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Human well-being related to marine protected areas: a global research synthesis

In the June 2019 issue of Nature Sustainability, EarthLab’s Sara Breslow and researchers from 10 other institutions share their insights gleaned from 118 peer reviewed journal articles of the effects of marine protected areas (MPAs). But their inquiry differed from most studies about MPAs – what, they asked, are the effects MPAs on human well-being? The literature is full of examples that document the ecological effects of marine protected areas, but information is lacking on the overall effects MPAs have on the human communities connected to them. 

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Spend time outdoors this summer to reap health benefits

Fresh air, lush foliage, open space, and sunshine. Time spent outdoors isn’t just good for the soul—research at UW EarthLab is showing it’s also good for the mind and body.
Even in the Pacific Northwest, where the weather is often, let’s say, less than optimal, getting out into nature brings with it a host of health benefits.
And there are plenty of options in the Seattle area, even in the heart of the city. 

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Games for Our Future Game Jam Re-cap

The Second Annual Games for Our Future Game Jam was a success! Presented by EarthLab, Seattle Indies, Seattle Serious and Social Impact Games and Pacific Science Center, the theme was Creating a Green Tomorrow. The Game Jam brought game developers and researchers together for a weekend to learn from each other and show the power of games to translate complex environmental research into a medium that is both fun and educational. 

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2019 Ocean Acidification Symposium

The Washington Ocean Acidification Center will convene its Third Biennial Science Symposium on Thursday, May 30 at the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle, WA. This day-long symposium will consist of invited presentations from regional experts. Presentations will focus on new results from research relevant to ocean acidification in Washington waters, including field observations, biological experiments and modeling. 

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Time outdoors is a natural elixir. Researchers still don’t know why.

At least two decades of research confirms what might seem obvious for many residents of the Pacific Northwest: time in nature is good for you. It can lower blood pressure, alleviate depression and anxiety, and even reduce nearsightedness in children.
But how often should you interact with the natural world? Where? And for how long? Is gazing at the stars from your backyard enough to reap rewards? 

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EarthLab funds first round of Innovation Grants

Providing resources for new approaches to environmental problem solving is the focus of the first EarthLab Innovation Grants funding. Projects funded in this first round of grants will support big ideas with high potential for impact and the ability to motivate change.
“I was blown away by the breadth of topics, the quality of the proposals, and the depth of engagement with community partners,” says Phil Levin, chair of the Innovation Grants review committee.  

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EarthLab welcomes new Advisory Council to help guide actions

EarthLab is pleased to announce and welcome the inaugural members of our Advisory Council. Chaired by former Interior Secretary and REI CEO Sally Jewell, the council will help guide and advise on EarthLab’s core mission – to focus and accelerate UW’s expertise on the most pressing environmental challenges and in so doing make a positive impact on peoples’ lives and livelihoods. 

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Pollinators need people

A global study has concluded that people are essential to conserving the pollinators that maintain and protect biodiversity, agriculture and habitat.
“There’s increasing awareness of the importance of pollinators to our quality of life,” lead researcher Rosemary Hill said. “That discussion is often reduced to how to protect bees, and how to expand the amount of land managed as conservation reserves. 

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‘Underwater forecast’ predicts temperature, acidity and more in Puget Sound

Most of us rely on the weather forecast to choose our outfit or make outdoor plans for the weekend. But conditions underwater can also be useful to know in advance, especially if you’re an oyster farmer, a fisher or even a recreational diver.
A new University of Washington computer model can predict conditions in Puget Sound and off the coast of Washington three days into the future. 

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