UW Today

Social science


December 6, 2016

Put people at the center of conservation, new study advises

fishing boats off the coast of Thailand

People must be part of the equation in conservation projects to increase local support and effectiveness, according to a new study by the University of Washington and other institutions.


November 18, 2016

Q&A: Harry Stern discusses historical maps, the Northwest Passage and the future of Arctic Ocean shipping

Historic map with red markings

See also: “How Capt. James Cook’s intricate 1778 records reveal global warming today in Arctic” Seattle Times, Nov. 16 Harry Stern, a polar scientist at the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory, has been studying the Arctic Ocean for decades, and sailed part of the Northwest Passage in 2009. Stern’s latest work uses the earliest…


November 17, 2016

New UW major prepares educators for lessons outside the traditional classroom

The UW's new Education, Communities & Organizations major started in the fall quarter.

Kim Boudreau enrolled at the University of Washington planning to major in business administration and human resources management, but it didn’t feel like quite the right fit. Boudreau realized she was interested in workforce training, so she added a minor in education. But she still wasn’t convinced her studies would take her where she wanted…


November 15, 2016

Study provides insight into children’s race and gender identities

Diverse group of children

Children’s knowledge and use of race and gender labels have been well-explored by researchers, but how kids think about their own identities in those contexts, especially before adolescence, is less clear. A new study from the University of Washington provides a rare glimpse into how children perceive their social identities in middle childhood. The research…


November 14, 2016

State’s housing market strong in third quarter of 2016

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Washington state’s housing market remained strong in the third quarter of 2016, according to the UW’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies.


November 7, 2016

Telephone-based intervention shows promise in combating alcohol abuse among soldiers

Researchers used ads and informational booths at military events to recruit participants for the study.

Alcohol abuse is pervasive in the military, where a culture of heavy drinking and the stress of deployment lead many soldiers down a troubled path. Almost half of active-duty military members in the United States — 47 percent — were binge-drinkers in 2008, up from 35 percent a decade earlier. Rates of heavy drinking also…


November 2, 2016

Devin Naar’s book ‘Jewish Salonica’ tells of city’s transition from Ottoman Empire to Greece

"Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece" was published in September by Stanford University Press.

Prof. Devin Naar of the Jackson School and the Department of History discusses his new book, “Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece,”


October 31, 2016

UW hosts two-day event on urban environmental justice

SeattleSkyline

From access to green space to pollution exposure, environmental issues in cities often disproportionately impact low-income communities and people of color. Climate change can exacerbate those issues, affecting everything from housing to food systems. And growing numbers of people moving to urban areas further strains infrastructure and creates additional challenges. The complex interplay between urban…


October 28, 2016

Interdisciplinary inspiration: Special journal edition honors multitalented UW alum, NOAA economist

Mark Plummer, 1975

In a tribute to a local natural resources economist’s life and career, former colleagues and collaborators — including several UW researchers and many alums — have contributed articles published this week in a special edition of the environmental science journal Coastal Management.


October 25, 2016

New NSF initiative to bring ‘real-world’ mathematics to elementary education

Julia Aguirre, associate professor of mathematics education at the University of Washington Tacoma.

The National Science Foundation will fund a three-year, $1.5 million research project to study teaching and learning of mathematical modeling in elementary education. Julia Aguirre, an associate professor of mathematics education at the University of Washington Tacoma, is one of four principal investigators leading the endeavor. “Mathematical modeling is a process of using mathematics to…


October 21, 2016

Communication professor Leah Ceccarelli honored, discusses ‘rhetoric of science’

Leah Ceccarelli - story is a Q and A with her about her work, for which she was given the National Communication Association's 2016 Douglas W. Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award.

Communication professor Leah Ceccarelli discusses the work that brought her the National Communication Association’s Douglas W. Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award for 2016.


October 12, 2016

Why do some STEM fields have fewer women than others? UW study may have the answer

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Women’s relative lack of participation in science, technology, engineering and math is well documented, but why women are more represented in some STEM areas than others is less clear. A new University of Washington study is among the first to address that question by comparing gender disparities across STEM fields. Published Oct. 12 in the…


Cars vs. health: UW’s Moudon, Dannenberg contribute to Lancet series on urban planning, public health

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Automobiles — and the planning and infrastructure to support them — are making our cities sick, says an international group of researchers now publishing a three-part series in the British medical journal The Lancet.


October 5, 2016

$4M grant funds new UW RAPID Facility to investigate natural disasters worldwide

LIDAR scan of earthquake damaged home

A new UW disaster investigation center funded by a $4 million National Science Foundation grant will collect and analyze critical data that’s often lost in the immediate aftermath of hurricanes and earthquakes but that can help create more resilient communities.


