What if a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit Seattle?

What if a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit Seattle?

​Wikimedia commons: Labeled for reuse

In preparation for the BIG ONE — the mighty 9.0-magnitude earthquake that’s expected to lay waste to the Pacific Northwest — geophysicists have created 50 virtual simulations to see how such a quake could rattle the region.

The simulations don’t paint a pretty picture for Seattle or the coastal areas of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Northern California, but the locations of some epicenters were a bit more forgiving than others.<...

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People of color exposed to more pollution from cars, trucks, power plants during 10-year period

People of color exposed to more pollution from cars, trucks, power plants during 10-year period

​Wikimedia commons: labeled for reuse

A new nationwide study finds that the U.S. has made little progress from 2000 to 2010 in reducing relative disparities between people of color and whites in exposure to harmful air pollution emitted by cars, trucks and other combustion sources.

The groundbreaking study led by University of Washington Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Julian Marshall estimated exposure to outdoor concentrations of a transportation-related pollutant — nitrogen dioxide (NO2) — in both 2000 and 2010,...

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UW gets federal money to boost early-warning system for West Coast earthquakes

UW gets federal money to boost early-warning system for West Coast earthquakes

​Wikimedia: FEMA: Public Domain

The U.S. Geological Survey has awarded $4.9 million to six universities and a nonprofit to help advance an early-warning system for earthquakes along the West Coast. The federal agency says the ShakeAlert system could give people seconds or up to a minute of warning before strong shaking begins. The University of Washington, Central Washington University and University of Oregon are among those receiving grants. Congress provided $10.2 million to the USGS earthquake hazards program earlier...

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New Seattle seawall aims to improve waterfront salmon habitat

New Seattle seawall aims to improve waterfront salmon habitat

CC BY-SA 2.0: Flickr: HJ_west

Seattle’s new $410 million downtown waterfront is also acting as a huge science experiment.If you walk the area from Colman Dock to the Seattle Aquarium, you’d notice glass panels lining the sidewalk.“I thought it was just something to make the pier pretty,” said Emily Fuller, who visiting Seattle with her family.

The panels actually form a light-penetrating sidewalk to make the waterfront more fish-friendly, specifically salmon coming...

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USGS, partners launch a unified, West Coast-wide earthquake early warning system

USGS, partners launch a unified, West Coast-wide earthquake early warning system

​Wikimedia commons: Arg : CC BY-SA 2.0

The U.S. Geological Survey and university, public and private partners held an event April 10 at the University of Washington to introduce the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning program as a unified, West Coast-wide system. The event also introduced the first pilot uses of the earthquake early warning in Washington and Oregon.

The first Pacific Northwest pilot users of the system are Bothell, Wash.-based RH2 Engineering, which will use the alerts to...

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Honoring Women Collaborators at Urban@UW

Honoring Women Collaborators at Urban@UW

credit: Jessica Hamilton

In honor of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting just some of UW’s brilliant female professors, scholars, and and change-makers with whom Urban@UW is proud to collaborate. Click on their names to explore their work.

Leadership:

Thaisa Way, Executive Director, Urban@UW; Department of Landscape Architecture

Executive Committee:

Margaret O’Mara, Department of History

Susan P. Kemp, School of Social Work<...

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Julian Agyeman: A Brief Reading List

Julian Agyeman: A Brief Reading List

Urban@UW and Julian Agyeman

Julian Agyeman, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University, will be delivering a talk at the University of Washington on February 28 at 7:30pm. Agyeman was originally trained as an ecologist and biogeographer before turning to critical urban studies and environmental social science. Agyeman’s scholarship challenges basic notions of sustainability through his concept of ‘just sustainabilities,’ which aims to enhance equity and justice for both humans and ecosystems, now...

