105 posts in Faculty News

The Politics of Carbon Tax

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 The Hill titled “The key to a successful carbon tax is how you spend the money.” To examine the politics of carbon tax, Dolšak and Prakash compared three carbon tax proposals, all from Washington state: the 2018 carbon tax proposed by Governor Jay Inslee, a counter proposal by Washington Land Commissioner Hilary Franz, and I-732. 

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Looking at the rise and fall of sockeye salmon using environmental DNA

Congratulations to SMEA alum’s Mike Tillotson and Jimmy Krajl, Professor Ryan Kelly, and co-authors on their recently published paper “Concentrations of environmental DNA (eDNA) reflect spawning salmon abundance at fine spatial and temporal scales.” The paper, published in Biological Conservation, was spearheaded by Tillotson and refers to water sampling data from a small stream in Alaska to look at the rise and fall of sockeye salmon DNA over a spawning run. 

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Media Training for Scientists

SMEA Assistant Professor Ryan Kelly was recently interviewed for an article in Science discussing why communication is such an essential tool for scientists. The article, “Do I make myself clear? Media training for scientists” highlights that more universities and organizations are offering programs to help scientists get their message across to the public. Professor Kelly said that he often utilizes training he received through a communications workshop at the University of Washington when his research on marine ecosystems or marine law puts him in front of policymakers, journalists, or the public. 

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Considering Amazon HQ2 In The Time Of Climate Change

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 Huffington Post titled “Amazon HQ2 In The Time Of Climate Change; Ranking possible destinations by their vulnerability to climate-driven disaster.” The article describes how analyst firms and media outlets ranked proposals and made recommendations based on variables such as the business environment, costs, human capital, quality of life, transportation, and distance to Amazon’s core facilities, but none considered how a given city might be vulnerable to climate change.  

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NOAA recognizes the contributions of Professor Dave Fluharty

During a recent trip to Washington D.C., Professor Dave Fluharty was recognized for his service to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Science Advisory Board (SAB). Professor Fluharty’s leadership, guidance and contributions, such as the 2014 report he assisted with titled “Exploration of Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management in the U.S.” has a had a tremendous impact on NOAA’s ecosystem and fisheries enterprise. 

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A way to change federal policies

SMEA Professor Ryan Kelly and SMEA alumna Natalie Lowell, along with co-authors from the UW School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences recently wrote an article featured in The Conversation. The article titled “Want to change federal policies? Here’s how” discusses how the federal public comment process can be an effective way for those armed with facts, such as scientists, professionals and knowledgeable citizens to shape policy and ensure that policy is based on the best available evidence, vetting the science behind regulations. 

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Why Delhi is blanketed with toxic smog

SMEA professor and associate director Nives Dolsak and co-authors recently wrote a piece for the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage about the extreme air pollution in India’s capital city, Delhi. The cause of the pollution is farmers in neighboring states burning straw from their last rice crop to clear fields for planting the wheat crop. What makes the situation more complicated is politicians are wary of trying to prevent crop burning because they don’t want to antagonize the powerful farm lobby, lose electoral support and set off political turmoil among regional and ethnic interests. 

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Lessons from beavers

Congratulations to Professor Cleo Woefle-Erskine! His paper The watershed body: Transgressing frontiers in riverine sciences, planning stochastic multispecies worlds, was recently featured in a landmark special double issue of Catalyst: Feminism and Technoscience. The paper explores how beaver modify landscapes differently than human engineers, and how human engineering might be transformed through riverine collaborations with beavers.
Read the complete paper: http://catalystjournal.org/ojs/index.php/catalyst/article/view/131/pdf_10. 

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Preserving the reefs of Palau

Research Assistant Professor Yoshitaka Ota and co-authors recently published an article in Marine Policy titled “Ecotourism, climate change and reef fish consumption in Palau: Benefits, trade-offs and adaptation strategies.” The study found that reducing tourist consumption of reef fish is critical for Palau’s ocean sustainability. As Ota stated in a press-release from the Nereus program “The ocean is central to Palau’s life and customs; their seafood consumption must be maintained sustainably. 

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Jardine awarded National Science Foundation grant

Congratulations to SMEA Professor Sunny Jardine and her co-PIs, who were recently awarded a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant to study links among people, lakes, and fish in the Northern Highland Lake District in Wisconsin. The four-year project will involve a team of 15 collaborators representing nine research institutions and conservation agencies. Along with Professor Jardine, co-leading principal investigators include Christopher Solomon of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Marco Janssen of Arizona State University, Olaf Jensen of Rutgers University, and Stuart Jones of the University of Notre Dame. 

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