UW scientists urge conservation managers to act quickly, make decisions despite the unknowns


Is it possible to fully grasp a changing, natural system? Two scientists from UW's Aquatic and Fishery Sciences say it is not, and that important policy moves should not hinge on knowing every fact. Instead, Daniel Schindler and Ray Hilborn suggest conservation managers learn to make decisions and develop robust policies that will remain effective even in an uncertain future. The scientists assert that managing ecosystems and natural resources where uncertainty is present often requires that tough, but necessary decisions be made without every detail. Their perspective contrasts with a more traditional approach that proposes a better understanding of a particular system will produce more accurate predictions and lead to more informed decisions in the long term.

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Environmental and Forest Sciences launches Climate Change Video Contest: submit by April 13!

climatechangevideocontest copy

The College of the Environment's School of Environmental and Forest Sciences recently launched its Climate Change Video Contest, asking Washington State high school and undergraduate students to create and submit videos about what climate change means to them by April 13. In three minutes or less, contest entrants will use all styles imaginable - Claymation, stand-up comedy, music video, short-form documentary, and more - to convey their ideas. Submitted videos can address a range of topics related to climate change and first-place teams will win $5,000. The School's goal is to inspire younger students to discuss climate change since their generation will continue to face issues associated with a warming planet.

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Ecosystem services in estuaries, the velocity of ice sheets, beetle-killed trees on fire, 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, twenty-eight new articles co-authored by members of the College of the Environment were added to the Web of Science database, including two open-access papers about biomass burning and modeling of clouds and aerosols, nonnative sea grass, and more. Read on!

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Meet Brad Markle, Earth and Space Sciences graduate student

Jie Chen

Standing outside of his temporary classroom and laboratory overlooking Greenland’s Disko Bay, Brad Markle breathes in the big picture. The big picture is something that’s always on his mind, which is reflected in both his art and science. As a photographer, he captures sweeping scenes, from giant, rippling cloud masses and never-ending skies, to massive, bobbing icebergs in a vast ocean. 

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Boundless? You bet.

Moon over Douglas Firs

Those of us on UW campus have noticed the Be Boundless tagline emerge all over the grounds during recent months. It’s everywhere – purple wristbands and huge bus banners. Taglines like this don’t simply emerge from a quick engagement with a marketing firm. For the past year, UW did research, taking a good, hard look at what people value about their experiences here. 

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