In the Media

Friday, August 11, 2017 - 2:46pm
The Bellingham Herald

A massive water main break in the Happy Valley neighborhood left thousands residents without running water Friday afternoon.

Mocha-colored water gushed like a 2-foot-deep river from the broken pipe around noon at Donovan Avenue and 26th Street in the Happy Valley neighborhood. Up the hill Western Washington University lost running water throughout all of campus, as did many people in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Friday, August 11, 2017 - 1:31pm
The Seattle Times

Here’s one survey where it’s good that Washington is ranked near the bottom: the average amount of student-loan debt.

Students who graduated from Washington colleges in 2016 have among the lowest average student-loan debt when compared to grads in the rest of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to a survey by LendEDU, a New Jersey company that offers student-loan refinancing.

Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 9:33am
Tri-City Herald

Caleb Huisingh was a lot of things in his short life.

An emergency medical technician, a firefighter, a landscaper, a door-to-door salesman.

He worked at Magill’s in Pasco as a cook. He worked in an Alaska fish cannery.

He was a budding journalist — a good one, with talent, guts and promise to spare.

He played rugby — tough and relentless on the field. When he went in for the tackle, the other player went down.


But he could be tender, too. Children adored him. He had a multitude of friends.

To his family, he was a bright light — a complex, authentic, beautiful soul.

“That’s what I’ve always called him: my beautiful boy,” said his mom, Sharon. “He really was.”

Huisingh, 23, who grew up in Pasco, died last week in a hiking accident in Alaska.

The Western Washington University student had gone to the city of Hoonah, west of Juneau, to work at a cannery for the summer.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 8:52am
Union-Bulletin (Walla Walla)

Western Washington University recently honored Rosa Tobin with an Outstanding Graduate Award for the 2016-17 academic year.

Faculty members from dozens of academic departments and programs select one graduate to honor as the Outstanding Graduate of the year. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 8:49am
The San Juan Islander

Western Washington University’s Shannon Point Marine Center will offer an oceanographic data collection boat trip this summer in Anacortes. Participants will observe and assist in the collection of oceanographic data for Washington State’s Department of Ecology long-term monitoring of the Salish Sea.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 10:53am
The Seattle Times

It may sound counterintuitive, but freshmen college students who take a full load of reasonably demanding courses are more likely to graduate from college on time.

That’s part of the message Western Washington University has been conveying to its students in a campaign called “15 to Finish,” which encourages students to work hard from the outset.

Nationally, only about 40 percent of first-time, full-time freshmen graduate in four years with a bachelor’s degree; the rate is 59 percent after six years. Western’s graduation rate after four years is similar to the national average, but is better than 70 percent after six years.

Steven VanderStaay, the Western vice provost for undergraduate education, says he frequently talks to parents who have advised their incoming freshmen children to start with a light load — 12 credits — believing that will give them more time to study, build confidence and get a higher GPA

Monday, August 7, 2017 - 12:58pm
The Seattle Times

THERE is a great deal of frustration these days surrounding water policy in Washington. You may have heard the rallying cries to “fix Hirst,” as developers, Realtors and banks called for a state Supreme Court decision to be overturned. In fact, the push to upend the case, Whatcom County v. Hirst, ultimately prevented the passage of a bipartisan-supported $4 billion capital budget that would have funded schools and other universally supported projects.

Overturning Hirst would be a shortsighted fix causing lasting damage to the region, especially since the court’s ruling protects everybody’s access to water.

Monday, August 7, 2017 - 10:15am
KNKX Public Radio

Bert Webber is the man who coined the phrase "Salish Sea." He is a professor emeritus from Huxley College at Western Washington University in Bellingham.

Webber says while it may be easy to see the Salish Sea as separate waterways, those waterways actually make up one ecosystem that goes beyond political borders.

"If you see something, a place that doesn't have a name, there's that old kind of rule of thumb that you can't know something that doesn't have a name," Webber said. "So this ecosystem needed a name."

Monday, August 7, 2017 - 10:10am
The Seattle Times

Meanwhile, on the snow-covered slopes of the North Cascades, skiers and climbers have been patrolling for “watermelon snow,” or sections that look as if they’ve been dusted with red Kool-Aid powder.

It’s actually snow algae blooming on or beneath the surface, which can contribute to melt and glacier loss because it changes how sunlight reflects off snow and ice.

Surprisingly little is known about the algae, said Robin Kodner, a professor at Western Washington University studying the phenomenon with students in her lab.

“We do not know anything about dispersal. We don’t know how snow algae get there or how they spread,” Kodner said. “One of the goals of my project is to understand when and where the algae are blooming in the North Cascades.”

Monday, August 7, 2017 - 9:55am
Skagit Valley Herald

With her face pressed against the eyepiece of a microscope, 9-year-old Grace Dills peered into a quarter-sized drop of water, searching for marine life.

“I want more,” Grace said excitedly as water was added, allowing her an up-close view of plankton and other sea creatures.

In partnership with Western Washington University’s Shannon Point Marine Center, Grace and 21 other students from Evergreen Elementary School in Sedro-Woolley have spent about two weeks learning to be scientists.