UW Today

March 27, 2015

UW-built mic records noisy glacier melt

One would imagine a glacier’s melt to be fairly quiet. That would be wrong. Recordings by current and former University of Washington researchers in fjords shows that melting at glacier edges in the narrow rock-edged canyons are some of the noisiest places in the sea. The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, recorded the sound…

March 20, 2015

UW and local company unveil new five-person submarine

The University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory and Everett-based company OceanGate this month unveiled the first model of its joint project to build a new type of submarine for human research and exploration in the deep sea. Cyclops 1 was a developed over the past year and a half in the Applied Physics Lab’s co-laboratory…

March 19, 2015

UW geologist, engineer reflect back one year later on nation’s deadliest landslide

An aerial photo of the Oso, Wash., mudslide.

A UW geologist and geotechnical engineer look back at what the past year has meant, personally and professionally, as they helped recovery efforts from the nation’s deadliest landslide in our own backyard.

March 18, 2015

UW TechConnect conference Tuesday: The Future of IT

Members of the UW community are invited to a free daylong conference for technology professionals at the 2015 UW TechConnect Conference on March 24. Explore, learn and connect with other IT colleagues and choose from a dozen presentations about the future of information technology at the UW – from human resources and payroll modernization to…

March 17, 2015

First global review on the status, future of Arctic marine mammals

closeup of polar bear

A University of Washington scientist is lead author on the first census of all Arctic marine mammals, including whales, walruses, seals and polar bears. The multinational report assesses the current status of these populations and makes recommendations for conservation of these species under climate change.

March 12, 2015

Naturally acidic waters of Puget Sound surround UW’s Friday Harbor Labs

photo of dock in sunshine

For more than 100 years, marine biologists at Friday Harbor Laboratories have studied the ecology of everything from tiny marine plants to giant sea stars. Now, as the oceans are undergoing a historic shift in chemistry, the lab is establishing itself as a place to study what that will mean for marine life. And the…

March 3, 2015

On thin ice: Combined Arctic ice observations show decades of loss

submarine poking through ice and people disembarking

Historic submarine and modern satellite records show that ice thickness in the central Arctic Ocean dropped by 65 percent from 1975 to 2012. September ice thickness, when the ice cover is at a minimum, dropped by 85 percent.

February 27, 2015

Watch UW team test a new asteroid-sampling rocket

Take five minutes and experience the life of a rocket scientist building a prototype to bring back samples of objects in space. In these tests, success is nose-diving into the California desert, which stands in for the surface of an asteroid. In the “Asteroid Sampler” video, which aired Jan. 15 on Discovery Channel Canada, a…

February 24, 2015

10th annual Polar Science Weekend kicks off Friday

Polar Science Weekend, held in partnership with the UW Applied Physics Laboratory, blows into the Pacific Science Center this Friday through Sunday. For the 10th year, this event will give visitors a taste of exploration at the ends of the Earth. Discover why polar regions are crucial to climate change, examine real ice cores from…

February 20, 2015

Winter air campaign tracking how pollution handles the cold

view of city lights out cockpit window

A UW atmospheric scientist is leading a six-week survey of eastern U.S. skies to see how winter conditions affect air quality.

February 16, 2015

Ancient rocks show life could have flourished on Earth 3.2 billion years ago

photo of red rocks and blue sky

Some of the oldest rocks on the planet push back scientific estimates of when life could have covered the Earth by 1 billion years.

February 11, 2015

Earthquake early warning begins testing in Pacific Northwest

graphic of map with numbers

The first early earthquake warning system for the region has begun testing with a small group of users at businesses and public agencies in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia.

February 9, 2015

3-D printing with custom molecules creates low-cost mechanical sensor

glowing UW

A UW chemistry lab teamed up with UW engineers studying 3-D printing to create 3-D printed objects with new capabilities.

February 5, 2015

White House honors UW climate scientist Amy Snover as a ‘Champion of Change’

Amy Snover, director of the UW’s Climate Impacts Group and assistant dean for applied research in the UW’s College of the Environment, has been named a White House Champions of Change for her work in promoting climate education and literacy. She will be honored during a ceremony Monday at the White House from 10 a.m….

