95 posts in Faculty News

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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Lessons from ‘yellow vest’ protests in France

SMEA Professor and Associate Director Nives Dolšak and UW Director of the Center for Environmental Politics Aseem Prakash recently wrote an article featured on The Hill titled, “Can the climate movement survive populism? Lessons from ‘yellow vest’ protests.” The article considers the “yellow vest” protests in France, which were prompted by the proposal for “green” levies on transportation fuel. The violent protests are part of a populist movement that reflect anger over high taxes and declining incomes. 

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Ecopoetics: Changing how students think and talk about ecology

By Mackenzie Nelson
The spring 2018 quarter brought a new class to the SMEA register: “Ecopoetics Along Shorelines.” This course, taught by SMEA assistant professor Cleo Woelfle-Erskine and CHID and PoE lecturer July Hazard, highlighted the dynamic boundary that is the shoreline. The course was cross listed among CHID and Honors as well.
This course gave students the opportunity to participate in a field course as well as a weekly seminar. 

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Why did I-1631 fail?

SMEA Professor and Associate Director Nives Dolšak, UW Director of the Center for Environmental Politics Aseem Prakash and Center for Environmental Politics Fellow Steven M. Karceski recently wrote an article featured on The Hill titled, “Read my lips: No new (carbon) tax.” The article considers why Initiative 1631, the carbon tax, is heading for defeat in the state of Washington, in spite of broad liberal support. 

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Investigating the collective effect of two ocean acidification adaptation strategies

Congratulations to SMEA alum Courtney Greiner, Professor Terrie Klinger and co-authors on their recent publication in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology titled “Habitat effects of macrophytes and shell on carbonate chemistry and juvenile clam recruitment, survival, and growth.” The article is based on Greiner’s thesis research, which investigated the collective effect of two ocean acidification adaptation strategies; shell hash and macrophytes. 

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SMEA Professor awarded NSF Grant to Study Economics of Recreational Fishers

By Spencer Showalter
SMEA professor Dr. Sunny Jardine, a resource and environmental economist, is on a team of researchers who were awarded a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation last fall. The broad goal of the research funded by the grant is to understand how ecological and social processes shape recreational fisheries at the landscape scale by studying recreational fishing in the Northern Highland Lakes district in Wisconsin. 

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