News & Events

News

Western Washington University graduate student Hannah Hein studied the vast rolling prairies of her native Minnesota as an undergrad at St. Olaf College – and she has now shifted her research focus to a vital underwater grassland, the critically important eelgrass meadows of the Pacific Northwest, and specifically those found in Skagit County’s Padilla Bay.

Western undergrad Hailey Dearing sampling stream flow in a restored section of Schell Creek as part of David Hooper's laboratory work.

Western’s faculty and students are engaged in exciting research across a variety of fields. Periodically, Western Today will share short summaries of the latest developments in grants and research at Western Washington University. Interested in reading in-depth stories about science and research at Western? Go to Gaia, the university's online journal of research, discovery and scholarship.

Tesla smiling next to a table of research samples,

Western’s faculty and students are engaged in exciting research across a variety of fields. Periodically, Western Today will share short summaries of the latest developments in grants and research at Western Washington University.

The sun begins to set on another Martian day in this image from the Opportunity rover. The Mars 2020 mission, featuring the Perseverance rover, begins in earnest when the rover touches down on Mars on Thursday, Feb. 18., Perseverance is loaded with cameras and sensors in its search to answer the same question each rover before it was tasked to discover: Did life ever exist on Mars? (Image courtesy NASA), Ingenuity will bring aerial support to a rover mission for the first time., Orbiter image

Western Washington University Associate Professor of Geology Melissa Rice is going to be working nights for the next three months. Martian nights. Rice, who is a science team member of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission that lands on the Red Planet on Thursday, Feb. 18, said she is prepping for “90 days of jet lag” once the rover sets down.

A red tide in a harbor in Japan

Even the worst chemical compounds poisoning our environment and our bodies all have one thing in common: they are made up of common chemicals that pose little or no danger to us. What if we could take these harmful compounds apart, removing pieces like we would to deconstruct a LEGO creation, and turn them from a toxic compound into a harmless one?

Etnier excavating a midden in the North Pacific's Kuril Islands., Dutch Harbor on the Aleutian island of Unalaska, the epicenter of the Bering Sea cod fishery, Boston University's Catherine West in the field; West was Mike Etnier's co-author and collaborator on the cod research project., Map shows The Blob as an area of grossly higher than normal sea temperatures in the Gulf of Alaska, Etnier and West look down on Dutch Harbor

What can looking into the past tell us about the future? Western Washington University Anthropology Research Associate Mike Etnier and his colleague, Boston University Research Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology Catherine West, are hoping that digging deep into Alaska’s past can shed light on how to move forward to conserve and protect one of the region’s most important commercial fisheries: the Pacific cod.

Apply now to be a part of Western's first Marine & Coastal Science cohort!, Jim Cooper, Emily Roland, Karin Lemkau, Kathryn Sobocinski

As Western’s brand-new Marine and Coastal Science (MACS) program nears its first-ever major-application deadline on Dec. 31, Western Today thought it would be helpful for the campus community – and especially the second-year students now on campus who might be considering applying to the major and be part of its first official cohort -- to meet the program’s newest faculty.

Western Washington University invites the community to join the virtual celebration of summer and fall graduates Saturday, Dec. 12, at noon for an online ceremony featuring video clips from family and faculty, an address by a student speaker, and personalized slides for graduates who made reservations. The prerecorded ceremony will be online at commencement.wwu.edu Saturday at noon. A 6-minute preshow begins at 11:54 a.m.

Events

Setting Our Sights on Mars

Mars rover on the surface of the red planet

February 12: The WWU Alumni Association and College of Science and Engineering co-sponsor a webinar hosted by WWU Associate Professor and Mars rover team member Melissa Rice, along with current and former graduate students Jess Mollerup and Darian Dixon. Register here.