New book by UW’s David R. Montgomery addresses how to rebuild Earth’s soils

The cover of Professor Dave Montgomery's new book, "Growing a Revolution."

University of Washington geologist David R. Montgomery, a professor in the College’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences, writes that he never thought he’d write an optimistic book about the environment. Montgomery’s first popular book, “Dirt,” was about how erosion undermined ancient civilizations around the world in places like modern-day Syria and Iraq. Yet his latest book, “Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life,” is a good-news environment story. 

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Researchers find more efficient way to make oil from dead trees

A container of bio oil, produced by the UW research team.

The mountain pine beetle has destroyed more than 40 million acres of forest in the western United States — an area roughly the size of Washington state. The beetles introduce a fungus that prevents water and critical nutrients from traveling within a tree. They also lay eggs under the conifers’ bark, and their feeding larvae help kill trees — sometimes just weeks after the initial attack. 

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Invasive green crab found at Dungeness Spit

A European green crab found at Dungeness Spit, Sequim, this month.

A new population of invasive European green crab has been found at Dungeness Spit, near Sequim, Washington, rekindling concern over the potential for damage to local marine life and shorelines. Staff and volunteers from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge, captured a total of 13 European green crab over the past two weeks as part of the UW-based Washington Sea Grant Crab Team early detection program. 

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Conservation not an effective tool for reducing infectious disease in people, study finds

Zebras seen in Nairobi National Park in Kenya.

Conservation projects that protect forests and encourage plant and animal diversity can benefit humans. But improved human health is not among those benefits when health is measured through the lens of infectious disease. That’s the main finding of a paper published April 24 in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, which analyzed the relationship between infectious diseases and their environmental, demographic and economic drivers in dozens of countries over 20 years. 

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