News & Events Archive

'Reef Roombas:' Why the Endangered Pinto Abalone Is a Vital Ecosystem Engineer

October 14, 2019

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Graduate student (now alumna) Caitlin O'Brien works with WWU Biology professor Deborah Donovan on pinto abalone conservation efforts. Watch a short clip of Caitlin here. Read more about Donovan and O'Brien's research here.


WWU Wins NASA Contract to Build New Instrument to Help Mars Rover Scientists

October 7, 2019

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A group of WWU faculty and staff has teamed with Seattle-based aerospace manufacturing company First Mode to win a $302,000 contract from NASA to design and build a new instrument called a goniometer that will help scientists and members of the Mars rover teams better understand what they are seeing and sampling on the Red Planet.

A prototype concept of the goniometer was built and used by WWU graduate student Kathleen Hoza and undergraduate Lena Gibbs via a seed grant from the university’s Advanced Materials Science and Engineering Center (AMSEC); this prototype was used to illustrate the concept to NASA. Read more here.


Rehabilitation Counseling Program Awarded New $1 Million Grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education

October 2, 2019

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The Master of Arts (MA) in Rehabilitation Counseling (RC) Program at Western Washington University has been awarded a 5-year, $1 million Long-Term Training Grant by the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration. A minimum of 65 percent of the funding is allocated to provide financial support to 30 students with tuition and stipends. Read more here.


First GSAC Meeting of the Year

October 2, 2019

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All graduate students are welcome to join GSAC and attend the first meeting of the year on Friday, October 4, from noon-1 in AW 403. For more information, see our FB event page here.


What Forest Ecology Looks Like

September 26, 2019

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Julia Tatum, a first-year Environmental Science graduate student at Western Washington University, scans the dense forest underbrush around her, decides on a direction, grabs the end of a cloth measuring tape, and pushes off into the thicket to mark the edge of her sample site with surveyor’s tape. Read more here.


Welcome Back!

September 25, 2019

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Western students, faculty, and staff participate in the annual Paint Bellingham Blue celebration! Watch a video mashup here.


WWU faculty, staff and students march in the Bellingham Pride parade

July 17, 2019

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Western fielded a strong and vibrant contingent in this year's Bellingham Pride parade last Sunday. Well done, parade marchers!

See a full Flickr album of the event and Western's participation in it here.


Meet the People Risking Their Lives to Study Our Dying Mountain Glaciers

July 2, 2019


Read about Western Washington University graduate student Morgan Scott's trip to Mount Everest with John All, geoscientist and mountaineer who directs Western's Mountain Environments Research Institute. read more


Seals, Salmon, & the Salish Sea

June 20, 2019


Biology's Alejandro Acevedo-Gutierrez works closely with graduate students like Sarah Peterson and others to research the impacts harbor seals have on salmon stock and potentially endangered orcas. read more


Spring 2019 Commencement

June 14, 2019


Congrats, grads! About 175 master's students graduated in Spring 2019 from Western's various graduate programs. Watch a recording of the Spring 2019 commencement ceremony; view part 1 here and part 2 here.


David Patrick Named as Interim Dean of the Graduate School

May 10, 2019


David Patrick has been named the interim dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for research at Western. Patrick, now professor of Chemistry at Western, will assume his new duties on June 28. read more

WWU Scholars Week to Feature the Research of 58 Graduate Students

May 9, 2019


Western Washington University's Scholars Week, an annual celebration of the research and scholarly work done by the university's undergraduate and graduate students, is set for the week of May 13-17. The campus community is invited to attend. read more

WWU Mars Researchers Look Through Curiosity's Eyes to Analyze the Red Planet's Ancient Geology

May 3, 2019


Researchers at Western are working with NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars to analyze the rocky surface with technicolor images. The WWU Mars Lab, led by Assistant Professor of Physics/Astronomy and Geology Melissa Rice, uses these multispectral observations to interpret the geology of Gale Crater. Geology grad student Christina Seeger says, "This is an exciting time to be working with such a large multispectral dataset." read more


Graduate Research Funds

February 22, 2019


Graduate student research awards assist students in accomplishing the research/scholarly/creative work required by their degree program. Up to $2,000 per project may be proposed, and approximately $60,000 total is available annually. read more


Blue Carbon and Eelgrass in Skagit's Padilla Bay

January 20, 2019


Two recent studies by researchers at WWU evaluated the carbon content in eelgrass meadows in Skagit County. One study was authored by WWU research associate Katrina Poppe and professor John Rybczyk. The other, a master's thesis completed by student Mira Lutz in August, examined Padilla, Samish, and Skagit bays. Both studies concluded that even healthy eelgrass meadows such as those found in Skagit County are less effective at holding carbon than other coastal habitats, such as salt marshes. Yet protecting what is held there could play an important role in limiting climate change. read more


LGBTQ+ Western and Graduate School Host Grad Student Social Nov. 30

November 16, 2018


WWU's LGBTQ+ office will host a Graduate School social gathering from 4-5 pm on Friday, Nov. 30 in VU 462A. To ensure sufficient food, RSVPs welcomed but not required. read more


Grad Student Explores Sea Star Wasting Disease

November 14, 2018


A mysterious disease has infiltrated the waters of the West Coast, leaving hundreds of once-healthy sea star colonies dead in its wake. WWU grad student alumna Chelsea Hutchinson may have gotten us one step closer to understanding the epidemic. read more


