College of the Environment
October 11, 2016
A new study finds that morel mushrooms cluster in groups across burned areas in the forest after a wildfire. It’s one of the only scientific studies to actually quantify morels’ abundance after a fire.
September 30, 2016
University of Washington scientists have put world’s longest-running measure of atmospheric carbon dioxide to music. The result is a 90-second rendition of human-induced climate change: The video project was done by Judy Twedt, a UW doctoral student in atmospheric sciences, and Dargan Frierson, a UW associate professor of atmospheric sciences and amateur musician. Their techno…
September 29, 2016
A study led by researchers at the University of Washington and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration connects the unprecedented West Coast toxic algal bloom of 2015 to the unusually warm ocean conditions — nicknamed “the blob” — in winter and spring of that year.
September 27, 2016
A team of researchers led by the University of Washington believes creating a network of community-based science is possible with new support from the National Science Foundation.
A new study by University of Washington scientists finds that in many cases, misreporting caught fish doesn’t always translate to overfishing. The study was published online this month in the journal Fish and Fisheries.
September 19, 2016
Plants can better tolerate drought and other stressors with the help of natural microbes, University of Washington research has found. Specifically, plants that are given a dose of microbes stay green longer and are able to withstand drought conditions by growing more leaves and roots and using less water.
September 15, 2016
Researchers are now able to capture the cells of animals, sequence their DNA and identify which species were present at a point in time. A new University of Washington study is the first to use these genetic markers to understand the impact urbanization has on the environment — specifically, whether animal diversity flourishes or suffers.
September 13, 2016
The winds that gust across the Tibetan Plateau have done so for far longer than previously believed, showing they are resilient to the formation of mountains and changes in carbon dioxide and temperature.
September 12, 2016
UW atmospheric scientists are part of a month-long NASA effort to learn how smoke and clouds interact.
A Q&A with Carol Bogezi, a UW doctoral student in environmental and forest sciences who received the 10th annual Bullitt Environmental Prize. The award recognizes people with exceptional potential to become powerful leaders in the environmental movement.
September 8, 2016
A recent University of Washington study sought to understand why shark teeth are shaped differently and what biological advantages various shapes have by testing their performance under realistic conditions.
August 29, 2016
Many popular long-term drought estimates ignore the fact that plants will be less thirsty as carbon dioxide goes up. Plants’ lower water use could roughly halve some current estimates for the extent of future drought, especially in central Africa and temperate Asia.
August 26, 2016
The University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy have created an animated map showing where mammals, birds and amphibians are projected to move in the Western Hemisphere in response to climate change.
August 18, 2016
UW professor Sally Brown and collaborators have published the most extensive compilation to date explaining how to grow urban agriculture, and how doing so could save American cities.
August 16, 2016
Large, carnivorous fish excrete almost half of the key nutrients, phosphorus and nitrogen, that are essential for the survival of coral reefs.
August 15, 2016
University of Washington biologist Peter Ward’s body of research has helped policymakers recognize the impact nautiluses have on ocean ecosystems, as well as how they can — and cannot — replenish their numbers in the face of unrestricted, unregulated fishing. At a CITES meeting in September, Ward and his team hope nautiluses will get much-needed protections from trade and harvesting.
August 12, 2016
Phil Levin, a former senior scientist at NOAA Fisheries, recently began a joint role at the University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy. UW Today sat down with Levin to find out why he took this job and what he hopes to accomplish.
August 9, 2016
Charles Eriksen, Deborah Kelley and Stephen Warren are among 60 newly elected fellows from U.S. and international institutions.
August 4, 2016
A Science commentary written by UW professor of Earth and space sciences David Montgomery discusses how recent geological findings support the historical basis for traditional tales about China’s Great Flood.
July 25, 2016
Polar oceans pump organic carbon down to the deep sea about five times as efficiently as subtropical waters, because they can support larger, heavier organisms. The finding helps explain how the oceans may function under climate change.
July 19, 2016
UW professor Adam Summers is scanning and digitizing all 25,000 species of fish that live on Earth. Each species soon will have a high-resolution, 3-D visual replica online, available to all and downloadable for free.
A University of Washington team has shed new light on a common but poorly understood bacteria known to live in low-oxygen areas in the ocean. By culturing and sequencing the microbe’s entire genome, the oceanographers found that it significantly contributes to the removal of life-supporting nitrogen from the water in new and surprising ways.
July 15, 2016
The Geological Society of America has honored two UW professors and other authors of a 186-page report on the causes and consequences of the deadly March 2014 landslide in Oso, Washington.
July 13, 2016
In a three-page commentary in the journal Nature, fisheries professor Ray Hilborn argues that establishing marine protected areas is not as effective at protecting marine biodiversity as properly managing recreational and commercial fisheries.
July 6, 2016
Scientists from the University of Washington have found evidence that ocean acidification caused by carbon emissions can prevent mussels attaching themselves to rocks and other substrates, making them easy targets for predators and threatening the mussel farming industry.
July 5, 2016
A long-term Pacific climate cycle may be driving the expansion of Antarctic winter sea ice since 2000, but a new study finds that the trend may soon reverse.
June 28, 2016
Alison Duvall, a UW assistant professor of Earth and space sciences, was selected for the Luna B. Leopold Award for early-career scientists.
June 23, 2016
The University of Washington published the most earth and environmental science research last year, outpacing all other universities worldwide, according to a new report from Nature Index.
June 22, 2016
A new study evaluates the performance of a seasonal forecast, developed by researchers at the UW and NOAA, that predicts conditions over the coming months in the Pacific Northwest marine environment.
June 16, 2016
The R/V Thomas G. Thompson, the 274-foot-long research vessel operated by the University of Washington, has spent 25 years carrying researchers, students and teachers out to sea. The ship has collected material from the bottom of the deepest ocean trenches and braved storms near Antarctica. This week, the ship will begin a yearlong stay in…
June 15, 2016
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.
Researchers have discovered a handful of “bright spots” among the world’s embattled coral reefs, offering the promise of a radical new approach to conservation.
June 13, 2016
Rock from a common type of volcano shows surprising evidence of the descending tectonic plate. Analyses show that magnesium atoms are somehow drawn out of the crust, deep below the surface.
A new study has found that only 2 percent of the eastern U.S. provides the kind of climate connectivity required by species that will likely need to migrate, compared to 51 percent of the western U.S.
June 9, 2016
The Ecological Society of America has named University of Washington professor Jerry Franklin its “Eminent Ecologist” of 2016. The award, considered the organization’s most prestigious accolade, honors a senior ecologist who has made significant, long-standing contributions to the field of ecology.
June 6, 2016
Data is now streaming from the deep sea, thanks to an observatory installed in this region by the University of Washington as part of a larger National Science Foundation initiative to usher in a new age of oceanographic research.
June 3, 2016
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.
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.
June 1, 2016
University of Washington polar scientists are on Alaska’s North Slope this week for the 2016 Barrow Sea Ice Camp. Supported by the National Science Foundation, the event brings together U.S.-based sea ice observers, satellite experts and modelers at various career stages to collect data and discuss issues related to measuring and modeling sea ice. The…
May 30, 2016
The waters surrounding Antarctica may be one of the last places on Earth to experience human-driven climate change, because of its unique ocean currents.