All things point up

Night sky with the Milky Way and a silhouette of an old barn and rolling hills.
My sister visited last week and was able to get some photos of the Milky Way and the Palouse. (Photo courtesy Heather Powers)

I had a sister in town last week. She spent the nights outside, looking up for the Milky Way. Haze and clouds made it difficult to snag the perfect shot, but she managed to take a few at night and during the day out on the Palouse.

I am in Finland this week, starting the trip in Helsinki on the 60th parallel. I failed to chart our course before departing and will instead hope that I return knowing where I have been. At a minimum, I know Helsinki is on the far south tip of Finland, and therefore all stops throughout the week are somewhere north of where we started. Others who did look at a map tell me that we are mostly heading north and east and will be approximately 250 miles from St. Petersburg, Russia.

The days are long, with hotel departures at 7 a.m. and hotel check-ins as late as 10 p.m. Mark Swanson looked at the agenda and was excited to see that I will be visiting Joensuu, Finland, the Forest Capital of Europe. While I’ll be there only for a day, I look forward to the stop as well as the networking and learning throughout the week.

Before departing the U.S., I participated in a good meeting with a few of the CAHNRS faculty and the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine dean and associate deans to talk about the vast partnerships already in place and how to expand that work. Between Bidisha Mandal, Kevin Murphy, and Elizabeth Weybright, not to mention the Children and Family Research Unit and Don McMoran’s work, there are a number of partnerships. John Roll shared stories of past projects with Vicki McCracken and the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design & Textiles. The extent of collaboration is more extensive than I had recognized. I suspect that often there is far more going on than we know until we intentionally pull the pieces together.

We appreciate the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s acknowledgement of Washington State University’s work during the State of Success: National Washington Day celebration. And the good work continues! Congratulations to Chad Kruger and team for their recent award to build Extension capacity for addressing climate change challenges.

It is hard to believe that reunion week is almost here! We have a good number of alumni who will be in town and a short next week to prepare. The summer is already flying by and travel appears to be a regular occurrence between now and fall.

Our enrollment numbers for fall continue to head upward. Let’s do what we can to encourage our confirmed students to make the move to Pullman in August and welcome prospective students visiting over the summer.