In the Media

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 11:22am

Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association in Bellingham, Washington will receive $77,700 to support the Students for Salmon Program. In partnership with Bellingham Parks Department, Whatcom Conservation District, Sound Experience, Western Washington University, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, BP Inc., Whatcom Community Foundation and several local school districts, the program works with fourth grade students in Whatcom County schools.  The multi-stage watershed education program includes learning both outdoors and classroom activities, to build students’ understanding of healthy salmon habitat.  The field trips led by university interns provide students with the opportunity to conduct streamside restoration projects to improve conditions.

Monday, October 7, 2019 - 12:38pm
The Paris Review

Despite living in New York City for more than five decades, my ninety-three-year-old grandfather still doesn’t speak English. No, that’s not quite right. During my childhood, his language did have some English in it. He used a relatively common, if idiosyncratic, commixture of words from his native and adopted tongues. Linguists have studied this pidgin: the way it grafts Italian endings onto English building blocks, the inflection and pronunciation that come from the speaker’s more intimate regional dialect. For him it was Roccolano, the near-extinct language from his small town in Italy’s Molise region.

Monday, October 7, 2019 - 12:32pm

Some researchers say the extent of possible changes to health risks based on the water quality standard adjustments are difficult to pin down.  

"Anytime a regulation is changed, there's actually a calculation that's supposed to be done. There are often assumptions made in these calculations,” says Dr. Wayne Landis, director of the Institute of Environmental Toxicology at Western Washington University. “If someone raises the amount of a chemical like a PCB in an organism that's allowed for you to eat, that will increase the probability of getting the disease. [But] the amount that it will increase that probability is really hard to determine.”

Dr. Robin Matthews, outgoing director for the Institute of Watershed Studies at Western Washington University and an expert in aquatic ecology, says changing water quality regulations without following appropriate processes is worrying. 

“Water quality standards should only be changed when there's a strong scientific basis for it. Most of the water quality standards, it took years to develop them. And so changing them without an extensive review period makes me quite nervous,” she says. “If anything, we've seen pretty consistently that we tend to underestimate risks.”

Monday, October 7, 2019 - 11:21am

The Bellingham Public Schools system recently amended its guiding document, the Bellingham Promise, by removing the word “citizen” and replacing it with “individual.” No longer do the public schools aspire to foster “honest and ethical citizens who act with integrity” because, in the words of Superintendent Greg Baker, “We heard concerns from our community that the word ‘citizens’ could be misinterpreted, and that some may think we are excluding students and members of our community who are not U.S. citizens.” From my perspective, however, removing the word “citizen” is an abdication of the public school system’s responsibility to the people of Washington and the United States: to prepare young people to be part of our democracy.

Monday, October 7, 2019 - 10:12am
Washington Post

During the Sept. 13 Democratic debate, ABC aired a 30-second ad that showed a burning picture of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, equating her policies to those of the Khmer Rouge. The ad features Elizabeth Heng, a Cambodian American woman and former Republican congressional candidate who lost her 2018 race against incumbent Rep. Jim Costa of California.

“Mine is a face of freedom,” Heng says in the ad, contrasting herself to Ocasio-Cortez, “My skin is not white. I’m not outrageous, racist, nor socialist. I’m a Republican.”

Friday, October 4, 2019 - 3:16pm
Chicago Sun-Times

Journalism Department Associate Professor Carolyn Nielsen, whose reporting played a role in overturning the conviction of a Chicago teen for a murder he did not commit, was featured today on the podcast "Motive." The Chicago Sun-Times/WBEZ podcast chronicles the case of Thaddeus "T.J." Jimenez who was jailed at age 13 and later sentenced to 45 years in prison. Jimenez was 30 when he was released and exonerated in 2009. Jimenez is now serving time for shooting an acquaintance in the legs in 2015. "Motive" explores the journey of Jimenez's life in and out of the prison system. 

Friday, October 4, 2019 - 1:41pm

Seattle’s First Mode team and Western Washington University say they’ve won a NASA contract to advance the technology for sizing up rocks on Mars.

The project, funded under NASA’s Solar System Workings program, will support the development of an automated tool known as a goniometer. Such a tool could be used on future Mars missions to measure angles precisely in three dimensions.

“If you used a protractor in grade school to measure angles, you used a simple version of a goniometer,” First Mode’s Kathleen Hoza and Rhae Adams explained in a blog posting about the project.

On Mars, such a device should facilitate spectral observations of rock samples at different angles, opening the way for more detailed chemical analyses. One of the cameras on NASA’s Curiosity rover has been used to make goniometer measurements in Mars’ Gale Crater.

Melissa Rice, a planetary scientist at Western Washington University, is principal investigator for the newly announced project.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 - 2:23pm

Officials at Western Washington University say they are condemning racism after they say a white nationalist group reportedly spread propaganda around campus last weekend.

At least four stickers from the white nationalist group Patriot Front were posted across campus Sunday before they were discovered by the university.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - 8:41am
WWU Athletics

The No. 2 nationally-ranked Western Washington University volleyball program looks to continue its hot start to the season with a pair of Great Northwest Athletic Conference matches this week.


WWU is 12-0 overall and off to a 4-0 start to the conference season. The Vikings continue a busy stretch that will have the team play four matches over an nine-day stretch, with three of those on the road. WWU is coming off a road sweep in Oregon defeating Western Oregon (3-0) and Concordia (3-1) and will host Simon Fraser (6-6, 2-2 GNAC) on Tuesday in a home match in Carver Gym at 7 pm.


The Vikings then conclude the week with a rare Friday road contest at Montana State Billings (7 pm MT/6 pm PT).

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - 8:31am
The Bellingham Herald

Western Washington University warned students and staff Monday about on-campus activity by a white supremacist group that has been recruiting across Whatcom County and other areas of Western Washington.

University Police are investigating the incident involving posters placed on campus Sunday by the group Patriot Front, said WWU spokesman Paul Cocke.

“Western Washington University strongly condemns the white nationalist beliefs of the Patriot Front,” Cocke said in a statement. “Hate will not be tolerated in our community. University officials are on heightened alert for these posters and stickers, which will be removed as soon as possible in accordance with university policy.”