56 posts in Alumni News

Preferences for Tidal Energy Research and Development

Congratulations to SMEA alumni Hilary Polis (’16) and SMEA Postdoc Stacia Dryer for their recent article published in Ecological Economics. Their article “Public Willingness to Pay and Policy Preferences for Tidal Energy Research and Development: A Study of Households in Washington State” looks at the Puget Sound area in Washington State, which has significant tidal energy resources, but a ways to go to develop the industry. 

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Spatial distribution of environmental DNA in a nearshore marine habitat

Congratulations to SMEA postdoc Jimmy O’Donnell for leading his new paper “Spatial distribution of environmental DNA in a nearshore marine habitat” to publication! Additional authors include SMEA Assistant Professor Ryan Kelly, SMEA alumna Natalie Lowell, and collaborators Jameal Samhouri, Ole Shelton, and Greg Williams. The paper shows that environmental DNA in the nearshore marine environment (in this case Carkeek Park in north Seattle) does not travel very far at all, such that eDNA samples show a very local snapshot of marine biodiversity. 

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An analysis of women and gender equality considerations in National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans

SMEA Alum Barbara Clabots recently authored a report for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) titled, “Gender and biodiversity: Analysis of women and gender equality considerations in National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs).” The report examines how women and gender equality considerations are included in National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), the principal mechanisms for implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at the national level. 

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What makes influential science? Telling a good story

Congratulations to SMEA graduate Annie Hillier and SMEA professors Ryan Kelly and Terrie Klinger! Their article “Narrative Style Influences Citation Frequency in Climate Change Science” published December 15 in the journal PLOS ONE, looked at the abstracts from more than 700 scientific papers about climate change to find out what makes a paper influential in its field. Rather than focusing on content, they looked at writing style.  

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A new kind of environmental activism

SMEA Professor Nives Dolšak, along with UW Professor Aseem Prakash, and SMEA alum Maggie Allen wrote a piece recently featured in The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog about the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The posting discusses how the the federal government’s decision to  temporarily block construction of the DAPL, the pipeline that was supposed to carry 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the Dakotas to Illinois, is the result of a new kind of environmental activism that treats energy pipelines as a chokepoint for activities that contribute to global warming, and builds alliances with other groups to stop them. 

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e DNA Reveals Rich Diversity along Puget Sound Shorelines

Congratulations to SMEA Assistant Professor Ryan Kelly, the lead author of the recently published paper “Genetic signatures of ecological diversity along an urbanization gradient.” Kelly and his co-authors, which include SMEA Post-doc Jimmy O’Donnell and SMEA Alum Natalie Lowell, used environmental DNA — or eDNA, and found that urban Puget Sound shorelines support a denser array of animals than in remote areas. 

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Success for Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project

Alumni from the Institute for Marine Studies (IMS) and School of Marine Affairs (SMA), which are now the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, recently came together on behalf of The Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project (PSNERP). PSNERP endeavors to restore shorelines throughout Puget Sound. The group traveled to Washington D.C. for a Army Corps Civil Works Review Board (CWRB), a required step before a budget to fund the program can be submitted to Congress.  

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Investments in energy efficiency and clean technologies, and Salmon Influences on Tribal Well-Being: The latest publications from SMEA

Congratulations to Professor Nives Dolšak and SMEA Alum Sophia Amberson on their latest publications!
Dolšak’s paper titled “Factors impacting investments in energy efficiency and clean technologies: Empirical evidence from Slovenian manufacturing firms” examines factors impacting firms’ decisions to invest in energy efficiency and clean technologies. Based on the paper’s findings, it can be concluded that the energy efficiency gap is less likely to exist in large and well-performing firms, implying that policy measures should primarily target less energy intensive, small and medium-sized enterprises. 

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Freeman’s thesis published in Marine Policy

SMEA alum Mikaela Freeman’s newly published thesis ‘Assessing potential spatial and temporal conflicts in Washington’s marine waters’ is now out in Marine Policy. Applying spatial analysis to current ocean uses in Washington to highlight areas of high- and low- potential conflict offshore, as well as learning GIS along the way, Mikaela looked at the ongoing process of marine spatial planning. The study represents a first step towards quantifying potential conflicts within Washington’s Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) study area by using a cumulative analysis to highlight high- and low-use intensity areas and the novel Marine Potential Conflict Index (MPCI), which incorporates space, time, and intensity of use, to quantify pairwise potential conflicts between uses. 

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Q & A With Alumna Heather Brandon

Heather Brandon is a SMEA alum who earned her MMA in 2004. She currently works for the World Wildlife Fund, Arctic Field Program, Alaska, as a Senior Fisheries Officer.
Can you give us a brief description of what you do for the World Wildlife Fund?
I work on topics that involve fish or fishing, such as illegal fishing/poaching, bycatch, marine mammal interactions, ecosystem-based management, advocacy for conservation in management, marine protected areas, sustainable seafood certification, etc. 

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