Preserving the environment is a passionate subject for many in the Pacific Northwest. That passion helped spark lively discussions about the topic of how to address environmental challenges last night at the 2009 University of Washington Environmental Innovation Challenge (EIC). For this competition, 16 student teams, comprised primarily of engineering and business students, collaborated to develop efficient and sustainable environmental innovations for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize.
New research that builds on data collected more than three decades ago demonstrates that lizards living in tropical forests in Central and South America and the Caribbean could be in serious peril from rising temperatures associated with climate change.In fact, those forest lizards appear to tolerate a much narrower range of survivable temperatures than do their relatives at higher latitudes and are actually less tolerant of high temperatures, said Raymond Huey, a University of Washington biology professor.
In the next two months, an energetic team of faculty, staff and students from all three [UW] campuses, coming together as the Climate Action Team, will be developing the first draft of a blueprint for deepening the UW's commitment to sustainability. Around the end of March, the team will release a draft Climate Action Plan, intended to sketch out the major issues and hard decisions that the UW must make if it is to become a carbon-neutral university and one that is increasingly emphasizing sustainability in its teaching and research.
Making bales with 30 percent of global crop residues -- the stalks and such left after harvesting -- and then sinking the bales into the deep ocean could reduce the build up of global carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by up to 15 percent a year, according to just published calculations.
Forget ice sheets melting and sea levels rising. Global warming's biggest threat may be heat that wilts crop production across much of the globe, says a UW scientist.
The Puget Sound Environmental Inventory produced an inventory of the activities and capabilities of the UW in the Puget Sound watershed to:
Rapidly warming climate is likely to seriously alter crop yields in the tropics and subtropics by the end of this century and, without adaptation, will leave half the world's population facing serious food shortages, new research shows.
In Fall 2008, the University of Washington launched a new UW Environmental Innovation Challenge (EIC) in which interdisciplinary student teams work collaboratively to develop solutions to a specific problem of environmental significance. The EIC will spark new product designs that capitalize on emerging market conditions and propose business concepts that promise significant financial reward while enhancing environmental sustainability.
The University of Washington Earth Initiative (UWEI) was a transformational initiative that encouraged innovative partnerships to address environmental and natural resource challenges. By focusing on problem-specific environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, they brought together faculty, students, and community partners to create collaborative research, teaching and scholarship. UWEI also maintained links to environment related colleges, departments, and programs at the UW.
With the rising cost of oil and tensions building in the Middle East, the need for more sustainable energy sources is becoming more urgent. Unfortunately, most alternate energy sources are more expensive than oil, restricting their marketability and usage. This is the problem that Alex Jen, director of the UW’s Institute of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), has been trying to solve regarding solar power.