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Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences (Tacoma)

Course | T HIST 452

Art, Culture, And History Of The Eternal City

Uses Rome as a laboratory to understand the role of art, history, and urbanism in the development of Western culture. Addresses the many facets of the cultural development of Rome and Italy, including geography, history, urban design, art, and architecture. Research-based and includes extensive fieldwork.

Scholar

Christopher Beasley

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News | June 9, 2020

Cities have changed – for rats

After Chicago’s stores and restaurants shut down in March, Rebecca Fyffe, the director of research at a pest-control company, went on one of her usual evening “rat safaris.” Her employer, Landmark Pest Management, services many of the city’s high-end, Michelin-rated restaurants, which had been forced to close hastily, dumping piles of produce. Beside a dumpster…


News | December 9, 2020

Did COVID-19 heal nature?

The Welsh village of Llandudno went quiet in March as stay-at-home orders began. Then the goats descended from the mountain. A wild herd of Kashmiri goats has lived near Llandudno for almost two centuries, and they sometimes come down from the Great Orme Mountain during inclement weather. But this spring, while the human world hit…


Course | TIAS 443

Ethnicity and the Urban Landscape

Focuses on the intersection of ethnicity, architecture, and urbanism in the United States. Explores the concept of ethnic identity and the creation of a sense of place in urban environments. Examines local neighborhoods as a starting point for students' own investigations of ethnicity and the urban landscape.

News | July 6, 2021

Food for thought: Urban lakes contaminated with arsenic pose consumption risk

After analyzing the human health risks of eating aquatic organisms from arsenic-contaminated urban lakes in the Puget Sound lowlands, UW researchers have a menu of concerns. Specifically, they found that consuming certain aquatic organisms in the lakes elevates cancer risk. “The idea was to focus on organisms that people might eat, so we studied snails,…


Course | T HIST 445

History Of Tacoma

Surveys the history and fabric of Washington state's second largest urban center. Topics include early settlements, Tacoma as the Pacific terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad, commercial and social currents, ethnic and political struggle as recurring forces, and the development of regional institutions, local governments, and locally based corporations. Emphasizes architecture, urban planning and growth, and the built environment of Tacoma.

Scholar

Larry Knopp

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Course | T LAX 356

Latinx Urban Communities

Introduces Latinx urbanism, an interdisciplinary area of inquiry seeking to understand the impact of Latinx people on U.S. cities and metropolitan areas. Drawing from urban studies, cultural studies, rhetorical studies, and cultural geography, examines historical and contemporary issues affecting Latinx populations, as well the ways Latinx people are at the center of urban life in the U.S.

Scholar

Luther Adams

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Course | T HIST 490

Medieval Technology

Examines the nuts and bolts of medieval technology and urban life while exploring larger themes of the gendering of labor, the rebirth of cities, the uneasy relationship to Islamic civilization, and the destruction of the natural world.

News | July 2, 2020

Monsanto will pay $95 million in PCB settlement with Washington state

The state of Washington will receive tens of millions of dollars in a settlement against Monsanto over its manufacture of toxic chemicals that were deposited decades ago in Washington soil and water and continue to wreak environmental damage today. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office in 2016 sued the company over its production of polychlorinated…


News | June 4, 2018

Mussels In Waters Off Seattle Test Positive For Opioids

Mussels from three of 18 locations near Seattle and Bremerton in Washington’s Puget Sound tested positive for the opioid oxycodone, according to the Puget Sound Institute at the University of Washington Tacoma. The mussels were contaminated because sewage from opioid consumers ended up in the sound after being treated at wastewater plants, scientists explained. “What we eat and…


Scholar

Pierpaolo Mudu

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Scholar

Rubén Casas

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Course | T SOC 335

Social Class And Inequality

Examines the problem of persistent urban poverty in the United States. Explores the differential risk of poverty experienced by racial and ethnic groups and by women and children in the context of the major theories of class stratification. Also discusses the factors that lead to extreme-poverty neighborhoods, how these environments affect the life chances of residents, survival strategies of the poor, and public policy implications.

