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 […]

Meet our intern: Audrey Rhodes

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We are pleased to welcome Audrey Rhodes as a summer research assistant at the Center for Urban Waters. Audrey will be working in cooperation with the Stormwater Equipment Manufacturer’s Association (SWEMA) to analyze the effectiveness of new stormwater treatment technologies through literature reviews of published research. As part of her internship, she will work closely with experienced stormwater professionals to provide content for the SWEMA website such as social media, white papers, and short videos. Audrey was born and raised in Eastern Washington and received her Bachelor of Environmental Science degree from the University of Washington […]

Seattle Aquarium honors work conducted at the Center for Urban Waters

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Congratulations to our recent affiliate Dr. Zhenyu Tian for receiving the Seattle Aquarium’s Conservation Research Award! Tian, who is now an assistant professor at Northeastern University, has been recognized by the Aquarium for his work in 2020 to identify a chemical from automobile tires that has been killing Coho salmon in Puget Sound. Tian and a team of scientists at our parent organization the Center for Urban Waters discovered the deadly compound 6PPD-Quinone which has been leaching into stormwater. Research leading up to the discovery was done in collaboration with many […]

Conference highlights latest findings on toxic chemical in tires

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The International Conference on Emerging Contaminants (EMCON), hosted virtually this month by the University of Washington, focused on newly identified threats from chemicals and microplastics in the environment. The conference provided an opportunity to hear the latest research on the discovery of a tire-related compound deadly to Puget Sound’s coho salmon. The cause of what scientists have labeled “urban runoff mortality syndrome” among coho had been a mystery for more than 20 years until it was solved last December by scientists at our affiliate organization the Center for Urban Waters. Their […]

New NSF grant supports toxics research

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Researchers at our affiliate organization the Center for Urban Waters have received a $797,107 National Science Foundation grant for the purchase of new equipment to identify toxic contaminants in Puget Sound. Ed Kolodziej is the project’s principal investigator. Co-principal investigators include David Beck, Allison Gardell, Jessica Ray, and Andy James. The funds were awarded on July 8th and will cover the cost of a new Liquid Chromatograph-High Resolution Mass Spectrometer, an ultra-sensitive device that identifies molecules by their atomic weight. The spectrometer can measure the presence of chemical compounds at […]

PSI Director Joel Baker elected to Washington State Academy of Sciences

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Puget Sound Institute Director and University of Washington Tacoma Professor of Environmental Science Joel Baker is one of 38 new members elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences in 2021. Baker, an environmental chemist who has worked extensively on science and policy issues related to Puget Sound, was selected for his “foundational work on the environmental fate, behavior, and toxicity of PCBs,” the Academy announced this week. He is the second member of the Puget Sound Institute to be elected to the Academy, joining Puget Sound Institute mathematical biologist Mark […]

Mercer Island student honored in national art contest for her painting of Arctic char

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A 16-year-old Mercer Island High School artist, Jingyi “Alana” Yang, received multiple awards this month in the annual Art of Conservation Fish Art Contest, sponsored by the conservation group Wildlife Forever. Her painting showed an Arctic char in its natural cold-water surroundings. Alana said she was inspired to paint the colorful fish during a family trip to Alaska, where a tour guide told her about the unique Arctic char, a migratory fish related to salmon and trout that resides in the northern regions of the world. “I thought it was […]

Mathematical tools to aid in the interpretation of coronavirus testing

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New mathematical equations co-developed by Puget Sound Institute affiliate research professor Marc Mangel are designed to help health officials interpret coronavirus test results for better risk assessments.  As more people in the U.S. are vaccinated and mask restrictions loosen, public health officials hope that the coronavirus pandemic has reached a turning point. Even so, the virus continues to rage around the world and concerns remain for people who are unvaccinated or may have compromised immune systems. Testing for new infections continues to be a critical tool in the fight against […]

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 […]

Kolodziej wins UWT’s 2020 Distinguished Research Award

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Puget Sound Institute collaborator Ed Kolodziej is the recipient of this year’s University of Washington Tacoma Distinguished Research Award for his work to identify toxic contaminants in the Puget Sound watershed. The annual award “recognizes a faculty member who has achieved a record of notable scholarship or creative activity, who has generated new knowledge or creativity that impacts their intellectual discipline, and who has contributed to the intellectual climate of the UW Tacoma campus and its communities.” Kolodziej has been with the University of Washington since 2014 and holds a […]

Kolodziej, Peter Featured in SIFF Documentary on Seattle’s Thornton Creek

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A new documentary featuring PSI collaborators Ed Kolodziej and Kathy Peter was selected to premiere at the 2019 Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) on Saturday, June 8. The 70-minute documentary, “Engineering with Nature – An Ode to Water, Wood, and Stone” was directed by environmental filmmaker Shelly Solomon and is distributed through Leaping Frog Films. It describes a four-year effort by Seattle Public Utilities to restore Thornton Creek, Seattle’s largest and most urbanized stream with 18 miles of waterway and a 12-square-mile watershed. The once-polluted and neglected creek is becoming […]

Young herring ‘go with the older fish’ a key finding in Ocean Modeling Forum’s efforts

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Puget Sound Institute lead ecosystem ecologist Tessa Francis was quoted in a recent article in UW News. From UWT News Service: “Young herring ‘go with the older fish’ a key finding in Ocean Modeling Forum’s efforts,” by Michelle Ma, UW News, May 29, 2019, http://www.washington.edu/news/2019/05/29/young-herring-go-with-the-older-fish-a-key-finding-in-ocean-modeling-forums-efforts/. Tessa Francis is both the lead ecosystem ecologist at the Puget Sound Institute, housed at UW Tacoma’s Center for Urban Waters, and the managing director of the Ocean Modeling Forum (OMF), a science-collaboration group led by UW. She is quoted in this story about new […]