8 news posts from January 2020

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Rethinking land conservation to protect species that will need to move with climate change

Glacier Peak wilderness

All plants and animals need suitable conditions to survive. That means a certain amount of light, a tolerable temperature range, and access to sources of food, water and shelter. Many of the existing efforts to protect plant and animal species across the United States rely on information about where these species currently live. For example, if a rare bird species such as the snowy plover is found in a specific location along the Washington coast, conservationists try to protect it from human development where it lives. 

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Alison Gray wins inaugural Microsoft Investigator Fellowship

Alison Gray

Microsoft announced University of Washington School of Oceanography Assistant Professor Alison Gray as one of the winners of the inaugural Microsoft Investigator Fellowship, which empowers researchers of all disciplines who plan to make an impact with research and teaching using the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform. Each fellowship provides $100,000 annually for two years and various training and community events. Gray is an oceanographer who studies the circulation of the ocean and its impact on the physics and chemistry of the climate system. 

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Tiny, ancient meteorites suggest early Earth’s atmosphere was rich in carbon dioxide

The coast of the Pacific Northwest from space.

Very occasionally, Earth gets bombarded by a large meteorite. But every day, our planet gets pelted by space dust, micrometeorites that collect on Earth’s surface. A University of Washington team looked at very old samples of these small meteorites to show that the grains could have reacted with carbon dioxide on their journey to Earth. Previous work suggested the meteorites ran into oxygen, contradicting theories and evidence that the Earth’s early atmosphere was virtually devoid of oxygen. 

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Eric Steig named chair of the Department of Earth and Space Sciences

Eric Steig

The UW College of the Environment is pleased to announce that Eric Steig has agreed to serve as chair of the Department of Earth and Space Sciences (ESS), effective February 1, 2020, through June 30, 2023. Steig is a glaciologist and isotope geochemist who studies how the climate behaved in the past to learn what it can tell us both about the effects of climate change today, and how it will change in the future. 

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