First Green Seed Fund proposals due next week

November 26, 2013

December 3 is the first deadline for the recently launched Green Seed Fund meant to provide practical solutions to helping UW reach its sustainability goals.

The fund will award grants of $25,000 to $75,000 from a pool of $250,000 provided by the university. Research projects should last approximately one year and include at least one student, faculty and staff member, with each individual playing an active role. Proposals are sought from all three campuses, and Harborview. President Michael Young and Provost Ana Mari Cauce inaugurated the fund this fall.

New UW Grant Supports ‘Green’ Research

November 14, 2013

Do you have a research idea that would advance campus sustainability? Applications for the UW Green Seed Fund are being accepted until December 3, 2013.

The Fund will award grants of $25,000 to $75,000 from a pool of $250,000 provided by the University. Successful grant proposals will outline research projects that provide practical solutions to helping UW reach its sustainability goals. Project duration should be approximately one year and include a minimum participation of one student, faculty and staff member from a UW campus or medical center.

Floods didn’t provide nitrogen ‘fix’ for earliest crops in frigid north

November 6, 2013

Floods didn’t make floodplains fertile during the dawn of human agriculture in the Earth’s far north because the waters were virtually devoid of nitrogen, unlike other areas of the globe scientists have studied.

Instead, the hardy Norsemen and early inhabitants of Russia and Canada have microorganisms called cyanobacteria to mostly thank for abundant grasses that attracted game to hunt and then provided fodder once cattle were domesticated. The process is still underway in the region’s pristine floodplains.

UW Bothell prof, students present crowd-funded study of coal train emissions

November 4, 2013

As the Northwest considers proposals to build ship terminals to export more U.S. coal to Asia, a University of Washington Bothell team took an unusual route to measuring the air-quality hazard from trains carrying coal to the coast. Unable to fund the project through traditional sources, they went online and found 271 people who were willing to make an average donation of $75 to have experts answer the question.

Redwood trees reveal history of West Coast rain, fog, ocean conditions

October 29, 2013

Many people use tree ring records to see into the past. But redwoods – the iconic trees that are the world’s tallest living things – have so far proven too erratic in their growth patterns to help with reconstructing historic climate.

A University of Washington researcher has developed a way to use the trees as a window into coastal conditions, using oxygen and carbon atoms in the wood to detect fog and rainfall in previous seasons.

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?

Study finds how ocean circulation plays key role in Earth’s climate

October 23, 2013

A study recently published in the Nature Geoscience journal shows that ocean currents from the Earth’s poles are the reason why the northern hemisphere is warmer and rainier than the southern hemisphere.

The team included researchers from the UW, the University of Hawaii, Columbia University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea. They found that warmer places are wetter because the air rises more frequently, allowing its moisture to precipitate.