Thoughts & Doings

Huxley Speaker Series 10/18/18: Gregory Green: Fox Genetics

Genetic Characteristics of Red Foxes in Northeastern Oregon and Southeastern Washington

Gregory A. Green, Wildlife Ecologist

Huxley Speaker Series 

photo of red fox pup

The Rocky Mountain Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes macroura), once common in the Blue Mountain ecoregion of northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington, was considered rare in in this region by the 1930s and thought to be extirpated by the 1960s, when putatively new Red Fox populations began to appear. Although the new foxes were long presumed to be nonnative (originating from fur-farms), they were often phenotypically similar to native Red Foxes, suggesting the alternative possibility that they arose from range expansions, either by small numbers of remnant native foxes at higher elevations or by Rocky Mountain Red Foxes to the east. In... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 10/25/18: Patrick Murphy: Communication and Environmental Transition

From Limits to Buen Vivir : Communication and the Politics of Environmental Transition

Patrick D. Murphy, Klein College of Media & Communication, Temple University

Huxley Speaker Series

book cover graphic for The Media Commons by Patrick Murphy

Environmental communication scholars have asserted that despite the mounting ecological, social and political challenges caused by human-driven climate change, mainstream communication practices have largely constrained action by rendering an oddly depoliticized vision of environmental politics that places people in passive roles (Caravalho, van Wesser & Maeseele, 2017). This has particularly been the case in the West, where commercial media messages typically reduce environmental policy-making to... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 11/1/18: Tim Palmer: Wild and Scenic Rivers

Wild and Scenic Rivers: An American Legacy

Tim Palmer, author, photographer

Huxley Speaker Series

photo of Skagit River by Tim Palmer
photo by Tim Palmer

Wild and Scenic Rivers: An American Legacy, published in 2017 by Oregon State University Press, presents an illuminating portrait of the world's premier system for the protection of natural rivers. This book by award-winning author and photographer Tim Palmer reveals the history and essential policies of a unique program and showcases 160 spectacular color photos of designated rivers from all parts of the country.

... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 11/8/18: Tristan Woodsmith: Fungi in a Changing Climate

Fungi: Environmental Stewards in a Changing Climate

Tristan Woodsmith, Cultivation Specialist, Fungi Perfecti

Huxley Speaker Series

Mycelial Earth graphic

Learn about the diverse and important roles played by Earth's Natural Recyclers in the environment, their significance to humans, and how we can utilize fungi to decompose waste, grow gourmet food and promote environmental restoration. Topics will include the mushroom life cycle, fungal ecology, bioremediation (healing toxic environments), mushrooms and health, and growing mycelia and mushrooms at home.

Mycelium Forest Scene graphic

Tristan... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 11/15/18: Larry Nielsen: Conservationists of the Past

Lessons from the Great Conservationists of the Past

Larry Nielsen, North Carolina State University

Huxley Speaker Series

Photo of historical conservationists

These seem like stressful times for the environment.  The climate is changing, but the government doesn’t want to act.  Regulations on air and water purity are being rolled back.  Preserved areas are being trimmed, and even the Endangered Species Act is, well, endangered. But fear not!  Our world is better today than in the past, and it will be even better in the future.  How can I be so sure?  This seminar will tell the story of inspirational conservationists of the past—people like Rachel Carson, Chico Mendes, Billy Frank Jr. and Wangari Maathai.  If we act with their passion and... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 11/29/18: Chris Montero: Wolves of Washington

Wolves of Washington     (plus free documentary Film at 7:00 pm)

Chris Montero, Wolf Haven 

Huxley Speaker Series

photo of wolf

After more than a 70 year absence, wolves have returned to Washington State. They were hunted to extinction, but the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported that in 2017 our state had at least 122 wolves distributed in 22 packs. As wolves continue reclaiming our wild areas, they bring change not only to our local ecosystems but also to our human culture. Where are these wolves and how are they surviving? How are they affecting the people in our state? How is our state managing these wolves? These are some of the questions that we will explore during this presentation.

... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 10/11/18: Allison Dolan, Wildland Studies

Wildlands Studies and the Transformative Effect of a Field Studies Program

Allison Dolan, Field Studies Advisor, Wildland Studies

Huxley Speaker Series

photo of Wildland Studies students beside lake

For the past 40 years, Wildlands Studies has taught undergraduate field programs and offers students the rare opportunity to join a backcountry study team as a working field associate. Programs take place on five different continents and fifteen different countries, they are nomadic by nature, evolving annually to match the latest environmental concerns of the region. Academically rigorous, each outdoor study program earns 5-15 quarter credits and features direct contact and instruction with PhD. credentialed faculty who are subject matter... Continue reading

Free GPS Workshop: 10/12/18

Huxley College of the Environment will present a free workshop (no cost, no credit) on GPS at 3:00 pm on Friday, October 12th, 2018.

Introduction to GPS

(Global Positioning System)

Friday, October 12, 2018

3:00 - 5:30 (Rain or Shine)

 Arntzen Hall 16 & Outdoors

Topics covered:

  • Basic GPS principals and applications
  • GPS equipment available at WWU
  • Field exercise collecting GPS data using Garmin GPSmap60
  • Downloading GPS data
  • Discussion of
    • GPS accuracy and use in GIS for analysis
    • Other GPS receivers
    • Data Dictionaries
    • Differential Correction
  • Web links and sources for additional information

Please register ahead... Continue reading

This Thursday, Oct 4th! Huxley Fall BBQ @4-6pm on the Communications Lawn

Welcome Back Huxley Students!

Each year Huxley College holds a fall BBQ to welcome back students, staff, and faculty. There will be hot dogs, veggie dogs, side dishes and drinks. This is a fun event to meet other Huxley students, faculty and staff members. There will be food, music, lawn games and an opportunity to receive a coupon for purchasing Huxley gear. Bring a friend, meet a friend, and join in the celebration!

The BBQ will be on the Communications Lawn, the wide green space between Environmental Studies, Communications Facility, and Academic West. The show will go on rain or shine--in case of rain, we will move the BBQ and tables under the ES or Academic West overhang.

We’ll have plenty of food for you!

Questions? Contact me at or 360-650-2554.

Huxley Speaker Series 10/4/18: Jackie Caplan-Auerbach: Seismology, Kilauea

Ocean-Bottom Seismology and the 2018 Eruption of Kilauea Volcano

Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, WWU Geology Department

Huxley Speaker Series

photo of lava

photo of lava

In late April 2018, the 35-year old eruption of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i, underwent a radical change.  The locus of volcanic activity shifted from the Pu`u O`o and summit vents to the volcano’s Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ), where it erupted in the Leilani Estates subdivision.  Over the next several months, lava drained from the summit reservoir to the LERZ, where it consumed over 800 homes, destroyed the town of Kapoho, and added nearly 900 acres of new land to the... Continue reading


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