Environmental Science

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WWU faculty, alums collaborate on new display at the Museum of Northwest Art 2024-01-17
Algae Blooms Increase Snowmelt In The Pacific Northwest By 20%

Algae that commonly grow on snow in the Pacific Northwest have been ignored in melt models, but their presence significantly increases snowmelt compared with clean, white snow, according to a study conducted on Mount Baker in the North Cascades, Washington.

Scientist Alia Khan…

WWU’s Marco Hatch Awarded a Coveted 2023 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation 2023-03-21
Anacortes derailment once again raises concerns of environmental damage to Western Washington 2023-03-17
Scientists try to keep up with chemical blizzard entering Puget Sound

The plants sterilize sewage and remove solids and organic materials from it. But they were never designed to remove things like antibiotics, cosmetics, hormones, pharmaceuticals, and other consumer products that wash down household drains.

“The latest estimate of the number of chemicals…

Chemicals 'of concern' flowing into Puget Sound, affecting marine life, scientists say

"I would say the number of chemicals that are in the environment are of concern," said Ruth Sofield, a professor of environmental toxicology at Western Washington University.

The Puget Sound is too often a dumping ground for hundreds of chemicals, according to…

Why snow is turning pink at high altitudes


You've heard of white snow, maybe even gray snow, but what about pink snow? High up in the mountains across the U.S., rapid growth of algae, or algal blooms, are turning melting snow pink. They further darken the surface of the snow and make it melt more quickly, and…

'We have to get real': Outdoor recreation's effects on climate change

Professor Steven Hollenhorst of Western Washington University's College of the Environment wants outdoors people to acknowledge their contribution to climate change and then take measures to decarbonize society.

Hollenhorst has promoted …

‘I just wanted to crunch some data:’ How mentoring and team skills led to a research success story 2022-12-01
These Scientists Are Looking for “Glacier Blood”

The team’s work is part of the small but growing field of snow algae research. The scientists hope to figure out what allows snow algae to thrive, and where it’s most likely to live. The Living Snow Project, a citizen science…

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