Jan 12, 2016 / Geology, Water

Ocean observatory comes alive

This month, researchers from across the globe gain unprecedented access to data from the U.S. Regional Cabled Ocean Observatory.
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Dec 22, 2015 / Geology, M9

Dating historic activity at Oso site shows recurring major landslides

The large, fast-moving mudslide that buried much of Oso, Washington in March 2014 was the deadliest landslide in U.S. history. Since then it’s been revealed that this area has experienced major slides before, but it’s not known how long ago they occurred.
University of Washington geologists analyzed woody debris buried in earlier slides and used radiocarbon dating to map the history of activity at the site. 
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The dream lab: UW’s Friday Harbor Laboratories

Make no mistake, the sea is changing. Warming waters are causing some organisms to become more abundant, while undermining others’ ability to fight off disease. Invasive species, overfishing and mutated diseases are all signs and sources of changes to come. Increased acidity, whether from human activities like runoff and carbon emissions or from the upwelling of deeper waters, affects the ability of clams, oysters and fish to form shells and skeletons. 
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Combating global climate change is fun and games for EarthGamesUW

EarthGamesUW, a new group at the University of Washington, is inspiring kids to combat climate change through gaming.
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Nov 15, 2015 / Geology, M9

Natural Hazards & Resilient Communities Lecture Video: UW’s John Vidale

Unlike some natural disasters that we can depend on arriving at our doorstep every year—hurricanes, tornados, fires—earthquakes can be out of sight and out of mind because of their relative infrequency. But when the Big One strikes, it could be a real catastrophe for the Pacific Northwest coast, deeply disrupting the lives and economies throughout the region.
John Vidale, professor of Earth and Space Sciences and chief seismologist for the State of Washington, wants people to be aware of the threats. 
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Oceans and ocean activism deserve broader role in climate change discussions

Less visible, but perhaps more indelible, signs of changing climate lie in the oceans. A University of Washington researcher in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs argues in the journal Science that people—including world leaders who will gather later this month in Paris for global climate change negotiations—should pay more attention to how climate change’s impacts on ocean and coastal environments affect societies around the globe. 
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Natural Hazards & Resilient Communities Lecture Recap: Team Rubicon’s Jake Wood

Jake Wood was submitting applications for MBA programs when a magnitude 7.0 struck Haiti in 2010. Having just returned from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he was surprised by the similarities between the news footage from Port-au-Prince and what he had seen on the ground, during times of war as a marine. Unable to plug-in with traditional disaster relief organizations, who preferred monetary donations over extra hands, Wood and three friends charted their own path to Haiti and beyond. 
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Nov 3, 2015 / Geology, M9

Natural Hazards & Resilient Communities: Q&A with UW’s John Vidale

The UW’s John Vidale is a man of many titles—professor of Earth and Space Sciences, director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, and Washington state seismologist. More recently, Vidale helped launch the university’s M9 Project, a cross-disciplinary effort whose goal is to reduce the catastrophic potential effects of a Cascadia megathrust earthquake.
Earlier this year, an article in the New Yorker stirred up panic nationwide over the looming possibility of megaquake along the Cascadia Fault. 
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Oct 30, 2015 / Geology, M9

Don’t be scared, be prepared: A response to the New Yorker article “The Really Big One”

Shelley Chestler, UW seismology graduate student
The July 2015 New Yorker article “The Really Big One,” by Kathryn Schulz, shook up the Pacific Northwest (PNW) more than any earthquake has since the Magnitude-6.8 Nisqually earthquake in 2001. In the article’s most dooming statement, the head of the Cascadia FEMA division was quoted saying, “everything west of I-5 will be toast.” This assertion scared the living daylights out of PNW residents, creating a sense of terror and hopelessness that was the antithesis of what the article meant to do: to spur the region into preparing for this potentially devastating event. 

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Natural Hazards & Resilient Communities Lecture Recap: UW’s Kate Starbird

More than ever before, people—emergency responders, media, and the public—are turning to social media to communicate important information during times of crises, both natural and manmade. Whether to articulate their own whereabouts to friends and family after a disaster has occurred or to offer up help to others in need, connected crowds are wading through noise and rumors that persist online to assist in the aftermath of tragedy. 
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