12 news posts from March 2020

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‘Fatal attraction’: Small carnivores drawn to kill sites, then ambushed by larger kin

Gray wolf caught on camera in Denali National Park in Alaska.

In many parts of the world, there is an imbalance in the food chain. Without top predators such as wolves and grizzly bears, smaller meat-eating animals like coyotes and foxes or grazers such as deer and elk can balloon in population, unchecked. This can initiate more deer-vehicle collisions, scavenging by urban coyotes and other unnatural human-animal interactions. University of Washington researchers have discovered that large predators play a key yet unexpected role in keeping smaller predators and deer in check. 

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UW Environment response to COVID-19

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Leaders throughout the College of the Environment are closely monitoring the local outbreak of the novel coronavirus and are making every effort to address the changing needs of the college community, wherever possible. The College continues to follow all advice and directives set forth by the University of Washington, which are detailed at length on the UW Coronavirus Information Page. For College-specific information and guidance relating to changes in study, teaching, research, staffing and fieldwork, please visit the UW Environment COVID-19 Resource Page. 

Read more on the UW Environment COVID-19 resource page »

The Great (Neighborhood) Outdoors: staying connected with nature during Coronavirus

⚠️ IMPORTANT Bratman and the authors stress that the current circumstances due to Coronavirus demand that we follow social distancing and other critical precautionary instructions from public health officials – including when spending time outdoors. Ah, the great outdoors. That intoxicating piney scent of an evergreen forest, the salty seawater glow on your skin after a swim, the parade of puffy clouds marching overhead while stretched out in a flowery meadow—being outside makes us happy and puts us at ease. 

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Ocean acidification impacts oysters’ memory of environmental stress

Pacific oyster shells

As oceans absorb more carbon dioxide, they are becoming increasingly acidic and shifting the delicate balance that supports marine life. How species will cope with ocean acidification and the other consequences of global climate change is still very much unknown and could have sweeping consequences. Researchers from the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences have discovered that ocean acidification impacts the ability of some oysters to pass down “memories” of environmental trauma to their offspring. 

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‘Age of A.I.’ documentary on YouTube features UW experts

Harold Tobin aboard the research vessel Marcus G. Langseth, conducting a marine seismic reflection survey of the Cascadia Subduction Zone off Washington’s coast.

Researchers at the University of Washington share their expertise on artificial intelligence and data science in “The Age of A.I.,” an online documentary produced and released this winter by YouTube. The series narrated by Robert Downey Jr. looks at how AI could affect everything from health care to the search for extraterrestrial life. The seventh episode, titled “Saving the World One Algorithm at a Time,” features the UW-based Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. 

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