13 news posts from November 2017

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Usha Varanasi and Richard Feely named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Usha Varanasi, ’68, and Richard Feely have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. As part of the Section on Chemistry, Usha was recognized for her distinguished contributions in environmental chemistry and toxicology, particularly in establishing and communicating the impact of environmental contaminants on marine organisms and ecosystems. In the Section on Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences, Richard was recognized for leading the scientific examination of ocean acidification and shifting public policy to address the issue. 

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When to fish: Timing matters for fish that migrate to reproduce

Alaska sockeye salmon migrating.

It’s no secret that human activities affect fish, particularly those that must migrate to reproduce. Years of building dams and polluting rivers in some regions have left fish such as salmon struggling to return to their home streams and give birth to the next generation. A new University of Washington study points to yet another human factor that hampers the ability of fish to reproduce: the timing of our fishing seasons. 

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Changing the faces and future of conservation

The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars program at the UW was started in 2014 when it became clear that the environmental movement had made no strides in decades to address its lack of racial and gender diversity, a problem commonly known as the Green Ceiling. Simply put, no more than 12 percent of all employees in non-governmental organizations and foundations that work with natural resources could be described as ethnic minority or multiracial. 

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Are petite poplars the future of biofuels? UW studies say yes

Chang Dou standing in front of poplar tree stand

In the quest to produce affordable biofuels, poplar trees are one of the Pacific Northwest’s best bets — the trees are abundant, fast-growing, adaptable to many terrains and their wood can be transformed into substances used in biofuel and high-value chemicals that we rely on in our daily lives. But even as researchers test poplars’ potential to morph into everything from ethanol to chemicals in cosmetics and detergents, a commercial-scale processing plant for poplars has yet to be achieved. 

Read more at UW Today »