore Keesha Matz, and seniors Luis Cortez and Raven Conyers, with WSU Assistant Vice Provost Mary Sánchez Lanier

WSU seniors Raven Conyers and Luis Cortez and sophomore Keesha Matz received awards for outstanding presentations at the recent Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Seattle.

All three were able to attend ABRCMS thanks to financial support from the Scott and Linda Carson Undergraduate Research Endowed Excellence Fund. Established in 2013, the endowment is administered by the Office of Undergraduate Research, part of WSU Undergraduate Education. The Carsons have supported student activities at WSU for many years. Last fall, they were publicly honored by the WSU Foundation as Platinum Laureates for their exceptional investments in scholarships and student services. Scott (’72) serves … » More …

Evolution of an idea: from the lab to the marketplace

Dr. Amit Dhingra

His conversations with the owners of orchards and berry fields led to the idea. An idea challenging traditional thinking. An idea addressing consumer demand.

Amit Dhingra, Ph.D., took his idea into the laboratory in the Department of Horticulture at Washington State University. The idea moved forward, fueled by the skills and creativity of a team of undergraduate students and graduate researchers working side-by-side with Dhingra, a specialist in plant genomics and biotechnology.

Their discoveries in the lab led to a product and a process to enhance propagation and speed the development of root stock sold to nurseries. A product and a process that utilizes a … » More …

Rough to Refined

WSU dedicates new Ste. Michelle wine science center

Washington State University Thursday dedicated its new wine science center here and announced that the center will bear the name of its top supporter.

wine-science-bldg2“For more than 25 years, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates has supported the WSU wine program with their own contributions as well as shepherding support from others,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. “In recognition of their outstanding commitment and contributions, I am pleased to announce the center will … » More …

$5 million gift funds research facility, ups state grain game

The Washington Grain Commission announced a $5 million gift to expand facilities and advance grain research at Washington State University on September 17. Plant growth facilities are central to developing grain varieties through WSU’s plant breeding programs.

Phase-1-of-grain-research-facility-550-300x145“When the Washington Grain Commission asked researchers at WSU what they felt the biggest limiting factor for moving their research forward was, they told us they needed more greenhouse space,” said Washington Grain Commission Chairman Steve Claassen. “This will be a huge benefit to Washington grain growers as they will be able to plant improved varieties of wheat and … » More …

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