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Author: Usha Varanasi

Dr. Usha Varanasi has joined the Center for Urban Waters as its first Distinguished Scholar in Residence. Her leadership and vision have had deep and lasting impacts in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, including her involvement in establishing the Center for Urban Waters, and her long term service to the University of Washington as affiliate professor with the Chemistry department and School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences.

During its inaugural year, the Center, working through the Puget Sound Institute, built a strong foundation featuring several key lines of investigation, and Dr. Varanasi’s vast experience and considerable wisdom will be a tremendous asset as we move forward. In particular, we have begun efforts to better integrate social sciences into the Puget Sound restoration program—an endeavor that will require the same type of holistic and creative thinking that are the hallmarks of Dr. Varanasi’s tenure at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

As Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Dr. Varanasi will work closely with the Puget Sound Institute Advisory Committee and will also play an important role in identifying, recruiting, and mentoring new scientists at Urban Waters. Her close relationship with the College of the Environment, where she also serves as a Distinguished Scholar in Residence, will further help to strengthen the intellectual bridge between the University of Washington’s Seattle and Tacoma campuses, and the greater scientific community.

Frontloading the science in anticipation of environmental disasters

A recent paper by Center for Urban Waters Distinguished Scholar in Residence Usha Varanasi discusses the decline in America’s baseline ability to use science to plan for and assess highly likely environmental disasters, such as oil spills. This article first appeared in the May 2012 issue of the journal Fisheries, published by the American Fisheries …