10 news posts from September 2020

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UW Environment COVID-19 resources

The COVID-19 virus

The College is closely monitoring the local outbreak of the novel coronavirus and is making every effort to address the changing needs of the college community. To help you navigate our complex “new normal,” the College and unit chairs and directors have compiled resources that should help you continue teaching, learning, and working through the pandemic. Take good care and let us know how we can help. 

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Aquatic hitchhikers: Using mobile technology to predict invasive species transmission

Invasive Eurasian milfoil entangled on a boat and trailer.

A cooler full of fish might not be the only thing anglers bring back from a trip to the lake. Unknowingly, they may also be transporting small aquatic “hitchhikers” that attach themselves to boats, motors ― and even fishing gear ―  when moving between bodies of water. Considerable research shows that aquatic invasive species can completely transform ecosystems by introducing disease, out-competing and eating native species, altering food webs, changing physical habitat, devastating water-delivery systems and damaging economies. 

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Some polar bears in far north are getting short-term benefit from thinning ice

Kristin Laidre is seen with two polar bear cubs.

A small subpopulation of polar bears lives on what used to be thick, multiyear sea ice far above the Arctic Circle. The roughly 300 to 350 bears in Kane Basin, a frigid channel between Canada’s Ellesmere Island and Greenland, make up about 1-2% of the world’s polar bears. New research shows that Kane Basin polar bears are doing better, on average, in recent years than they were in the 1990s. 

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New faculty and recent faculty promotions at UW Environment (2020-2021)

Promoted faculty members

New faculty at UW Environment Three outstanding new faculty members with a wide range of experiences and expertise have recently started or will soon start at UW’s College of the Environment. The College community — its undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, faculty and staff — will benefit immensely from their contributions during the 2020-2021 academic year and beyond. The College’s impressive group of scientists and researchers now includes: Erendira Aveves Bueno, assistant professor, Marine and Environmental Affairs Alex Turner, assistant professor, Atmospheric Sciences Anne Beaudreau, associate professor, Marine and Environmental Affairs UW Environment faculty promotions Additionally, the College would like to extend congratulations to the following faculty members who have recently been promoted to new positions within their respective units: Kyle Armour, associate professor, Oceanography, joint with Atmospheric Sciences David Butterfield, affiliate professor, Oceanography Alison Duvall, associate professor, Earth and Space Sciences David Schmidt, professor, Earth and Space Sciences Michelle Koutnik, research associate professor, Earth and Space Sciences Daehyun Kim, associate professor, Atmospheric Sciences David Butman, associate professor, Environmental and Forest Sciences Monika Moskal, professor, Environmental and Forest Sciences Aaron Wirsing, professor, Environmental and Forest Sciences 

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Most landslides in western Oregon triggered by heavy rainfall, not big earthquakes

Will Struble and Alison Duvall dig into a landslide deposit near the community of Sitkum, Oregon.

Researchers at the University of Washington, Portland State University and the University of Oregon have shown that deep-seated landslides in the central Oregon Coast Range are triggered mostly by rainfall, not by large offshore earthquakes. The open-access paper was published Sept. 16 in Science Advances. “Geomorphologists have long understood the importance of rainfall in triggering landslides, and our study is simply driving home just how important it is,” said first author Sean LaHusen, who did the work as part of his doctorate at the UW. 

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