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Center supports an action-oriented social science research agenda for the Salish Sea

The Center, with the Center for Canadian-American Studies at Western Washington University, was awarded a four-year Title VI grant in September in part to build regional expertise on the Salish Sea. A key initiative includes support for Social Science for the Salish Sea, a project co-led by staff at UW EarthLab and the Puget Sound Partnership, that brings together over 40 social scientists and environmental practitioners from diverse disciplines, organizations, and Tribes and First Nations in the region to outline a research agenda aimed at improving our understanding of the human dimensions of the Salish Sea. 

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UW, Tableau create interactive tool to explore more than a century of Pacific Northwest weather observations

The University of Washington’s College of the Environment has teamed up with Seattle visual analytics company Tableau Software to create a new, interactive visualization for historical observations of temperature and precipitation in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and western Montana, and for Washington snowpack.
The free online tool lets anybody interact with the records going back as far as 1881 and look for significant trends. 

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From skiing to salmon runs, the national climate report predicts a Northwest in peril

Climate change’s effects – among them, increasing wildfires, disease outbreak and drought – are taking a toll on the Northwest, and what’s to come will threaten and transform our way of life from the salmon streams to ski slopes, according to a new federal climate assessment released Friday.
The 1,000-plus-page report, produced by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, is the most comprehensive evaluation to date of climate change’s effects on the nation’s economy, human health, agriculture and environment. 

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EarthLab initiative connects the UW to community members and practitioners

Ten years ago, the UW formed the College of the Environment. Across the UW, many researchers were already engaged in environmental studies, but were often isolated from each other by departmental niches. The College of the Environment strove to change this and developed a home for environmental science.
“It wasn’t enough to not only just bring all the Earth systems pieces together under the College of the Environment,” Harriet Bullitt Endowed Executive Director of EarthLab Ben Packard said. 

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New resources support tribes in preparing for climate change

Which Pacific Northwest streams will warm the most in the next 50 years, and where would restoration work make a difference for salmon? Where will wildfires and pests be most aggressive in forests as the Earth warms, and how can better management help?
As the natural world responds to climate change, American Indian tribes across the country are grappling with how to plan for a future that balances inevitable change with protecting the resources vital to their cultural traditions. 

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Anthropocene Film Salon

Join EarthLab and the Simpson Center for the Humanities for a screening of Chasing Ice, the first in our Anthropocene Film Salon series. After viewing this provocative film, we will host a discussion and social gathering in hopes of connecting people from the humanities, arts, and the physical and social sciences who would not otherwise meet. Our goal is to foster mutual learning and catalyze new, cross-cutting collaborations addressing the unique social-ecological challenges of the Anthropocene. 

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A dose of nature: New UW initiative to spearhead research on health benefits of time outside

Time spent in nature can reduce anxiety and help you sleep better at night, experts have found. It also offers promising benefits for a range of health issues, including cardiovascular disease, depression and obesity.
But there are still many questions about how time in nature can help with these health conditions, and others. A new University of Washington initiative announced this week seeks to advance research on these questions, connecting academic researchers with pediatricians, childcare providers, mental health practitioners and others who work with various populations on critical health issues. 

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Can hiking help heal veterans with PTSD? Researchers seek to find out

One fall day on Washington’s Mount Rainier, Josh Brandon and a group of fellow active duty platoon leaders discovered something about the outdoors that could improve the lives of veterans.
It was September 2009 and the group had decided to make a late-season summit attempt of Washington’s highest peak as part of a team-building exercise. The platoon leaders, who were all members of the same infantry company, began their climb in the early morning hours. 

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UW professor of global health a lead author on new climate report

The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, this week released a new document that looks at the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F) above preindustrial levels. That was the more ambitious goal established by governments in late 2015 through the Paris Agreement on climate. Governments committed to keeping the planet’s temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above preindustrial levels, but to aim for a change no greater than 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

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