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CEREO Newsletter- 2017 April

Message from the Director

In recent decades technology has revolutionized environmental researchers’ data collection in remote or treacherous field sites. Remote sensing by satellite allows observation over deserts, open ocean, and ice sheets – offering views of the world that have been critical to understanding large-scale global change. Yet details are often obscured at the resolution of these satellite data. Enter aircraft-mounted sensors that are increasingly within reach of the individual investigator, particularly with improvements in cost and performance of “drones”. These smaller aircraft can collect imagery and even samples at finer scales, in underwater or terrestrial conditions that are difficult for humans to traverse such as dense mangrove stands. Many environmental researchers at WSU are integrating drones in their research now, and many more have expressed interest in using them. In Fall 2017, CEREO will host a workshop for WSU researchers to learn about ongoing and nascent research opportunities, as well as the logistics of their use. In addition, we will continue to provide opportunities for improving programming skills that help researchers navigate the interface with technologies, with ongoing workshops in R as well as some new opportunities to learn Python in the Fall.

– Stephanie

Research News

STEAM Design Thursday, May 4th, at 12pm in PACCAR 202

STEAM Design is a cross-departmental collaboration exploring scientific questions through the eyes of artisans. In this project, undergraduate students from the Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles will be paired with WSU scientists. Participating scientists include graduate students, post-docs, or faculty and span disciplines as varied as material science to climate science and ecology. The teams of an undergraduate and at least one scientist work collaboratively to develop design products inspired from the scientific research.

The goal of the project is to expand our vision of science by juxtaposing scientific studies with artists’ designs. While artistic practitioners are often scientists through the development of their projects, and scientists must be artists in the design of experiments and visualizations of results, this overlap is rarely explored. STEAM Design aims to intentionally expand on this connection through design-science collaborations leveraging the unique programs here at Washington State University

Undergraduates will work with the scientists to understand their research through not only dialogue but the visual media that scientists use within their field (ex. graphs, figures, photographs). Working together based on this understanding design, students will create an apparel fabrication. The scientist will then develop a brief placard explaining the primary inspirational aspect of their research, incorporating feedback from the undergraduate student.

The final product will be displayed as a diptych and will include the science placard the design fabrication.  The diptychs will be displayed at a public event end of Fall 2017 and potentially as a gallery exhibition in Spring 2018.

An informational meeting about this project will be held Thursday, May 4th, at 12pm in PACCAR 202

C-NSPIRE Graduate Certificate Program- Accepting Applications

The C-NSPIRE graduate certificate aims to develop among students a critical scientific understanding of the elemental cycles and, in particular, to understand how scientific research informs policy needed to address environmental and global change issues.

This certificate offers students an interdisciplinary framework for exploring carbon and nitrogen cycling in the environment while also providing effective training and experience in public policy and science communication.  Aimed at students with environmental interests in engineering, sciences and agriculture, this program blends course-based learning with communication training and a capstone experience.  Research assistantships are available to support policy-based internships and other science-policy experiences.

To learn more about the program and to submit an application, please visit:

C-NSPIRE Information

Other News

Town Hall Discussion- Climate Change Education at WSU

Friday May 5th, 2017  |  9am – 10am  |  PACCAR (PETB) 305  |  AMS Dial-up 5704214

Climate change is a key driver of global agricultural, environmental and social system transformation.  As a land-grant institution, WSU has a mission to educate students about climate change and how it impacts the world in which we live.

All interested WSU educators, staff and students are invited to join a CEREO town hall discussion that will focus on identifying the breadth of climate change courses and materials currently being taught, as we seek input on how to bring climate change education to the forefront at WSU.

The AMS dial up number for all sites to dial for this event is 5704214.  If you are attending by phone, please call (509) 335-9445. When prompted, enter the meeting ID 04214

Environmental Science Communication Writing Workshop

Good communication skills are critical not only for increasing public understanding of environmental science, but also for crossing disciplinary boundaries and helping to inform important societal decisions.  CEREO and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) co-sponsored an environmental science communication writing workshop on April 12, 2017.  Approximately 20 faculty, staff and students participated in this team-led workshop led by four local English faculty: Scott Slovic (University of Idaho), Peter Chilson (WSU), Debbie Lee (WSU), and Linda Russo (WSU).

Participants were shown several samples of environmental writing- ranging from ultra technical to poetic- to highlight differences in writing and communication styles.  Small, instructor-led groups were then used to help each participant identify and draft a version environmental science pieces for a public audience.