September 26, 2016

UW archaeology field school unearths ‘treasure trove’ of tribal artifacts

Group of students at field school on Grand Ronde reservation

Finding a long-buried outhouse might not sound exciting to most people, but to Sara Gonzalez and her crew, it was a holy grail of sorts. An assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Washington, Gonzalez led an archaeological field school this summer on a tribal reservation in northwestern Oregon. Gonzalez and a team of…


September 23, 2016

UW prof the first recipient of national social work award

Paula Nurius

University of Washington social work professor Paula Nurius is the inaugural recipient of a new national award for helping advance doctoral education in her field. Nurius will receive the 2016 Educational Leadership in Doctoral Education award from the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work (GADE) at a meeting in November. The…


September 21, 2016

UW team to study baby teeth in effort to identify autism risk factors

Close-up of child's teeth

University of Washington researchers are part of a national team that will study the baby teeth of children who have siblings with autism to determine if prenatal exposure to chemicals increases their risk of developing the disorder. The study will involve testing children’s teeth for levels of environmental chemicals that they might have been exposed…


September 8, 2016

Life after Fitbit: Appealing to those who feel guilty vs. free

Is life better or worse after sticking your Fitbit in a drawer? UW researchers surveyed hundreds of people who had abandoned self-tracking tools and found emotions ranged from guilt to indifference to relief that the tracking experience was over.

Is life better or worse after sticking your Fitbit in a drawer? UW researchers surveyed hundreds of people who had abandoned self-tracking tools and found emotions ranged from guilt to indifference to relief that the tracking experience was over.


September 6, 2016

UW law professor named to United Nations working group on business and human rights

Anita Ramasastry

When law professor Anita Ramasastry began teaching at the University of Washington in 1996, she was working on an article about banks’ responsibilities around human rights, to the bemusement of her peers. The groundbreaking piece focused on the role of Swiss banks during World War II and the dormant accounts of Holocaust victims and their…


Forefront marks World Suicide Prevention Day Sept. 10 with workshops, documentary film

Photo by Katherine Turner.

World Suicide Prevention Day, Sept. 10, is a reminder that we all have a role to play in preventing suicide. Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention, based in the UW School of Social Work and led by Professor Jennifer Stuber, is offering a film and two suicide prevention workshops on Sept. 10.


August 25, 2016

Report explores factors that might attract children to marijuana edibles

Amsterdam-420-cannabis-products-window

A new report from the UW School of Law’s Cannabis Law and Policy Project identifies factors that make food attractive to children. Commissioned by the state Liquor and Cannabis Board, the report studied research on what makes food appeal to children and the role that marketing and branding play.


August 21, 2016

Is divorce seasonal? UW research shows biannual spike in divorce filings

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To everything there is a season — even divorce, new research from University of Washington sociologists concludes. Associate sociology professor Julie Brines and doctoral candidate Brian Serafini found what is believed to be the first quantitative evidence of a seasonal, biannual pattern of filings for divorce. The researchers analyzed filings in Washington state between 2001…


August 20, 2016

‘I miss you so much’: How Twitter is broadening the conversation on death and mourning

Twitter bird and logo on blue background

Death and mourning were largely considered private matters in the 20th century, with the public remembrances common in previous eras replaced by intimate gatherings behind closed doors in funeral parlors and family homes. But social media is redefining how people grieve, and Twitter in particular — with its ephemeral mix of rapid-fire broadcast and personal…


August 18, 2016

Twins, especially male identical twins, live longer

Twin boys

Analysis of almost 3,000 pairs of Danish twins shows that they live longer than the general population, especially if they are identical.


August 17, 2016

Study finds bias, disgust toward mixed-race couples

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Interracial marriage has grown in the United States over the past few decades, and polls show that most Americans are accepting of mixed-race relationships. A 2012 study by the Pew Research Center found that interracial marriages in the U.S. had doubled between 1980 and 2010 to about 15 percent, and just 11 percent of respondents…


August 1, 2016

Twelve UW faculty elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences

campus-TILE

A dozen scientists and engineers from the University of Washington have been elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences. According to a statement released by the organization, the new members were selected for “their outstanding record of scientific achievement and willingness to work on behalf of the academy in bringing the best available science…


July 25, 2016

Minimum Wage Study: Effects of Seattle wage hike modest, may be overshadowed by strong economy

Photo by Katherine Turner.

The lot of Seattle’s lowest-paid workers improved following the city’s minimum wage increase to $11 in 2015, but that was more due to the robust regional economy than the wage hike itself, according to a research team headed by the UW Evans School.


