UW Today


April 4, 2016

Scientists recommend immediate plan to combat changes to West Coast seawater chemistry

IMG_0656

Global carbon dioxide emissions are triggering troubling changes to ocean chemistry along the West Coast that require immediate, decisive actions to combat through a coordinated regional approach, a panel of scientific experts has unanimously concluded.


April 1, 2016

Global ocean fish populations could increase while providing more food, income

PNAS_global fisheries

Most of the world’s wild fisheries could be at healthy levels in just 10 years, and global fish populations could greatly increase by 2050 with better fishing approaches, according to a new study co-authored by University of Washington researchers.


March 25, 2016

Arboretum trail project underway will expand public access

A conceptual image of a bridge.

Construction started this month on the Washington Park Arboretum’s new Arboretum Loop Trail, one of the largest improvement projects to date in the Seattle public garden.


March 16, 2016

New technique tracks ‘heartbeat’ of hundreds of wetlands

Wetland in Douglas County, Washington.

UW researchers have developed a new method to track how wetlands in Eastern Washington behave seasonally, which will also help monitor how they change as the climate warms.


March 11, 2016

Video contest challenges students to creatively define climate change

contest logo

The UW’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences is hosting its second-annual contest for undergraduate and high school students in Washington to create videos about what climate change means to them, in three minutes or less.


March 4, 2016

UW video on clingfish takes top prize at Ocean 180 competition

Northern clingfish.

A University of Washington team won first place in a science communication video contest that culminated during the recent Ocean Sciences Meeting.


February 26, 2016

2016 UW cherry blossom watch: 100 percent in bloom

Cherry trees in the Quad, March 10, 2016.

The cherry trees in the Quad at UW will likely be in full bloom the week of March 14.


February 25, 2016

Herring fishery’s strength is in the sum of its parts, study finds

Pacific herring.

Just like a strong financial portfolio contains shares from different companies, the diverse subpopulations of herring from different bays and beaches around Puget Sound collectively keep the total population more stable, a new study finds.


February 22, 2016

University of Washington named a ‘top producer’ of Fulbright students

globe-TILE

The University of Washington is one of the top producers of Fulbright students for 2015-16, according to lists released Monday in the Chronicle of Higher Education.


February 12, 2016

Rare beluga data show whales dive to maximize meals

Belugas observed among West Greenland sea ice.

As the Arctic continues to change due to rising temperatures, melting sea ice and human interest in developing oil and shipping routes, it’s important to understand belugas’ baseline behavior, argue the authors of a new paper.


February 2, 2016

Risk of lead poisoning from urban gardening is low, new study finds

Kids get creative with kale in Tacoma, Washington.

A University of Washington study looked at potential risks associated with growing vegetables in urban gardens and determined that the benefits of locally produced vegetables in cities outweigh any risks from gardening in contaminated soils.


January 20, 2016

What’s the name of that tree? New interactive plant map for arboretum

sample maps

First-time visitors and regulars to Washington Park Arboretum can now learn the names and origins of plants as well as save favorites while strolling through the grounds.


January 13, 2016

Fewer than 1 in 25 Seattleites can really eat locally

belltown

A new University of Washington study finds that urban crops in Seattle could only feed between 1 and 4 percent of the city’s population, even if all viable backyard and public green spaces were converted to growing produce.


January 11, 2016

West Coast study emphasizes challenges faced by marine organisms exposed to global change

Washington's northwest coast.

Along the West Coast, ocean acidification and hypoxia combine with other factors, such as rising ocean temperatures, to create serious challenges for marine life, a new study finds.


December 21, 2015

Rivers, lakes impact ability of forests to store carbon

A river in Washington state.

Forests help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by storing it in trees, but a sizeable amount of the greenhouse gas actually escapes through the soil and into rivers and streams, a new paper finds.


December 16, 2015

Composting food waste remains your best option, says UW study

food scraps in compost bin

A new University of Washington study confirms that composting food scraps is better than throwing them away, and also calculates the environmental benefits associated with keeping these organic materials out of landfills.


December 14, 2015

Seattle’s Ballard is ripe for green-space restoration, new report says

A vacant lot at Northwest 65th Street and 7th Avenue Northwest in the West Woodland section of Ballard.

