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Rock Doc column: Breeding better wheat
November 4, 2014

By E. Kirsten Peters, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

peters-e-k-2010-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Earlier this year I went to a fundraiser where I bought a bag of Glee flour. Glee is a variety of hard red spring wheat that was developed at Washington State University. I used the flour in my favorite bread recipe, one I have modified a bit from a Mennonite cookbook I treasure.

Rock Doc column: The start of a better trend for diabetes
October 28, 2014

By E. Kirsten Peters, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

peters-e-k-2010-80PULLMAN, Wash. – “Eat right and exercise.” It’s good advice. But millions of Americans struggle every day to live up to our hopes regarding diet and activity.

Rock Doc: A better way to shine light in a dark world
October 21, 2014

By E. Kirsten Peters, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

peters-e-k-2010-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Years ago I purchased a headlamp – a small flashlight that straps around your head to light your way. It’s useful because it leaves both your hands free as you work or walk. I used my headlamp during the dark half of the year to exercise my dog in pastures and an undeveloped No Man’s Land on a steep hill near my house.

Rock Doc column: Triggering the Ice Age
October 14, 2014

By E. Kirsten Peters, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

peters-e-k-2010-80PULLMAN, Wash. – From time to time I give public talks on climate change – those large scale changes geologists have been studying since the 1830s. At those talks I’m often asked a basic question about climate that, until now, has stumped scientists. Here’s the background.

Rock Doc column: Correcting errors in the language of life
October 7, 2014

By E. Kirsten Peters, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

peters-e-k-2010-80PULLMAN, Wash. – My word processor is set up to deal with the errors I make when writing. The programmers who wrote the computer program knew I’d screw things up, so they built in corrective functions like spellcheck and the ability to simply backspace to delete typos. Those of us old enough to remember manual typewriters still sometimes marvel at the ease with which corrections in documents can be made.

Rock Doc column: Forensic science meets nuclear chemistry
September 23, 2014

By E. Kirsten Peters, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

peters-e-k-2010-80PULLMAN, Wash. – As a kid, I read the Sherlock Holmes stories and the mysteries of Agatha Christie. As an adult, I wrote four mysteries that focused on a Quaker heroine solving crimes she happened across in her religious community. (I published them using my grandmother’s name – Irene Allen – as a pseudonym.) As a geologist, I’ve read about real-life criminal investigations that involved samples of sand and soil.

Rock Doc column: A wolf in other clothing
September 2, 2014

By E. Kirsten Peters, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

peters-e-k-2010-80PULLMAN, Wash. – I was hospitalized for 10 days in late July. In August, to rebuild my strength, I took my dog on increasingly long walks around town. We went virtually every day; the exercise was good for both Buster Brown and me.

Rock Doc: What antibiotics might be doing to us
July 15, 2014

By E. Kirsten Peters, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

peters-e-k-2010-80PULLMAN, Wash. – It’s astonishing to think about, but when my grandfather was born one in five children didn’t live to see their fifth birthday, in large part due to endemic and epidemic diseases. Today that’s all changed.

Rock Doc: An ancient American woman buried by the sea
July 8, 2014

By E. Kirsten Peters, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences 

peters-e-k-2010-80PULLMAN, Wash. – I need a cap on my front tooth redone – it has a significant chip. Luckily I live at a time when dentists are in every city and town, plying their trade in ways that can help us each day.

Rock Doc column: Seize the day and visit a park
June 24, 2014

By E. Kirsten Peters, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

peters-e-k-2010-80PULLMAN, Wash. – This is the time of year to get outdoors and observe Mother Nature in all her glory. With a simple field guide to trees or birds and a Sunday afternoon trip to a local park, you can play amateur scientist and immerse yourself in forces larger than those we humans create.