Friday Harbor Labs’ Megan Dethier receives Seattle Aquarium Conservation Research Award

Each year, the Seattle Aquarium recognizes individuals who are leaders in marine research, especially in the Pacific Northwest. This year that honor goes to Megan Dethier, a longtime researcher at the College of the Environment’s Friday Harbor Laboratories. She was recognized alongside George Willoughby from Friday Habor Labs’ Advancement Board, who received the Scott S. Patrick Award for his volunteer service. 

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A new 'atmospheric disequilibrium' could help detect life on other planets

The coast of the Pacific Northwest from space

As NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and other new giant telescopes come online they will need novel strategies to look for evidence of life on other planets. A University of Washington study has found a simple approach to look for life that might be more promising than just looking for oxygen. The paper, published Jan. 24 in Science Advances, offers a new recipe for providing evidence that a distant planet harbors life. 

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Temporary 'bathtub drains' in the ocean concentrate marine debris

The project used hundreds of biodegradable white plastic drifters in several experiments to mimic how flotsam, or floating debris, travels in the ocean.

An experiment featuring the largest flotilla of sensors ever deployed in a single area provides new insights into how marine debris, or flotsam, moves on the surface of the ocean. Conducted in the Gulf of Mexico near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the experiment placed hundreds of drifting sensors to observe how material moves on the ocean’s surface. 

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Small hydroelectric dams increase globally with little research, regulations

Small dam with water flowing over its edge into shallow, rocky pond.

Hydropower dams may conjure images of the massive Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state or the Three Gorges Dam in Hubei, China. But not all dams are the stuff of documentaries. Tens of thousands of smaller hydroelectric dams exist around the world, and all indications suggest that the number could substantially increase in the future. These structures are small enough to avoid the numerous regulations large dams face and are built more quickly and in much higher densities. 

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