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Dean's Letter

Inclusion Inspires Innovation

Dean Lisa Graumlich

It is well established that innovations arise when different perspectives are brought to bear on seemingly intractable problems. Simply Google innovation, diversity, and inclusion. You will find research supporting this claim in the Harvard Business Review, calls to action in Forbes, and the sound bite from Apple that I took for the title of this Dean’s Letter.

In environmental sciences and resource management, inclusion doesn’t just inspire innovation—it changes everything.

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Ivan EastinIvan Eastin to serve as College's Associate Dean for Research

We are pleased to announce that Professor Ivan Eastin has agreed to serve as the College of the Environment’s Associate Dean for Research, effective October 16.

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friday harbor

Finding Friday Harbor

UW alumna Susan Harris spent a quarter studying everything from orcas to algae on the rocky shores of San Juan Island—right in the Puget Sound’s backyard at Friday Harbor Laboratories.

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oso landslideNatural Hazards & Resilient Communities: Q&A with UW's David R. Montgomery

As part of the Surviving Disaster: Natural Hazards & Resilient Communities speakers series, Montgomery will be giving a free public lecture on Tuesday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m. RSVP today! 

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nautilus peter wardRare nautilus sighted for the first time in three decades by the College's Peter Ward

In early August, biologist Peter Ward returned from the South Pacific with news that he had encountered an old friend, one he hadn’t seen in three decades.

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tim billo field classExploring wilderness in one of the lower forty-eight's most untamed landscapes

Every summer, Tim Billo leads a class with Environmental Studies that encourages students to explore their own perceptions of wild places—literally and figuratively.

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ryan kellyScientists weigh in on carbon emissions' effect on future ocean conditions

Ahead of COP21 climate negotiations in France, scientists are offering insights to the far-reaching effects of rising carbon dioxide levels on the ocean—including the School of Marine & Environmental Affairs’ Ryan Kelly.

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earthquake early warning john vidaleEarthquake early warning system funding awarded to UW, West Coast universities

The U.S. Geological Survey recently announced that $5 million will go to the University of Washington and three other institutions to help transition ShakeAlert into a public-facing tool.

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stem partnershipUW scientists engage the next generation of oceanographers through STEM partnership

The Olympic STEM Pathways Partnership is teaching educators how to build sensors, create opportunities for sensor building in their classes, and engage students to collect and ask questions about short- and long-term patterns in the Salish Sea.

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magma mushSimulating path of 'magma mush' inside an active volcano

Earth and Space Sciences' Jillian Schleicher and George Bergantz are modeling the inside of an active volcano, which could help volcanologists better predict eruptions.

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dorothy metcalf-lindenburgerFormer astronaut lands at the College of the Environment

Spotlight is an ongoing series that will introduce you to the many members that make up the College community. 

In April 2004, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger got the call—she was officially part of NASA’s newest astronaut class. In 2010, the mission specialist and former high school teacher stood 195 feet above the ground on the Space Shuttle Discovery’s launch pad.

Metcalf-Lindenburger learned more about the way our planet works by leaving it.

“When you see, literally see, how thin the atmosphere is, it drives home the fragility of our planet,” she said.

Upon returning to Earth, Metcalf-Lindenburger shifted her focus to other dreams: immersing herself into geosciences at the University of Washington. 

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Save the Date

Surviving Disaster: Natural Hazards & Resilient Communities Lecture Series (October 13-November 10, 2015)

Join us for a lecture series exploring how the latest developments in social and natural sciences can help us prepare for, respond to, and survive environmental disasters, wherever they strike! Use #NaturalHazardsUW to join the conversation on social media. 


Meet, Greet, Teach: Be Quiet! (October 21, 2015)

RSVP today for the College’s first Meet, Greet, Teach of the 2015-2016 school year as five faculty share their thoughts and strategies for closing the gap between extrovert and introvert.


