UW News

School of Oceanography


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 11, 2014

UW-built sensors to probe Antarctica’s Southern Ocean

person with float

Floating sensors built at the UW will be central to a new $21 million effort to learn how the ocean surrounding Antarctica influences climate.


September 4, 2014

Predicting when toxic algae will reach Washington and Oregon coasts

animation of currents

Better understanding of how a deadly algae grows offshore and gets carried to Pacific Northwest beaches has led to a computer model that can predict when the unseen threat will hit local beaches.


August 15, 2014

Research from 1960s shakes up understanding of West Coast earthquakes

people placing corer on boat

A new study used seabed samples collected by UW graduate students in the late 1960s to question current interpretations of earthquake frequency along the West Coast.


August 13, 2014

Snow has thinned on Arctic sea ice

person walking on snow

Historic observations and NASA airborne data provide a decades-long record showing that the snowpack on Arctic sea ice is thinning.


August 8, 2014

Ancient shellfish remains rewrite 10,000-year history of El Niño cycles

person with shell

Piles of ancient shells provide the first reliable long-term record for the powerful driver of year-to-year climate changes. Results show that the El Niños 10,000 years ago were as strong and frequent as they are today.


August 7, 2014

Ocean’s most oxygen-deprived zones to shrink under climate change

map

Predictions that the lowest-oxygen environments in the ocean will get worse may not come to pass. UW research shows climate change, by weakening the trade winds, will shrink these extremely low-oxygen waters.


August 1, 2014

A unique lab class: UW students explore nation’s largest dam removal

students walking on sand

A spring research apprenticeship course had nine undergraduates living at Friday Harbor Labs and studying what will happen to sediment released by dam removals on the Elwha River.


July 16, 2014

Tracking the breakup of Arctic summer sea ice

person on ice

An international team has placed sensors on and under Arctic sea ice to monitor this season’s retreat. Scientists hope to understand the physics of the ice edge in order to predict summer conditions in the Arctic Ocean.


June 6, 2014

Ocean technology course ends spring quarter with a splash

students on dock

A University of Washington undergraduate class has students design, build and test their own Internet-connected oceanographic sensors. The students are getting their feet wet, literally, in a new type of oceanography.


April 29, 2014

Benjamin Hall, Eric D’Asaro elected to National Academy of Sciences

National Academy of Sciences logo

Benjamin Hall and Eric D’Asaro are among the 84 new members elected fellows the National Academy of Sciences.


April 14, 2014

Puget Sound’s rich waters supplied by deep, turbulent canyon

map of canyon

UW oceanographers found fast-flowing water and intense mixing in a submarine canyon just off the Washington coast.


March 27, 2014

Citizen scientists: UW students help state legislator with climate policy

students at table with papers

Four graduate students were part of a year-long legislative process in Olympia working to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in Washington state.


March 13, 2014

Tethered robots tested for Internet-connected ocean observatory

people on boat deploying instrument

The UW this fall will complete installation of a huge high-tech ocean observatory. Dozens of instruments will connect to power and Internet cables on the seafloor, but the observatory also includes a new generation of ocean explorers: robots that will zoom up and down through almost two miles of ocean to monitor the water conditions and marine life above.


February 24, 2014

Vitamin water: Measuring essential nutrients in the ocean

researchers on boat

Oceanographers have found that archaea, a type of marine microbe, can produce B-12 vitamins in the ocean.


September 30, 2013

UW researchers helped draft international assessment of climate change

Graphic of IPCC report depicts temperatures at the end of the 21st century.

UW faculty members were among international researchers who compiled the fifth climate-change assessment report. The UW will host a seminar Tuesday, Oct. 1 with some of the Seattle-area authors.


September 18, 2013

Cables, instruments installed in the deep sea off Pacific Northwest coast

instrument on seafloor

In a seven-week cruise this past summer, oceanographers and students laid 14 miles of extension cable and installed about a dozen instruments for a historic deep-sea observatory.


September 9, 2013

Breaking deep-sea waves reveal mechanism for global ocean mixing

wave

Oceanographers for the first time recorded an enormous wave breaking miles below the surface in a key bottleneck for global ocean circulation.


August 30, 2013

New ocean forecast could help predict fish habitat six months in advance

school of sardines

UW researchers and federal scientists have developed the first long-term seasonal forecast of conditions for the Northwest ocean ecosystem.


July 1, 2013

Work this summer extends reach of cabled deep-ocean observatory

Map of the Summer 2013 cruise.

A UW research vessel leaves July 2 for six weeks at sea, during which oceanographers will install miles of cable for a new type of deep-sea observatory.


May 22, 2013

New documentary on cabled ocean observatory airs on UWTV

smoking caldera

A new half-hour documentary about a UW research expedition to Axial Seamount, an underwater volcano off the Washington coast, airs tonight at 9:30 p.m. on UWTV.


May 20, 2013

Amazon River exhales virtually all carbon taken up by rain forest

photo on boat

A study published this week in Nature Geoscience shows that woody plant matter is almost completely digested by bacteria living in the Amazon River, and that this tough stuff plays a major part in fueling the river’s breath.


May 13, 2013

Using earthquake sensors to track endangered whales

fin whale

Oceanographers are using a growing number of seafloor seismometers, devices that record seafloor vibrations, to carry out inexpensive and non-invasive studies of endangered whales.


