UW News

The latest news from the UW


July 30, 2021

Food insecurity remains high and need for assistance dramatically up in Washington

Washington residents continue to experience a dramatically higher level of food insecurity — from 10% before the COVID-19 pandemic to 27%, according to the latest University of Washington and Washington State University research on food insecurity and food assistance in the state. The study team also found that need for food assistance has continued to…

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A visit to Mt. Baker’s Easton Glacier

This week, a few members of our UW News team joined glaciologists from the UW Department of Earth & Space Sciences on a trip to Mt. Baker. Students that came along got to chat with their professor on the hike up, and we learned about how the recent heat wave impacted the snow melt on the ice.

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July 29, 2021

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy honors UW College of Built Environments faculty, Nehemiah Studio for curriculum on mitigating gentrification

The Nehemiah Studio, a UW class on mitigating gentrification in Seattle’s Central District, has been honored by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

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ArtSci Roundup: Lux Aeterna, Faculty Trio: Beethoven Piano Trios, Part 3, and More

Through public events and exhibitions, connect with the UW community every week! This week, attend gallery exhibitions, watch recorded events, and more. While you’re enjoying summer break, connect with campus through UW live webcams of Red Square and the quad. Many of these online opportunities are streamed through Zoom. All UW faculty, staff, and students…

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Climate change to fuel increase in human-wildlife conflict, UW biologist says

Climate change is further exacerbating human-wildlife conflicts by straining ecosystems and altering behaviors, both of which can deepen the contacts — and potential competition — between people and animals. In an article published July 30 in the journal Science, Briana Abrahms, an assistant professor of biology at the University of Washington and its Center for Ecosystem Sentinels, calls for expanding research into the many ways that climate change will impact the complex interplay between human activities and wildlife populations.

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UW to lead new NSF institute for using artificial intelligence to understand dynamic systems

The UW will lead a new artificial intelligence research institute that will focus on fundamental AI and machine learning theory, algorithms and applications for real-time learning and control of complex dynamic systems, which describe chaotic situations where conditions are constantly shifting and hard to predict.

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July 28, 2021

Scientist tests soil for hidden contaminants in community gardens

Soil, particularly in urban areas, can hold contaminants that are unhealthy for people who handle it or eat things grown in the ground. Chemicals left behind by vehicles, air pollution and heavy industry can show up in the ground and in plants. Melanie Malone, assistant professor in UW Bothell’s School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences investigates these contaminants and their prevalence in shared garden spaces.

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July 27, 2021

Possible future for Western wildfires: Decade-long burst, followed by gradual decline

A model of the eastern California forests of the Sierra Nevada looks at the longer-term future of wildfires under future climate change scenarios. Results show an initial roughly decade-long burst of wildfire activity, followed by recurring fires of decreasing area — a pattern that could apply to other hot, dry forests in the West.

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July 26, 2021

Scientists model ‘true prevalence’ of COVID-19 throughout pandemic

Two University of Washington scientists have developed a statistical framework that incorporates key COVID-19 data — such as case counts and deaths due to COVID-19 — to model the true prevalence of this disease in the United States and individual states. Their approach, published the week of July 26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, projects that in the U.S. as many as 60% of COVID-19 cases went undetected as of March 7, 2021, the last date for which the dataset they employed is available.

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July 23, 2021

Older workers needed for UW study on worker safety during COVID-19 pandemic

Public health researchers have learned a lot about how the pandemic affected workers and exacerbated existing health disparities that exist in many communities. However, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the experience of workers deemed essential in the food industry and who were at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, such those working in…

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July 22, 2021

Gaming graphics card allows faster, more precise control of fusion energy experiments

UW researchers have developed a method that uses a gaming graphics card to control plasma formation in their prototype fusion reactor.

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July 20, 2021

New 3D images of shark intestines show they function like Nikola Tesla’s valve

For more than a century, researchers have relied on flat sketches of sharks’ digestive systems to discern how they function — and how what they eat and excrete impacts other species in the ocean. Now, researchers have produced a series of high-resolution, 3D scans of intestines from nearly three dozen shark species that will advance the understanding of how sharks eat and digest their food.

