Advancing the role of science in coastal ecosystem recovery, May 14th and 15th

The Puget Sound Institute has invited representatives from six major ecosystem recovery projects for a two-day workshop, May 14th and 15th in Seattle. Participants will represent Chesapeake Bay, Everglades, Long Island Sound, San Joaquin/Sacramento Delta, Columbia River Estuary, and the Louisiana Coast. The workshop is being organized by PSI Research Scientist Nick Georgiadis, and will look at ways that science can contribute most effectively to large-scale recovery efforts, including Puget Sound. Topics include challenges relating to scope, complexity and cost in large and complex systems. Continue reading


Characterizing coastal foodwebs

PSI’s  Tessa Francis is co-author of a new paper in the ICES Journal of Marine Science. The paper, “Characterizing coastal foodwebs with qualitative links to bridge the gap between the theory and the practice of ecosystem-based management” uses qualitative modeling to compare management actions in Puget Sound, Chesapeake Bay and Galveston Bay.

The authors examine loop analysis as a tool for predicting responses to press perturbations (experimental alteration of species densities). Case studies include management efforts to increase crab abundance as well as projects in Puget Sound to reduce eutrophication in relation to coastal foodwebs.

Citation: Carey, M. P., Levin, P. S., Townsend, H., Minello, T. J., Sutton, G. R., Francis, T., Harvey, C. J., Toft, J. E., Arkema, K. K., Burke, J. L., Kim, C-K., Guerry, A., Plummer, M., Spiridonov, G., and Ruckelshaus, M. Characterizing coastal foodwebs with qualitative links to bridge the gap between the theory and the practice of ecosystem-based management. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fst012.

Read the abstract.



UW Water symposium, April 30th

The 2013 University of Washington Water Symposium is scheduled for Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at the Husky Union Building on the UW, Seattle campus. The symposium is sponsored by the Center for Urban Waters and the Puget Sound Institute and brings together nationally recognized scientists and engineers to present and discuss water-related research for Washington and beyond. To read more about the event, or view past proceedings, visit the Water Symposium website.



Upcoming paper in Decision Analysis

PSI’s Richard Anderson has co-authored a paper accepted for publication in the June issue of Decision Analysis. The paper, “Toward an Improved Methodology to Construct and Reconcile Decision Analytic Preference Judgments” describes a process designed to mitigate the occurrence of biases and judgment flaws in novel decision situations.

Citation: Anderson, R., and R. Clemen.  2013.  Toward an Improved Methodology to Construct and Reconcile Decision Analytic Preference Judgments.  To Appear in Decision Analysis.


From the field: PSI forage fish study

PSI Research Scientist Tessa Francis sends us this photo of herring eggs on eelgrass (click photo to enlarge), part of a new forage fish study in collaboration with NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The study, which began earlier this month examines the possible link between eelgrass abundance and herring populations in Puget Sound. Continue reading


A bridge to PSI

Tacoma’s historic Murray Morgan (11th Street) Bridge has re-opened after several years of renovation work. Why is this good news for PSI? Our home, the Center for Urban Waters, is now re-connected with downtown Tacoma and the UW Tacoma campus. We’re looking forward to walking and biking to meetings as the weather improves!

Murray Morgan Bridge spans the Thea Foss Waterway

Murray Morgan Bridge spans the Thea Foss Waterway, connecting the tideflats to downtown Tacoma. Photo: Kim Davenport


Baker lab alum Holly Bamford named director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service

Holly Bamford

Holly Bamford

Earlier this month, NOAA announced a familiar name to head its National Ocean Service (NOS). Holly Bamford has been a longtime collaborator with the Center for Urban Waters through our joint study of marine microplastics when she led NOAA’s Marine Debris Program. Bamford also received her master’s degree and doctorate in environmental chemistry studying with PSI Director Joel Baker when his research group was at the University of Maryland. Continue reading


Puget Sound Institute issues RFP to fund social science research

The Puget Sound Institute (PSI) requests proposals for 18-month research projects from social science investigators at academic and research institutes, government agencies and other professional consultancies to conduct research on Puget Sound ecosystem service values. As much as $200,000 will be available to support up to three projects selected through an open, competitive, peer-reviewed process. The document below provides guidance for submitting letters of intent and full proposals.  Interdisciplinary partnerships are encouraged.

  • Funding Cycle: July 1, 2013 to January 31, 2015
  • Letter of intent due by 5:00 p.m. PST March 15, 2013
  • Full proposals due by 5:00 p.m. May 1, 2013
  • Letters of intent and full proposals must be submitted via e-­‐mail to

View the RFP document: 2013 Puget Sound Institute Request for Proposals