10 news posts from November 2020

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The retitling of lecturers: more than just a name

University of Washington's Suzzallo Library

Earlier this fall, the titles of some of UW Environment’s most beloved teachers changed overnight. On September 16th, the titles of eight instructors, which had previously ended with the word “lecturer,” now end with “teaching professor.” This shift in title, however, changed more than just their email signatures. This transition builds on earlier efforts to provide more stability for teaching faculty, including a limit on the number of annual contracts allowed before a multi-year contract must be pursued. 

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New global archive logs changes in behavior of Arctic animals

A moose in Denali National Park

The Arctic’s dramatic changes — warmer winters, earlier springs, shrinking ice and more human development — are impacting native animals. Researchers have long been observing the movements and behavior of animals in this region, but it’s been difficult to discover and access these data for meaningful collaborations. Now scientists from around the world have established the Arctic Animal Movement Archive, an online repository for data documenting the movements of animals in the Arctic and Subarctic. 

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UW Environment home to #5 Geosciences program in US News Best Global Universities ranking

Yakama Nation field and forest.

UW Environment held on to the No. 5 position in the highest-ranked Geosciences programs globally. “We are proud to be consistently recognized for the excellence and impact of our scholarship,” UW President Ana Mari Cauce said. The ranking methodology — which is based on Web of Science data and metrics provided by Clarivate Analytics InCites — weighs factors that measure a university’s global and regional research reputation and academic research performance. 

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UW awarded $23.5M to build floating robots as part of NSF project to monitor the world’s oceans

The ocean float lab in the UW Ocean Sciences Building is a hive of activity. Dozens of floats are in various stages of construction, both for the ongoing Argo program and the new SOCCOM project to study the Southern Ocean

The University of Washington is among leading U.S. oceanographic institutions that have received National Science Foundation funding to build and deploy 500 robotic ocean-monitoring floats to monitor the chemistry and biology of the world’s oceans. The National Science Foundation on October 29 approved a $53 million, five-year grant to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI); the UW; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; and Princeton University. 

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Flying through wildfire smoke plumes could improve smoke forecasts

Carley Fredrickson of the UW and Lauren Garofalo of CSU look at incoming data inside the research aircraft

Wildfires burning in the West affect not only the areas burned, but the wider regions covered by smoke. Recent years have seen hazy skies and hazardous air quality become regular features of the late summer weather. Many factors are causing Western wildfires to grow bigger and to generate larger, longer-lasting smoke plumes that can stretch across the continent. An analysis led by the University of Washington looks at the most detailed observations to date from the interiors of West Coast wildfire smoke plumes. 

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