For the past two years, Puget Sound Institute Lead Social Scientist Kelly Biedenweg has been working with the Puget Sound Partnership to identify and recommend what are termed “human wellbeing indicators.” These indicators will be adopted by the agency as part of its Human Quality of Life Vital Sign. Biedenweg, along with Kari Stiles of the Puget Sound Partnership, and Katharine Wellman of Northern Economics presented a final report to the Leadership Council last month.
Dr. Ed Kolodziej is one of the Puget Sound Institute’s newest collaborators. Kolodziej began his appointment at the University of Washington Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering last fall with a joint appointment at Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at UW Tacoma. His research looks at some of the ways that organic compounds like steroids and other pharmaceuticals persist in the environment. Known as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), these compounds are flushed into Puget Sound and other natural systems every day.
In December 2014, the Puget Sound Leadership Council adopted the 2014-2016 Biennial Science Work Plan, a document identifying decision-critical science for Puget Sound recovery. PSI Research Scientist Nick Georgiadis was lead author on the report in collaboration with the Puget Sound Partnership and its Science Panel. In the report, Georgiadis addresses the challenge of managing large scale ecosystems in the face of scientific uncertainty. Read an excerpt from a summary of the Biennial Science Work Plan below.
It was a treasure trove, waiting to be uncovered. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) had been surveying Puget Sound herring habitat for more than 40 years, but until recently, much of that data remained in the original logbooks, un-digitized and unused. Recent efforts by Puget Sound Institute Lead Ecologist Tessa Francis in collaboration with NOAA and DFW have now made this data more accessible. The scientists hope that it will help to answer some of the key questions behind recent declines in Puget Sound herring populations.
Climate change, like politics, is local. “At least that is how you have to look at the impacts,” says Encyclopedia of Puget Sound topic editor Amy Snover. Snover is the Director of the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington and has been conducting research on the expected ‘time of emergence’ for climate change in the Puget Sound region.
Pacific herring are known to lay their eggs on a wide variety of submerged vegetation, from algae to seagrass. A new study in the Marine Ecology Progress Series reports that Puget Sound herring show little preference when it comes to these types of spawning vegetation. The paper, co-authored by Puget Sound Institute Lead Ecologist Tessa Francis, analyzes herring egg loss on five types of vegetation in several herring subpopulations in Puget Sound. Authors include Andrew Shelton, Tessa Francis, Gregory Williams, Blake Feist, Kurt Stick and Phil Levin.