8 news posts from July 2014

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Klinger and Swalla named directors of two College units

Terrie Klinger and Billie Swalla

Professor Terrie Klinger has been named director of the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, and professor Billie Swalla has been named director of the Friday Harbor Laboratories on San Juan Island. Both are units within the College of the Environment, and each appointment is subject to approval by the Board of Regents. The appointments are for five years; Klinger will take her post effective September 1, while Swalla’s begins immediately. 

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Ocean upwelling becoming more intense with a changing climate

Ocean winds drive upwelling and productivity along certain coastlines. (photo: Ron LaValley)

Our Washington coastline is one of the most prolific and productive in the world, teeming with abundant plant and animal life. In fact, much of entire U.S. west coast is the same, and we can largely thank a strong upwelling system for driving this bounty. New research published in Science has shown that upwelling in the eastern boundary current systems – meaning, the eastern edges of ocean basins across the globe where winds, currents, and geological formations create a prime environment for upwelling – has increased globally over the past 60 years. 

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Demystifying lush landscapes of the ancient African Sahara

Giraffe rock carvings in the Sahara Desert (photo: Matthew Paulson)

When thinking of rich green landscapes—ones where an abundance of rain keeps everything growing and vibrant, supporting water-loving wildlife like crocodiles and hippopotamus—the Sahara is hardly the place that comes to mind. Yet 6000 years ago, this would have appropriately described what has become the dry, thirsty landscape of the Sahara we know today. The desert’s previous state of relative lushness has long been known by scientists and others. 

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