Missing fish catch data? Not necessarily a problem, new study says


Recording how many fish are caught is one important requirement to measure the well-being of a fish stock — if scientists know the number of fish taken from the ocean, they can adjust management of that fishery to keep it from being overfished. Missing catch data, however, are rampant, causing concern that fisheries around the world are overfished. A new study by University of Washington scientists finds that in many cases, this isn’t true. 

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UW scientist helping direct NASA field study of clouds off Namibia

Rob Wood acts as flight scientist on a Sept. 6 flight, coordinating between scientists and crew and deciding where to fly next.

Tiny aerosol particles, emitted by everything from tailpipes to trees, float above us reflecting sunlight, seeding clouds and absorbing solar heat. How exactly this happens — and how it might change in the future — is one of the biggest uncertainties in how humans are influencing climate. University of Washington scientists are part of a NASA field campaign, Observations of Aerosols Above Clouds and their Interactions, or ORACLES, that is flying research planes around clouds off the coast of Namibia to see how smoke and clouds interact. 

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Microbes help plants survive in severe drought

Poplars given microbes (top) survived better in drought conditions, compared with plants with no added microbes (bottom).

With California in its fifth year of severe drought and many western states experiencing another year of unusually dry conditions, plants are stressed. Agricultural crops, grasses and garden plants alike can get sick and die when factors such as drought and excess sun force them to work harder to survive. Now, plants can better tolerate drought and other stressors with the help of natural microbes, University of Washington research has found. 

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Remembering Dr. Sarah Reichard

Sarah Reichard and Kern Ewing.

UW suffered a tremendous loss this month with the passing of Professor Sarah Reichard. To other faculty members, Sarah embodied what we work so hard to become. She was a scholar who relentlessly pursued scientific understanding and – as importantly – shared what she discovered with communities so they could use new knowledge to improve our world.

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Floating DNA reveals urban shorelines support more animal life

A view of downtown Seattle.

Every living thing leaves a genetic trail in its wake. As animals, plants and microbes shed cells and produce waste, they drop traces of their DNA everywhere — in the air, soil and water. Researchers are now able to capture the cells of animals, sequence their DNA and identify which species were present at a point in time. Think of it as genetic fingerprints that leave a trace of past activity. 

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