Shannon Point Marine Center

The Shannon Point Marine Center (SPMC) is Western Washington University’s marine laboratory in Anacortes, Washington.  It is the home base for five WWU faculty members and marine scientists who integrate their research in organismal biology and ecology, community and ecosystem ecology, and ocean and organismal chemistry with undergraduate and graduate level training.  Over a dozen other faculty from a variety of departments at WWU and their students also conduct research at the facility. In addition to working on research projects at SPMC, undergraduates and graduate students can take Biology and Environmental Science courses and participate in community outreach activities at SPMC. 

This talk will describe some of the activities that take place at SPMC; opportunities for students to take courses, become involved in research projects, and participate in outreach activities; and, a description of Dr. Van Alstyne’s research on the chemical ecology of marine seaweeds and seagrasses.  

Seismology, Kilauea

In late April 2018, the 35-year old eruption of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i, underwent a radical change.  The locus of volcanic activity shifted from the Pu`u O`o and summit vents to the volcano’s Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ), where it erupted in the Leilani Estates subdivision.  Over the next several months, lava drained from the summit reservoir to the LERZ, where it consumed over 800 homes, destroyed the town of Kapoho, and added nearly 900 acres of new land to the island.  The draining of lava from the Kilauea summit area caused the summit caldera to undergo collapse. Seismic activity associated with the changing eruption included a magnitude 6.9 earthquake on the south flank, and near-daily M5 earthquakes associated with summit collapse.  In response to this eruption, a team of scientists from WWU, Rice University, and the University of Rhode Island deployed a network of ocean-bottom seismometers offshore of the volcano.  These instruments, recently retrieved from the seafloor, should provide insight into the effect the eruption had on the submarine flank, including its potential to fail in a catastrophic landslide.... Read more

WWU's Salish Sea Institute

The mission of the Salish Sea Institute is to foster responsible stewardship of the Salish Sea, inspiring and informing its protection for the benefit of current and future generations.

The Institute:

  • Promotes dialogue and partnerships among people, organizations and agencies throughout First Nations and tribal communities, Washington State, and British Columbia
  • Serves as the administrative home of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference
  • Hosts gatherings to cultivate collaborative governance and protection of the Salish Sea
  • Develops place-based curriculum, research and events for students to explore the environment, history and communities of the Salish Sea
  • Fosters a sense of place and raises awareness of the value of the Salish Sea and the issues that threaten its health

ENVS Faculty Candidate 4/19/18: Bayes Ahmed: Community Vulnerability Bangladesh


Research talk by Dr. BAYES AHMED
Candidate for Faculty of Environmental Studies
Thursday, April 19, 4:00-5:00, ES-313

This study develops an understanding of the root-causes of community vulnerability to landslides in the Chittagong Hill Districts (CHD) of Bangladesh. To begin, seven urbanized and four indigenous communities were selected and compared by developing and applying mixed methods. Quantitative information from household-level questionnaires was associated with qualitative maps and diagrams from participatory rural appraisal surveys. A convergent parallel design and index based weighted average decision support model was applied, covering community-level vulnerability indicators for physical, social, economic, ecological, institutional and cultural aspects.

The urbanized hill communities were found to be highly vulnerable to landslides, as they are attracted by city pull factors, deprived of social justice and involved in indiscriminate hill cutting for developing settlements.... Read more

ENVS Faculty Candidate 4/16/18: Manuel David Montaño: Nanogeochemical Processes

Exploring Engineered and Naturally Occurring Nanogeochemical Processes Using Advanced Nanometrology

Research Talk by Manuel David Montaño, PhD
University of Vienna, Department of Environmental Geosciences
Candidate for Assistant Professor in Environmental Chemistry & Global Change, ESCI dept
Monday April 16, 3:30 pm, CF-025

The advent of engineered nanotechnology has led to several consumer products and industrial applications incorporating nanoparticles and nanomaterials (ENPs). Through use, disposal, and accidental release, these ENPs are expected to enter into the environment where their fate, transport, and behavior are relatively unknown. In assessing the potential risks of these materials, sensitive and selective analytical techniques are required to quantify these materials at environmentally relevant concentrations (ng L-1) and amidst a background of chemically and morphologically similar naturally occurring nanoparticles (NNPs). Current techniques have been ill-equipped to examine these problems, even as advanced techniques such as single particle ICP... Read more

Huxley Speaker Series 5/19: Dean Steve Hollenhorst on Renewable Aviation Fuels

As part of the 2015-16 Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series, Dr. Steve Hollenhorst, dean of Huxley College of the Environment, will discuss aviation biofuel alternatives at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 19 in Communications Facility 110 on the Western Washington University campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Aviation requires energy-dense liquid fuels, currently derived exclusively from petroleum. This fossil energy dependence poses tremendous challenges to carbon emissions reductions. In the Pacific Northwest, considerable research is focused on developing viable biofuel alternatives from existing waste streams like forest harvest residues and municipal solid waste. In his Speaker Series talk titled "The Race for Renewable Aviation Fuels and Environmentally Preferred Co-Products," Steve will... Read more

Speaking of Maps: Andy Bach to Discuss Environmental History of the Ozette Prairies

From The News @ Western Libraries: Western Washington University Associate Professor of Environmental Geography Andy Bach will discuss his research exploring the relationship between historical vegetation changes in the Ozette Prairies, Olympic National Park, and human use of this region. “Archival Evidence for Historical Changes in Lowland Wilderness Meadows, Ozette Prairies, Olympic National Park,” will be held in the Map Collection (Wilson Library 170) at Western Libraries from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wed., May 11, 2016. This presentation is free and open to the public.

Using a multi-media archival approach to understand the environmental history of the area, examining repeat air and ground photography, maps, and written records, Bach determined that the... Read more

ESCI's Brooke Love Receives WWU's 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award

Brooke Love from Huxley College's Department of Environmental Sciences has been selected to receive one of two prestigious WWU faculty teaching awards made possible by the Western Foundation. Love, who was chosen to receive the 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award for faculty from the colleges of Business and Economics, Fairhaven, Fine and Performing Arts, Huxley, and Woodring, will receive a check for $1000 and be recognized at a reception hosted by the Provost and Faculty Senate at the end of April.

For more information on faculty awards and recognition at Western, please visit the Office of the Provost's Awards page.

VIDEO: Western Windows Ep. 34: Learning to Clean Up

Episode 34: January 2016

Part 4: Learning to Clean Up – Students in Western’s Huxley College of the Environment are learning more about toxic contamination in places like the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and how these sites can be cleaned and remediated and the many factors that go into real-life cleanup of toxic sites. Huxley faculty members Rebekah Paci-Green and Ruth Sofield and their Science and Management of Contaminated Sites (SMoCS) program are featured in this segment.

Huxley's Fall BBQ/Potluck October 8 @ the Communications Lawn

Each year, Huxley College holds a fall potluck/BBQ to welcome back college students, staff, and faculty. Professor Leo Bodensteiner provides his grill, the dean buys the hot dogs and meatless alternatives, and staff and faculty bring side dishes to share. In other words, FREE FOOD for all Huxleyites.

This year, we will once again hold the BBQ on campus at the Communications Lawn, the wide green space between Environmental Studies, Communications Facility, and Academic West. (See below.) Rain or shine--in case of rain, we will move the BBQ and tables under the Academic West overhang.

Questions? Contact Jen VanderWeyden. Hope to see you there!