In the Field: Tracking seismic clues in one of the driest places on Earth

UW doctoral student collects rock samples on dry, brown hills in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

Unlike the Pacific Northwest, the Atacama Desert in Chile experiences very little rain. But the two regions are both seismically active. Faults in the Atacama Desert are slowly sliding past each other in a way similar to the Seattle Fault in Puget Sound and the San Andreas Fault in California. The Atacama Desert’s lack of rain makes it easier to see how those gradual movements shape the landscape over time. 

Read more at UW News »

WhaleVis turns more than a century of whaling data into an interactive map

WhaleVis world map showing data on global whale catches and whaling routes.

Even though they’re the largest animals on earth, whales remain difficult to track. So experts often turn to historical whaling data to inform current research. A dataset maintained by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) contains detailed information on commercial whale catches — more than 2.1 million records, predominantly from 1880 until the IWC banned whaling in 1986. Yet for researchers, distilling that data can prove its own challenge. 

Read more at UW News »

UW Department of Atmospheric Sciences maintains No. 1 global ranking; more than two dozen UW subjects in top 50

Bus driving past University of Washington's "W" sculpture on a sunny day

Six University of Washington subjects ranked in the top 10, and atmospheric sciences maintained its position as No. 1 in the world on the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects list for 2023. The ranking, released at the end of October, was conducted by researchers at the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, a fully independent organization dedicated to research on higher education intelligence and consultation. 

Read more at UW News »

The art and science of Dale Durran

Bassoon rods illuminated by LED lights in random patterns against a metal backdrop

While most of his days are spent unraveling the intricacies of weather patterns and atmospheric dynamics, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Dale Durran has embraced metal work to express his passion for the natural world. With a curiosity that reaches far beyond the confines of the laboratory, Durran crafts works that infuse the interplay of science and creativity into each unique piece. 

Read more »