May 6, 2013

UW research vessel Clifford A. Barnes marks its 1,000th cruise

R/V Cliff Barnes

This week marks the 1000th cruise for the UW’s Clifford A. Barnes research vessel, a converted tugboat that has spent decades exploring Puget Sound and Pacific Northwest waters and is now reaching the end of its UW career.


April 15, 2013

Preparing to install the world’s largest underwater observatory

Applied Physics Laboratory engineer Mike Harrington leads development of the science junction boxes for the underwater laboratory..

Engineers at the UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory are under pressure to build and test parts for installation this summer in the world’s largest deep-ocean observatory off the Washington and Oregon coasts.


April 11, 2013

Space-age domes offer a window on ocean acidification

photo of dock

At Friday Harbor Labs, students are conducting a three-week study on the effects of ocean acidification using a strategy that’s midway between a controlled lab test and an open-ocean experiment.


March 7, 2013

Tracking sediments’ fate in largest-ever dam removal

aerial photo of plume

Any day now, the world’s largest dam-removal project will release a century’s worth of sediment . For geologists, it’s a unique opportunity to study natural and engineered river systems.


February 25, 2013

UW undergraduates embark on three-week research cruise off Japan

An Argo float deployed by the University of Washington.

Eleven UW undergraduates leave today on an unusually ambitious research and teaching expedition to study the Kuroshio Current off Japan.


December 12, 2012

Award recognizes UW oceanographer’s talent for engaging public

Drumheller Fountain and Gerberding Hall on the UW campus.

The American Geophysical Union has presented its top prize for engaging the public in science to UW’s John Delaney.


December 10, 2012

Armbrust shares $35 million to investigate tiniest ocean regulators

statue of George Washington on UW campus

Oceanographer Ginger Armbrust has received a multi-million dollar award to spend as she wishes on her research into ocean microbes and their role in regulating ocean environments and our atmosphere.


July 26, 2012

Underwater ‘electrical outlets’ put in place for cabled ocean observatory project

1A marks the first node installed, at Hydrate Ridge. 1C and 1D indicate the Endurance Array site. The placeholder node, in the middle of the Juan de Fuca Plate, is 5A. Node drawings courtesy of L-3 MariPro.

The first U.S. cabled ocean observatory reached a milestone on July 14 with the installation of a node 9,500 feet deep off the coast of Oregon. Like a giant electrical outlet on the seafloor that also provides Internet connectivity, the node was spliced into a network of cable segments totalling some 560 miles that were…


July 22, 2011

The cable has landed: Ocean science history in the making — with slideshow

The two cables of the Regional Scale Nodes observatory involve a northern segment (pink) to Axial Seamount and a southern segment (mostly green) to Hydrate Ridge with a loop back on the continental shelf. Circles represent nodes where it will be possible to connect sensors and instruments to the cable.

Submarine cables for the nations first regional cabled ocean observatory, a project led by the University of Washington, made landfall last week on the Oregon coast.


January 11, 2010

Microbe understudies await their turn in the limelight

On the marine microbial stage, there appears to be a vast group of understudies only too ready to step in when


August 21, 2008

Underwater scout: New robot searches out best locations for components of undersea lab

Once launched, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Sentry operates without being tethered to the ship. It is preprogrammed for the areas it is to map but can operate independently to navigate around cliffs, basins and other terrain it encounters.

Like a deep-sea bloodhound, Sentry — the newest in an elite group of unmanned submersibles able to operate on their own in demanding and rugged environments — has helped scientists pinpoint optimal locations for two observation sites of a pioneering seafloor laboratory being planned off Washington and Oregon.


January 31, 2008

Lost City pumps life-essential chemicals at rates unseen at typical black smokers

Hydrocarbons — molecules critical to life — are being generated by the simple interaction of seawater with the rocks under the Lost City hydrothermal vent field in the mid-Atlantic Ocean.


November 15, 2007

Scientists coaxing world’s oceans to reveal subsurface secrets

The only global-ocean climate-monitoring system — comprised of satellites and specialized floats — passed a milestone earlier this month when a UW and Scripps Institution of Oceanography expedition was in a position to deploy Argo float No.


October 18, 2007

Delaney to speak on ‘environmental renaissance’

John Delaney, the UW oceanographer who is leading the effort to build a cabled underwater observatory off the Washington and Oregon coasts, will speak on Tuesday, Oct.


May 24, 2007

New hires, planning under way for proposed $130 million ocean observatory

Peter Barletto, who has more than three decades of experience with submarine cable systems and networks, started work at the University of Washington Monday, joining the project team tasked with developing detailed engineering specifications for a cabled underwater research facility to be built off the coast of Washington and Oregon.


November 2, 2006

UW students on the case (and on the ship) researching problems in Puget Sound

While the Seattle Post-Intelligencer was running a six-part series on problems plaguing Puget Sound, UW undergraduates, graduate students and faculty were at work on board the UW’s 274-foot research vessel gathering information needed to help puzzle out some of the sound’s most pressing problems.


July 29, 2005

Amazon source of 5-year-old river breath

The rivers of South America’s Amazon basin are “breathing” far harde — cycling the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide more quickly — than anyone realized.



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