Local News: Huxley
Below are sustainability-related news items throughout the Western Washington University and Bellingham-area. These items correspond to Huxley.
Despite mercury, South River activities are OK
"We want people to know if you are going to eat things from the river, turtles are not a very good thing to be eating," said Don Kain, water monitoring and assessment program manager for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. The new research by the South River Science Team does say that most animals living around mercury-contaminated water are safe to eat. One category studied is waterfowl. They should be limited to 16 eight-ounce servings per year, still a large amount allowable. "There are varying levels," said Kain of wildlife contamination. "Things like deer have been found to be fine. Waterfowl are generally fine. But snapping turtles are somewhat at risk — they came up with the highest risks out there." Kain said the concentration of mercury in the river doesn't pose any direct risks to people unless they are eating the fish. "You could probably even drink the water as far as mercury goes, from a water content perspective, but eating fish is a risk unless it is stocked fish," he said.
Story of German renewable energy on display starting April 20
The full-color posters are on loan from the Consulate General of Germany. Information on solar, hydro, wind, geothermal, bioenergy and renewable energy in buildings and remote areas will be on the displays. Faculty from the Institute for Energy Studies will be at the opening reception to discuss modern renewable energy technologies, and explain the new courses and degrees in energy that will be coming to Western next fall. The Institute now offers a Bachelors in Arts in Energy Policy and Management, minors in Energy Science and Energy Policy, and an energy concentration in electrical engineering.
Ceremony introduces Flora building
“When you consider his career as an exceptionally engaged scholar and educator, both at Western and in the community – not to mention his tremendous leadership for Western during a crucial time – naming the Marine Science Education Building after Jerry Flora makes perfect sense,” said WWU President Bruce Shepard on announcing the news back in December. “His instructive beach walks and children’s television series inspired many to share his love of our beautiful marine environment, and embrace the importance of protecting it. Preserving Jerry’s legacy at Shannon Point will inspire generations of students and educators, and remind us how powerful direct engagement with the environment can be.”
Sustainability Leadership Awards
WWU Geologist Pete Stelling Researching Geothermal Power Sources in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands
“The majority of electrical generation today surrounds boiling water and using the steam to drive a turbine, which spins a generator and makes electricity. The fuel – coal, oil, or natural gas, for instance – is used to boil that water,” he said. “Geothermal sources skip the need for a fuel and go to the superheated water right at its source to make the electricity, and this could happen at places like Akutan to make them far more energy independent.” The perfect geothermal source, according to Stelling, occurs when the superheated water, over time, dissolves the surrounding rock and turns it into clay that acts as a cap, keeping the water and steam from escaping or losing pressure. Iceland, for example, is rife with these types of sources, one reason why the island nation is 80 percent powered by geothermal energy.
Elwha: A River Reborn' on campus Oct. 6 to Dec. 30
Based on a Mountaineers book of the same name by Seattle Times reporter Lynda Mapes and photographer Steve Ringman, the exhibit takes viewers to the Northwest’s legendary Elwha River Valley to discover the people, places, and history behind a remarkable regional story – and the largest dam removal project ever undertaken. Through first-person accounts, stunning photographs, and informative text printed on free-standing banners, follow the Elwha’s journey from abundant wilderness to economic engine – to an unprecedented experiment in restoration and renewal that has captured global attention.
Huxley Spatial Institute develops interactive map of rail lines used to ship crude oil in North America
The Crude-By-Rail map was created as an online companion to “Runaway Train: The Reckless Expansion of Crude-By-Rail in North America,” a report published by Oil Change International in May 2014.
WWU, Ecology team to train future cleanup experts
Susannah, a sediment specialist in training in the Toxics Cleanup Program, joined Ecology in October 2013. She graduated in 2012 from Western Washington University with a bachelor of science degree in environmental science with environmental toxicology emphasis.
Pipeline expansion concerns council member
Potential pipeline safety concerns and details of the industry, which moves resources around the country, were the topics of Thursday, May 8, Huxley College Speaker Series lecture.
Plants invade arboretum: Interns needed to map the intruders
In the Sehome Arboretum invasive plants including English Holly, Ivy and Vinca take over several native plants, such as ferns, by crowding them out of their native area and killing them.
Western leads largest-ever Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference
Western was well-represented at the conference, with 30-plus presentations and posters offered by WWU faculty and students. Ben Miner, as associate professor of biology, presented his research on Sea Star Wasting Syndrome and its effects on Sea Star populations along the West Coast of North America. He presented data on the patterns, lab experiments and genetic work that is being done on Sea Star Wasting Syndrome. The experimental work for Miner’s research is being done at Western, with collaborators at Cornell University and University of California, Santa Cruz.
