As Dean I am often asked to
explain the importance of the College of the Environment in simple, accessible
language to the public—the proverbial “elevator speech.” In my first year as
Dean I often described the size and scope of the College. And, in truth, it’s
impressive: the biggest college of the environment in the United States, with
$115 million in externally-funded research taking place on all seven continents
and in each of the world’s oceans. While this message had a general “Go
Huskies!” appeal, it did not lend itself to deeper dialogue. At worst it made
people’s eyes glaze over.
Climate Impacts Group partners with Swinomish
Tribe to reduce climate effects
The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community was
recognized at the 2014 National Congress of American Indians’ annual meeting in
Atlanta for their remarkable efforts to address climate change impacts on
tribal lands. The UW Climate Impacts Group was a key partner in helping secure
the recognition, which was given by the Honoring Nations Program from Harvard
University’s Project on American Indian Economic Development.
What’s going on with Pacific Coast sea stars?
Much has been written about
disappearing and disintegrating sea stars along the US West Coast over the past
year, where the Pacific Northwest and Puget Sound have been hit
especially hard. Scientists at the College of the Environment and many who do research at the
Friday Harbor Laboratories have started finding answers as to what is happening.
Global warming impacts methane hydrate off the coast of Washington
Scientists have long thought that global warming could impact frozen layers of methane hydrate found in the seafloor with potentially wide-ranging environmental effects. UW scientists and partners have recently shown that four decades of sea water warming off the Washington coast may be having an effect, actually melting the upper part of the continental slope sediment's methane hydrate reservoir. Oceanography undergraduate and co-author Una Miller has played a pivotal role in bringing together a unique interdisciplinary team of UW scientists and partners to tackle this problem.
Arboretum Loop Trail about to break ground
The long awaited Arboretum Loop
Trail is about to begin construction, and is designed to provide access to seldom-visited
areas of the park. It will also offer new pathways to connect various areas in
the park, and much of the newly accessible sites will be spruced up with news
plants and the removal of invasive species.
Awards & Acknowledgements
Congratulations to College
of the Environment graduate students who were recently awarded a Marc Hershman or
John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.
Fellows are placed in host offices at the state or federal level for an
exciting year working on ocean and coastal science, as well as marine resource
to the numerous faculty in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences who have recently
been recognized for outstanding contributions to their field, including
Fang-Zhen Teng (Mineralogical Society of America Award), Darrel Cowan
(Geological Society of America, Structural Geology and Tectonics Division,
Career Contribution Award), David Montgomery (National Association of
Geoscience Teachers James H. Shea Award), and Eric Cheney (Geological Society
of America technical session honoring his diverse career and contributions to
Schindler, professor of aquatic and fishery sciences, was awarded the Frank Rigler Award, the highest honor given by the
Society of Canadian Limnologists.
to Megan Dethier, the new Friday Harbor Laboratories’
Associate Director for Academics and the Environment. Dethier’s
responsibilities include providing input on research collections, and connecting
with agencies in San Juan County concerning the marine environment. She will
also work on issues surrounding the preserve property on which the Friday
Harbor Labs are located.
Simons Foundation has named associate professor of oceanography Anitra Ingalls
as one of its Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes
and Ecology (SCOPE) Investigators. Anitra will work with 15 other SCOPE
Investigators to unlock the mysteries of how microbial ecosystems function in
the open oceans, focusing specifically on the chemical communication pathways
that have evolved to allow microorganisms to ‘listen’ to their environment,
‘talk’ to each other and respond to what they ‘hear’. Ginger Armbrust,
professor and director of the School of Oceanography at the College of the
Environment, serves on the SCOPE steering committee.
Lauren Brandkamp, Oceanography Alum
Spotlight is an ongoing series that will introduce you to the many members that make up the College community.
clear waters over nurseries of young sharks, starlit kayaking to gather ocean
water, collecting and growing coral… not your typical day job. So how did
College of the Environment graduate Lauren
Brandkamp who grew up among
the wheat fields and horses of eastern Washington, find herself working as a
scientist-in-residence on a tiny island in the South Pacific?
Philanthropy: Making a Difference
College of the Environment would like to thank Drs. Usha and S. Rao Varanasi, who have established
the Usha and S. Rao Varanasi Endowed Fellowship in Environmental and Marine
Stewardship. This endowment will benefit
graduate students in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and School of
Marine and Environmental Affairs working at the intersection of policy
development and the assessment of environmental impacts on natural resources
from human influence.
are numerous ways to help support research and students at College of the
Environment—please consider making a gift to the fund of your choice,
- Friday Harbor Labs Adopt-A-Student Program Fund
- Friends of Atmospheric Sciences
- College of the Environment Environmental Leadership Fund
our website to learn more about these funds and how you can help.
Save the Date
Imaging the Arctic
the Arctic is a collaborative project and exhibition that explores the ecology
and culture of West Greenland through the work of marine mammal biologist
and aquatic and fisheries sciences professor Kristin Laidre, expeditionary
artist Maria Coryell-Martin, Finnish photographer Tiina Itkonen, and
graphic artist Owen Curtsinger.
The project is on display at the Nordic Heritage Museum December 12 through February 22 and is oriented around Laidre’s research
on the impact of climate change in the Arctic, and sea ice loss on
narwhals and polar bears.
You can always stay up to date with the latest events happening at the College of the Environment by checking out our Events Calendar.