Puget Sound Institute eNews
PSI eNewsletter - Published by the UW Center for Urban Waters February 2012 Issue

Welcome to the second edition of the Puget Sound Institute's bi-monthly newsletter. Based at the University of Washington with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Puget Sound Institute was established to conduct, coordinate, and communicate regional research that supports system-wide knowledge of the Salish Sea ecosystem. In this issue of the newsletter, look for a few new faces and collaborations. There are new papers by PSI scholars. New hires. A new Science Panel Chair, and a new collaboration with NOAA to provide greater access to maps for the Puget Sound science community. We are also proud to highlight our "citizen science" program SoundCitizen, which is settling in to its new home at the Center for Urban Waters after its successful creation at the UW School of Oceanography (see some related items on beer and vanilla). As always, please send us your comments. PSI is your resource, and we look forward to hearing from you.


Want to opt out?

You are receiving the PSI eNews because of your interest in Puget Sound. If you do not wish to receive this newsletter, or other information from the Puget Sound Institute, you may unsubscribe.

Follow us: Facebook Twitter


PSI collaborates with NOAA on Puget Sound maps

The Puget Sound Institute is collaborating with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to enhance a new web-based mapping resource for Puget Sound. The project will utilize NOAA's Environmental Response Management Application® (ERMA) within the Institute’s forthcoming Encyclopedia of Puget Sound to bring together a wide array of GIS and oceanographic data. ERMA was first used extensively in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the same mapping application is now being customized for the Puget Sound watershed and Northwest area. [More]

ERMA mapping application

PSI news roundup

  • Visit our expanded document archive. The Puget Sound Institute has scanned and uploaded more than two-dozen documents covering 25 years of Puget Sound science, including all available “State of the Sound” and Georgia Basin/Salish Sea conference proceedings. Take a journey back to 1986, or fast forward to the recently posted proceedings of the 2011 Salish Sea conference. [Go to the archive]
  • The PSI welcomes your comments regarding the new Puget Sound Science Review (PSSR). This spring the PSSR will become a key anchor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Help us identify gaps and areas of focus as we engage in this process. The Encyclopedia will be a living document featuring a synthesis of scientific information about Puget Sound protection and restoration, and will be edited and updated by a community of credentialed experts. Contact us with your feedback, or get involved and find out more about becoming an editor or topic curator.
  • Upcoming event: Watch for upcoming announcements about the 2012 University of Washington Water Symposium, which will be hosted by PSI and the Center for Urban Waters on April 18th. For information on last year's symposium, visit the 2011 University of Washington Water Symposium website.
  • We are excited to announce that Tessa Francis is the newest member of the Puget Sound Institute team, and begins her appointment as a Research Scientist at the end of this month. [More]
  • The Puget Sound Institute plans a second human dimensions workshop to develop a social science strategy for Puget Sound ecosystem recovery. [More]

Recent papers

Evaluating and ranking ecosystem indicators

Puget Sound Institute Research Scientist Andy James is co-author of a paper this month in the journal Environmental Management. The paper, "A Methodology for Evaluating and Ranking Water Quantity Indicators in Support of Ecosystem-based Management" uses Puget Sound as a case study, describing frameworks for identifying and ranking ecosystem indicators. Authors include: C. Andrew James, Jessi Kershner, Jameal Samhouri, Sandra O'Neill, and Phillip S. Levin. [More]

Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper" meets Puget Sound research

PSI/Urban Waters post-doctoral researcher Justin P. Miller-Schulze was recently the lead author on a paper published in Atmospheric Environment, "Characteristics of fine particle carbonaceous aerosol at two remote sites in Central Asia", and a co-author on a paper in Environmental Science and Technology, "Chemical Characterization and Source Apportionment of Fine and Coarse Particulate Matter inside the refectory of Santa Maria Delle Grazie Church, home of Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper". Both of these studies involve the use of chemical mass balance source apportionment techniques to estimate the sources of ambient particulate matter. Miller-Schulze is currently working at the Center for Urban Waters to use analogous methods to estimate the relevant sources of chemical species of interest (i.e., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), phthalates, etc.) and their impact on the Puget Sound region as well as the Sound itself. Miller-Schulze says that some of the same conditions that lead to poor air quality in Milan—a tendency for pollution to stagnate in the local airshed—also exist in Tacoma. [More]


Study shows Puget Sound "artificially flavored"

A recent study by UW undergraduates at SoundCitizen, which recently moved from Oceanography to the Center for Urban Waters, shows that Puget Sound is awash in vanilla, pain relievers and other man-made compounds. [More]

Is beer toxic to Puget Sound?

Recently spotted in Grist.org: SoundCitizen founder Rick Keil and new PSP Science Panel member Tracy Collier weigh in: Is it OK to pour beer down the drain? [More]

Puget Sound Partnership science news

Joe Gaydos begins term as Science Panel Chair

Newly elected Chair of the Puget Sound Partnership Science Panel Joe Gaydos began his term on January 25th, with Bill Labiosa serving as Vice Chair. Gaydos is the Chief Scientist for the SeaDoc society, a marine ecosystem health program of the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center. Gaydos has been a member of the Science Panel since 2009, and has spent the past eight years collecting and distributing scientific data on Puget Sound. [More]

New PSP science hires

Dave Peeler and Leska Fore have joined the Puget Sound Partnership's science team to support the monitoring program. [More]

About us

The Puget Sound Institute is:

  • Joel Baker, Director
  • Kim Davenport, Administrator
  • Tessa Francis, Research Scientist
  • Michelle Hartman, Office Assistant
  • Andy James, Research Scientist
  • Jeff Rice, Managing Editor
  • Kari Stiles, Research Scientist
  • Kris Symer, Web Architect

Follow us: Facebook Twitter


  • Amelia Apfel, Editorial Assistant
  • Jacob Moore, GIS Assistant
  • Julianne Ruffner, Editorial Assistant

Center for Urban Waters research group:

  • Kurt Marx, Emerging Technology Coordinator
  • Justin P. Miller-Schulze, Post-Doctoral Researcher