Alumna gives advice to students seeking jobs within their major
More than 4,000 students have graduated from Huxley since 1969 and have gone on to pursue careers in their field, including Lathrop. Lathrop’s environmental policy and urban planning degree from Western mixed with hard work has allowed her to get the job she wanted while staying in Bellingham.
U.S., Canadian, tribal leaders discuss Salish Sea's environmental, economic concerns
The environment doesn't stop at the border and neither does the economy. A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment and we must work across the border with our Canadian and tribal/First Nations partners to ensure both.
After 53 'remarkable' years, Mookherjee to retire
Debnath Mookherjee is retiring from Western after 53 years.
Student-assembled sculpture to be relocated to wetland March 12
Students spent a week assembling the sculpture under the guidance of Seattle artist John Grade. The sculpture, which is made of raw materials found in nature, was completed on March 4 and has been on display in the Western Gallery. It will be relocated to the boggy area to be observed over time as it decays as part of the exploration of the effect of time and the elements.
Western brings business bachelor’s program to Olympic College
The program is offered through the Extended Education Department at Western. “We are really excited,” said Sandra Mottner, the associate dean of the College of Business and Economics.
Alumnus recognized for sustainable deconstruction
Re-Use Consulting was recognized at the award ceremony for its efforts to find sustainable ways to take apart buildings and use the resources that would typically go to landfills, Bennink said.
Western names new director of Shannon Point Marine Center
McPhee-Shaw, who will start at Western on June 15, 2014, was hired following a national search. She succeeds longtime SPMC Director Steve Sulkin, who has retired.
Student's presentation deemed best at N.C. conference
In memoriam: Jerry Flora, 1928 - 2013
Flora served as Western’s eighth president, from 1967 to 1975. During his tenure, Western’s enrollment grew from 6,240 to 10,000, and four colleges -- Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Huxley College of the Environment, the College of Business and Economics and the College of Fine and Performing Arts -- were established.
"For years, many leaders in Washington have recognized that our state needed to address a widening deficit in science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills in our work force," says Western President Bruce Shepard.
Student wins $50,000 scholarship
The scholarship is for students who can relate their passions to solving problems, such as climate change, habitats or pollution, Ventres-Pake said.
Washington residents deck the halls with energy efficiency
The Seattle-based insurer found that, of those who say they decorated with outdoor lights last December, Washington residents were more likely than their Portland, Ore., neighbors to display energy-efficient LEDs. Half of Washington residents (51 percent) said they chose the more efficient LEDs, while just 43 percent of Portlanders say they did the same.
Students look twice at litter
The campaign started when Western seniors majoring in environmental studies were asked to come up with ideas for their Environmental Stewardship class. The mission of the field-oriented capstone course is to encourage students to work in teams and apply their knowledge and skills in their projects to solve real-world problems over the course of a quarter.
Professor: As estuary health weakens, greenhouse gases increase
Carbon is a naturally occurring element found in all living things, and the soft, oxygen-free sediments of estuaries are natural sponges that lock in carbon. When these estuaries and river deltas are drained or impounded, that sediment becomes exposed to oxygen and combines with the newly-freed carbon to form carbon dioxide, perhaps the world's top cause of global warming, as it enters the atmosphere.
Energy institute gets $150K from Alaska Air
Western established its multi-disciplinary Institute for Energy Studies last spring. The Institute program, the first of its kind in the country, combines science, technology, economics, business and policy and is designed to prepare students to become the leaders, managers and entrepreneurs of the new energy economy.
Business and Sustainability bachelor's degree is Western's latest interdisciplinary offering
The Bachelor of Arts in Business and Sustainability is a combined major offered by the College of Business and Economics' Department of Management and Huxley College of the Environment.
Western professor, students provide monitoring data for 70 of Washington's small lakes
"We started this project in 2006 as a way of getting student volunteers some top-notch field research experience," Matthews said. "And it has turned out to not only be just that, but also a very valuable community resource as well."
Professor, students map toxic-release trends
The application is available for use at www.toxictrends.org.
Huxley's Institute for Watershed Studies renews its agreement to monitor Lake Whatcom
The new contract includes an expanded emphasis on storm event sampling to help the city of Bellingham model phosphorus and sediment loading into Lake Whatcom.
Huxley grad student develops a risk assessment model for policy makers
Working in Huxley's Institute of Environmental Toxicology, Hines developed an Ecological Risk Assessment Model to examine the potential effectiveness of low-impact development as a management tool in the Puyallup River watershed.