A University of Washington graduate student saw green-starved Ballard as an opportunity to call attention to areas in the neighborhood that have restoration potential. Her new report, the “Ballard Green Spaces Project,” identifies 55 sites that could be restored as natural areas for people and wildlife, increasing the neighborhood’s total amount of accessible green spaces.


December 3, 2015

Award honors hundreds of citizen scientists who search for Washington’s rarest plants

Each year, hundreds of volunteers spread across Washington’s forests and grasslands to look for the state’s rarest, most sensitive plant species. Many of these endangered populations live in remote valleys or along unseen slopes and haven’t been seen in a decade or more. That’s where the University of Washington’s Rare Plant Care and Conservation program…


November 18, 2015

Cousteau’s ‘Acid Apocalypse’ to feature Washington youth in ocean acidification project

Ocean acidification is top of mind for many Pacific Northwest scientists, shellfish farmers and even seafood chefs, but a new initiative seeks to know how an unsuspecting audience — kids and teenagers in the Northwest’s urban and rural areas — is impacted by this issue. EarthEcho International, Philippe Cousteau, Jr.’s environmental education and youth leadership…


October 29, 2015

First Environmental Law Symposium takes on ocean acidification

The UW School of Law will bring together many of the world’s leading experts on ocean acidification in its first-annual Environmental Law Symposium Nov. 6. The day-long event will be held in the William H. Gates Hall on the UW campus and will include panels detailing the latest findings from scientists, current ocean acidification lawsuits…


October 28, 2015

Alaskan trout choose early retirement over risky ocean-going career

dolly varden trout

A new study in Ecology shows that Alaskan Dolly Varden trout, once they reach about 12 inches in length, can retire permanently from going to sea. They rely on digestive organs that can massively expand and contract and a unique relationship with sockeye salmon.


October 21, 2015

Gear, not geoducks, impacts ecosystem if farming increases

Geoduck clams after harvesting.

The equipment used to farm geoducks, including PVC pipes and nets, might have a greater impact on the Puget Sound food web than the addition of the clams themselves. That’s one of the findings of the first major scientific study to examine the broad, long-term ecosystem effects of geoduck aquaculture in Puget Sound.


October 14, 2015

New fact-check on fisheries reporting takes to Web, social media

An international team of experts in fisheries management, spearheaded by UW professor Ray Hilborn, is trying to lead the conversation about sustainable fisheries using a less traditional approach — reaching the general public directly through a new website and social media outreach. The initiative is called the Collaborative for Food from Our Oceans Data, or…


October 9, 2015

Puget Sound Fact Book offers fun factoids, major research results for lay readers

How long would it take to walk the entire shoreline of Puget Sound? Which species are at risk here, and to what depths can the most adept bird and mammal divers reach? How much population growth can we expect in the next decade? A new resource published this week explores these questions and many more…


October 7, 2015

Student collaboration leads to first results describing sick sea star immune response

Students in the Ecology of Infectious Marine Diseases course do surveys for eelgrass disease.

A group of young marine-disease researchers from around the country has contributed key information about sea stars’ immune response when infected with a virus that is thought to cause a deadly wasting disease. It’s the first time researchers have tracked how genes behave when encountering this naturally occurring pathogen, which could help explain how sea stars attempt to fight the virus and why they develop lesions and appear to melt.


September 30, 2015

Known fish species living in the Salish Sea increases in new report

An illustration of the longfin sculpin (Jordania zonope).

A new report published Tuesday documents all of the fishes that live in the Salish Sea. In total, 253 fish species have been recorded, and that’s about 14 percent more than in the last count.


September 23, 2015

Washington, Sichuan promise low-carbon cities in new agreement

From left: Wang Dongming, Ana Mari Cauce, Qiu Yong and Jay Inslee at the signing ceremony Sept. 22.

A memorandum of understanding, called the “2+2 MOU,” was signed Tuesday between the state of Washington and the Chinese province of Sichuan, as well as the University of Washington and Tsinghua University, to catalyze the science, technology and investment needed to grow innovations that will underpin adaptable and resilient urbanization.


