Hydrogen sulfide, the pungent stuff often referred to as sewer gas, is a deadly substance implicated in several mass extinctions, including one at the end of the Permian period 251 million years ago that wiped out more than three-quarters of all species on Earth. But in low doses, hydrogen sulfide could greatly enhance plant growth, leading to a sharp increase in global food supplies and plentiful stock for biofuel production, new University of Washington research shows. Read more at UW Today.
An outreach center in Florida has turned the dirt around its buildings into a flourishing garden. According to research by SEFS’ Kathleen Wolf, green spaces in urban areas can promote a sense of community and self-esteem, increase coping and learning capacity, and help reduce ailments such as high blood pressure and diabetes. The gardeners in this Florida plot seem to agree. Read more here.
Foodie: n. A person that spends a keen amount of attention and energy on knowing the ingredients of food, the proper preparation of food, and finds great enjoyment in top-notch ingredients and exemplary preparation.
Seattle is full of foodies, and a particular focus of our foodie culture is sustainability. UW is full of foodies too: faculty, staff and students across campus departments and schools study and teach about food, agriculture, and the implications of our global food system. In partnership with UW Housing and Food Services, CoEnv has created website that gathers all food-related people, courses, events, and organizations into one location. Check out what’s -ahem- being served up on campus!
Washington State’s recent release of a Blue Ribbon Panel’s findings on how to mitigate and adapt to ocean acidification has garnered national attention. CoEnv scientists and staff played an important role on the Panel – read more about ocean acidification, the report’s findings, and next steps here.
Agriculture uses a huge amount of energy—almost a fifth of the total consumption in the U.S. alone. And, farming as we know it erodes fertile land far faster than nature can replace it. So how might high oil prices be the best thing that could happen to agriculture? ESS‘ David Montgomery explains, in this piece in the Wall Street Journal.
Ocean delicacy and ecological lynchpin, now the oyster’s genome has been mapped for all to explore. Learn why the oyster genome can help us cope with climate change, and why scientists like SAFS‘ Steven Roberts are psyched to get to work on it.
Parking garage’s sloping surface (Image credit: Katie Campbell)
“It turns out cars aren’t that heavy compared to saturated soil.” UpGarden, the first rooftop community garden in the country is on top of the Mercer Street Parking Garage, and its seen both challenges and successes in its inaugural growing season. Read all about it here!