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News from School of the Environment



pygmy-rabbitDr.  Lisa Shipley and Dr.  Janet Rachlow, Professor,  Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences at the University of Idaho,were featured on  the National Science Foundation website for their  research on “ food and Fear: Modeling animal tradeoffs shaped by landscape Complexity”:

To read the full story please visit:



jeffCongratulations to Dr. Vervoort!

On July 26, 2016 the American Geophysical Union(AGU) announced its 2016 Fellow. This year’s class of fellow includes Dr. Jeff Vervoort. The fellowship recognizes exceptional scientific contributions, and is given to no more than 0.01 percent of all AGU members annually.


The Geo Analytical Lab Scores New Gear

The GeoAnalytical Lab was recently awarded funding from NSF to buy a new X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer. The NSF review panel was particularly enthusiastic about the award, referring to the GeoAnalytical Lab as ‘a valuable national resource’, “the foundational core of geochemical research in the United States’, and ‘a national treasure’ in their reviews of the proposal. The new machine was delivered to the GeoAnalytical Lab on 29 September, and should be fully operational within the next couple of months.



Dr. Kevan Moffett was recently recognized for her contribution as a reviewer for AGU in EOS to find out more please visit:




Dr.  John Harrison and his Team’s  Green Stormwater Infrastrucharrison_john2012ture Grand Challenge proposal was recently approved for funding.  WSU plans to invest $3.5 million in development of a research and training focus in the area of Green Stormwater Infrastructure.




cassie-2Congratulations to Cassie Geraghty,  MS Candidate in Geology  

Cassie gave a seminar on her the Cascade Volcano Observatory  research on May 5, 2016 . Cassie was invited as a guest speaker upon receiving the  USGS Klienman Grant for Volcano Research award .


Research finds lethal wolf control backfires on livestock
Washington State University researchers have found that it is counter-productive to kill wolves to keep them from preying on livestock. Shooting and trapping lead to more dead sheep and cattle the following year, not fewer. Writing in the journal PLOS ONE, Rob Wielgus, director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Lab in the School of the […]


Alien life could thrive on ‘supercritical’ C02 instead of water

Aliens_Concept_Art_Extinction_CoDGAlien life might flourish on an exotic kind of carbon dioxide, according to a new study co-authored by Dirk Schulze-Makuch, professor at Washington State University’s School of the Environment. This “supercritical” carbon dioxide, which has features of both liquids and gases, could be key to extraterrestrial organisms much as water is to biology on Earth. […] 

Grizzly bears use tools? WSU study under way


grizzly-using-stump-to-get-donutWSU’s one-of-a-kind Bear Center is the site of the first-ever study on whether grizzly bears make and use tools. Researchers are chronicling the bears’ behavior when faced with the challenge of getting to food that is beyond their reach. Eight brown bears—three males and five females—are being tested separately and are at various phases of […]


Microhabitats: Potential for oil cleanup, extraterrestrial life

Results from an environmental study of the world’s largest asphalt lake shine new light on how life on Earth can survive in even the most inhospitable environments. Scientists already knew that microbes can thrive at the boundary where water and oil meet, but the discovery at Pitch Lake on the Caribbean island of Trinidad that […]


WSU grad student wins highly competitive national scholarship

Graduate student Corinne Kane has received federal funding to study changes in coral fishes and their habitats, from shallow to deep waters. She intends to research the role deep-water coral reefs play in protecting fish and other dwellers of shallow-water reefs. As one of three recipients of the Nancy Foster Scholarship from the National Oceanic […]

To submit a news item contact  Sophia Hutton  via e-mail at

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