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Our Watery Worlds: UW Aquatic Science Open House

A family looks at a table exhibit during the UW Aquatic Science Open House

When: May 4th, 2019 from 1-4 pm
Locations: Fishery Sciences Building (FSH), 1122 Boat Street, Seattle, WA 98105;
Ocean Sciences Building (OSB), 1492 NE Boat St, Seattle, WA 98105
Cost: FREE!
Come join us for a free and family-friendly afternoon of hands-on learning at Our Watery World, the second annual aquatic science open house at the UW to celebrate science and research that relates to water.We will have tours of the UW Fish Collection, the Research Vessel Rachel Carson, and real working science labs at the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and School of Oceanography. 

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Protected by Prawns

In rural communities across the tropics, a parasitic disease called schistosomiasis that is carried by freshwater snails currently infects more than 220 million people, rivaling malaria in its prevalence. Capable of residing in an infected human for more than 30 years, the Schistosoma parasite can cause debilitating and often-fatal health complications, including liver failure, bladder cancer, and an increased risk of AIDS. An estimated 280,000 people in Africa alone die each year from the disease. Despite 50 years of medical intervention and the availability of a relatively inexpensive and effective drug, the disease has stubbornly resisted eradication efforts, largely due to the ease with which the parasite reinfects its human hosts.

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The Ocean Modeling Forum presents Pacific herring research in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia

The Ocean Modeling Forum (OMF) is a University of Washington program run through the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences that aims to bring together interdisciplinary scientists, modeling experts, decision makers, and other people invested in ocean resources. The OMF helps managers frame questions, understand the strengths and limitations of different models, and learn how to incorporate models in their work. 

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Wisdom of Crowds: A Conversation with Andrew Berdahl

School of salmon staging at mouth of Sam Creek.

In 1906 while attending a livestock fair in Plymouth England, Sir Francis Galton witnessed an interesting contest where locals were trying to guess the correct weight of a slaughtered and dressed ox (think jellybeans in a jar, but for butchers). He examined all 800 guesses and calculated the median calling it the vox populi, or “voice of the people,” reasoning that this would cancel out outliers on either side of the true answer. Astonishingly, the median guess was extremely close–within .8%–of the weight measured by the judges and closer than any individual guess. “This started the idea of the wisdom of crowds, where if you have a whole bunch of independent guesses you can average them, cast off the errant guess on either side and hone in on the right answer,” said Dr. Andrew Berdahl one of the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences’ newest faculty members.

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Helping bird science while walking along the beach: lessons from 17 years of the COASST project

Citizen science, where the nonexpert public joins in freely to produce useful science, has grown to more than 2100 projects on the SciStarter website alone. These projects range from online identification of astronomical objects, to gaming-like projects predicting how proteins will fold (Foldit), to seasonal bird counts. One long-running project is COASST (Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team) where members of the public conduct monthly surveys of beach areas from California to Alaska looking for bird carcasses. 

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Centennial Story 48: Nathan Taylor (Post Doc, 2006-2008) and Erin McClelland (MS 2004; PhD, 2008)

The SAFS alumni at our wedding

“Having recently moved, we sometimes find ourselves asking ‘how did we end up living in Madrid?’ The answer lies in part in our professional and personal experiences gained at SAFS.”
“While at SAFS, I studied salmon hatchery/wild interactions and growth through the lens of quantitative genetics with Kerry Naish”, says Erin. “I was also a teaching assistant for the Conservation Genetics class for several years, which had a considerable impact on my continued interest in science education.”
Nathan was at SAFS as a post-doctoral fellow from 2006 to 2008. 

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