UW News


June 16, 2022

Q&A: Healthier soil leads to more-nutritious food, argues new book by UW geomorphologist David Montgomery

book cover showing crops

David Montgomery, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences, discusses soil health, food nutrients and human health. He is co-author of “What Your Food Ate,” being published this month.


June 12, 2022

Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 honored in weekend graduation celebrations

On Saturday, for the first time since 2019, the UW held in-person Commencement ceremonies at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium where the University conferred degrees on the Class of 2022. On Sunday, it welcomed alumni from the 2020 and 2021 school years for a Return to Husky Stadium Graduation Celebration.


May 31, 2022

UW-developed, cloud-based astrodynamics platform to discover and track asteroids

A novel algorithm developed by University of Washington researchers to discover asteroids in the solar system has proved its mettle. The first candidate asteroids identified by the algorithm — known as Tracklet-less Heliocentric Orbit Recovery, or THOR — have been confirmed by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center, according to a May 31 announcement by the B612 Foundation.


May 17, 2022

25th-annual Undergraduate Research Symposium celebrates undergraduate discovery

Mary Gates Hall

The 25th annual University of Washington Undergraduate Research Symposium returns this year on May 20 with a hybrid format including both online and in-person presentations, following two years of online only events due to the COVID pandemic.


May 12, 2022

Changes in cholesterol production lead to tragic octopus death spiral

After a mother octopus lays a clutch of eggs, she quits eating and wastes away; by the time the eggs hatch, she is dead. Some females in captivity even seem to speed up this process intentionally, mutilating themselves and twisting their arms into a tangled mess. The source of this bizarre maternal behavior seems to be the optic gland, an organ similar to the pituitary gland in mammals. For years, just how this gland triggered the gruesome death spiral was unclear. But in a new study published May 12 in Current Biology, researchers from the University of Washington, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois Chicago show that the optic gland in maternal octopuses undergoes a massive shift in cholesterol metabolism, resulting in dramatic changes in the steroid hormones produced. Alterations in cholesterol metabolism in other animals, including humans, can have serious consequences on longevity and behavior, and the team believes this reveals important similarities in the functions of these steroids across the animal kingdom — in soft-bodied cephalopods and vertebrates alike.


May 4, 2022

Astronomers discover a rare ’black widow’ binary, with the shortest orbit yet

The flashing of a nearby star drew the attention of a team of astronomers, who discovered that it is part of a rare and mysterious system. As they report in a paper published May 4 in Nature, the stellar oddity appears to be a “black widow binary” — a type of system consisting of a rapidly spinning neutron star, or pulsar, that is circling and slowly consuming a smaller companion star, as its arachnid namesake does to its mate.


April 28, 2022

Unchecked global emissions on track to initiate mass extinction of marine life

If emissions from greenhouse gases continue, species losses from warming and oxygen depletion of ocean waters could eclipse all other human stressors on marine species by around 2100. Tropical waters would experience the greatest loss of biodiversity, while polar species are at the highest risk of extinction


April 26, 2022

Scientists find elusive gas from post-starburst galaxies hiding in plain sight

Scientists once thought that post-starburst galaxies scattered all of their gas and dust — the fuel required for creating new stars — in violent bursts of energy, and with extraordinary speed. Now, a team led by University of Washington postdoctoral researcher Adam Smercina reports that these galaxies don’t scatter all of their star-forming fuel after all. Instead, after their supposed end, these dormant galaxies hold onto and compress large amounts of highly concentrated, turbulent gas. But contrary to expectation, they’re not using it to form stars.


April 25, 2022

Ranking: UW is No. 25 in world

trees in bloom

The University of Washington ranks No. 25 in the world, or fifth among U.S. public institutions for student experience, faculty prestige and quality of research, according to a list published April 25 by the Center for World University Rankings. 


April 22, 2022

Heavens need environmental protection just like Earth, experts say

Space urgently needs special legal protection similar to that given to land, sea and atmosphere to protect its fragile environment, argues a team of scientists. The scientific, economic and cultural benefits of space should be considered against the damaging environmental impacts posed by an influx of space debris — roughly 60 miles above Earth’s surface — fueled by the rapid growth of so-called satellite mega-constellations. In a paper published April 22 in Nature Astronomy, the authors assert that space is an important environment to preserve on behalf of professional astronomers, amateur stargazers and Indigenous peoples.