News | February 20, 2021

Systemic racism affects wildlife, too: A Q&A with an urban ecologist

What makes the country mouse different from the city mouse? Christopher Schell is a wildlife ecologist who has been curious about this dynamic his entire career. Though he specializes in coyotes instead of mice, the question remains the same. Schell, an assistant professor at the University of Washington Tacoma, is also part of a growing…


News | August 17, 2020

Systemic racism has consequences for all life in cities

Social inequalities, specifically racism and classism, are impacting the biodiversity, evolutionary shifts, and ecological health of plants and animals in our cities. That’s the main finding of a review paper led by the University of Washington, with co-authors at the University of California, Berkeley, and University of Michigan, which examined more than 170 published studies and analyzed…


News | July 27, 2021

Tacoma has been singing about itself from the start. Here’s why Grit City music matters

With some 20,000 people in the newly opened stands of Tacoma’s Stadium Bowl, the city’s elementary students broke into song — and a number specifically written for the occasion. The chorus was prideful and catchy — at least by 1910 standards — describing the City of Destiny as “Tacoma, The Rose of the West,” which…


Scholar

Thomas Diehm

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News | December 8, 2020

Tire dust killing coho salmon returning to Puget Sound, new research shows

First they circle. Then they gasp at the surface of the water. Soon they can’t swim. Then they die. For decades now, scientists have known something was killing beautiful, adult coho salmon as soon as they hit Seattle’s urban waters, ready to spawn. They had escaped the orcas, the fishermen, traveled thousands of miles, only…


News | June 2, 2020

Urban carnivores appear to be more nocturnal as region slows due to coronavirus

The slowdown of daily life under stay-at-home orders because of the coronavirus has many of us feeling more connected to nature. We hear more birdsong in the mornings. The air seems cleaner. Perhaps we’re seeing more wildlife in the parks as we take walks in our neighborhoods. But the change of pace hasn’t necessarily benefitted…


News | December 12, 2018

Urban Ecologist/Superhero

UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Christopher Schell is a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as evidenced by the Black Panther coffee cup and Black Panther bobble head on his desk. Schell is a scientist, not a superhero; but if he were to assume a secret identity he might be dubbed, “Coyote.” Schell is an urban…


News | January 25, 2020

Urban Ecology and Social Justice

Christopher Schell will tell you he’s a black nerd. He’ll tell you he was up at 3 a.m. the night before a conference because his infant son would not sleep. He’ll tell you the students who work in his lab at the University of Washington, Tacoma are paid rather than expected to volunteer. He’ll tell…


Course | TECON 418

Urban Problems and Policies

Develops and applies economic analyses to an understanding of the dynamics and underlying structure of urban economies and urban problems. Draws examples from the local economy and local problems.

News | August 18, 2020

Urban@UW Research Spark Grants awardees announced

Urban@UW is excited to announce the awardees for our Research Spark Grants program. The two proposals selected address urgent urban challenges in our region, with a strong focus on community engagement and vulnerable populations.   Co-creating an Adaptive Community-Science Network: Supporting Tribal and Grassroots Action through the Puget Creek Watershed Assessment Urban communities in the…


News | September 1, 2020

UW researchers explore how urbanization changes Earth’s ecosystems in new paper

UW researchers Marina Alberti, Urban Design & Planning; Simone Des Roches, Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences; and Christopher Schell, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at UW Tacoma have published a new report titled “The Complexity of Urban Eco-evolutionary Dynamics”, examining how urbanization affects ecological and evolutionary processes over time, and how these changes affect nature’s contribution to people….


News | May 7, 2021

What can our cities do for us? Columnist Rubén Casas has ideas

Originally written by Rubén Casas, Assistant Professor of rhetoric and composition at the University of Washington Tacoma, for Crosscut.  Of the many insightful things Italo Calvino wrote about a city, the one that sticks with me the most is this one: “You take delight not in a city’s seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer…