If trees could talk: WVU researchers use historic log structures to map migration of European settlers, Native Americans

Geography graduate student Kristen de Graauw and her mentor, Professor Amy Hessl, uncovered evidence of the significant growth of trees in what may have been a previously cleared area. That growth in the late 17th century coincided with the estimated timing of Native American population decreases following the arrival of European immigrants. This corroborated the hypothesis that a change in the land’s use caused forests to regrow, they explained.

Clean water and compassion: A recipe to rebuild a hurricane-ravaged island

Jason Hubbart, a professor of hydrology and water quality at the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, was asked by Barbuda officials in 2018 to come help assess the island’s freshwater resources. Apparently, throughout the island’s history, the quality of water has never been professionally tested.

Soil scientist researches nature versus nurture in microorganisms

A West Virginia University researcher used science and data to solve the timeless argument of nature versus nurture – at least when it comes to microorganisms. Ember Morrissey, assistant professor of environmental microbiology in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, uncovered that nature significantly affects how the tiny organisms under our feet respond to their current surroundings.

The positive implications of…climate change? WVU researcher sees agricultural, food availability and economic possibilities

Depending on your side of the aisle, climate change either elicits doomsday anxiety or unabashed skepticism. Jason Hubbart, director of Institute of Water Security and Science at West Virginia University, takes a more centered approach. He’s studied the undisputable changing patterns in West Virginia’s climate. And, believe it or not, there is at least one silver lining stemming from changing climate, he insists: The growing season is getting longer.

WVU researchers dig in to find ways to reclaim marginal lands, economies

Out of the 10 million acres of land damaged by extractive industries in Appalachia, about 500,000 lie in the borders of West Virginia. Rather than discarding the region’s history, West Virginia University researcher Zachary Freedman sees the future of that land remaining in the energy sector. But instead of removing something from the earth, he’ll put something back.