11 news posts from March 2022

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Science at your fingertips: how the science of sand uncovers Earth’s mysteries  

beach on a sunny day in Washington State

Feeling cool, wet sand squish between your toes while walking along a beach is something that many of us take solace in — there’s just something special about that boundary between land and water. The beach serves as the backdrop for so many of life’s events: vacations, barbeques, camps, seashell searches, sporting events and even weddings. But the sand you track in on your towels and sandals is more than just something to vacuum up. 

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Solar energy explains fast yearly retreat of Antarctica’s sea ice

A research vessel looking out at the horizon amidst broken sea ice

In the Southern Hemisphere, the ice cover around Antarctica gradually expands from March to October each year. During this time the total ice area increases by 6 times to become larger than Russia. The sea ice then retreats at a faster pace, most dramatically around December, when Antarctica experiences constant daylight. New research led by the University of Washington explains why the ice retreats so quickly: Unlike other aspects of its behavior, Antarctic sea ice is just following simple rules of physics. 

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Join us for Husky Giving Day on April 7, 2022

Husky Giving Day graphic

The University of Washington’s annual Husky Giving Day will be held on April 7, 2022. Husky Giving Day is a 24-hour period during which alumni and friends come together to support the people, programs, projects and causes they care about most at the University of Washington. Our greatest strength is our community. We hope to inspire UW alumni and friends around the world to participate in celebrating the power of philanthropy at the UW. 

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Becky Alexander reappointed as director of the Program on Climate Change

A headshot of Becky Alexander on the left, and a headshot of LuAnne Thompson on the right

Becky Alexander has agreed to be reappointed as director of the Program on Climate Change (PCC), effective Sept. 1, 2023 to Aug. 31, 2025. Alexander is expecting to take a one-year sabbatical for AY22-23, so LuAnne Thompson will be serving as acting director, effective Sept. 1, 2022 to Aug. 31, 2023. Alexander is an atmospheric chemist in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences who studies the feedbacks that arise between climate change and the chemical composition of the atmosphere. 

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Birdwatching in the wintertime

Olivia Sanderfoot birdwatches at the Center for Urban Horticulture

Where do birds go during the colder months? Do we see different species of birds here in Seattle during the winter versus during the summer? Where are the best spots to catch a glimpse of birds? Luckily for bird enthusiasts, winter in the Pacific Northwest is just as great for bird watching as summer, but with some key differences. Olivia Sanderfoot, who recently defended her Ph.D. 

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