The Wild Edge: Freedom to Roam the Pacific Coast (October 29, 2015)

Join photographer Florian Schulz on his epic photographic journey from Baja California to the Beaufort Sea. Along the way, you'll see gray whales, manta rays, flocks of sea birds, spirit bears and more. 

College of the Environment: State of the College (November 9, 2015)

At the State of the College address, Dean Lisa J. Graumlich will give updates on our work in research, education, and outreach, as well as a budget update and look into our collective future. Stay afterward for refreshments and mingling!


College Events Calendar

Stay up to date with the all events happening at the College by checking out our Events Calendar.

Philanthropy: Making a Difference

In the 2015 fiscal year, the College of the Environment was the fortunate beneficiary of a record number and amount of gifts and private grants—$13.8 million from 3,030 donors. Thank you to everyone who supported the College this year!

If you’re interested in supporting the College, consider one of our highlighted funds below or choose the fund of your choice on the UW Foundation website:

  • Program on the Environment Endowed Scholarship
  • Adopt-A-Student Program Fund
  • Climate Impacts Group Innovation Fund

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Awards & Acknowledgements

Welcome to the College's newest faculty members!

Congrats to AMNO & CO, a team of local high school students with ties to the College. They nabbed top prize for their ocean-ready remote-controlled submersible at this year’s Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) International Competition!

In recognition of her outstanding record of scientific achievement, the Department of Atmospheric Sciences’ Cecilia M. Bitz will be inducted into the Washington State Academy of Sciences this fall!

Congratulations to the 2015-2016 Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellows who will embark on one-year fellowships around Puget Sound this fall, tackling topics ranging from assessing paddle sports in Washington to addressing climate change with the Makah Tribe.

In 2015, NASA awarded grants to 21 projects as part of its Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment, and four of these proposals involve researchers from the School of Environmental & Forest Sciences. Cheers to David Butman, Laura Prugh, and Hans-Erik Andersen!

Two scientists from the College were recently elected as fellows of the American Geophysical Union. Kudos to the Department of Atmospheric Sciences’ Christopher Bretherton and the Department of Earth & Space Sciences’ Ian Joughin.

The School of Environmental and Forest Sciences’ Ivan Eastin and the Department of Atmospheric Sciences’ Cliff Mass were two of 17 new members chosen for the prestigious CoMotion Presidential Innovation Fellows program!

Kudos to the School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences’ Ray Hillborn and Tom Quinn. In recognition of their outstanding and meritorious contributions to the fields that represent the American Fisheries Society, both professors were recently named among the first-ever group of AFS Fellows!

Cheers to the School of Marine & Environmental Affairs’ Jessica Hernandez. She was recently selected as a UW Graduate School Latino/a Scholars Graduate School Fellowship recipient for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Proposals for the Global Innovation Fund awards are due by October 30, 2015! These funds seed initiatives and programs that develop cross-college and cross-continent collaborations. UW faculty members, research scientists and non-faculty researchers are encouraged to apply. The University of Washington Innovation Awards are also accepting submissions through November 2, 2015 for highly innovative, potentially transformational research proposals.

October / November 2015

In the Media

What Seattle Will Look Like After 2050 If We Don’t Get Real About Climate Change
The Stranger

Toxic algae bloom might be largest ever
The Seattle Times 

Crows May Learn Lessons From Death
The New York Times

Laser map gave clue to Oso slide’s ferocity
The Seattle Times

How Seattle’s Poor Are Most Affected by Climate Change 
Seattle Weekly 

Climate engineering would cool down the planet — but it may not save West Antarctica 
The Washington Post 

To study Earth’s most extreme environment, researchers wire up an undersea volcano
PBS NewsHour

Seattle's Faults: Maps That Highlight Our Shaky Ground

Scientists Say It’s Time to Stop Tar Sands 

A Little Fish with Big Impact In Trouble on U.S. West Coast 
Yale Environment 360

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