Research Recap for Nov. 8: Psychology faculty article about the effects of climate change on nomadic herding and research on Mount Baker’s magma storage

Western’s faculty and students are engaged in exciting research and scholarship across a variety of fields. Each week, Western Today will share short summaries of the latest developments in scholarly work 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.

David Sattler and Jim Graham

An article published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology by Western Professors of Psychology David Sattler and Jim Graham, alongside National University of Mongolia Lecturer Boldsuren Bishkhorloo, was selected as a Research Highlight by Nature Climate Change.

The article, titled “Climate change threatens nomadic herding in Mongolia: A model of climate change risk perception and behavioral adaptation,” discusses the hardships created by climate change, such as degrading pastures and increasing frequency of extreme weather, as well as the way that resource loss, values, knowledge and stress are associated with perceptions of risk.

Research for the project was conducted in remote regions of the Gobi desert and mountainous areas of Western Mongolia.

Brendan Garvey

Brendan Garvey is a second-year graduate student of geology. He specializes in Mount Baker’s magma storage system at the crust level. Specifically, he analyzes the chemistry of the minerals within its youngest lava flow. Garvey is a recipient of the WWU Graduate Research Award for his thesis, “A Recent Snapshot of Mt. Baker’s Crustal Scale Magma Storage System.”  

Under the direction of his advisors, Professor of Geology Susan DeBari and Assistant Professor of Geology Kristina Walowski, Garvey wants to fill a gap in the research. He says researchers know a good chunk of information about the magma deep down at the mantle level, but less is known about the storage systems at the crust. Characterizing this crustal magmatic architecture can help researchers predict how and when arc volcanos like Mount Baker erupt. Garvey has already collected samples of young lava flow at Sulphur Creek and has begun the analysis of their chemistry, looking for distinct crystal populations within the samples.  

Garvey went to University of New Hampshire as an undergraduate and was drawn to graduate school at Western because of the size of the program and the interests of the faculty. He says that in his experience, Western faculty highly value mentorship, and master’s students get a lot of attention and support, not only from his excellent advisors but also from technicians and researchers at WWU’s Scientific Technical Services like Research Associate Mike Kraft, who’s given Garvey a lot of guidance in learning electron microscopy.