Teaching sustainability is a challenge: it’s inherently trans-disciplinary, for which academic institutions are often unprepared. But many universities, colleges, schools and departments are leading the way, and providing cutting-edge career skills for their students in the process. UW’s College of the Environment, Dean Lisa Graumlich, and Associate Dean Julia Parrish are quoted in this Nature Careers feature about how institutions can develop and improve sustainability science education.
With winter quarter in full swing and many students spending long hours in the library or the lab, a group of undergraduates will leave the coast of Japan for an unusually ambitious research and teaching expedition. They leave Monday (Feb. 25) and will travel for about three weeks, flying back to Seattle in mid-March. It’s part of a senior-level course, Ocean 444: Advanced Field Oceanography, that will induct 11 seniors into the UW tradition of ship-based undergraduate research. Read more here!
Students and faculty will set sail on the R.V. Melville on February 25th. They will follow this cruise track in order to study the atmosphere-ocean exchange of CO2 across the Kuroshio Current.
This winter eleven senior undergraduate students will be fulfilling the capstone course required for graduation from the School of Oceanography by joining an ocean cruise to study the mechanisms controlling the uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Kuroshio Extension of the Northwest Pacific Ocean off Japan. The R. V. Melville under the leadership of Chief Scientists Steven Emerson and Stephen Riser will leave Yokohama on February 25, travel southeast for about 500 miles, turn northeast and cross the Kuroshio Current and then return after about three weeks at sea. This region of the ocean is one of intense atmosphere-ocean exchange of CO2, the main atmospheric greenhouse gas. The research goal is to determine the role of biological processes in decreasing the CO2 in the water so that models can more accurately predict the effects of increasing anthropogenic CO2 in altering climate.
Oceanographers on this cruise will study the role of biological processes in transferring CO2 from the atmosphere to the ocean by measuring the concentrations of carbonate chemistry and oxygen in the water. Since oxygen is produced during photosynthesis and CO2 is consumed, the U. W. scientists and students will determine the role of biological processes by deploying eighteen profiling floats with especially-calibrated oxygen sensors while making measurements on the ship of dissolved and particulate carbon constituents. The profiling floats drift with the currents, but change their buoyancy so that they make a profile to 2000 meters every 10 days over a period of about 5 years. Data are sent to the U.W. labs via satellite communication, and the floats sink to the ocean bottom after their batteries are drained.
The oceanography projects of the undergraduate students on this cruise must be more immediate than ones that would describe an annual cycle because they must be interpreted and described in spring quarter of this year as part of their capstone projects. Student projects range from measuring water circulation in this complicated ocean current, to measurements of pH and other carbonate system properties, to studying the relationship between satellite color and measured abundances of phytoplankton and bacteria. For more details of their projects and to follow the cruise progress, check out their blog!
Three members of the UW faculty are among 126 recipients of Sloan Research Fellowships, announced today (Feb. 19) by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The UW received two of just 12 fellowships awarded nationally in molecular biology.
The new UW fellows include Lekelia (Kiki) Jenkins, assistant professor in SMEA. Read more here!
Last week the Pacific Northwest National Lab announced a new initiative with University of Washington. The Northwest Institute for Advanced Computing has the aim of mining’ big data’ and addressing challenges ranging from climate change to energy management. Read more here!
Dr. Robert T. Paine, pre-eminent UW ecologist who developed the concept of the keystone species, was one himself, with a powerful effect on the field of ecology that has extended far beyond his own impressive work. Check out this story about the Paine “lineage” and how it has facilitated key perspectives on ecology, academia, and the role of science in policymaking.
Eleven University of Washington researchers, including ATMO’s Robert A. Houze, are among 702 new fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Election as a fellow of AAAS is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers, in recognition of meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications. Houze was recognized for his outstanding contributions in the field of atmospheric sciences, which include over 200 publications, and key insights into cloud dynamics and the meteorology of the Tropics. Congratulations Robert!