April 6, 2022

UW-housed RAPID Facility receives $6M renewal grant

Researchers looks at boat drone in water

The first-of-its-kind center has received a $6 million renewal grant from the National Science Foundation.


March 30, 2022

Faculty/staff honors: Student union association’s highest honor, supplier diversity award and more

Recent recognition of the  includes the Butts-Whiting Award for L. Lincoln Johnson, INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine’s Jesse L. Moore 2022 Supplier Diversity Award, Ben Brunjes’ fellowship with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Policy Planning and Liaison, and the recognition of Yong Wei as a NOAA Ambassador of Tsunami Risk Assessment.


March 29, 2022

UW announces John and Rosalind Jacobi Family Endowed Deanship in the College of Built Environments

building interior

The University of Washington today announced the establishment of the John and Rosalind Jacobi Family Endowed Deanship in the College of Built Environments, strengthening the school’s vision of a more just and beautiful world for all.


March 11, 2022

Statement from UW President on tragic deaths of two UW community members

Tom Schaefer and Evan Abramson

The following is a statement from University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce following the news that a UW professor and a UW staff member were killed while diving off the coast of Mexico over the weekend.


March 10, 2022

Newest satellite data shows remarkable decline in Arctic sea ice over just three years

distant figures walking on snow-covered ice

In the past 20 years, the Arctic has lost about one-third of its winter sea ice volume, and winter sea ice in the Arctic has lost about a foot and a half of thickness over just the past three years. This thinning is largely due to loss of older, multiyear sea ice that is more resistant to melting.


Gordon Stuart Peek, UW alumnus who donated Gerberding and Kane bells, dies at 96

carillon bells

Gordon Stuart Peek, a University of Washington alumnus who donated the bells that sit on two sides of Red Square, died peacefully at his home on March 2, 2022. He was 96.


March 9, 2022

More air pollution present in areas with historical redlining

Cars on a road with houses and mountains in the background

A team of researchers at the UW and UC Berkeley has found that housing discrimination practices dating from the 1930s still drive air pollution disparities in hundreds of American cities today.


February 25, 2022

Antibiotic used on food crops affects bumblebee behavior

Scientists at the University of Washington and Emory University report that an antibiotic sprayed on orchard crops to combat bacterial diseases slows the cognition of bumblebees and reduces their foraging efficiency. The study, published Feb. 9 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, focused on streptomycin, an antibiotic used increasingly in U.S. agriculture during the past decade.


February 23, 2022

Andreas Bohman selected as VP for UW-IT and UW’s chief information officer

headshot

University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce today announced the selection of Andreas Bohman as vice president for UW Information Technology and UW’s chief information officer. He is set to begin March 16.


A new upper limit on the mass of neutrinos

An international research team, including scientists from the University of Washington, has established a new upper limit on the mass of the neutrino, the lightest known subatomic particle. In a paper published Feb. 14 in Nature Physics, the collaboration — known as the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino Experiment or KATRIN — reports that the neutrino’s mass is below 0.8 electron volts, or 0.8 eV/c2. Honing in on the elusive value of the neutrino’s mass will solve a major outstanding mystery in particle physics and equip scientists with a more complete view of the fundamental forces and particles that shape ourselves, our planet and the cosmos.


February 17, 2022

UW biologist and computer scientist named Sloan Fellows

head shots

Two faculty members at the University of Washington have been awarded early-career fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The new Sloan Fellows, announced Feb. 15, are Brianna Abrahms, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology, and Yulia Tsvetkov, an assistant professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering.


February 9, 2022

New IAU center to focus on solutions to satellite interference in astronomical observations

The International Astronomical Union has launched the Centre for the Protection of the Dark and Quiet Sky from Satellite Constellation Interference to coordinate collaborative multidisciplinary international efforts with institutions and individuals — including researchers at the University of Washington’s DiRAC Institute — to help mitigate the negative impacts of satellite constellations on ground-based optical and radio astronomy observations as well as humanity’s enjoyment of the night sky.


January 31, 2022

UW wins 2021 EPA Regional Food Recovery Challenge, preventing waste and feeding the hungry

UW farms

The University of Washington’s Seattle campus saved more than 5 tons of food from being thrown away in 2020, preventing unnecessary waste and helping feed people in the community who struggle with food security.


