College faculty, staff and students honored at the 2022 Awards of Excellence

Mikelle Nuwer, Kristin Privitera-Johnson, Burlyn Birkemeier and Joanna Long

Each year, the University of Washington’s Awards of Excellence highlight alumni, faculty, staff, retirees and students who contribute to the richness and diversity of the University community. This year, the University has recognized the outstanding contributions of four members of the College of the Environment: Mikelle Nuwer, Kristin Privitera-Johnson, Burlyn Birkemeier and Joanna Long. The winners will be honored from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. 

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Killer whales lingering in increasingly ice-free Arctic Ocean

A pair of killer whales jump out of the water

Killer whales are intelligent, adaptive predators, often teaming up to take down larger whales as prey. Continuous reduction in sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is opening areas to increased killer whale dwelling and predation, potentially creating an ecological imbalance. Underwater microphones placed off the western and northern coasts of Alaska show that killer whales have spent more time than previously recorded in the Arctic, following the decrease in summer sea ice. 

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Why scientists are predicting another cold, wet winter in the Pacific Northwest

La Niña in the Pacific Northwest

After a brutally hot, dry summer, chilly winds and soaking rain have finally returned to mark the start of autumn in the Pacific Northwest. According to Washington State Climatologist Nick Bond and Assistant State Climatologist Karin Bumbaco, both researchers in the Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean and Ecosystem Studies, chances are we’re due for a lot more cold, wet weather this winter. 

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VIDEO: What is ocean acidification?

Sophie Chu

We hear the phrase “ocean acidification” often, frequently connected to conversations around climate change, but what exactly is ocean acidification? The Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean and Ecosystem Studies research scientist Sophie Chu walks us through the causes, effects and implications of ocean acidification. Q: What do you study? A: My research focuses mainly on evaluating existing ocean carbon sensor technology and developing new technologies to measure the carbon cycle and ocean acidification. 

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Dryer, warmer night air is making some Western wildfires more active at night

A firefighter in Idaho works after dark

Firefighters have reported that Western wildfires are starting earlier in the morning and dying down later at night, hampering their ability to recover and regroup before the next day’s flareup. A study by University of Washington and U.S. Forest Service scientists shows why: The drying power of nighttime air over much of the Western U.S. has increased dramatically in the past 40 years. 

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