Recent Grad Katrina Radach Awarded 2018-19 WSG State Fellowship

August 27, 2018

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Growing up in Washington State, Katrina has been constantly influenced and driven by the outdoors and her community. After attending the UW for a degree in oceanography, she became inspired to bridge the gaps between communities and marine sciences. She then attended graduate school at Western Washington University in environmental policy with a focus on marine policy. read more


Graduate School Fall Welcome 2018

August 21, 2018

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Get set to kick off your year with WWU Graduate School's Fall Welcome, a mini resource conference and evening social! Daytime sessions include an introduction to Western's resources especially for graduate students. Get the info you really need from the Graduate School and Research & Sponsored Programs; Western Libraries and the Graduate Research and Writing Studio; Prevention, Health and Wellness Services; Financial Aid, and more. Even if you were an undergrad at Western, the resource conference will help start off your graduate career on the right track. For more info, and to register, click here.


Melissa Rice Spends a Week Teaching Space Science to Kids from Rio's 'City of God' Favela

August 14, 2018

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On the edge of Cidade de Deus, or City of God, one of Rio de Janeiro’s most infamous neighborhoods, Western assistant professor of Geology and Physics/Astronomy Melissa Rice spent a week this summer teaching young students about space exploration and the importance of science and education. read more


Geology Grad Student Kevin Lally Assists in Study of Kilauea Volcano

August 10, 2018

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"Working a week at sea with Jackie [Caplan-Auerbach] and others was a dream come true," Lally said. "It was such an amazing learning experience to be taking action on Hawaii's most recent eruption." read more


Recent MFA Graduate Mike Oliphant Wins Gas Station Prize

August 8, 2018

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In Thin Air Magazine's most recent issue, they hosted the Gas Station Prize, celebrating and seeking out hybrid forms. The contest's winner, Mike Oliphant's "Medium Warp: Excerpts of a Digital Consciousness," inhabits shapes and forms present in code and web landscapes to explore the boundaries and relationships present in a digital consciousness. To read an interview with Oliphant, click here.


Head in the Clouds: Huxley's Wayne Landis talks about his love of flying

August 8, 2018

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When WWU Professor of Environmental Science and Director of the Institute of Environmental Toxicology Wayne Landis isn't teaching, working to unravel the ethical boundaries of genetic testing, or helping state agencies understand the impacts of industrial toxins, there's a good chance he is in the air somewhere, flying in his beloved Cessna from Point A to Point B, with a smile on his face. read more


Biology Professor Merrill Peterson Writes New PNW Insect Field Guide

August 7, 2018

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Peterson has just had his new comprehensive 528-page field guide, Pacific Northwest Insects, published by Seattle Audubon and distributed by UW Press in the United States and UBC Press in Canada. It is the first of its kind to enable readers to identify insects down to the species level. read more


Happy National Book Lover's Day!

August 6, 2018

Recent MFA grad, Rebecca Beardsall, reads almost 100 books a year. Why does she read so much you ask? To open up the world. read more


Rust-Colored Water in Parts of Whatcom

July 17, 2018

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Wondering what's causing the marine water in parts of Whatcom County to look strange—sort of rusty red or rusty brown? It is mostly likely due to a red-blooming plankton called noctiluca and is non-toxic. In fact, when the blooms are disturbed in the dark in mid- to late-summer, a phenomena called bioluminescence occurs. read more


WWU Grad Student Ellyn Ayton Using Machine Learning to Detect Fake News on Twitter

July 16, 2018

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In a society bombarded with information, Western Washington University Computer Science graduate student Ellyn Ayton of Tacoma is working to detect some of the false information that heads our way by taking a machine-learning approach to identify “fake news” on Twitter. read more


L.K. Langley Hired as Western's Inaugural LGBTQ+ Director

July 13, 2018

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During the national search process, Langley demonstrated a clear commitment and ability to lead Western's inclusion efforts for LGBTQ+ communities and to engage in meaningful collaboration with students, faculty, staff, and administrators across the university. read more


Assistant Professor of Chemistry Tim Kowalczyk Named a Cottrell Scholar

July 13, 2018

Research Chat Room TK from WWU Video on Vimeo.

The Research Corporation for Science Advancement has named Western's Tim Kowalczyk a 2018 Cottrell Scholar, an honor that comes with a grant stipend to allow him to continue his research into the developing technology around solar thermal fuels and molecular photoswitches. read more


Megafire: Strategies for a Growing Threat to the West

July 10, 2018

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In this Window article, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and pyrogeorapher Michael Medler talks about fire mitigation—fighting fire with fire—as well as smart steps to take for protecting your home. (Hint: clean out your rain gutters!) read more


Western's Weekend MBA Program to Begin Annual Cohorts in January

July 2, 2018

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For over nine years Western's MBA Program has been operating in Snohomish County, having served four cohorts in a program that begins every two years. In January 2019 the program will be expanding to include an every-year start option for interested students. read more


May-June 2018

June 28, 2018

The "MBA for a Night" event gives prospective students the chance to ask questions about the program. read more

June 19, 2018

Watch the Spring Quarter commencement ceremony here

May 24, 2018

Bellingham Review, Western's graduate-run international literary journal, releases issue 76. read more

March-April 2018

April 10, 2018

Re-Shelving Ceremony Received by Packed Audience at Wilson Library read more

March 14, 2018

WWU Students Hold 'Die In' to Protest Gun Violence read more