Forest fires and fireside chats: UW students learn about management challenges

November 8, 2013

An intensive two week field course – visiting sites of spectacular wildfires as well as forest restoration areas – helped 20 University of Washington students learn firsthand about the challenges of managing dry, fire-prone forests of the Pacific Northwest.

Traveling with Jerry Franklin, UW professor of environmental and forest science, the students explored forests of central and southern Oregon to consider how PNW forests have been dramatically altered by human activities in the last 150 years, and ways to possibly restore their resiliency to such things as wildfires.

New system could predict how climate change will affect future fishing conditions

October 28, 2013

Fishermen often find themselves at the mercy of conditions that exist well outside of their control: extreme weather, temperature, breeding cycles, fuel prices, dock prices for their catch and so much more. But what if some of those conditions could be predicted not just days but months into the future? Would the fishing industry be better able to adapt?

What It Takes -- How to Green the Ivory Towers of Higher Education

September 18, 2013

Over the past 10 months, we've offered a variety of views on the role of higher education in global sustainability efforts.

Focusing on the University of Washington (UW), the series "Students of Sustainability: How Higher Education Can Teach the World To Be More Planet-Minded" was launched with a piece from Michael Young, president of the UW.

Foster Idea Lab participants brainstorm sustainable solutions

May 24, 2013

Looking for a challenge? How about trying to cut total emissions from the global commercial aviation fleet in half—even as it doubles from 20,000 to a projected 40,000 planes—by 2050.

That tall order is the very real pledge of the world’s aviation industry.

And leading the quixotic charge is the Boeing Company, whose Bill Glover provided the keynote for the 2013 Foster Idea Lab, a kind of high-level sustainability brainstorming session hosted by Net Impact at the University of Washington Foster School of Business.

Long-term relationships, access to data drive sustainability institutions’ success

Turns out, the secret to fostering the emerging field of sustainability science is based on some simple and straightforward principles.

Speaking at a national meeting on a panel of academic leaders who focus on natural resource sustainability, College of the Environment Dean Lisa Graumlich said the college’s successful sustainability initiatives are grounded in long-standing relationships among scientists, local communities and decision-makers as well as widely accessible research data and results.

Sustainability: Environmental puzzle solvers

Some programmes that promote sustainability have augmented, rather than abandoned, their disciplinary approaches. For example, the University of Washington in Seattle runs a graduate certificate in Environmental Management that complements the research of students doing other graduate degrees. The students form multidisciplinary teams to tackle real-world problems presented by local, federal or tribal governments under a timeline and with specific 'deliverables' such as providing cost estimates for reducing a city's carbon footprint.

UW students turning 2013 Malibu into fuel-saving dual-motor hybrid

At first glance, the new Chevy Malibu jacked up on the ground-floor lab of the University of Washington's mechanical-engineering annex doesn't look like anything special — except that it's missing its engine.

When they're done with it, though, several dozen of the school's engineering students will have transformed it into one of two electric-biodiesel hybrid Chevy Malibus in the world that run on two separate motors — one for the front wheels, one for the back.