Ocean acidification impacts oysters’ memory of environmental stress

Pacific oyster shells

As oceans absorb more carbon dioxide, they are becoming increasingly acidic and shifting the delicate balance that supports marine life. How species will cope with ocean acidification and the other consequences of global climate change is still very much unknown and could have sweeping consequences. Researchers from the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences have discovered that ocean acidification impacts the ability of some oysters to pass down “memories” of environmental trauma to their offspring. 

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‘Age of A.I.’ documentary on YouTube features UW experts

Harold Tobin aboard the research vessel Marcus G. Langseth, conducting a marine seismic reflection survey of the Cascadia Subduction Zone off Washington’s coast.

Researchers at the University of Washington share their expertise on artificial intelligence and data science in “The Age of A.I.,” an online documentary produced and released this winter by YouTube. The series narrated by Robert Downey Jr. looks at how AI could affect everything from health care to the search for extraterrestrial life. The seventh episode, titled “Saving the World One Algorithm at a Time,” features the UW-based Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. 

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UW Quad cherry blossoms expected to peak last week of March

Students walking through the Quad.

Note: Thousands of people usually visit campus each spring to see the cherry blossoms. The University is asking people to avoid coming to campus this year to comply with orders by Public Health – Seattle & King County and Gov. Jay Inslee that prohibit gatherings of more than 50 people as our region combats the spread of COVID-19. Stay tuned for virtual options to enjoy the blossoms this year, including UW Video’s live feed of the Quad below. ORIGINAL POST on March 5: A relatively mild winter in the Seattle area means the iconic cherry trees in the University of Washington Quad are on track for a typical bloom season. 

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Thinning, prescribed burns protected forests during the massive Carlton Complex wildfire

Remains of a section of a forest burned by the Carlton Complex fire.

The 2014 Carlton Complex wildfire in north central Washington was the largest contiguous fire in state history. In just a single day, flames spread over 160,000 acres of forest and rangeland and ultimately burned more than 250,000 acres in the midst of a particularly hot, dry summer. The wildfire, driven by strong winds and explosive growth, was unprecedented in how it burned the landscape, destroying more than 300 homes in Washington’s Methow Valley. 

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Wildness in urban parks important for human well-being

Discovery Park

As metropolises balloon with growth and sprawl widens the footprint of cities around the world, access to nature for people living in urban areas is becoming harder to find. If you’re lucky, a pocket park might be installed next to a new condominium complex on your block, or perhaps a green roof tops the building where you work downtown. But it’s unusual to find places in a city that are relatively wild — even though our evolutionary history suggests we need interactions with wild nature to thrive. 

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