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Songbirds divorce, flee, fail to reproduce due to suburban sprawl

Songbirds divorce, flee, fail to reproduce due to suburban sprawl

Pixnio, Sudia Dan, CC0 public domain

Suburban development is forcing some songbirds to divorce, pack up and leave and miss their best chances for successful reproduction.

As forested areas increasingly are converted to suburbs, birds that live on the edge of our urban footprint must find new places to build their nests, breed and raise fledglings. New research published Dec. 28 in the journal PLOS ONE finds that for one group of songbirds — called “avoiders” — urban...

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UW-led study shows new global evidence of the role of humans, urbanization in rapid evolution

UW-led study shows new global evidence of the role of humans, urbanization in rapid evolution

​Pexels, unsplash, CC0 License

It has long been suspected that humans and the urban areas we create are having an important — and surprisingly current and ongoing — effect on evolution, which may have significant implications for the sustainability of global ecosystems.

A new multi-institution study led by the University of Washington that examines 1,600 global instances of phenotypic change — alterations to species’ observable traits such as size, development or behavior — shows more clearly than...

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New wood technology may offer hope for struggling timber

New wood technology may offer hope for struggling timber

Pixabay, Stux, CC0 Public Domain

John Redfield watches with pride as his son moves a laser-guided precision saw the size of a semi-truck wheel into place over a massive panel of wood.

Redfield’s fingers are scarred from a lifetime of cutting wood and now, after decades of decline in the logging business, he has new hope that his son, too, can make a career shaping the timber felled in southern Oregon’s forests.

That...

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December Recap - TC3, Urban Environmental Justice, Tech, and other Highlights

December Recap - TC3, Urban Environmental Justice, Tech, and other Highlights

David de la Cruz & Wikimedia, Joe Mabel, CC-BY-SA-3.0

December concludes a complicated year. The past month has seen a variety of changes, new research, and reflections on life in Seattle, the tech world, urban environmental justice, and our campus.

Urban@UW and Climate Impacts Group collaborated on the Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change symposium. Urban@UW published a reflection on the event’s conversation as well as a sample of resources pulled from the event’s guest...

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Reflections on Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change

Reflections on Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change

​Photo by: David de la Cruz

​On November 7th and 8th Urban@UW, in collaboration with the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group (CIG), hosted a symposium to begin transdisciplinary conversation on the multifaceted dynamics and consequences of Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change (UEJ). Below are some reflections from this event, and a sample of the resources we’ll be sharing from our time together.

Urban environmental justice has been impacting cities...

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September Recap - News, Big Data, and Monthly Hightlights

September Recap - News, Big Data, and Monthly Hightlights

Cropped image from Flickr user Eric Fischer under CC 2.0.

September is nearly gone, but this was not a very sleepy month. The University of Washington has started the new school year and the past month has seen some tremendous developments for urban thinking and the City of Seattle.

KQED published a piece about urban heat islands and how changes in landcover from hard-scapes and lawns to gardens and natural plantings would yield cumulative cooling effects—but in a surprising way, where day...

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Landscaping for Drought Could Make Warm Nights Cooler

Landscaping for Drought Could Make Warm Nights Cooler

Wikimedia Commons and PSA1966 under CC BY-SA4.0

As drought-stricken residents of Los Angeles’s hottest neighborhoods replace thirsty lawns with native plants, pavers and bare soil, new research has shown how their local climates could begin tipping back in the direction of their desert-like origins.

Nighttime lows help people recover daily even as heat waves persist.

In a region beset this year by drought and powerful heat waves, the widespread adoption of drought-proof landscaping is expected to...

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Midsummer in Full Swing, A July Recap

Midsummer in Full Swing, A July Recap

A collage of July’s news banners.

While we are in the midst of a beautiful summer, things at the University of Washington and at Urban@UW are moving right along. We’ve seen some original writing, research, and even a podcast come out of community covering topics from marine noise pollution to data science and minimum wage to police reforms.

The eScience Institute hosts Data Science for Social Good program looking at how data can be leveraged pressing urban...

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