Research Recap for April 16

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 scholarship and research at the 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, and subscribe (it's free) to that site by clicking the "Follow" button. Want more research news? Follow @WWUResearch on Twitter.


SMATE faculty

A number of Science, Math and Teaching Education (SMATE) faculty recently published a paper that highlights a longtime practice at SMATE known as "Shadowing," a cross-disciplinary and collaborative initiative that involves shadowing of colleagues as a means of supporting the professional learning of science teacher educators.  Eight SMATE faculty members led by Debi Hanuscin (SMATE/Woodring Elementary Education) combined efforts to author the paper and shed light on a technique that has had a huge impact on the continuity of SMATE classes and the way SMATE faculty teach future science educators. 

The title of the paper is "Supporting the Professional Development of Science Teacher Educators Through Shadowing," published in the International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education.  Authors are Deborah Hanuscin (Elementary Education), Deborah Donovan (Biology), Alejandro Acevedo-Gutiérrez (Biology), Emily Borda (Chemistry/SMATE), Susan DeBari (Geology), Josie Melton (SMATE), Thanh Le (Physics/Astronomy), Whitney Morrison (SMATE) and Roxane Ronca (SMATE). Read the paper here.

Robert Mitchell, Geology

Western Washington University Professor of Geology Robert Mitchell recently received a new two-year, $71,000 grant from the Nooksack Indian Tribe to continue his work on climate modeling in the Nooksack River Basin.

Mitchell will build computer climate models of both the historical and forecasted hydrology in the Nooksack River with a focus on winter peak flows to better understand how the river will respond at its peak flows in future climate conditions. Better projections of the impacts of peak flows will help facilitate more accurate flood-risk assessment and planning in the face of continued climate change, with particular attention paid to the importance of salmon habitat and salmon recovery.