January 30, 2015

Three UW conservation scientists awarded new Wilburforce Fellowship

Three members of the UW College of the Environment are among the first 20 recipients of a Wilburforce Fellowship, a new year-long training for conservation scientists in Western North America. The year-long program provides communication and leadership training to help build a community of conservation scientists and encourage them to reach beyond the scientific audiences….

January 27, 2015

UW researchers helping region get ready for the next Big One

colored map

On the anniversary of a massive earthquake off our region’s coast, UW researchers are working on everything from tsunami evacuation structures to updated seismic hazard maps.

January 22, 2015

Seahawks and fans save best for last on the seismograph

The UW seismologists couldn’t have asked for a better football game to monitor fan-generated stadium shaking. And indeed, the Seahawks’ improbable comeback victory in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game showed the biggest vibrations ever recorded at CenturyLink Field. See also: “How the ‘Beast Quake’ is helping scientists track real earthquakes” (Jan. 7) “Packers versus Seahawks game…

January 20, 2015

Scientists drilling first deep ice core at the South Pole

photo of person in tent bending over ice core

A UW researcher is chief scientist this month on a project to drill the first deep ice core at the South Pole, to understand the climate history in that section of Antarctica.

January 15, 2015

Seismologists analyze last week’s game, prepare for more stadium shaking

UW seismologists (and everyone else in the region) got their wish: The Seahawks won last Saturday, and will play another hometown game in front of a cheering crowd that can rock the stadium. The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network’s post-game seismic analysis of the Jan. 10 game shows 197,000 page requests, almost twice as many as…

January 8, 2015

Epic survey finds regional patterns of soot and dirt on North American snow

person cutting snow

University of Washington scientists published the first large-scale survey of impurities in North American snow. An almost 10,000-mile road trip showed that disturbed soil often mattered as much as air pollution for the whiteness of the snow.

January 7, 2015

Long, strange trip samples the continent’s snow

A survey of pollution and other impurities in North American snow required researchers to find sites with undisturbed snow far from any city or major road – in other words, a recipe for getting stranded by the side of a cold, lonely road. During the campaign that went from late January to late March 2013,…

How the ‘Beast Quake’ is helping scientists track real earthquakes


Scientists with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network will install instruments this Thursday to provide real-time monitoring of the stadium’s movement during the 2015 NFL playoffs. It’s a valuable test of their newest seismic technology.

December 18, 2014

Oceanography undergrads blog from Vancouver Island

Twenty-four UW oceanography students are aboard the UW’s large research vessel, the Thomas G. Thompson, taking measurements off Canada’s west coast for their senior-level research projects. They left Thursday, Dec. 11 and will get back Sunday, Dec. 21. The trip takes them to Nootka Sound, a complex inlet off the west coast of Vancouver Island….

December 17, 2014

Improving forecasts for rain-on-snow flooding

road in water

Many of the worst West Coast winter floods involve heavy rains and melting snow, and UW hydrology experts are using the physics of these events to better predict the risks.

December 10, 2014

Art exhibit on polar field research opens Friday

Marine mammal expert Kristin Laidre, a polar scientist at the UW Applied Physics Laboratory and in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, studies Arctic mammals in their native habitat. She focuses on polar bears and narwhals, an Arctic whale with a distinctive spiral tusk. In spring 2013 she invited Seattle watercolor artist Maria Coryell-Martin…

December 9, 2014

Warmer Pacific Ocean could release millions of tons of seafloor methane

graphic of bubbles

Water off Washington’s coast is warming a third of a mile down, where seafloor methane shifts from a frozen solid to a gas. Calculations suggest ocean warming is already releasing significant methane offshore of Alaska to California.

