New faces of Physics at UWB
“Some people have never looked in a telescope before,” says Joey Key as she displays one in a University of Washington Bothell lab. “To see the rings of Saturn, that’s big because they’re really beautiful.”
Like a master tour guide, she mentions other visible highlights of the solar system: the polar ice caps on Mars, Venus in a crescent phase, the Great Red Spot on Jupiter and its four biggest moons – the ones first seen by Galileo.
“Astronomy is great because people who might think they don’t like science might still like astronomy. Space is cool,” says Key, assistant professor in the School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.
The astrophysicist who came to UW Bothell in September also has her eyes on the sky through one of the biggest science projects in the 21st century, LIGO (pronounced LY’-go) or the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory. Key is one of the hundreds of researchers on the project that made headlines in February 2016 when it announced the detection of a gravitational wave from the collision of two black holes. The discovery proved Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
Read the full UW Bothell news article
New book by UWB Chemistry lecturer Dr. Charity Lovitt
UWB Chemistry lecturer Dr. Charity Lovitt is one of the editors of Integrating Information Literacy into the Chemistry Curriculum, a new book in the American Chemical Society Symposium Series. This book was a collaboration between Dr. Lovitt and librarians from the Colorado School of Mines and James Madison University. To quote from the book's preface, "information literacy, the ability to find, evaluate, and use information resources, is an important skill for future chemists." This collection provides concrete ways that Chemistry instructors can incorporate the teaching of information literacy in their courses in ways that also advance chemistry content knowledge. The book includes case studies of Chemistry instructors teaching information literacy and provides examples of assignments that teach information literacy skills as a key component of the curriculum.
In addition to teaching, Dr. Lovitt is faculty advisor to the Science and Technology Living Learning Community and was a 2015-16 UWB fellow in Community-Based Learning and Research, helping to develop partnerships between the School of STEM and the Pacific Science Center.
Students aid in breakthrough against dementia
University of Washington Bothell biochemistry professor Lori Robins and two of her students share in the credit for ground-breaking research on dementia disorders. Their research helped Briotech, a local bio-tech company, prove that its product, HOCl or hypochlorous acid, is effective in destroying prions, the proteins that cause dementia disorders. These findings contribute to the research to prevent and treat disorders such as mad cow disease, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's. Research conducted for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) confirmed the results in mice. The research findings were recently published in the journal PLOS Pathogens.
Read the full UW Bothell news article
Read the full journal article in PLOS Pathogens
UWB joins LIGO Scientific Collaboration
The University of Washington Bothell (UWB) is a new member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), joining 83 institutions in 15 countries working to observe gravitational waves with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO). UWB Assistant Professor of Physics Joey Shapiro Key serves as the Principal Investigator for the group with new LSC members Physics Lecturer Matthew DePies and Physics major Holly Gummelt.
Celebrating Warren Buck
Everything will change. Nothing's permanent. Warren Buck
This quote is true for the School of STEM as Warren Buck moved from Professor to retired Professor Emeritus. In June, Warren Buck was recognized for his tireless work for the university and our students as he began his retirement. Warren began his long service to UWB as Chancellor and Dean in 1999. Later he became Chancellor Emeritus and then returned to the classroom full time as a Professor to share his love of science and the beauty of physics. Warren was instrumental in making the Physics degree at UWB a reality.
In November 2014, Warren was honored as a History Maker—one of a select group of African Americans who have made substantive contributions in their fields. His oral life story is permanently housed at the Library of Congress.
See his History Maker video and read more about him
Among other things, Warren will be devoting some of his free time to serve on the Board of Visitors of his alma mater, The College of William and Mary. He also won’t be able to keep his passion out of the classroom and will continue to teach some physics classes, as well as assist with some committee work, at UWB.
We are grateful for his service to UWB and for instilling passion in the future generation of scientists.
Celebrating Warren’s love of art, science,and collaboration
In recognition of his service to UWB, the School of STEM declared May 2016 the Warren Buck Physics and Arts Month. During the culminating celebration, Warren was presented with an art piece that incorporated bark taken from felled trees on campus. Designed and created by Ni Nguyen and Ivan Owen, this art contains fractal patterns created with high-voltage electricity and laser engravings of images significant to Warren. It unites three of Warren’s passions—art, science, and collaboration.
New Society of Physics Students chapter on campus
Physics students at UW Bothell will now be able to participate in the activities and events of the new Society of Physics Students (SPS) chapter on campus. Students will be able to connect with the broader physics community through SPS and the activities and resources it provides. SPS, an organization of the American Institute of Physics, offers career resources, publications, and events, including regular conferences and meetings. PhysCon, the 2016 Quadrennial Physics Congress, will take place November 3-5, 2016, in the Silicon Valley.
Learn more about SPS
First global model of atmospheric arsenic uses data from Mt. Bachelor Observatory
The intercontinental transport of arsenic is the focus of a new paper published by Wai, Wu, Li, Jaffe and Perry in Environmental Science & Technology. This paper used data from Mt. Bachelor Observatory (MBO), a central Oregon research site of UWB Chemistry Professor Dan Jaffe. In this groundbreaking research, the authors developed the first global model of atmospheric arsenic in order to understand intercontinental transport of arsenic, an extremely toxic pollutant. They used the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model to simulate the concentrations of atmospheric arsenic and compared the model results with arsenic measurements from MBO and other sites. In order to reduce global arsenic pollution it is essential to understand its sources and transport. Wai et al. found that arsenic emissions from Asia are the dominant source of atmospheric arsenic in the Northern Hemisphere, contributing 38% of total arsenic deposition over North America. Arsenic measurements from the MBO figure prominently in the paper.
See the full paper here.
This figure shows arsenic concentrations measured at MBO for Spring 2011 compared with the results predicted from the model.
Paws-On Science exhibit inspires third grader's science fair project
UWB Chemistry Professor David Sommerfeld, along with other UWB Physical Sciences Division faculty, staff and students, guided young scientists through an experiment on ocean acidification at the UW Paws-On Science weekend at the Pacific Science Center. Participants blew through a straw into a cup filled with water and a few drops each of sodium hydroxide and bromothymol blue (a pH indicator). After a few seconds of blowing, they could see the liquid change from blue to yellow. The liquid changes color because CO2 in breath combines with the water to form a weak acid. In a similar manner, CO2 in the air mixes with water in the ocean to make ocean water more acidic. Ocean acidification stresses marine life, especially shell-forming species, and makes it more difficult for them to grow and reproduce. The cause of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is humans' use of fossil fuels.
When one of the Paws-On Science participants needed a project for her school science fair, she jumped on the idea of ocean acidification and recreating the blowing-in-water experiment. Her mom contacted Prof. David Sommerfeld, and he gladly shared the recipe for recreating the experiment and some leftover ingredients. Her science fair project was a hit!
Read and see more.
Professor Eric Salathé serves on editorial board of new magazine
UWB Climate Science Professor Eric Salathé is serving as one of the founding editorial board members for Northwest Climate Magazine, a new publication devoted to climate issues in our region.
See the inaugural issue here.
May 20, 2015
UWB Chemistry student Taryn Meacham won a scholarship at the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium of the Puget Sound chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Four UWB students also presented the results of their research in Biochemistry and Environmental Chemistry at the symposium.