108 posts in Faculty News
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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Climate-Conscious Travel

SMEA Professor and Director Nives Dolšak and UW Director of the Center for Environmental Politics Aseem Prakash were recently in a Seattle Times article that featured “bright ideas for climate conscious travel.” Dolšak and Prakash discussed their work on sustainable travel practices, which include encouraging travelers to travel less, using alternatives to air travel, or when traveling by air, supporting fuel efficient airlines and aircraft, and purchasing carbon offsets – credits travelers can buy that are applied to programs the reduce carbon emissions. 

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Northwest Heritage Residency Awardees

Congratulations to School of Marine & Environmental Affairs (SMEA) Professor Cleo Woelfle-Erskine and Comparative History of Ideas (CHID) Lecturer July Hazard on being awarded Northwest Heritage Residencies. Over the course of four weeks in 2019-2020, Woelfle-Erskine and Hazard will further develop “With and for the Multitude” / “Queer Shores” and “Talking to Birds about genocides / Talking to birds about resurgences.” Throughout the residency, they will conduct a series of field interviews, participate in tribal and citizen science field work, create temporary installations, and offer a field poetics workshop and public lecture. 

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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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