10 news posts from June 2020

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Lisa J. Graumlich to step down as dean in June 2021

College of the Environment Dean Lisa J. Graumlich

Dean Lisa J. Graumlich will step down as dean of the College of the Environment at the end of this academic year, June 30, 2021.  As the inaugural dean of the College of the Environment, Graumlich merged two colleges and academic departments from a third college, and established a cohesive unit focused on our planet and solar system. Over the last 10 years, she has worked to build the common culture, shared aspirations and collaborative spirit alive in the college today. 

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Studying sea ice algae in Antarctica: two graduate students take fieldwork to the next level

Hannah Dawson and Sussan Rundell with their gear and the R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer in the background.

School of Oceanography Assistant Professor Jodi Young is studying one of the most essential components of Antarctic ecosystems: sea ice algae. This algae supports the bottom of the food chains in polar regions, and if it were to suddenly disappear, dependent ecosystems could collapse. For two Oceanography graduate students, the chance to work with Young and collect sea ice algae data in one of the most remote and visually stunning regions on the planet was a twice in a lifetime experience. 

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UW School of Oceanography researchers awarded Microsoft AI for Earth Innovation grant

UW School of Oceanography Professor LuAnne Thompson and graduate student Hillary Scannell are conducting one of five projects from around the world to receive the Microsoft-Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) Innovation grant this month for their proposal to use artificial intelligence to better understand the planet and solve pressing environmental issues. The grants will support a range of projects, spanning the cutting-edge use of technology to monitor human-wildlife conflict in Tanzania to tracking dangerous marine heatwaves and predicting drinking water shortages in underserved communities. 

Read the GWC press release »

Volcanic activity and changes in Earth’s mantle were key to rise of atmospheric oxygen

Fossils in South Africa

Oxygen first accumulated in the Earth’s atmosphere about 2.4 billion years ago, during the Great Oxidation Event. A long-standing puzzle has been that geologic clues suggest early bacteria were photosynthesizing and pumping out oxygen hundreds of millions of years before then. Where was it all going? Something was holding back oxygen’s rise. A new interpretation of rocks billions of years old finds volcanic gases are the likely culprits. 

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Zoom graduation the UW Environment way

How can we make a virtual graduation feel just as special, just as celebratory and honor achievement just as well as an in-person celebration on campus? Units within the College of the Environment are working hard to carefully plan ceremonies to honor the Class of 2020 in a memorable way that emulates the pomp and circumstance graduates enjoy when they walk across the big stage while being cheered on by family, friends and loved ones.  

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