WWU, OC announce partnership in West Sound
The collaboration between Olympic College and Western Washington University is expanding as Western plans on having tenure track faculty located in Poulsbo to provide undergraduate and graduate programs on the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas. This expansion is part of a joint vision to serve the community and businesses on the Peninsulas.
Department pushes for new engineering geology major: Western produces high number of licensed geologists
"I think it's a good idea," said Bernie Housen, chair of the geology department. "It's something the state should support."
WWU student, alumna awarded 'Best Cleantech Idea' in UW Business Plan Challenge
"The project is a lot of what Huxley [College of the Environment] has been teaching in classes on making environmental and social benefits," Meyer said. "It shows promise that business leaders are taking time out of their day to review and judge these plans as potential business models."
New major pairs sustainability and business
The sequence will be 104-106 credits, with only seven credits of electives. The major will require courses from both the College of Business and Economics and Huxley College of the Environment. The major can be declared at either college.
Students in BTC's fisheries program can now seamlessly transfer to WWU
Students will now have the opportunity for a seamless transition by earning BTC's Associated in Applied Science Transfer degree in Fisheries & Aquatic Science and transferring to WWU/Huxley to pursue a bachelor of arts in Environmental Studies or Geography.
Western students pitch updates to Bellingham street
The students presented their ideas to members of the community, city planners and councilmembers using PowerPoint presentations in Bellingham's Federal Building Courtroom.
WWU Professor Part of Global Research Team Shedding New Light on the Changing Arctic
Environmental discussion spurs Huxley College expansion
"One of the things Huxley is doing is moving more toward a four-year program for [Huxley] students instead of just a two-year program in the junior and senior year," said Steven Hollenhorst, the dean of Huxley College. "We'll be engaged with students from the very first quarter they come on to campus and have a curriculum that goes across the full four years."
Huxley Speaker Series URLs
- "Environmental Concerns and the Political Process" - Huxley Speaker Series 10/5/12
- "A Fisherman's Perspective on the Individual Fishing Quota System in Alaska" Huxley Speaker Series 10/12/12
- "The DNA of Cities" Huxley Speaker Series 10/19/12
- "Transportation in Bellingham" Huxley Speaker Series 10/26/12
Myers, Russell write chapters in new book on environmental and conservation psychology
Students In Ecological Restoration
New 'energy studies' minor
The institute's director, Andy Bunn, said understanding these subjects are some of the most important issues facing society this century because not enough universities provide an in-depth education on energy.
Rybczyk writes chapter in book on estuarine ecology
The second edition includes new chapters covering phytoplankton, seagrasses, coastal marshes, mangroves, benthic algae, Integrated Coastal Zone Management techniques and the effects of global climate change. It also features an entirely new section on estuarine ecosystem processes, trophic webs, ecosystem metabolism, and the interactions between estuaries and other ecosystems such as wetlands and marshes.
WWU students release environmental impact study for Birch Bay shoreline project
The students completed an environmental impact assessment of the Birch Bay Drive and Pedestrian Facility as part of a class taken through WWU's Huxley College of the Environment. The assessment looked at numerous possible impacts of the project, which will add a beach berm to nearly the entire length of Birch Bay, remove beach groins and riprap and improve stormwater treatment structures.
Huxley Speaker Series explores global and local environmental issues
Steven Hollenhorst is next Huxley dean
"From an exceptionally strong pool of candidates, we have identified a national leader in the field of environmental research and policy to assume the deanship of the Huxley College. Western is committed to our legacy of leadership on environmental issues, and Dr. Hollenhorst is well positioned to advance that into the future," Riordan said.
Huxley to open major to 1st, 2nd-years
Photos: Bellingham students visit Gordon Carter Conservation Site
WWU Huxley College students' prototype converts wave energy into electricity
Seniors Aaron Ellig of Kennewick, Andrew Wells of Mukilteo and junior Carolyn Wise of Northfield, Minn., who collectively call themselves "Amped Aquatics," went up against 31 other teams in the UW competition that challenges students to design and develop a solution to an environmental problem and produce a prototype and business pitch that demonstrates the market opportunity for a chance to win $10,000.
Western receives grant to create new energy courses
Brian Sibley, campaign communications manager for the division of university advancements, said he believes this program is "quintessentially Western."
The program, intended to teach students how to develop new companies and work in the modern energy industry, is a collaborative effort from Western's College of Business and Economics, the College of Sciences and Technology and Huxley College of the Environment, according to the press release.
