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March 19, 2021


Voices Unbound: New perspectives on environmental challenges

A group of researchers at the University of Washington Tacoma asked more than a thousand people in Pierce County what they viewed as their most important environmental challenges. Nursing professor Robin Evans-Agnew will present some of the findings from the Voices Unbound project on Monday, March 22nd. Most of the people who wandered by the […]

March 23, 2020

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Social scientists analyze public reactions to orca crisis

Social scientists at Oregon State University have been analyzing a trove of more than 17,000 public comments sent to the Washington state governor’s southern resident orca recovery task force. The researchers have added the comments to a keyword database to look at public emotions and perceptions around the issue of orca declines. The orca task […]

October 23, 2019

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Survey shows Puget Sound residents prefer natural shorelines to armored ones

By Jeff Rice, Puget Sound Institute Shoreline armoring not only damages the ecosystem, it may also impact our ‘sense of place’ and enjoyment of the environment, according to a 2019 report from Oregon State University. The report is based on surveys of both property owners and non-property owners in Puget Sound. More than 66% of […]

February 8, 2019

Riparian buffers are strips of trees and shrubs along stream sides. They filter nutrients and chemicals, shade and protect the stream, and provide habitat for birds, insects and fish. Photo courtesy of USDA.">

Do financial incentives motivate farmers to conserve land?

Occasionally, this space includes reports and essays from guest writers on the subject of Puget Sound ecosystem recovery. Today’s guest blog is from Mollie Chapman, who received funding from the Puget Sound Institute in 2013 to study how financial incentives influence decisions by farmers to conserve ecologically important land. By Mollie Chapman Would you undertake […]

August 31, 2018

Tsleil-Waututh canoe travel in Indian Arm at DiRr-6, a massive outcrop of intrusive granodioritic rock marked with a single painting, 2014. Most rock paintings were meant to be seen in this context. Photo by Jesse Morin">

Dispatches: Ancient DNA reveals ecological history

Occasionally, this space includes reports and essays from guest writers on the subject of Puget Sound ecosystem recovery. Social scientist Whitney Fleming has this dispatch on new findings that are being revealed by ancient sources. Archaeologists are looking at ancient DNA combined with oral histories to determine ecological conditions from the past.  By Whitney Fleming […]

November 27, 2017

PSI social scientist receives EPA early career award

PSI visiting scholar and lead social scientist Kelly Biedenweg has received a $400,000 EPA early career award to study the connection between human wellbeing and ecosystem health in Puget Sound. Biedenweg is currently an assistant professor at Oregon State University and the award continues some of the work she began at PSI to establish Human Wellbeing […]

April 7, 2017

PSI study links happiness to interactions with nature

Can nature make you happy? Science weighs in. A recent study by PSI social scientist Kelly Biedenweg found that Puget Sound residents reported being happier when they engaged with the natural environment. “We (in the Pacific Northwest) are pretty much the leaders in trying to understand how happiness and integration with the environment relate to each other,” Biedenweg […]

August 31, 2016

Clam hunger: environmental impacts on food and well-being

A story this week in Salish Sea Currents delves into the connection between environmental change and culturally important foods. Writer Sarah DeWeerdt interviewed social scientists at the 2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference about how this affects the spiritual and physical health of Salish Sea tribes and first nations. “The loss of subsistence and cultural identity cannot […]

August 29, 2016

A comparative study of human well-being indicators across three Puget Sound regions

Puget Sound Institute social scientist Kelly Biedenweg has published a comparative study of three well-being indicators in the Puget Sound region. The article appears in the August issue of the journal Society & Natural Resources. Abstract: Simple frameworks that generalize the best metrics of human well- being related to the natural environment have rarely been empirically […]