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Sea-level rise report contains best projections yet for Washington’s coasts

One certainty under climate change is that global ocean levels are rising. A new report led by Washington Sea Grant and the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group provides the clearest picture yet of what to expect in Washington state.
The report includes projections for more than 150 different sites along the Washington coastline, from all marine shorelines in Washington state. 

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Changing the faces and future of conservation

One morning in July, Sierra Campbell awoke in a tent and unzipped the flap to a view of mountain prairie bathed in sunlight. Though she’d been exploring Washington for weeks, the scene touched the UW sophomore from Fife in a way that reinforced her desire to make a difference in the environment.
It was one of many impressions Campbell collected through the summer as she and a diverse group of undergraduates took a crash course in the region’s natural resources. 

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Rising carbon dioxide levels are turning rice and fish into junk food

​More carbon dioxide means less goodness from the crops we grow on land and the fish we harvest from the oceans. A new study published by EarthLab’s Kristie Ebi and colleagues in China and Japan found that increased CO2 in the atmosphere reduces the nutritional value of rice, the world’s most plentiful and valuable crop, as well as wheat and many wild plants. 

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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

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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