Ingersoll Rand Foundation donates $25,000 to WWU Energy Program
"We are pleased to help WWU pioneer this program," said Warren Michelsen, district general manager of Northwest-Hawaii Trane district. "As a company we are committed to helping our customers reach their goals for sustainability and energy conservation. This program will prepare its graduates to be leaders in the clean energy economy. We're honored to support the innovation and initiative they've demonstrated and pleased to collaborate in helping guide the launch of this ambitious program."
Huxley farm documentary appears on The Joe Show
Short film tells plight of family-owned farms
The two-and-a-half-minute film was made by Bellingham's Hand Crank Films and recently won a prestigious ADDY award from the American Advertising Federation in the category of best interactive web videos. It can be viewed online at www.farmresilience.org.
Smith steps down
"Brad gave the Office of Sustainability its first home in Huxley College and he has been a key in helping our campus progress to both set and meet its sustainability goals," Campus Sustainability Manager Seth Vidana said. "He has been a great supporter of our efforts and other people's efforts and he has been the co-chair of our Sustainability Committee and done a great job there. We're lucky that he wants to stick around [to help]."
New map offers interactive look at campus
Originally released in a "beta" version this fall, the map recently has been revised and updated. Among the recent enhancements are drop down menus to locate each of the buildings, departments and services on campus as well as a construction projects layer and building links to individual web pages for the different buildings on campus.
An app that makes a difference
Rob Sabie, Jr., a student at Western Washington University, and formerly of La Porte, placed runner up for best student app in the competition, which recognized apps that increased understanding or protection of the environment.
Student's Web app earns Environmental Protection Agency award
The Best Apps for the Environment: Bringing EPA Data to the Masses
The federal Environmental Protection Agency has announced winners of a contest to create the best "Apps for the Environment." After a solicitation earlier this year, the agency drew 38 entries and 2,000 votes on them from website users. The main prerequisite was that entrants base the program at least in part on publicly available EPA data.
Runner-up, student app: Environmental Justice Participatory Mapping by Robert Sabie, Jr. of Western Washington University. This program maps potentially hazardous areas within or near the Navajo Nation, based on data from EPA's atlas of abandoned uranium mines.
Huxley College of the Environment releases book, 'Green Fire,' chronicling its first 40 years
"The book's profiles of 40 Huxley alumni is eloquent testimony to the college's effectiveness and historic importance," said William Dietrich, the book's lead author and an assistant professor at the college. "They range from the director of SeaTac Airport to organic farmers, and from the man leading the world campaign to save Asian tigers to the woman who is the project director for the United Nations' World at 7 Billion Project."
WWU Graduate Students Honored With United States Forest Service Award
WWU Graduate Students Honored With United States Forest Service Award
National forests proposal would weaken protections
Why this is relevant: This opinion piece was written by Environmental Science's John McLaughlin.
New courses help Western save green by going green
Seth Vidaña, coordinator of the Office of Sustainability at Western, teaches the Sustainability Literacy III studio course. Vidana took a similar class as an undergraduate at Western and returned to the class as a co-teacher while pursuing his master's degree. After graduating, he took over teaching the class full time.
Environmental journalism turns down new majors
WWU students sweep awards at environmental competition
The Environmental Challenge is a competition where student teams prepare and present an optimal solution to a complex true-to-life environmental problem. Before the event, the students submit a proposal for how to solve the problem; at the event, the students attend technical sessions, meet with role players, and modify their proposal. They are judged on their written proposal, an oral presentation, technical feasibility, comprehensive approach to the solution, and creativity.
A Postcard from the Pleistocene
WWU Professors Participate in International Workshop on Sustainable Community Development
WWU Professor to Lead International Effort on Building Sustainable Economies
"We're working to revitalize ancient economic trade ties throughout the Mediterranean," said Zaferatos, a faculty member at WWU's Huxley College of the Environment. "Rural areas that did vigorous trade for thousands of years have seen those trade links evaporate as walls - some literal, some figurative - have been built between Christian and Muslim communities. We want to tear those walls down and help get these communities focused on sustainable economies that benefit all partners."
RECOGNITION & HONORS |
SUSTAINABLE ACTION FUND
THE OUTBACK FARM | RESRAP PROGRAM
SUSTAINABLE OFFICE CERTIFICATION
SWEATER DAYS | VIKING SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE | ENERGY & CLIMATE
TRANSPORTATION | WASTE
BUILT ENVIRONMENT | FOOD | WATER
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RESEARCH | SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS