37 news posts related to Sustainability

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UW Environment alumna Eliza Dawson to row across the Pacific Ocean for climate change awareness

Female rower wearing a hat and wetsuit rows on Lake Washington with Fremont Bridge behind her.

Eliza Dawson, a former UW crew member who majored in atmospheric sciences at UW’s College of the Environment, is part of a four-woman team that will row across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii this June. She and her team hope to break the world record for women rowers — 50 days, 8 hours, 14 minutes — set in 2014. Dawson is also taking part in the 2,400-mile rowing race from Monterey, California, to Honolulu to spotlight the far-reaching impacts of humankind on the Earth by rowing across parts of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a vast gyre of plastic garbage occupying an area four times the size of California. 

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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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Are petite poplars the future of biofuels? UW studies say yes

Chang Dou standing in front of poplar tree stand

In the quest to produce affordable biofuels, poplar trees are one of the Pacific Northwest’s best bets — the trees are abundant, fast-growing, adaptable to many terrains and their wood can be transformed into substances used in biofuel and high-value chemicals that we rely on in our daily lives. But even as researchers test poplars’ potential to morph into everything from ethanol to chemicals in cosmetics and detergents, a commercial-scale processing plant for poplars has yet to be achieved. 

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Catching a diversity of fish species — instead of specializing — means more stable income for fishers

Fishing boats against a white sky.

For people who make a living by harvesting natural resources, income volatility is a persistent threat. Crops could fail. Fisheries could collapse. Forests could burn. These and other factors — including changing management regulations and practices — can lower harvests and depress incomes. But the ways that these forces interact to impact income, especially at the level of the individual worker, have been difficult to track. 

Read more at UW Today »