Empowering science communication in the College of the Environment

Amplify panelists

The College of the Environment’s Science Communication Program has been advancing on numerous fronts since spring quarter. Guided by our Strategic Directions and the findings of the Science Communication Task Force, the College has been building support and expanding opportunities for our faculty, staff, and student scientists to share the process and products of their research beyond academia. The College recently hosted a campus-wide and online conversation about the evolving ways that academic scientists can communicate their research on the Internet. 

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UW-made tool displays West Coast ocean acidification data

Marc Dewey

Increasing carbon dioxide in the air penetrates into the ocean and makes it more acidic, while robbing seawater of minerals that give shellfish their crunch. The West Coast is one of the first marine ecosystems to feel its effects. A new tool doesn’t alter that reality, but it does allow scientists to better understand what’s happening and provide data to help the shellfish industry adapt to these changes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this week announced the launch of the IOOS (Integrated Ocean Observing System) Pacific Region Ocean Acidification Data Portal, a go-to source for ocean acidification data along the West Coast. A University of Washington researcher led the collaborative effort.

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Top Canadian limnology award goes to Daniel Schindler

Daniel Schindler

Daniel Schindler, a University of Washington fisheries ecologist who explores aquatic ecosystem dynamics, has been named the 2015 Frank Rigler Award recipient. The award is the highest honor given by the Society of Canadian Limnologists and recognizes major achievements in the field of limnology by Canadians or those working in Canada, the society says. Schindler, born in Ontario, holds dual U.S. and Canadian citizenship. His father David Schindler won the Rigler award in 1984, the first year it was given out.

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‘Probiotics’ for plants boost detox abilities; untreated plants overdose and die

Students played a major role in this research.

Scientists using a microbe that occurs naturally in eastern cottonwood trees have boosted the ability of two other plants – willow and lawn grass – to withstand the withering effects of the nasty industrial pollutant phenanthrene and take up 25 to 40 percent more of the pollutant than untreated plants. The approach could avoid the regulatory hurdles imposed on transgenic plants – plants with genes inserted from or exchanged with other plant or animal species – that have shown promise in phytoremediation, the process of using plants to remove toxins from contaminated sites, according to Sharon Doty, associate professor of environmental and forestry sciences and corresponding author on a paper about the new work in Environmental Science & Technology.

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