112 posts in Faculty News

How to spend $10 billion on climate change

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is pledging $10 billion to fight climate change. How should it be spent? Research and development? Politics? The oceans? Professor Nives Dolšak sat down with KUOW’s Bill Radke to discuss how to spend the money in order to have the most impact. She believes Bezos’ Earth Fund should revitalize the American Rust Belt instead of chasing technological solutions. 

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3 individual head shots lined up on a gold background.

College of the Environment & SMEA Represent at AAAS Annual Meeting

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting is the world’s largest general scientific gathering, and UW is the host university of this year’s conference. A number of representatives from the College of the Environment, and more specifically our own SMEA faculty, will be sharing their insights and research via panels and presentations. A number of SMEA students will also be in attendance using the opportunity to dive deeper into the issues they are studying, researching, and are passionate about; this also serves as a great networking opportunity for them. 

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Woelfle-Erskine Wins American Studies Association Kolodny Prize

SMEA is proud to announce that faculty member Dr. Cleo Woelfle-Erskine has been recognized with the 2019 Annette Kolodny Prize for the best environmentally-themed paper presented at the American Studies Association national conference held this past year in Honolulu, HI.
Woelfle-Erskine’s paper “With and for the Multitude: Ecology as Queer Acts” was described as “a poetic, rigorous, and inventive reconceptualization of post-industrial waterfronts as transgressive spaces, or queer ecologies. 

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Dolsak’s Efforts to Reach the Public

SMEA Director and Professor Nives Dolsak was interviewed by a team in the College of the Environment about why she chooses to write about the social side of all things environment. In the interview she talks about why she feels timely, public-interest pieces in the popular press are essential to environmental issues, and how she weighs in on sensitive topics without being an advocate for particular outcomes. 

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Four adult humans sit on a stage dressed in business attire in front of a Microsoft backdrop.

Local Tech Giants & Climate Leadership

SMEA Director and Stan and Alta Barer Professor in Sustainability Science, Nives Dolsak co-authored a piece for Forbes alongside Aseem Prakash, the Walker Family Professor and the Director of the Center for Environmental Politics here at the University of Washington. According to Dolsak and Prakash, Microsoft has set ambitious targets, which if reached, would mean the company might become “Carbon Negative”. 

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A small dive boat pulls up to a sandy beach in Palau. There are about 6 people on the dive boat, and one person standing on the beach.

Working Group Supports Palau to Create Marine Protected Area

SMEA faculty member Dr. Patrick Christie participated, as one of two social scientists, in a diverse working group organized by the Palaua International Coral Reef Center and Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions. His role was to provide guidance, drawing from his extensive work in other contexts, on the human dimensions of marine protected area (MPA) planning, program monitoring and evaluation, and public engagement—all elements that determine the success of any MPA. 

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Turn Holiday Shopping Green By Gifting Tree Certificates Instead Of More ‘Stuff’

SMEA Professor and Director Nives Dolšak and UW Director of the Center for Environmental Politics Aseem Prakash recently wrote an article for Forbes encouraging consumers to rethink their usual gift giving this holiday season and consider giving back to nature. Rampant consumerism contributes to overconsumption which shows up in groundwater depletion, deforestation, and river and ocean pollution. People should buy less, but buying less is not enough, according to Dolšak and Prakash “We should also buy right, especially when buying is geared towards gift giving. 

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Towards a sustainable and equitable blue economy

Congratulations to former SMEA Postdoc Nathan Bennett, Professor Patrick Christie, and their collaborators on the recent paper that came out in Nature Sustainability titled “Towards a sustainable and equitable blue economy.” The paper discusses the concern over the state of the world’s oceans. The economic potential of the oceans is expected to double from US$1.5 trillion in 2010 to US$3 trillion by 2030. 

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Fish Micronutrients ‘slipping through the hands’ of malnourished people

Millions of people are suffering from malnutrition despite some of the most nutritious fish species in the world being caught near their homes, according to new research published Sept. 25 in Nature. This research, led by an international team including the University of Washington, suggests enough nutrients are already being fished out of the oceans to substantially reduce malnutrition and, at a time when the world is being asked to think more carefully about where and how we produce our food, fishing more may not be the answer.  

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Connecting ocean acidification research to people who need it most

SMEA Professor Terrie Klinger and SMEA Affiliate Professor Jan Newton are the co-directors of the Washington Ocean Acidification Center. Salish Sea experts — one an ecologist, one an oceanographer — they are addressing one of the biggest emerging threats to our environment today, ocean acidification. Born from a Washington State Blue Ribbon Panel, the Center was established by the legislature at the University of Washington to make sure actions to combat ocean acidification have a strong backbone in science. 

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