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9 posts in Student Spotlight

Harbor seal skulls provide clues to Puget Sound’s past food webs

The adage “you are what you eat” generally turns out to be true. Foods we ingest are broken down into amino acids and absorbed into our bodies, leaving trace elements in our bones. In turn, these amino acids can be traced back to their source like a biological receipt, revealing information about the environment. Using this knowledge, researchers are conducting isotope analysis of amino acids in harbor seal skulls to determine the composition of historical marine food webs.

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Julia Indivero awarded ESA 2021 Graduate Student Policy Award

Julia L. Indivero headshot

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is honored to announce the Katherine S. McCarter Graduate Student Policy Award (GSPA) 2021 cohort. This award provides graduate students with the opportunity to receive policy and communication training before they meet lawmakers. ESA selected 23 students to receive the award including Julia L. Indivero from the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences.

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Bear hair sheds light on their diverse diets

Samples of bear hair in vials

Researchers from the University of Washington recently assessed the contribution of salmon to the diet of brown bears in Southwest Alaska. Their findings confirmed that while the bears are reliant on large seasonal salmon runs, they also eat a variety of other foods, including both vegetation and fauna. The research results were published November 5 in the online issue of the Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management.

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Helena McMonagle awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Three graduate students from the College of the Environment have been awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, which recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This year’s awardees include Irita Aylward and Zoe Krauss from the School of Oceanography, and Helena McMonagle from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences.

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Hot Water: The intersection of culture, politics, and ecology in India

Ethen Whattam, an undergraduate student in the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, recently returned from India, where he spent 10 months studying as a recipient of the Boren Scholarship. Whattam, along with the other student awardees, was given the opportunity to immerse himself in the Hindi language and culture, while researching the country’s complex relationship with water.

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