December 3, 2014

Join a Google+ hangout on Southern Ocean climate

Join some of the world’s leading experts on the Southern Ocean for a webinar on Thursday, Dec. 4, from 11 a.m. to noon Seattle time. Viewers can log on here with a Google account, or watch on YouTube. “UW-built sensors to probe Antarctica’s Southern Ocean” UW Today | Sept. 11, 2014 The Southern Ocean Carbon…

November 21, 2014

UW-made tool displays West Coast ocean acidification data

hands holding oysters

A new tool developed at the UW displays real-time ocean acidification data for the open ocean and protected bays, helping shellfish growers and scientists see changes in water chemistry.

November 12, 2014

UW statistician, philosopher win prize for detecting bias in peer review

In the wake of a 2011 study that found black applicants for National Institutes of Health grants were significantly less likely to receive funding than their equally qualified white counterparts, the health agency began to look at ways to uncover and address bias in how it awards research funding. The agency launched a contest last…

November 10, 2014

UW’s Ian Joughin one of Seattle Mag’s ‘Most Influential People’ of 2014

The November issue of Seattle Magazine includes a list of 51 local people who made 2014 what it was. Along with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the Seahawks team’s “12th man” fans, it includes UW glaciologist Ian Joughin, whom the magazine dubs the “ice breaker.” The magazine notes: “In the face of global warming, it’s…

Global warming not just a blanket – in the long run, it’s more like tanning oil

sun and earth

Instead of carbon dioxide, or CO2, creating a blanket that slowly warms the planet, long-term warming happens because a darker surface and more moist air can absorb more of the incoming rays.

November 7, 2014

Undergrads use sonar to uncover Lake Union shipwrecks

ship image on screen

Undergraduates this week were among the first people to try the latest in seafloor mapping technology — and use it to image a shipwreck on Seattle’s urban lake.

October 29, 2014

Fires and floods: North Cascades federal lands prepare for climate change

mountain lake

UW scientists worked with managers of federal parks and forests to come up with a strategy to address warmer temperatures, increased wildfires and more flooding in the North Cascades region.

October 24, 2014

U.S. Navy awards $8 million to develop wave, tidal energy technology

students on boat

The UW has an $8 million, four-year contract to develop technologies that can harness waves, tides and currents to power naval facilities worldwide.

October 17, 2014

Watch John Delaney’s talks on ocean science, culture and art on UWTV

Fifth and final lecture: Summer 2014 Expedition Thursday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m. Kane Hall 110 Tickets, $20, available here If you missed the UW Alumni Association’s lecture series last spring, “The Global Ocean & Human Culture: Past, Present & Future,” you can now watch the talks on UWTV. John Delaney, a UW professor of oceanography,…

October 14, 2014

Orphanage care linked to thinner brain tissue in regions related to ADHD

brain scan image

Psychological studies of children who began life in Romanian orphanages shows that institutionalization is linked to physical changes in brain structure. The thinning of the cortex leaves a lasting legacy that can explain impulsivity and inattention years later.

October 13, 2014

Pronto cycle share launches in Seattle

The new Pronto Cycle Share system launched Monday around the U-District, downtown, South Lake Union and Capitol Hill. Pronto is Seattle’s cycle-sharing system featuring 500 bikes at 50 stations, with bikes available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Check out the station map to see all the Seattle locations. Campus stations are at the IMA, the…

October 9, 2014

Migrating animals’ pee affects ocean chemistry

school of fish

Tiny animals migrating from the ocean’s surface to the sunless depths helps shape our oceans. During the daylight hours below the surface the animals release ammonia, the equivalent of our urine, that plays a significant role in marine chemistry, particularly in low-oxygen zones.

September 19, 2014

Join expedition online: UW students help install cabled deep-sea observatory

octopus near instrument

UW students have had a unique experience off the coast of Washington and Oregon helping scientists and engineers complete construction of the world’s largest deep-ocean observatory.

September 18, 2014

World population to keep growing this century, hit 11 billion by 2100

graph of world population and each continent

A study by the UW and the United Nations finds that the number of people on Earth is likely to reach 11 billion by 2100, about 2 billion higher than widely cited previous estimates.

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