In the Media

Thursday, November 30, 2023 - Seattle Times

Voter turnout for this November’s election was the lowest on record for a general election in Washington state history, according to a Seattle Times analysis of election data from the Secretary of State’s Office.

Nearly two-thirds of registered voters did not turn in ballots, leaving turnout at less than 37%, the lowest recorded since reliable voter registration counts began in 1936. That continues a trend for odd-year elections observed since 2015, when voter turnout first fell below 40%. 

State law requires that city and local district elections are held in odd-numbered years. Federal and state races occur in even-numbered years. Buoyed by the lackluster turnout for this latest election, some state lawmakers are trying to revive a bill that would let cities have their elections in even years.

The absence of statewide ballot measures this year may be connected to the drop in voter turnout, said Todd Donovan, a political-science professor at Western Washington University and longtime observer of state politics.

Thursday, November 16, 2023 - Council on Foreign Relations

International trade has shaped the world for much of the past century. Countries benefited from the global flow of goods, and the world became richer and safer. At the same time, many Americans lost their jobs to cheaper overseas competitors. Now, a series of compounding challenges, including great power competition and climate change, have led U.S. officials to rethink trade policy. What's next for international trade? And can the United States retain the benefits of trade while protecting critical supply chains and fighting climate change?

Thursday, November 16, 2023 - ChipChick

According to Myron Shekelle, a biology instructor and researcher at Western Washington University, this absence of the reflective layer in the tarsier’s eyes offers some insight into the evolution of primates.

He stated that tarsiers may have once been diurnal primates, which means they were active during the day, so they had no need for the reflective layer in their eyes. Somewhere along the line, they reversed course and became nocturnal again, but they had already lost their reflective layer.

Thursday, November 16, 2023 - Quanta Magazine

We often think of volcanoes as skyscraping marvels, but these portals to the geologic underworld also reside underwater. Unfortunately, submarine volcanoes are trickier to study than their terrestrial siblings. But you would be hard-pressed to find anyone more enchanted by them — and more stubbornly determined to study them — than Jackie Caplan-Auerbach.

A volcanologist at Western Washington University, Caplan-Auerbach is also a seismologist, someone who uses the jiggles of earthquakes to understand geophysics. And it just so happens that active volcanoes are prodigious earthquake producers; they make as much seismic noise as they can muster. For Caplan-Auerbach, that noise is music to her scientific ears — data that can be used to learn about the internal workings of our planet.

Monday, October 30, 2023 - Cascadia Daily News

Like many medications, naloxone — the nasal spray that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose — comes in a flimsy box. The device that administers the medication is shaped like a cartoon spaceship and has to remain sealed in blister pack until use. It’s clunky to carry and can be sprayed accidentally. 

With a new device that began as a class project, Western Washington University alum Brendan Mudd wants to put the life-saving medication into more hands by making it easier to carry around and conceal.  

Mudd spent the four months since graduation finalizing its design and is now seeking Food and Drug Administration approval — a process that could take several years, he said.  

Thursday, October 26, 2023 - Daily Journal of Commerce

Two new Washington projects aim to establish healthier learning environments that improve student performance and morale, and foster feelings of belonging and well-being.

Two new regional developments have implemented this Living Design Framework: University of Washington’s Life Sciences Building and Western Washington University’s electrical engineering and computer science building, Kaiser Borsari Hall.

Thursday, October 26, 2023 - State of the Planet - Columbia University

Most people think of seismic activity as the result of movement along faults or of violent volcanic eruptions. But seismic events can have other causes, including floods and even large crowds of excited fans—such as those at Taylor Swift’s recent Seattle shows, whose enthusiastic reception caused seismic activity equivalent to a 2.3 magnitude earthquake—and glaciers.

Decades ago, scientists who research seismic activity in the Washington Cascades recorded a number of small seismic events and eventually determined that they were caused by glacier movement. These events, called “glacier quakes,” allow for important insight into seismic activity, patterns of glacier movement and even climate events.

For Washington state residents, seismic activity is nothing new. 

Monday, October 16, 2023 - Inside Higher Ed

Meagan Bryson serves as the first director of the newly minted Academic Advising and Student Achievement Center at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. The center is part of an institutional alignment to connect student services and promote student success on campus.

Bryson spoke with Inside Higher Ed about her new role, developing partnerships across the campus community and investing in the next generation of student affairs professionals

Friday, October 13, 2023 - Boston Globe

Jared Ross Hardesty, an associate history professor at Western Washington University who’s written about slavery in Boston, said the records can help decipher details of enslaved people’s everyday lives, and tell of the prevalence of slavery in Colonial Boston. For example, Boston probate records list Pompey, an enslaved Black 14-year-old boy, in the 1759 inventory of Thomas Fleet. Fleet left Pompey to his son, Thomas Fleet Jr., a printer who taught the youth his own trade. From this record, Hardesty said, people can imagine Pompey working at the printing press, circulating materials at the brink of the American Revolution.

“Using those kinds of contextual clues, you can kind of build out a little bit of a kind of life story around an enslaved person,” he said.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023 - Cascadia Daily News

The Lummi Nation welcomed hundreds of community members into the Wex’liem Community Building Monday night, Oct. 9, for salmon, song, dance and speeches to mark Indigenous Peoples Day. 

With the Blackhawk singers opening and closing the event, the celebration featured Indigenous people from across the region. 

Keynote speaker and doctor Evan Adams, from the Tla'amin Nation north of Powell River, British Columbia, came to Lummi for the event to speak about Canadian Indigenous experiences and health care. 

Youth speaker Santana Rabang of the Lummi Nation, Nooksack Tribe and First Nations Shxwhá:y Village spoke of her personal experience watching Indigenous people become more represented in mainstream culture. Several speakers from the Lummi Nation and surrounding tribes spoke at the event as well.