A glass of seawater is brimming with information

Assistant Professor Ryan Kelly and SMEA second year graduate student James Kralj were recently interviewed by The Daily about their research involving eDNA and ocean ecosystems. Professor Kelly shared his excitement that this was the first time eDNA has been used to look at the interaction between humans and the ecosystem. Microbiologists have been using eDNA for a decade to take microbial surveys of the ocean, but only recently have scientists started to consider the technique for taking broader surveys of animal biodiversity. 

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A new kind of environmental activism

SMEA Professor Nives Dolšak, along with UW Professor Aseem Prakash, and SMEA alum Maggie Allen wrote a piece recently featured in The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog about the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The posting discusses how the the federal government’s decision to  temporarily block construction of the DAPL, the pipeline that was supposed to carry 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the Dakotas to Illinois, is the result of a new kind of environmental activism that treats energy pipelines as a chokepoint for activities that contribute to global warming, and builds alliances with other groups to stop them. 

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A view of downtown Seattle. Orin Blomberg/Flickr

e DNA Reveals Rich Diversity along Puget Sound Shorelines

Congratulations to SMEA Assistant Professor Ryan Kelly, the lead author of the recently published paper “Genetic signatures of ecological diversity along an urbanization gradient.” Kelly and his co-authors, which include SMEA Post-doc Jimmy O’Donnell and SMEA Alum Natalie Lowell, used environmental DNA — or eDNA, and found that urban Puget Sound shorelines support a denser array of animals than in remote areas. 

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Socioeconomic Impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms

The School of Marine & Environmental Affairs is excited to share the latest on the Capstone Project; Socioeconomic Impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms.
The social, economic and cultural impacts of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the U.S. are not well documented. The human toll of HABs extends far beyond the lost fisheries landings and tourism-related income that are commonly used to assess impacts. 

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Q & A with Kathryn Blair

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
I love the interdisciplinary aspect of the program. I can tell how much I have learned when reading journal and news articles, even though I’m only halfway through. We will be well-equipped for whatever career we choose to pursue.
Why did you decide to come to UW’s SMEA for graduate school? 

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National Postdoc Appreciation Week

This week is National Postdoc Appreciation Week and at SMEA we are fortunate to have 3 awesome postdocs; Nathan Bennett, Stacia Dreyer, and Jimmy O’Donnell.
Whether they’re conducting research, publishing papers or mentoring students, our postdocs contribute so much to the success of SMEA! See the great things our postdocs are involved in: PostDoc News
Thank you Nathan, Stacia and Jimmy for all you do! 

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Q & A with Dr. Sunny Jardine

How did you decide to become a professor?
In my freshman year of college I was astonished to find out how little I knew about the world. For me college was this sudden and unanticipated exposure to an enormous stock of knowledge and perspectives that I didn’t know existed and I wanted to learn everything I could. I thought the best job in the world would be one where you were constantly learning, being challenged, and pushing knowledge forward. 

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Mentoring Our Future STEM Students

Written by: Jessica Hernandez
I had the honor to serve as a crew leader for the Coast Salish Mini University this summer ’16 alongside my younger brother for the Lummi Nation. Through grants from the San Juan Island National Parks and other partnerships, 12 Lummi youth were given the opportunity to return to their ancestral lands and serve as the environmental stewards of their native lands.  

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Q & A Timothy Lee

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
I came to SMEA with years of research in hard sciences, particularly in aquatic ecology, fisheries, and biological oceanography. Over the years, I realized that to truly understand the feasibility of scientific decisions, an understanding of how policy realm is structured is critical. As a student in SMEA, I hope to effectively merge my existing scientific knowledge & new understanding of policy process to make reasonable decisions (whether in policy or scientific realm) in future career opportunities. 

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Haley Kennard_3

Learning Policy in Paradise

Written by: Haley Kennard
Aloha from Hawai’i! This summer, I somehow talked my way into working at the NOAA Office of the Papahānaumokuākea National Marine Monument (PMNM) in Hawai’i as a Policy and Evaluation Intern. Growing up on O’ahu I’ve always felt connected to the ocean and its creatures, and it was amazing to be back in my island home. PMNM was recently expanded by President Obama and is now the largest protected area (terrestrial or marine) on the planet – nearly twice the size of Texas! 

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