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July 16, 2021

20 UW researchers elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences for 2021

Twenty scientists and engineers at the University of Washington are among the 38 new members elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences for 2021, according to a July 15 announcement. New members were chosen for “their outstanding record of scientific and technical achievement, and their willingness to work on behalf of the Academy to bring the best available science to bear on issues within the state of Washington.”

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July 15, 2021

Dianne Harris named dean of UW College of Arts & Sciences

University of Washington Provost Mark A. Richards today announced Dianne Harris will become dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, beginning Sept. 1.

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July 13, 2021

Sheila Edwards Lange selected as chancellor of UW Tacoma

University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce and Provost Mark A. Richards today announced the selection of Sheila Edwards Lange, president of Seattle Central College, as chancellor of the University of Washington Tacoma. Her appointment, pending approval by the UW Board of Regents, is set to begin Sept. 16.

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From ‘distress’ to ‘unscathed’ — mental health of UW students during spring 2020

To understand how the UW’s transition to online-only classes affected college students’ mental health in the spring of 2020, UW researchers surveyed 147 UW undergraduates over the 2020 spring quarter.

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ArtSci Roundup: Will Rawls: Everlasting Stranger Performance, Northwest Modernism: Four Japanese Americans, and More

Through public events and exhibitions, connect with the UW community every week! This week, attend gallery exhibitions, watch recorded events, and more. While you’re enjoying summer break, connect with campus through UW live webcams of Red Square and the quad. Many of these online opportunities are streamed through Zoom. All UW faculty, staff, and students…

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July 9, 2021

‘We need to be patient’ — UW’s Dawn Lehman on the collapse of the Champlain Towers South

While there is currently no explanation for why the Champlain Towers South building collapsed, Dawn Lehman, a University of Washington professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been studying photographs, videos, drawings, reports and permits to investigate this tragedy to understand what happened. UW News asked her to help us understand why buildings fail.

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Study model explores impact of police action on population health

A specific police action, an arrest or a shooting, has an immediate and direct effect on the individuals involved, but how far and wide do the reverberations of that action spread through the community? What are the health consequences for a specific, though not necessarily geographically defined, population? The authors of a new UW-led study…

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Faculty/staff honors: Early career honor in communication, distinguished service award in theoretical computing

Recent honors and achievements by UW faculty include an early career award for study of family communication and a distinguished service award for decades in support of theoretical computing.

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July 8, 2021

Mari Ostendorf named UW Vice Provost for Research

University of Washington Provost Mark Richards today announced the appointment of Mari Ostendorf as Vice Provost for Research, set to begin Sept. 1. Ostendorf has been serving as Associate Vice Provost for Research in the Office of Research since 2017.

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Remotely-piloted sailboats monitor ‘cold pools’ in tropical environments

A UW-led study uses data from remotely-piloted sailboats to better understand cold air pools — pockets of cooler air that form when rain evaporates below tropical storm clouds. These fleeting weather phenomena are thought to influence tropical weather patterns.

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July 6, 2021

ArtSci Roundup: Will Rawls: Everlasting Stranger, Grit City Think & Drink: Global Themes in World History since 1500 in Five Images, and More

Through public events and exhibitions, connect with the UW community every week! This week, attend gallery exhibitions, watch recorded events, and more. While you’re enjoying summer break, connect with campus through UW live webcams of Red Square and the quad. Many of these online opportunities are streamed through Zoom. All UW faculty, staff, and students…

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July 1, 2021

How long can a person live? The 21st century may see a record-breaker

A new University of Washington study calculates the probability of living past age 110, which, though rare, likely will increase this century.

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Last ice-covered parts of summertime Arctic Ocean vulnerable to climate change

The region north of Greenland and the Canadian Arctic has been termed the Last Ice Area, where sea ice will remain the longest in summertime, providing a refuge for ice-dependent Arctic species. But conditions last summer show that parts of this region are already experiencing less summer ice due to climate change.

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June 30, 2021

University of Washington releases annual update to Sustainability Action Plan

The University of Washington is announcing the steps it will take in this fiscal year, starting July 1, to reach the targets set in the UW’s Sustainability Action Plan.

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June 29, 2021

From the Jackson School: Endowed scholarship for India study, book on angels in ancient Jewish culture

Recent news from the Jackson School of International Studies includes a new endowed scholarship for study of India made possible by two alumni, and a book on angels in ancient Jewish culture by Jewish Studies professor Mika Ahuvia.

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Air pollution from wildfires impacts ability to observe birds

Researchers from the University of Washington provide a first look at the probability of observing common birds as air pollution worsens during wildfire seasons. They found that smoke affected the ability to detect more than a third of the bird species studied in Washington state over a four-year period. Sometimes smoke made it harder to observe birds, while other species were actually easier to detect when smoke was present.

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June 28, 2021

ArtSci Roundup: Serious Tings, Sonolocations: A Sound Works Series, and More

Through public events and exhibitions, connect with the UW community every week! This week, watch a UW alum on NBC’s Making It, attend a discussion hosted by the Henry Art Gallery, and more. While you’re enjoying summer break, connect with campus through UW live webcams of Red Square and the quad. Many of these online…

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June 25, 2021

Kristin Esterberg selected as chancellor of UW Bothell

University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce and Provost Mark A. Richards today announced the selection of Kristin Esterberg, president of the State University of New York at Potsdam, as chancellor of the University of Washington Bothell. Her appointment, pending approval by the UW Board of Regents, is set to begin Oct. 1.

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June 23, 2021

Jana Mohr Lone advocates for children’s voices in new book, ‘Seen and Not Heard’

In her new book, Jana Mohr Lone of the UW Center for Philosophy for Children asks, how would the world benefit if children were recognized as independent thinkers?

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Ahead of Pride, UW’s Manish Chalana describes the changing neighborhood of Capitol Hill

Development has changed the face of the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, says Manish Chalana, associate professor of urban design and planning at the University of Washington, but it remains the heart of the city’s LGBTQ community.

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June 21, 2021

ArtSci Roundup: Indigenous Walking Tour, Sonolocations: A Sound Works Series, and More

Through public events and exhibitions, connect with the UW community every week! This week, attend several museum exhibitions, the Indigenous walking tour, and more. While you’re enjoying summer break, connect with campus through UW live webcams of Red Square and the quad. Many of these online opportunities are streamed through Zoom. All UW faculty, staff,…

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June 17, 2021

Washington formally recognizes Juneteenth as a paid holiday in 2022

President Joe Biden’s signature on legislation Thursday making Juneteenth a federal holiday is a welcome recognition. Our state — including the University of Washington — looks forward to marking Juneteenth as a paid holiday beginning June 19, 2022.

Researchers discover yessotoxins, produced by certain phytoplankton, to be a culprit behind summer mass shellfish mortality events in Washington

Back in the summers of 2018 and 2019, the shellfish industry in Washington state was rocked by mass mortalities of its crops. Now, researchers think they have figured out why: high concentrations of yessotoxinss, which are produced by blooms of certain phytoplankton. The researchers’ findings were published last month in the open-access journal Harmful Algae.

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Interim deans named in UW College of the Environment and University Libraries

University of Washington Provost Mark A. Richards has announced interim deans for both the College of the Environment and University Libraries.

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‘An occasion for unapologetic Black joy, community connection, and reeducation’: UW’s LaTaSha Levy discusses Juneteenth

LaTaSha Levy, assistant professor of American ethnic studies at the University of Washington, discusses Juneteenth, the myths and omissions in telling its story, and the ongoing importance of fighting for, and celebrating, Black freedom.

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June 16, 2021

Pandemic-era crowdfunding more common, successful in affluent communities

A new University of Washington study of requests and donations to the popular crowdfunding site GoFundMe, along with Census data, shows stark inequities in where the money went and how much was donated.

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UW Ocean Voices program, seeking equity in ocean science, gets key approval from United Nations

Ocean Voices, a program of the UW Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Center to advance equity in ocean science, has been named among the first group of actions taken in a United Nations-sponsored, decade-long program of ocean science for sustainable development.

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June 15, 2021

Video: Mobile health van student volunteers collaborate in service to the community

This summer a UW mobile health outreach van will hit the road, bringing some basic health care services to people without housing who might have a hard time getting to a doctor’s office.

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