January 27, 2022

Determination of non-significance: Haring Center renovation

Official Notice image

Pursuant to the provisions of WAC 197-11-340 and WAC 478-324-140, the University of Washington hereby provides public notice of: Determination of non-significance


January 26, 2022

Glaciers are squishy, holding slightly more ice than thought

three people walking on glacier

Though usually though of as a solid, glaciers are also slightly compressible, or squishy. This compression over the huge expanse of an ice sheet — like Antarctica or Greenland — makes the overall ice sheet more dense and lowers the surface by tens of feet compared to what would otherwise be expected.


January 20, 2022

Shift work helps marine microbes share scarce ocean resources

ship surrounded by ocean

With a low supply of and high competition for key nutrients, scientists have puzzled over the vast diversity of microbial species found in the open ocean. A new study shows that time of day is key, with species of marine microbes specializing in different shifts throughout the day and night.


December 17, 2021

Deforestation-fueled heat already affecting millions of outdoor workers in the tropics

series of maps

New research from an interdisciplinary team at the University of Washington, Duke University and The Nature Conservancy shows how local temperature increases in the tropics – compounded by accelerating deforestation – may already be jeopardizing the well-being and productivity of outdoor workers.


December 3, 2021

Killer whales lingering in increasingly ice-free Arctic Ocean

whales in ocean

Underwater microphones show that killer whales, or orcas, have spent more time in the Arctic Ocean in recent years. The increasingly ice-free Arctic Ocean may give orcas more opportunity to hunt for prey off the west and north coasts of Alaska.


November 22, 2021

Nearly 50 UW-affiliated experts included on Highly Cited Researchers 2021 list

reading room

The University of Washington is proud to announce that 50 UW faculty and researchers have been named on the annual Highly Cited Researchers 2021 list from Clarivate.


November 10, 2021

Public notice: Determination of non-significance for Interdisciplinary Engineering Building

Official Notice image

Pursuant to the provisions of WAC 197-11-340 and WAC 478-324-140, the University of Washington hereby provides public notice of: Determination of non-significance


Public notice: Determination of non-significance for IMA pool expansion

Official Notice image

Pursuant to the provisions of WAC 197-11-340 and WAC 478-324-140, the University of Washington hereby provides public notice of this determination of non-significance.


New method shows today’s warming ‘unprecedented’ over past 24,000 years

Blue line that rises, then flattens out, then rises sharply

A new effort to reconstruct Earth’s climate since the last ice age, about 24,000 years ago, highlights the main drivers of climate change, and how far out of bounds human activity has pushed the climate system.


November 8, 2021

US Department of Education renews five-year, $1.9M grant for University of Washington Educational Talent Search program

UW students

As students resume in-person classroom education, University of Washington staff with the Educational Talent Search (ETS) program also move back into 14 partner middle and high schools in six Washington school districts, helping them gain the skills and confidence to pursue a college degree.


November 1, 2021

UW receives $2M from National Science Foundation to design an ‘adaptable society’

team photo

A team led by the University of Washington has received a nearly $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to further research into how urban societal systems can be organized to be both efficient and resilient.


October 29, 2021

UW oceanographer will study how glacial particles remove CO2 from atmosphere

white glacier with ocean in foreground

An oceanographer at the University of Washington is part of a new project to study how glacial dust, created as glaciers grind the rock beneath them into a powder, reacts with seawater to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


October 27, 2021

Rankings: UW among the best academic universities in the world, according to Times Higher Education

Campus photo

The University of Washington tied for No. 28 on the Times Higher Education annual reputation ranking, released Wednesday. The UW moved up one place from 2020.


Fossil dental exams reveal how tusks first evolved

Illustration of an ancient mammal-like creature in a forest setting.

Many animals have tusks, from elephants to walruses to hyraxes. But one thing tusked animals have in common is that they’re all mammals — no known fish, reptiles or birds have them. But that was not always the case. In a study published Oct. 27 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a team of paleontologists at Harvard University, the Field Museum, the University of Washington and Idaho State University traced the first tusks back to dicynodonts — ancient mammal relatives that lived before the dinosaurs.


October 13, 2021

Rankings: UW among best in world for education, social sciences, business and law

group photo

The University of Washington is among the best universities in the world for the studies of education, social sciences, business and law, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2022.


October 6, 2021

Rankings: UW among best in world for computer science and engineering

building

The University of Washington is among the best universities in the world for the studies of computer science and engineering, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2022.


October 1, 2021

Three UW teams awarded NSF Convergence Accelerator grants for misinformation, ocean projects

Three separate University of Washington research teams have been awarded $750,000 each by the National Science Foundation to advance studies in misinformation and the ocean economy.



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