Are wildfires really getting worse? A Q&A with Brian Harvey

a wildfire burns in California

Whether you live in a rural community that grapples with annual threats of destructive wildfires or in a city that now spends part of every summer inundated with smoke, many across North America have found themselves wondering: what happened to cause such a sudden change in the way our forests burn? We sat down with Brian Harvey, assistant professor of environmental and forest sciences in the UW College of the Environment, to discuss some of the most frequently asked questions we encounter about the causes of wildfires, how they’re changing and what we can do to limit their impacts on human health and property. 

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In the Field: UW team to spend six weeks visiting deep-ocean observatory

The University of Washington’s large research vessel, the R/V Thomas G. Thompson, will embark Aug. 13 from Newport, Oregon. A team of dozens of UW students, researchers and engineers will visit sites hosting a unique, National Science Foundation-funded, underwater observatory. For almost six weeks the team will send a remotely operated vehicle, ROV Jason, to recover and deploy more than 100 instruments as far as 2 miles below the ocean’s surface, all connected to a cable that supplies power and internet connectivity. 

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Governor Inslee appoints Maggie Walker to UW Board of Regents

Maggie Walker

Governor Jay Inslee appointed Maggie Walker to the University of Washington Board of Regents, where she will serve out the remaining term of Libby Gates MacPhee who resigned in late June. Walker, a longtime supporter of the UW College of the Environment and the University, will bring a depth of knowledge and experience as a local and national leader to bear on the UW’s governing body. 

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UW earthquake experts discuss preparedness for "The Big One" on final season 1 episode of FieldSound

City of Seattle

Earthquakes can strike at any moment. On the final Season 1 episode of FieldSound, UW seismologists Harold Tobin and Audrey Dunham discuss the impending threat of “The Big One” – a large-scale earthquake that will strike along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Tobin and Dunham also share recent advances in earthquake and tsunami preparedness for communities inland and along the coast in the Pacific Northwest. 

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Marine heat waves caused mass seabird die-offs, beach surveys show

Deceased seabirds on the beach

Seabirds, from cormorants to puffins, spend most of their lives at sea. Beloved by birdwatchers, these animals can be hard to study because they spend so much time far from shore. New research led by the University of Washington uses data collected by coastal residents along beaches from central California to Alaska to understand how seabirds have fared in recent decades. 

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