News and events


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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Daily forecast model of Washington waters

Have you ever seen a painting so realistic that on first glance you assumed it was a photograph, where each colorful, textured stroke on the canvas perfectly matched the scene spread out before the artist?
In the same way that landscape artists represent the natural world with paint, scientists seek to represent the world through computer simulation models. These models integrate different natural forces to recreate dynamic environments such as Puget Sound, giving us a better idea of what’s happening now and what might happen in the future. 

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Q&A About "The Really Big One"

John Vidale has been interested in the earth and its inner workings since he was a young boy, thanks to his mother, a geologist. His longtime love for geology, math and physics brought him to Yale and Caltech for his undergraduate and graduate studies, respectively, followed by years as a researcher and professor across California before moving to Seattle.
Now, he’s nearing a decade at the UW, where he works with the state and federal government for public hazard mitigation and serves as Washington’s resident earthquake expert, where he’s tasked, among many other things, with collaborating with others to create an earthquake preparedness plan for at-risk areas—Seattle included. 

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