General Opportunities

USDA-NIFA-CGP-006325: Higher Education Challenge Grants Program
Projects supported by the Higher Education Challenge Grants Program will: (1) address a state, regional, national, or international educational need; (2) involve a creative or non-traditional approach toward addressing that need that can serve as a model to others; (3) encourage and facilitate better working relationships in the university science and education community, as well as between universities and the private sector, to enhance program quality and supplement available resources; and (4) result in benefits that will likely transcend the project duration and USDA support.
Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs: Establishing Spokes to Advance Big Data Applications (BD Spokes)
National Science Foundation Preproposal Due Date: May 31, 2017 Full Proposal Deadline: Sept 30, 2017 Opportunity is set to begin on May 30, 2017 Please complete and email the General Application to
Envision Data: A Workshop in Effective Data Communication
UI Library, Saturday May 7th, 2017 & Sunday May 8th, 2017
Learn how to better communicate your research and outreach objectives through creative data visualization. This workshop will feature visualization expert Skye Moret of Periscopic ( and is intended for participants from ANY discipline who are interested in enhancing their communication skills. During the workshop participants will be introduced to the fundamentals of effective data visualization and communication, which includes best practices in graphic design and the sciences. We will get hands-on experience by helping to develop communication materials to highlight recent stream restoration efforts of Paradise Creek.
Register Here!
Washington State Municipal Stormwater Conference, May 16 & 17, 2017
The Day 1 Day one provides three workshops/ training sessions options.  Day 1 Pre-Conference Activity (organized and hosted by the Eastern Washington Stormwater Group) Join the Eastern Washington Stormwater Group during this 2-hour open house as they present posters of their BMP Effectiveness Studies.
The Day 2 The Day 2 agenda tracks are completing the review process by the municipal advisory committee (comprised of municipal stormwater managers statewide) and Ecology with the goal of completion March 2nd. Visit our  web-page dedicated to bring you the most up-to date details regarding his event.
If you have further questions, please call Laurie Larson at 253-445-4593.

Student Opportunities 

Graduate student scholarship to attend the WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas October 4-6, 2017
Seeking graduate students with research, experience, or interest in the areas of water demand management, water supply, and water conservation.  Please respond via email to Jon Yoder or Jacqueline McCabe by May 4 if you would like to receive a graduate student scholarship. If you wish to be considered for an oral presentation slot, we will need their contact information and 300 word maximum abstract submitted by May 4, 2017. If you are planning to present a poster, we will need contact information (name and email) before or by May 17, 2017.
Meeting scheduled May 1, 11:00am in PACCAR 305 in regards to this application, see in “Looking Forward” below.
For more information

Stable Isotope Theory and Methods, (Biol 540), Fall 2017
Lecture: Tu, Th 9:10 – 10:25
Lab: TU 1:25 – 4:15
Students will learn to design, interpret, and critically evaluate the use of stable isotopic tools. pecifically, we will focus on efficiently learning terminology and notation, sources of variation, mathematical models of isotope composition, and key applications of stable isotope techniques. The laboratory section of the course will provide hands on experience with stable isotope mass spectrometers WSU Stable Isotope Core Facility to train you to run your own samples.
For information contact Dr. R. Dave Evans (5-7466;

Paid summer internship with the Idaho NRCS Snow Survey to a UI water resources student or recent graduate
The intern will assist NRCS with the annual maintenance and upgrading of NRCS’s Snotel and snow course sites across the state. Based out of Boise, the 13 weeks of work will take you to tops of mountains from the headwaters of the Snake River to the Idaho Panhandle.
For a complete job description and to apply, please visit: or contact:  Mark Solomon, Interim IWRRI Director,  (208) 885-0311

ASLO Science Communication Internship
For fall of 2017 and spring of 2018. The internship will provide exposure to the many forms of science communication over a 12-week period. This is a paid internship and carries a stipend of $6000. The internship is available to current or recent graduate students (terminal degree within 2 years) in the aquatic sciences. Selection criteria include demonstrated interest in one or more aspects of science communication, strong communications skills, and excellent academic record within the aquatic sciences.
To apply for the ASLO Science Communication Internship, please submit the following via email to Adrienne Sponberg, ASLO Director of Communications and Science, at Applications must be received by midnight EST, May 10, 2017.

Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is now accepting applications
Applications are due 5:00pm ET on Tuesday May 16, 2017
The SCGSR program is open to current Ph.D. students in qualified graduate programs at accredited U.S. academic institutions, who are conducting their graduate thesis research in targeted areas of importance to the DOE Office of Science. The research opportunity is expected to advance the graduate students’ overall doctoral thesis/dissertation while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories.  The Office of Science expects to make approximately 50 awards in 2017 Solicitation 1, for project periods beginning anytime between October 30, 2017 and February 28, 2018.
For any questions, please contact the SCGSR Program Manager, Dr. Ping Ge, at

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