Looking Back and Looking Forward
Here are some WSAS highlights from the past year:
- We organized a panel to review nominees for the Puget Sound Partnership’s Science Panel. The review panel’s recommendations were accepted by PSP’s Leadership Council.
- We also organized an anonymous peer review for the WA Department of Fish and Wildlife of a chapter in the agency’s update of one of its work products. This final chapter is part of a larger volume, also reviewed by a WSAS panel in 2016, that synthesizes scientific information for the purpose of informing the development of policies related to the management of riparian and watershed areas of WA State.
- The WSAS Board and TWG Leadership held their first planning retreat to discuss the Academy’s strategy, direction, and future projects. We identified five areas of focus for the coming years.
- WSAS is forming a technical advisory committee for follow-up activities emerging from a NASEM report published in December 2017, “A Decision Framework for Managing the Spirit Lake and Toutle River System at Mount St. Helens.” WSAS initiated discussions between U.S. Forest Service and the Ruckelshaus Center soon after NASEM released its report, which resulted in USFS’s request for the Ruckelshaus Center to conduct a stakeholder assessment consistent with NASEM report’s recommendations.
- WSAS published the Proceedings of our 2017 Symposium: “Climate Change in Washington State—Research Questions Critical to Preparing for the Future,” which examined the current state of knowledge regarding climate change effects on the state and provided insight to the uncertainties affecting Washington’s natural resources, human well-being, and economy.
- WSAS organized a review of the WA Department of Commerce’s Clean Energy Fund draft Notice of Funding Opportunity for a $7.61 Million competition.
- A planning meeting, led by Topical Working Group co-chair Dan Schwartz, focused on deep decarbonization planning for WA State. We are currently developing follow-on activities.
- Another planning meeting, led by Members Amit Bandyopadhyay and Tony Waas, focused on Additive Manufacturing of Advanced Materials (AMoAM). Recently, Ramulu Mamidala has succeeded Tony Waas, who moved out of state, as co-chair of that activity, and a new Advisory Committee is planning follow-on activities.
- We inaugurated a new speaker series, “An Evening With…,” with the goal of engaging Members with leading thought leaders in other sectors while raising WSAS’s visibility in Washington. Howard Frumkin, a Member whose recent research focuses on how our connection to nature may enhance our health, was our first speaker.
- Another Topical Working Group, led by John Roll, organized this year’s annual symposium, “The Highs and Lows of Conducting Research on Cannabis in Washington State,” held on September 13.