September 17, 2015

Scientists: Let wildfires burn when prudent

forest fire burning

In a commentary published Sept. 17 in Science, a team of scientists, including University of Washington researchers Jerry Franklin and James Agee, describe unique opportunities and provide suggestions to reform forest fire management to reduce the impacts of inevitable wildfires in future years.


September 15, 2015

Young chum salmon may get biggest nutrition boost from Elliott Bay restored beaches

UW researchers sample for young salmon and invertebrates along a restored beach at Seacrest Park in Seattle's Elliott Bay.

University of Washington researchers have found the types of organisms in Seattle’s Elliott Bay change depending on the shoreline nearby, either armored or restored beaches. Young chum salmon adjusted their diets based on these changes.


September 4, 2015

UW indoor alert test Sept. 9 on Seattle campus

The UW’s indoor alert system will be tested Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. in buildings across the Seattle campus. The indoor alerts are part of the campus emergency notification system. The test will last about 15 minutes and could include voice announcements, tones and horns, depending on the building. The purpose of this system-wide test is…


Poplar trees are best bet for biofuel in UW-led research project

Poplar materials, including bark, leaves and wood, are used to make cellulosic ethanol.

A five-year, $40 million study is laying the foundation for a Pacific Northwest industry that converts sustainably produced poplar feedstock into fuels and chemicals. The research, led by the University of Washington, will seed the world’s first wood-based cellulosic ethanol production facility.


August 26, 2015

New Bering Sea climate change project focuses on fish, management strategies

As a subarctic, seasonally ice-filled ocean that produces about 40 percent of the nation’s annual fish catch, the Bering Sea is of particular interest to researchers as the climate changes and forces wildlife and fishing practices to adapt. The UW is a partner in a new effort to understand how changes to the Bering Sea’s…


August 24, 2015

Power lines restrict sage grouse movement in Washington

male sage grouse

Transmission lines that funnel power from hydroelectric dams and wind turbines across Eastern Washington affect greater sage grouse habitat by isolating fragile populations and limiting movement, a new study finds.


August 12, 2015

CO2 emissions change with size of streams and rivers

A stream in Wyoming.

Researchers have shown that CO2 appears in streams by way of two different sources — either as a direct pipeline for groundwater and carbon-rich soils, or from aquatic organisms releasing the gas through respiration and natural decay.


August 4, 2015

New fish genus and species named for its red, fingerlike fins

Red, orange and pink color variation.

University of Washington scientists recently announced the name of a new genus and species of frogfish, which are small, stocky creatures found in most tropical and subtropical oceans around the world.


August 3, 2015

UW gets top green honor from Princeton Review

The University of Washington has again been named to Princeton Review’s Green Rating Honor Roll, receiving the highest possible score for the 2014-15 school year. This is the fifth year in a row the UW has achieved this distinction and the seventh year overall since the program began eight years ago. The UW was among…


July 29, 2015

Healthier Puget Sound depends on healthy people, report finds

man jumping into the water in puget sound

The Puget Sound Partnership on Wednesday adopted new targets that seek to quantify aspects of the natural environment that boost our collective happiness and wellness. These people-focused benchmarks will help inform restoration plans and assess future progress in cleaning up Puget Sound.


‘Odd’ Puget Sound conditions prompt multi-agency awareness day

It’s been a strange summer for Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean that feeds it. Water temperatures are warmer than usual, shellfish harvesting has been closed because of a long-lived toxic algae bloom, and oxygen levels in some areas continue to drop, meaning fish kills could be a reality this fall. Local scientists from multiple…


July 23, 2015

Free oil-spill prevention kits for Washington boaters

Recreational boaters and commercial fishing boats in Western Washington can get free oil-spill reporting and cleanup kits this summer as part of a new campaign to prevent spills in Puget Sound. Washington Sea Grant, based at the UW, along with U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, the Washington Department of Ecology and the state’s Clean…


July 9, 2015

UW Botanic Gardens ranked top in nation

The University of Washington Botanic Gardens is one of the best university gardens in the nation, according to a new ranking by Best Colleges Online. The UW tied for first place along with three other universities for the top honor. UW Botanic Gardens, which includes the gardens and programs at the Washington Park Arboretum and…



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