UW researchers prep for the next Cascadia megaquake

Tsunami building

Earth and Space Sciences' Frank Gonzalez, John Vidale, and Arthur Frankel, along with other scientists from across the University of Washington, are teaming up to better prepare our region for the next massive megaquake off the Pacific Northwest coast. Their efforts include designing the first tsunami evacuation structure in the United States, development of a campus-wide research project on major earthquakes, and the upcoming rollout of early earthquake alerts. Their work coincides with the 315th anniversary of the Cascade Earthquake, which caused vast destruction and triggered a tsunami that reached across the Pacific Ocean to Japan. That magnitude nine earthquake was set into motion along the West Coast via the still-active Cascadia fault.

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Members of the College community recognized at Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium award recipients, including Terrie Klinger and Martha Kongsgaard.

Every year, the Seattle Aquarium recognizes outstanding individuals who work and make a difference in the marine environment. This year, two individuals from our College of the Environment community were honored: Terrie Klinger, Professor and Director of the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, and Martha Kongsgaard, member of the Dean’s Advisory Board and Chair of the Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership Council. 

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The 2011 wildfire season, plant and soil diversity, shark mechanics and more: This week's published research

weekly research earth

Each week we share the latest peer-reviewed publications coming from the College of the Environment. Over the past week, fifteen new articles co-authored by members of the College of the Environment were added to the Web of Science database, including black carbon in the snows of central North America, sandy beach science, six centuries of changing ocean mercury, and more. Read up!

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UW raising funds to replace research vessel

Students after a research cruise on the Barnes.

The College of the Environment's School of Oceanography and a network of partners are working to raise funds to replace the aging and soon-to-be decommissioned Clifford A. Barnes. The research vessel is nearly 50 years old, and has limited capabilities to help scientists and students really understand what's going on in our local waters--like the Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Lake Washington, and the Columbia River. As researchers continue to investigate the complexities of our freshwater and marine ecosystems, it becomes more important than ever to have the right tools to get the research done. Replacing the Barnes will give scientists a powerful tool to better understand our waterways, and help keep Pacific Northwest ecosystems healthy and productive for all to enjoy. KING 5's Glenn Farley tells the story. Video: King 5 News - UW needs new research ship

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Could brighter clouds offset warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions?

Brighter clouds can increase reflectivity

Atmospheric Sciences’ Tom Ackerman and Rob Wood recently contributed to a proposal that would test the effectiveness of spraying sea-salt particles into marine clouds in order to make them brighter. According to The Economist, cloud physicist John Latham hypothesized that brighter clouds could cool the Earth enough to compensate for increased warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions in 1990. Several decades later and with the help of the two UW scientists, field tests on the subject could come to fruition. Ackerman, Wood, and other researchers want to test whether this process would really increase the number of water droplets clouds hold and, as a result, the amount of sunlight they reflect into space.

Read more at The Economist »