Lightning ‘superbolts’ form over oceans from November to February

Sydney lightening storm

The lightning season in the Southeastern U.S. is almost finished for this year, but the peak season for the most powerful strokes of lightning won’t begin until November, according to a newly published global survey of these rare events. A University of Washington study maps the location and timing of “superbolts” — bolts that release electrical energy of more than 1 million Joules, or a thousand times more energy than the average lightning bolt, in the very low frequency range in which lightning is most active. 

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Seagrass in Australia help students prepare for the real world

Students with a CTD

In the real world, engineers and scientists work together to conduct research and solve problems, but that is typically not the case in classrooms. But a month-long study abroad program provided an opportunity for student scientists and engineers to collaborate. University of Washington students traveled to the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, where they studied why seagrass and coral reef ecosystems are important, how to measure changes within these ecosystems and how to use robots to collect data. 

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Catching up with Katie Keil, 2019 Marine and Environmental Affairs graduate

As the academic year is about to get underway, we sat down with recent School of Marine and Environmental Affairs graduate Katie Keil to see what advice she might have for incoming University of Washington graduate students. What advice would you have for incoming UW graduate students? First and foremost, my advice would be to say “yes” to new experiences because here at UW, there are so many interesting, life-changing opportunities that are available to you. 

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Tides don’t always flush water out to sea, study shows

Jennifer Ruesink and Eli Wheat in Willapa Bay in 2007.

By area, tidal flats make up more than 50 percent of Willapa Bay in southwest Washington state, making this more than 142-square-mile estuary an ideal location for oyster farming. On some parts of these flats, oysters grow well, filling their shells with delicacies for discerning diners. But according to experienced oyster farmers, oysters raised in other parts of Willapa Bay don’t yield as much meat. 

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Sarah Converse awarded Department of Interior’s highest honor

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Sarah Converse who received the Department of the Interior’s Distinguished Service Award in Washington D.C. on September 12th. The award is the highest honorary recognition an employee can receive within the Department of the Interior and is granted for “outstanding contribution to science, outstanding skill or ability in the performance of duty, outstanding contribution made during an eminent career in the Department, or any other exceptional contribution to the public service.” Converse is honored for her work in whooping crane recovery and research, and the application of decision science as a management tool in support of federal trust agencies. 

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