Ed Kolodziej among finalists for Frontiers Planet Prize

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Puget Sound Institute affiliate Dr. Ed Kolodziej is one of 20 finalists for the prestigious Frontiers Planet Prize honoring “impactful research breakthroughs” in global sustainability science. Kolodziej was selected by an international jury as the United States representative earning him the title of National Champion and advancing him to compete for a prize of one million Swiss francs (about $1.1 million dollars) to support future research. Recipients of the award will be announced on April 27th in Montreux, Switzerland. The prize is sponsored by the Frontiers Research Foundation, a non-profit […]

Findings and reports: February 2023

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Salish Sea Model provides insights on circulation and residence times The amount of time water circulates and “resides” in Puget Sound is of intense interest to regulators and emergency response officials who want to understand how quickly wastewater is flushed out of Puget Sound and into the ocean. A paper in the journal Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science reports that contrary to expectation, flushing of deeper waters may take longer in wintertime in large fjord-like basins such as Hood Canal. A new, higher resolution version of the Salish Sea Model […]

A network of computer models is predicting the future of Puget Sound

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A new $4.8 million dollar project led by the Puget Sound Institute links together a series of computer models to explore future scenarios across the watershed. Some of Puget Sound’s biggest concerns hold the greatest uncertainties.  Will we have clean water? Can the ecosystem sustain species like endangered salmon? How can the region continue to grow and still maintain healthy habitats for wildlife and people? What, in other words, is the future of Puget Sound? No one can travel through time to answer these questions firsthand (science has its limits), […]

PSI monthly roundup: September 2022

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PSI monthly roundup: September 2022 View the fully formatted newsletter Six things that people should know about ecosystem modeling and virtual experiments Mathematical models running on high-speed computers are being used successfully to describe and predict all sorts of environmental changes, from annual salmon runs to sea-level rise to warming waters in streams, bays and oceans. We talked with six experts involved in a variety of ecosystem models. Here’s what they said you should know about how models work and why computer simulations are becoming increasingly important to our understanding of the […]

PSI monthly roundup: July 2022

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VIEW THE FULLY FORMATTED NEWSLETTER in your browser Low-oxygen problems to be scrutinized in talks about research, modeling efforts   For decades, researchers have been advancing their understanding of what causes the harmful and sometimes deadly low-oxygen problems afflicting some areas of Puget Sound. A series of 10 workshops on the subject will begin Tuesday, July 26th, and continue into next year. The workshops, coordinated by the Puget Sound Institute, will build on previous discussions, such as the Washington Department of Ecology’s Nutrient Forum and a forthcoming Marine Water Quality Implementation Strategy that […]

Series of workshops will advance understanding of nutrients in Puget Sound

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Our region is navigating complex and challenging decisions on how best to manage nitrogen, dissolved oxygen, and the potential impacts of eutrophication on the key habitats and species of the Salish Sea. Over the next year, the Puget Sound Institute is sponsoring a series of scientific workshops to help address technical uncertainties and to advance modeling tools to assist decision-making related to nutrient pollution and broader water quality challenges. Supported by King County and municipalities in the Puget Sound Clean Water Alliance, we are collaborating to: Facilitate 10 scientific workshops with […]

PSI monthly roundup: June 2022

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VIEW THE FULLY FORMATTED NEWSLETTER in your browser Boundary spanning in Puget Sound Ecosystem-based management is often a large-scale collaborative effort involving many distinct groups. Boundary spanning organizations such as the Puget Sound Institute can help to support communication and policy development across institutions. In a new paper in the journal Environmental Science & Policy, we look at how knowledge exchange influences science-based ecosystem recovery in Puget Sound. Our paper is now online, and we have created an extended abstract available on the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Read more. Magazine series looks […]

Is it found in Puget Sound?

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The Puget Sound and Salish Sea watersheds contain many incredible geographic features, but it’s not always easy to tell which ones are truly part of the region. Does Puget Sound really include three active volcanoes? (Yes! See above.) How far north does the Salish Sea extend? And does that reach as far as Canada’s wonderfully named Octopus Islands? (We would hope so.) To help answer questions like these, we have created a simple overlay in Google Maps that includes the geo-referenced boundaries of our ecosystem. We hope you will bookmark it […]

Golden-crowned kinglets in Puget Sound have seen a steep decline since 1968

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The number of golden-crowned kinglets in the Puget Sound watershed has declined by more than 91% over a recent 50-year period, according to data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey. The data was reported by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, which tracks the information for the Puget Sound Partnership’s terrestrial bird indicator. The indicator was established to monitor the health of Puget Sound’s species and food webs. The findings come amid widespread bird declines across North America. Overall, bird numbers across the Continent dropped by almost 30% […]

Could tire discovery go beyond impacts on coho?

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Scientists have suspected for several years that chemicals from tire wear particles are to blame for the deaths of thousands of coho salmon that have returned to spawn in Puget Sound’s urban streams. Sometimes referred to as “pre-spawn mortality” or “urban runoff mortality syndrome,” these deaths typically occur in streams near roads, and scientists have been analyzing a wide variety of automobile-derived chemicals to see if they produced similar toxic effects. Now, thanks to some painstaking detective work by our partners at the University of Washington Center for Urban Waters […]

Research in the time of the coronavirus

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As the state’s stay-at-home order drags on, much of the work to recover Puget Sound has shifted online. Funding schedules for the state and federal Strategic Initiatives remain on track and events like the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference are going virtual next week with presentations by video conference. But researchers face an entirely different situation as labs are shuttered and field work is cancelled almost across the board. Megan Dethier, director of the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories calls the situation at her lab fairly typical. Friday Harbor, known […]

Marc Mangel joins PSI

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By Jeff Rice How many fish are in the Salish Sea? It’s an impossible question that drives the Puget Sound Institute’s newest senior scientist Marc Mangel.  Mangel has spent his career working on fish and fisheries issues and uses mathematical models to answer critical questions about species such as their population numbers and population health. He joins PSI this month as an affiliate professor at the University of Washington Tacoma where he will focus on a range of subjects related to species such as salmon and forage fish. Mangel comes […]