Climate change could leave Pacific Northwest amphibians high and dry

Far above the wildfires raging in Washington’s forests, a less noticeable consequence of this dry year is taking place in mountain ponds. The minimal snowpack and long summer drought that have left the Pacific Northwest lowlands parched have also affected the region’s amphibians through loss of mountain pond habitat. According to a new paper published Sept. 2 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, this summer’s severe conditions may be the new normal within just a few decades. 
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Surviving Disaster Speaker Series – register now!

The College of the Environment in partnership with The Graduate School and the UW Alumni Association is pleased to present the fall speaker series Surviving Disaster: Natural Hazards & Resilient Communities. Join us for a series of discussions centered around natural disasters — like earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and hurricanes — and how they can affect the lives and livelihoods of people here in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. 
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Exploring wilderness in one of the lower forty-eight’s most untamed landscapes

What is wilderness?
As we sit at our computers or scroll through on tablets or smart phones, perhaps we picture the opposite of our current locales—mountainous terrain, soaring evergreens, and a variety of critters that depend on each other to maintain balanced ecosystems. Maybe thoughts of flora and fauna, untamed and unexposed to an otherwise modern, industrialized, human-centric world swirl around. 
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Aug 19, 2015 / Water

UW researchers model tsunami hazards on the Northwest coast

Recent press coverage and conversations on social media have been a good reminder for Pacific Northwesterners that they live in a seismically active region. Stretching from northern California to British Columbia, the Cascadia subduction zone could slip at any time, causing a powerful earthquake and triggering a tsunami that would impact coastal communities.
Scientists from multiple disciplines at the University of Washington and other institutions are working to learn more about this natural hazard. 
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Aug 6, 2015 / Geology

UW oceanographers explore recently erupted deep-sea volcano

This spring, seafloor seismometers connected to shore by a new Internet cable showed that the 3,600-foot-tall underwater Axial Volcano started shaking April 24, 2015 and shook continuously for several days. University of Washington oceanographers visited the deep-ocean volcano in late July and parts of the seafloor were still warm, giving the team a glimpse into the changes that happened around the the mile-deep volcano 300 miles off the Oregon coast. 
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Jul 29, 2015 / Geology, M9

Earthquake early warning system funding awarded to UW, West Coast universities

A recent article published by The New Yorker has resulted in widespread talks and panic about the risk of a mega-earthquake off the Pacific Northwest coast. While the seismic hazard is real, the article’s tone may have been overly fatalistic and didn’t highlight earthquake preparedness tools that are now being developed. The U.S. Geological Survey announced today that $5 million will go to the University of Washington and three other institutions to help transition the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system to a public-facing tool. 
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JISAO scientists play critical role in ocean health XPRIZE

Sunburst Sensors, based out of Missoula, MT, grabbed the two top spots in the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, receiving a $1.5 million award for advancing scientist’s ability to measure ocean chemistry as it relates to ocean acidification. Designed as a competition to spur innovation, teams from around the globe competed to develop the most promising technologies in two categories: a device that is easy to use and cost effective and a device that is highly accurate when tracking ocean acidification. 
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Jul 14, 2015 / Geology

College of the Environment students, researchers at sea to learn more about deep-sea volcano eruption

When the Axial Seamount, an underwater volcano, erupted off the coast of Oregon in April, researchers knew within minutes that something spectacular was happening more than 300 miles offshore. Precision hardware installed by the University of Washington last summer let scientists see its effects almost instantly from shore.­­ A team of researchers, engineers and students is now at sea working t­o maintain that equipment and assess the volcano’s aftermath. 
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Jul 7, 2015 / Geology

UW oceanographers wire up an undersea volcano to study Earth’s most extreme environment

Several hundred miles off the coast of Oregon and Washington, there’s an undersea volcano known as Axial Seamount. Thanks to a set of high-tech instruments installed last summer by a team of scientists, many from the College of the Environment, the deep sea is online and oceanographers were able to observe an eruption of the Axial Volcano in April 2015. PBS NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasan recently spoke with the School of Oceanography‘s John Delaney and Debbie Kelley about their team’s deep sea observatory, including a network of sensors, moorings, and cameras that collect troves of new information about this underwater world. 
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Scientists weigh in on carbon emissions’ effect on future ocean conditions

Ahead of major climate talks at COP21 this year in Paris, scientists are offering insights to the far-reaching effects of rising carbon dioxide levels on the ocean. Spearheaded by the Oceans 2015 Initiative, which brought together 22 scientists and policy experts from nine different countries, the results were published this week in the journal Science and focus on how warming waters, rising seas, and ocean acidification drive changes to the global ocean. 
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