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Return of the wolves: How deer escape tactics help save their lives

A pair of wolves run across the landscape in eastern Washington in 2016.

Washington’s deer populations have begun to change their behavior to evade ever-increasing numbers of their most cunning predator, the gray wolf. Intriguingly, the escape tactics used by the two more common species – the mule deer and the white-tailed deer – vary greatly. Researchers from UW College of the Environment and other institutions found that when in areas populated by gray wolves, mule deer are spending more time away from roads, at higher elevations and in rockier landscapes than previously observed. 

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Q&A: New Washington Sea Grant director brings love of learning, experience across sectors

Russell Callender, director of Washington Sea Grant effective September 2018.

Russell Callender spent nearly two decades working on coastal science, policy and management issues at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s headquarters near Washington, D.C. But throughout his tenure at the nation’s capital, he kept his eye on a position at an organization in the other Washington. When he saw the job posting last summer to lead Washington Sea Grant at the University of Washington, it took Callender all of about two minutes to start working on his application. 

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New resources support tribes in preparing for climate change

A tribal fire crew member in Oregon monitors a prescribed burn, a key tool for preventing large wildfires that are likely to become more common under climate change.

As the natural world responds to climate change, American Indian tribes across the country are grappling with how to plan for a future that balances inevitable change with protecting the resources vital to their cultural traditions. The University of Washington Climate Impacts Group and regional tribal partners have developed a collection of resources that may be useful to tribes at any stage in the process of evaluating their vulnerability to climate change. 

Read more at UW Today »

First tally of U.S.-Russia polar bears finds a healthy population

An adult female and cub in fall 2017 on Wrangel Island, where hundred of Chukchi Sea polar bears spend the summer months.

Not all polar bears are in the same dire situation due to retreating sea ice, at least not right now. Off the western coast of Alaska, the Chukchi Sea is rich in marine life, but the number of polar bears in the area had never been counted. The first formal study of this population suggests that it’s been healthy and relatively abundant in recent years, numbering about 3,000 animals. 

Read more at UW Today »