To understand the importance of freshwater, we
need look no further than the current map of drought in the western United States. California is in the grips of an extreme multi-year drought, and farmers and ranchers are facing critical water shortages that affect the nation’s food supply. Here in Washington we are more fortunate in that we are “only” in a moderate drought, but are nevertheless concerned about how low snowpack will impact our water supply and wildfire in the coming months.
Read more of Dean Graumlich’s letter on our website.
Secretary of Interior visits the College of the Environment
Recently appointed Secretary of the
Interior Sally Jewell paid a visit to the College of the Environment where she
teamed up with Dean Lisa Graumlich to lead a roundtable discussion on climate
change. Scientists, policy makers and others talked about how they're grappling
with the issue and exchanged ideas on positive pathways to move forward.
more on the College of the Environment website.
Tom Leschine to leave director post at School of Marine and Environmental Affairs
Longtime School of Marine and Environmental Affairs director
Tom Leschine will be stepping down in his directorship role September 1, 2014. His leadership has been an asset within the classroom and beyond, offering
his expertise and unique insights in the broader marine research community for
decades. Leschine will continue in his role as professor in the school after
taking a sabbatical. A search committee has been formed to seek a new director.
more on the College of the Environment website.
New Quaternary Research Center Director
associate professor of Anthropology has been appointed by Dean Graumlich as the
new director of the Quaternary Research Center. The Center fosters
interdisciplinary environmental research focused on the Quaternary geologic
period, which covers the last 2½ million years of Earth’s history. Fitzhugh
takes over the helm from previous director Eric Steig, professor of Earth and
more on the College of the Environment
Remembering Robert Burgner, professor of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
Aquatic and Fishery Sciences professor emeritus Robert L.
“Bud” Burgner, a pioneer in Alaska fisheries research, passed away in January.
A leader in freshwater and marine fisheries science, his work helped lay the
foundation that enabled sustainable fisheries management, which in turn
supports the healthy, productive Alaskan marine ecosystems from which we all
more about Burgner and his legacy at the College of the Environment website.
Awards & Kudos
Congratulations to Tim Essington, professor of Aquatic and
Fishery Sciences, and Nives Dolsak, associate professor of Marine and
Environmental Affairs, on their appointment to the Puget Sound Partnership’s
Science Panel. Each will serve a 4-year term, helping bring science and policy
expertise into Puget Sound recovery.
Congratulations to the UW Botanic Garden on being awarded a
UW Green Seed Fund grant, which will allow them to acquire one new electric service vehicle and
another outfitted for biodiesel. Green Seed Fund
grants seek to engage faculty, students and staff in opportunities that advance
sustainable research while contributing to campus sustainability goals.
Earth and Space
Sciences researchers Kate Allstadt and John Vidale, along with Art Frankel of
the US Geological Survey, landed on the front page of the Seattle Times following
their recently published work on what a big earthquake could mean for the city
of Seattle. Their findings in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America suggest that a Seattle fault quake could have potentially devastating consequences, including triggering thousands of landslides within city limits.
Management program certificate team members recently had their work on whether oilsands
spills in rivers or coastal areas could be effectively cleaned up published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration as a technical memorandum. The Calgary Herald picked up their
report. Congratulations to Shanese Crosby, Robin Fay, Colin Groark, Ali Kani,
Jeff Smith, and Terry Sullivan.
Congratulations to Bryanda Wippel, a senior majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in both Marine Biology and Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences, who was as the only undergraduate student to present research at the 2013 conference of the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations. Her capstone project focused on identifying marine species whose diets will be impacted by ocean acidification in the California Current. Her calculations show that Dover Sole are particularly susceptible, which may translate to an economic loss to fisheries.
Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean scientists are playing an important role in a $1 million ocean science award. Adrienne Sutton and researchers in the Marine Carbon Program at the Pacific Marine Environmental Lab will provide the baseline chemistry measurement necessary to evaluate pH sensors entered in the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health X Prize competition in spring 2014. Two awards will be given to teams of scientists who develop pH sensors that can improve our understanding of ocean acidification and begin the process of healing our oceans.
to Cecilia Bitz in Atmospheric Sciences, who will spend spring at the National
Center for Atmospheric Research as the first 2014 Francis Bretherton visitor.
Bob Burns, Oceanographer and Philanthropist
Spotlight is an ongoing series that
will introduce you to the many members that make up the College
through the channels on TV, Bob Burns, retired oceanographer at the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, came across a show detailing the
marvels of ocean gliders that traverse the world’s oceans. Resembling a slender
yellow rocket with fixed wings, this particular automaton travels from New
Jersey to Spain through watery space and time, beaming scads of oceanographic
information to waiting computers and scientists back on shore.
that, it just made me stop and think how much oceanography has changed,”
remarked Burns. “But what hasn’t changed is you’ve got to keep people coming to
the ocean, seeing the wonder of it all.”
Read more about Burns and his philanthropic giving on the College of
the Environment website.
Philanthropy: Making a Difference
We have recently received many generous gifts and we would specifically
like to acknowledge all of the donors who have given to the College of the
Environment Scholarship Fund, which helps deserving students across numerous
disciplines. We would also like to thank the G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation for
their generous $235,000 donation to Oceanography and to further Arctic
There are many opportunities to help support the College of the Environment. If you would like to help, please consider supporting the College through
the fund of your choice, or through some of our highlighted funds such as:
You can learn more about these recent gifts or how you can support our highlighted funds and others by visiting the College of the Environment website.
- College of the Environment Scholarship Fund
- Friends of the Joint Institute for the Study
of the Atmosphere and Ocean
- School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences Alumni
Students First Endowed Fellowship Fund
Save the Date
If you will be in southern California on March 27, join us for the College of
the Environment’s Lunch and Learn event in Rancho Mirage. This year’s speaker
will be Ginger Armbrust, professor and director of Oceanography, who will give
a talk over lunch entitled “Healthy Oceans: our planet’s ultimate support
system.” For more information and to RSVP, visit the UW Alumni Associations webpage.
Join the Burke Museum for the Sixth Annual Environmental Writers Workshop on April 26. For more information, visit the Burke Museum website.
Don’t forget the many on-going series of seminars of interest to researchers and laypersons alike happening throughout the College and elsewhere – you can stay current through our events calendar or by subscribing to our weekly events bulletin here.