News and events


Partnering with indigenous communities to anticipate and adapt to ocean change

The productive ocean off Washington state’s Olympic Coast supports an abundant web of life including kelp forests, fish, shellfish, seabirds and marine mammals. The harvest and use of these treaty-protected marine resources have been central to the local tribes’ livelihoods, food security and cultural practices for thousands of years. But ocean acidification is changing the chemistry of these waters, putting many coastal species – and the human communities that depend upon them – under threat. 

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Influence of climate change on stream temperatures across the northwest

A team of researchers from the University of Washington, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Geological Survey and US Department of Agriculture published new research showing how water temperatures vary in over 7,000 miles of rivers and streams across the Pacific Northwest and northern California. Using high-resolution remotely-sensed water temperature data, this research helps identify potential influences of climate change on the availability of cold water for species like salmon. 

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How do nature and health connect? Center for Creative Conservation symposium asks just that

Can exposure and access to nature give a boost to human health? That question was front and center at the EarthLab Center for Creative Conservation‘s recently convened Northwest Nature and Health Symposium. On tap for the day were leaders in education, planning and conservation — including former secretary of the interior Sally Jewell — all exploring the health benefits that come with being outside. 

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Developing capacity for ocean acidification observations in the Western Indian Ocean

On the heels of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development — otherwise known as Rio +20 — the UN established development goals centered around people, planet and prosperity. Among these is Goal 14, aimed at the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources. The goal calls out addressing the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification, among others. 

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What we still don’t know about the health benefits of nature

We know that connecting with nature is good for us, but there are still many questions that need to be answered through more credible scientific research: What is the ideal “dose” of nature? What health conditions do these doses actually help with? Does duration and frequency of dose matter? How long do the benefits last? Does who you are and where you live impact how beneficial exposure to nature will be? 

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The great nutrient collapse

Irakli Loladze is a mathematician by training, but he was in a biology lab when he encountered the puzzle that would change his life. It was in 1998, and Loladze was studying for his Ph.D. at Arizona State University. Against a backdrop of glass containers glowing with bright green algae, a biologist told Loladze and a half-dozen other graduate students that scientists had discovered something mysterious about zooplankton. 

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UW welcomes first EarthLab executive director

Ben Packard

The University of Washington is pleased to welcome Ben Packard as the Harriet Bullitt Endowed Executive Director of EarthLab. EarthLab is the UW-wide initiative that harnesses the power of collaboration to tackle thorny environmental challenges including climate change, ocean health, natural hazards and healthy ecosystems. Key to EarthLab’s success will be building relationships between the University and public, private and nonprofit sectors. 

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Reconnecting with nature: a research agenda from Center for Creative Conservation working group

At a time of increasing disconnectedness from nature, scientific interest in the potential health benefits of connecting with nature has grown. Research in recent decades has yielded substantial evidence of nature’s health benefits, but large gaps still remain. The Center for Creative Conservation’s Nature and Health working group recently published a proposed research agenda on nature contact and health. Guided by a focus on key unanswered questions, new research has the potential to yield high-impact, consequential public health insights. 

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UW to host Interior Department’s Northwest Climate Science Center

The University of Washington is the new host for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Northwest Climate Science Center. Boise State University, the University of Montana, Washington State University and Western Washington University are also new partners in the Northwest CSC university consortium.
These five universities were selected as the CSC host and consortium partners after an open competition and extensive review by scientific experts. 

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Eco, Shelter 2 and Walden win awards at EarthGames on Tap

Three earth-friendly video games won awards at the Center for Creative Conservation’s inaugural EarthGames on Tap event, which took place May 18, 2017 in Seattle. Twelve stunning “earthgames” were entered into the games showcase. A panel of three judges carefully evaluated the games based on their potential to have an environmental impact and the quality of their game play. In the judges’ competition, Shelter 2 won first place and Walden won second place. 

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