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Research Recap for May 28

  • Shannon Healy
  • Kris Tran
  • Piper Wolters

In this week's Research Recap, we have three award winners from Scholars Week and a new piece of equipment has found its way to the Anthropology Department. For in-depth stories on research at Western, go to Gaia, the university's online journal of research and scholarship, at, and follow @WWUResearch on Twitter.

Shannon Healy, a graduate student in environmental science, was awarded $100 for her presentation in the Three Minute Thesis session during Scholars Week 2021. Healy is most interested in the use of remote sensing to assess the impact of various light-absorbing impurities, like snow algae on snow melt. Her thesis research uses satellite and drone imagery to assess the influence of snow melt on water availability in the North Cascades. 

Check out her video presentation entitled, “Using UAV Remote Sensing to Assess the Impact of Glacier Melt on Downstream Water Availability in the North Cascades,” at  Healy’s faculty advisor is WWU Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Alia Khan.

Kris Tran, a graduate student of psychology, was awarded $100 for her presentation in the Three Minute Thesis session during Scholars Week 2021. Tran is currently conducting a meta-analysis of Asian American well-being, using the “Satisfaction with Life Scale” both to determine the mean level of reported Asian American life satisfaction and to examine how Asian American happiness is reported across psychological research literature.  

Tran also plans to conduct a qualitative review examining the various theories on how and why Asian American well-being is impacted compared to other ethnic groups throughout North America. In the future, she plans to continue her studies in a future graduate program, studying happiness and well-being in further contexts.  Tran's faculty advisor is Christie N. Scollon, WWU Associate Professor of Psychology.

Watch Tran’s video presentation, “Asian American Well-Being: A Systematic Review,” at

Piper Wolters, a graduate student of computer science, was awarded $100 for her presentation in the Three Minute Thesis session during Scholars Week 2021. Wolters’ work focuses on applying Deep Learning to audio and climate studies. In the near future, she hopes to pursue a PhD in computer science and encourage more diversity in this field. 

Watch Wolters’ video presentation, “Few-Shot Audio Event Localization,” at

WWU Assistant Professor of Anthrolopology Tesla Monson (@PaleoTesla) and the Anthropology Department have been awarded a $26,614 Tech Initiative Grant to purchase a 3D scanner. The scanner will be incorporated into Anthropology classes to train students on how to use 3D imaging technology, and it will be used to build a digital library of Anthropology collections for open student use.

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Friday, May 28, 2021 - 12:19pm