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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Opportunity abounds as Washington builds the modern electricity grid

The Horn Rapids Solar, Storage, and Training Project—which would be the largest solar installation in Washington, and one of a relative few anywhere with a significant amount of energy storage incorporated—embodies a long chain of public and private sector efforts that have positioned the state, and the broader Pacific Northwest, as a leader in the grid modernization and energy storage industries.

Grid modernization—a broader term for what is also...

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Birds versus buildings: Rural structures pose greater relative threat than urban ones

Birds versus buildings: Rural structures pose greater relative threat than urban ones

CC0 Public Domain: Maxpixel:

About one billion birds are killed every year when they unwittingly fly into human-made objects such as buildings with reflective windows. Such collisions are the largest unintended human cause of bird deaths worldwide — and they are a serious concern for conservationists.

A new paper published in June in the journal Biological Conservation finds that, as one might suspect, smaller buildings cause fewer bird deaths than do bigger buildings. But the research...

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There’s a map for that

There’s a map for that

Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain: USGS

If you own a cell phone or a mobile device you’re likely creating data that could be mapped. “When you add a Yelp review or geotag a tweet you’re actually volunteering geographic information, you are mapping,” said UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Britta Ricker. Most of us use maps to determine our location, to find out how to get from point A to point B. Ricker, who teaches in the university...

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MetroLab to hold annual summit in Atlanta

MetroLab Network—a national network of 40 city-university partnerships focused on urban innovation—will be hosting their Annual Summit in Atlanta from September 13-15 (in partnership with the City of Atlanta and Georgia Tech). The Summit will bring together leaders from local government, universities, industry and non-profit and is an opportunity to share, discuss, and present on the impact of data, analytics, and technology on local government. Martin O’Malley (Former Governor of Maryland) and...

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Lake Union building earns awards for energy savings

Lake Union building earns awards for energy savings

Wikimedia Commons: CC Public Domain: Leonardo.Stabile

Henbart LLC announced recently that a year-long study led by the University of Washington’s Integrated Design Lab confirmed that upgrading to View® Dynamic Glass technology in the Lake Union Building significantly saved energy and improved the tenant experience. The report verified annual energy savings of 17.7 percent or 351,604 kWh – roughly $28,000 a year or enough electricity to power 33 homes. The Lake Union Building is a 45-year old building located at 1700 Westlake Avenue N. along...

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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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Urban Scholar Highlight: Christopher Meek

Urban Scholar Highlight: Christopher Meek

​Christopher Meek

Christopher Meek is a faculty member in University of Washington’s Department of Architecture and a director in the Integrated Design Lab in the Center for Integrated Design, located in the Bullitt Center. He teaches during the school year and the rest of his time is focused on research on high-performance buildings. We sat down with him to learn more about his work.

Urban@UW: What are your current research interests...

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Urban lifestyles help to protect the Puget Sound ecosystem

Urban lifestyles help to protect the Puget Sound ecosystem

Moore Ruble Yudell: Labeled for reuse

As the state of Washington estimates that the Puget Sound area will grow by more than 1.5 million residents within the next two decades. That is expected to have profound effects on the environment as more and more people move to undeveloped areas. Christopher Dunagan with the Puget Sound Institute explains why urban lifestyles help to protect both rural and urban habitat.

Continue Reading at Encyclopedia of the Puget Sound

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Toward greener construction: UW professor collab sets markers for carbon across life of buildings

Toward greener construction: UW professor collab sets markers for carbon across life of buildings

​digifly840: pixabay: CC-0 Public Domain

A University of Washington-led research group has taken an important step toward measuring — and ultimately reducing — the global carbon footprint of building construction and long-term maintenance.

The Carbon Leadership Forum is a collaborative effort among academics and industry professionals based in the UW’s College of Built Environments that studies reducing carbon emissions over a building’s entire period of use, or life cycle.

There is...

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Growing Up in the University District

Growing Up in the University District

Andrew Hopkins: Flickr: CC BY-SA 2.0

Vikram Jandhyala sees Seattle’s University District evolving into an “innovation district” — a place where public and private sectors work together to develop socially beneficial technologies. Think Silicon Valley, where Stanford University faculty and students launch new companies or work on their new technologies with existing tech giants.

As the University of Washington’s vice president for innovation strategies and head of the UW CoMotion program, which pairs the research...

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As Central District gets whiter, new barriers to health care

As Central District gets whiter, new barriers to health care

CC0 Public Domain: Pixabay by Paulbr75

Last week while lawmakers in Washington, D.C., were gnashing their teeth over what health insurance in the U.S. should look like, patients and providers in King County were wrestling with some of the same challenges they faced before the Affordable Care Act was in place.

In 2014, students in King County who are black, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander or American Indian/Alaskan Native were twice as likely not to...

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The creation of the Burke-Gilman Trail

The creation of the Burke-Gilman Trail

Image Credit: Matthew Rutledge/Flickr, CC BY-2.0.

On Sunday, Sept. 12, 1971, hundreds of people began marching toward Matthews Beach Park along the shores of Lake Washington north of Sand Point. Families, couples, adults and senior citizens converged on the park in two streams – one from the south, one from the north. They marched there that sunny late-summer afternoon along old railroad tracks, on a route that dated to the 1880s. The “hike-in” and rally was organized by UW professor emeritus...

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First UW Livable City Year project reports delivered to the City of Auburn

First UW Livable City Year project reports delivered to the City of Auburn

Image Credit: UW Livable City Year

Teams of University of Washington students have been working throughout this academic year on livability and sustainability projects in the City of Auburn. The yearlong Livable City Year partnership has given students a chance to work on real-world challenges identified by Auburn, while providing Auburn with tens of thousands of hours of study and student work.

Livable City Year connects UW faculty with projects based in Auburn, which are then incorporated into...

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How future superstorms could overwhelm today’s wastewater infrastructure

How future superstorms could overwhelm today’s wastewater infrastructure

Image Credit: Robert Lawton - CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

The current Seattle rainstorm, and many like it this year, are overwhelming our city’s wastewater pipes, and some sewage may be dumping into the Puget Sound as we speak. But even in a normal year, King County dumps about 800 million gallons of raw sewage into its waterways. That’s because, when it rains too much in too short a time, “pipes start to flow too full,” School of Public Health professor...

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