Coach Dick Bennett will lead the Cougars men’s basketball team in the first home game of his WSU career tonight (Dec. 1) against the Mastadons of Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne. For more information, click on

New members of the Washington State University academic community will reveal their research findings during the Freshman Seminar Research Symposium on Thursday, Dec. 4, from 3-5 p.m. in the Samuel H. Smith Center for Undergraduate Education, Room 502. The researchers, all first-year students enrolled in the university’s Freshman Seminar Program, have worked under the mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students as well as teaching and library faculty. In 2001, the program was awarded the Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education Exemplary Programs Award as well as the American College Personal Association Excellent Student Program Award. For more details, see

The latest research to reduce wind erosion and improve air quality in the interior Pacific Northwest will be discussed at the annual research review of the Columbia Plateau Wind Erosion/Air Quality Project Dec. 4-5 at the Red Lion Hotel, Richland. Scientists from Washington State University and the USDA Agricultural Research Service as well as Northwest farmers and agency personnel will discuss air quality issues, experiences, agricultural emissions, policies, the physics of wind erosion and research into wind erosion control methods. For more information, see

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The cranberry season: The holiday season is a vital time for retailers and for cranberry farmers, too, according to Kim Patten, WSU Extension horticulturalist who studies cranberry farming on Washington’s Pacific coast. Much of Washington’s production of cranberries focuses on fresh fruit production for the Thanksgiving and Christmas market. The recent downturn in the price of cranberries, however, has caused considerable hardship on the industry. The continued sustainability of the Washington cranberry industry is dependent on numerous factors, according to Patten. First is getting the consumer to realize all the unique health benefits that can be realized by consuming more cranberries. A wealth of new research in this area has shown that the benefits of cranberries range from treating urinary tract infection to preventing heart disease, ulcers and stokes. Second, is making sure that many of the production problems of the industry are solved. Because cranberries are grown in wetlands, unique among agricultural crops, they have a set of distinct production problems. Washington State University has played a significant role in this arena over the past 80 years. Patten can be reached at or 360.642.2031.