100 posts in Faculty News

Professor Eddie Allison Leads Group of Designers in “Designing the Future of Food” Exploration

By Brittany Hoedemaker
In July, SMEA professor Eddie Allison led a group of designers, urban planners, and landscape architects through a three-day exploration into the role fisheries play in food security and how that role may change in the context of climate change. Organized by the Van Alen Institute, a New York City-based architectural non-profit, the Seattle trip was part of the Van Alen Climate Council’s investigation into “Designing the Future of Food.”
So what do built environment professionals have to do with seafood and climate change? 

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Environmental DNA Surveys: A practical complement to traditional sampling

Congratulations to Professor Ryan Kelly and co-authors on their recent paper published in Biological Conservation titled “Environmental DNA provides quantitative estimates of a threatened salmon species.” Surveys are often complex, expensive, and labor-intenstive, especially when target species are rare or elusive as is the case for many species of
conservation concern. Most surveys also involve the physical capture or disturbance of species, which can potentially harm sampled individuals and is particularly undesirable for species of conservation. 

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Travelling responsibly

Professor Nives Dolšak was recently interviewed on NPR’s “On point” discussing travelling responsibly. She and her co-author, Aseem Prakash, Professor and Director of the Center for Environmental Politics, have been advocating for responsible academic professional flying. In March 2018, they wrote a piece in Huffpost entitled “The Climate Change Hypocrisy Of Jet-Setting Academics”. Since then, they have been writing and working with the UW and their professional associations on how to devise policies that would enable and induce responsible professional flying. 

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SMEA Faculty Latest Publications

Professor Eddie Allison and co-authors recently published an article in Frontiers in Marine Science titled “Securing a just space for small-scale fisheries in the blue economy.” The article discusses how Blue Economy/Blue Growth initiatives see the ocean as the new economic frontier, but the largest group of ocean-users – women and men who service, fish and trade from small-scale fisheries (SSF) are being squeezed for geographic, political and economic space by larger scale economic and environmental conservation interests. 

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Can The Socialism Label Hurt The Green New Deal?

Does the fact that the most visible advocate of the Green New Deal, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, states she is a Democratic Socialist, impact chances of bipartisan political support for this policy? SMEA Professor and Associate Director Nives Dolšak and UW Director of the Center for Environmental Politics Aseem Prakash give three reasons why socialist framing could cause problems. Among them, socialist framing is bad politics, at least in America. 

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How to Actualize the Green New Deal

When the Green New Deal was introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey last week, media outlets across the political spectrum focused on specific points that were sure to grab the biggest headlines. As a counterpoint to the exaggerated and misconstrued media frenzy, SMEA Professor and Associate Director Nives Dolšak and UW Director of the Center for Environmental Politics Aseem Prakash outlined “3 ways to translate [the] Green New Deal into actual policy” in an article for The Hill. 

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Is it the policy or the poll?

Opinion polls in the United States consistently find that the majority of Americans support policy changes to address human-caused climate change, as a real and growing threat to the planet. However, voters continue to reject climate measures, and do not rank climate change among their top influences when making voting decisions. SMEA Professor and Associate Director Nives Dolšak and UW Director of the Center for Environmental Politics Aseem Prakash recently published an article in The Conversation asking, “Americans say they’re worried about climate change – so why don’t they vote that way?” They explore potential sources of error in the polls themselves, and suggest survey improvements that would better assist policymakers in designing climate measures that resonate with the public both theoretically and at the ballot box. 

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Human Rights and Seafood Sustainability

SMEA Research Assistant Professor Yoshitaka Ota and Professor Eddie Allison are co-authors on “The role of human rights in implementing socially responsible seafood,” recently published in PLOS ONE. Ota led this collaborative research project involving experts on governance, law, and supply chain studies from four universities. The article reviews the literature on seafood sustainability standards, finding that certification criteria generally focus on natural environmental outcomes while too often failing to address impacts on fisheries workers, even including human rights violations. 

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Researchers say Environmental DNA is the way forward

The organizers of a conference on marine environmental DNA (eDNA), held at Rockefeller University in New York City in November recently released a report urging U.S. government agencies monitoring fisheries, endangered species, and environmental impacts to leverage the DNA present in the ocean. As Science reported in its article, “In the ocean, the DNA trail goes cold after about 24 hours, meaning that any species that shows up in analysis can’t be too far off. 

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What the death of 1631 means for the future of addressing climate change

Initiative 1631 was Washington State’s second attempt to tax carbon emissions. The measure failed in all but three places: Seattle’s King County, Port Townsend’s Jefferson County and the county that encompasses the San Juan Islands. SMEA Professor and Associate Director Nives Dolšak and UW Center for Environmental Politics’ Aseem Prakash were recently interviewed by High Country news about the failed carbon tax and the challenges of climate legislation. 

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