July 21, 2016

From crop-raiding monkeys to political unrest: UW’s Randy Kyes embarks on 100th field course

Randy Kyes, left, with UW and Indonesian students on Tinjil Island, Indonesia.

A chance meeting with a fellow scientist 27 years ago forever changed Randy Kyes’ life — catapulting him from North Carolina to Indonesia and beyond. As the founding director of the University of Washington’s Center for Global Field Study and head of the Division of Global Programs at the Washington National Primate Research Center, Kyes…


July 14, 2016

Study: Perceived threats from police officers, black men predict support for policing reforms

Image of police officer from back

At a time of intense national attention on law enforcement and race, a new University of Washington study suggests that racially based fear plays a role in public support for policing reforms. The research, conducted by UW postdoctoral researcher Allison Skinner and published online July 12 in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology, used a…


July 13, 2016

New UW program aims to foster better education for Native learners

Geri Flett, left, and Launa Phillips, tribal members and teachers in the Wellpinit School District, meet with Warren Seyler, a curriculum consultant for the district.

At meetings with Native American community leaders, educators in the University of Washington’s College of Education repeatedly heard the same question — what can be done to improve educational outcomes among Native learners? Those discussions led to the creation of the UW’s new two-year Native Education Certificate program, which launches in August. The 10-unit curriculum…


June 29, 2016

UW project highlights liability of internet ‘intermediaries’ in developing countries

Internet sign reflected on tile floor

How much liability do website owners and other online service providers have for content posted by other people? If someone posts content on your website that is defamatory, constitutes hate speech, disseminates child pornography or invades someone’s privacy, are you liable? The answers to such questions can be murky in developing countries. And as internet…


June 23, 2016

Law student David Camps thought to be first Cuban resident to attend UW in half a century

Law student David Camps is the first Cuban enrolled at the UW since 1960.

In the fall of 2014, Cuban tour guide David Camps led a group from the University of Washington on a serendipitous bus tour around his native country. The group seemed to ask a lot of questions, but Camps — a former attorney and top diplomat turned tour guide — thought little of it; clients were often curious about…


June 21, 2016

Q&A: Essayist Elissa Washuta on being the Fremont Bridge’s first writer-in-residence, another recent award and her upcoming book

Color photo of essayist and UW alumna Elissa Washuta

The year’s not quite yet half over, but it’s already been an auspicious one for Elissa Washuta. The University of Washington graduate and author of two books, “Starvation Mode” and “My Body is a Book of Rules,” is one of two recipients of the Artist Trust 2016 Arts Innovator Awards, which come with $25,000 in…


June 15, 2016

Falling fish catches could mean malnutrition in the developing world

fishing

The world won’t be able to fish its way to feeding 10 billion people by midcentury, but a shift in management practices could save hundreds of millions of fish-dependent poor from malnutrition, according to a new analysis by researchers at Harvard, the University of Washington and other universities.


June 13, 2016

Success in second language learning linked to genetic and brain measures

students sitting in the quad at UW

A new study by researchers at the University of Washington shows that the final grades that college students received in a second-language class were predicted by a combination of genetic and brain factors.


June 3, 2016

Q&A: Peter Kahn on nature interaction, wildness in cities

photo of peter kahn

University of Washington professor Peter Kahn recently co-authored an opinion piece in the journal Science about the importance of interacting with nature in urban areas. UW Today asked Kahn a few more questions about the broader implications of his work.


Finding connections to nature in cities is key to healthy urban living

baby with sandy feet

The authors of a Science perspective piece discuss the growing tension between an arguably necessary role urban areas play in society and the numbing, even debilitating, aspects of cities that disconnect humans from the natural world.


May 31, 2016

Q&A: CLPP’s Sam Méndez on Washington’s pot industry, why outdoor grows make sense and how marijuana is becoming like wine

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The Cannabis Law and Policy Project, based in the University of Washington School of Law, was formed by professor Sean O’Connor in fall 2014 to be a center for researching regulatory issues around the state’s new legal cannabis industry. The group recently published its first report for the Washington state Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB),…


May 26, 2016

Documents that Changed the World: Noah Webster’s dictionary, 1828

Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1828, title page shown here. Webster's work is the subject of an installment of Joe Janes' Documents that Changed the World podcast series.

Joe Janes of the Information School turns the attention of his Documents that Changed the World podcst to Noah Webster and his famous, 70,000-word “American Dictionary of the English language” published in 1828.


May 24, 2016

UW experts develop first method for including migration uncertainty in population projections

Image of earth with black background

Statisticians at the University of Washington have developed the first model for projecting population that factors in the vagaries of migration, a slippery issue that has bedeviled demographers for decades. Their work, published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also provides population projections for all countries worldwide — and…



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