Ava Holmes asks, how can elephants and people co-exist?

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Ava Holmes

Ava Holmes

Ava Holmes

Ava Holmes

We are excited to welcome our new UW Environmental Studies intern, Ava Holmes, who asks, “How can we design conservation solutions that enable humans and African elephants to co-exist peacefully?” While ivory poaching is detrimental to elephants, humans, and other animals alike, popular media rarely addresses the complexity of why it continues. Through video-recorded interviews, Ava is exploring various perspectives on the conservation of African Elephants and creating media that dives deeper into the social dynamics around poaching. Interviewees are selected for their expertise and unique perspectives, ranging from an anthropologist working with indigenous tribes living in close corridors with elephants, to the director of a major conservation organization, to a prominent elephant researcher. Ava anticipates that understanding the human intentions surrounding elephant poaching and conservation is a pathway to solutions that better address both human and elephant needs. In her spare time, Ava blends a passion for elephants, conservation—and fashion!

Under the Canopy by Jill Clardy

Nature is prescribed! C3’s Nature & Health working group publishes it’s first paper

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We are excited to announce the first peer-reviewed journal article emerging from a Center for Creative Conservation working group. Nature Contact and Human Health: A Research Agenda has just been published in Environmental Health Perspectives. Congratulations to Howard Frumkin of the School of Public Health, who led the paper, and to all the co-authors and contributors! The paper exhaustively reviews the existing literature on the health benefits of being in nature (the reference list alone is a major resource), and identifies 7 major domains in which further research is needed:

  1. mechanistic biomedical studies look at how nature improves human health, such as by facilitating physical activity, a sense of wonder, and social connections
  2. exposure science develops methods and metrics, both quantitative and qualitative, for measuring what counts as “nature contact” and a meaningful “dose”
  3. epidemiology of health benefits examines the health outcomes of being in nature, from reducing pain and stress to reducing the risk of getting cancer
  4. diversity and equity considerations underscore the need to account for cultural differences and inequities in understanding the nature-health connection, from unequal access to nature, to disparate ways of valuing nature, to the phenomenon of “green gentrification”
  5. technological nature refers to technologies that mediate the nature experience, such as apps and virtual reality, and the question of whether these have the same or different health benefits as being in real natural places
  6. economic and policy studies refer to cost-benefit analyses of the health benefits, avoided medical costs, and other services provided by ecosystems, and policy implications for conservation and planning
  7. implementation science develops and evaluates the tools and actions that best deliver the benefits of nature, such as how to best design parks, trails and schools, and how doctors can best “prescribe nature.”

Happy reading — under a tree!





C3 now supports self-funded Incubators for complex problem-solving

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Most environmental problems are highly complex, yet we rarely find the time and institutional support to convene the full range of people, ideas, and resources we truly need to address them. Incubators are start-up meetings of interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral teams that encourage innovative conservation problem-solving. Incubators are an ideal tool for scoping a new project, initiative, program, or business. They help new teams build effective working relationships, further conceptualize project ideas, develop plans for implementation, and seek additional funds to support long-term collaborations.

The Center for Creative Conservation is now hosting self-funded Transdisciplinary Project Incubators on any cross-cutting topic related to conservation and sustainability. Transdisciplinary research and action authentically engages different modes of knowing, from outside of a single discipline, on equal footing. Incubators can involve as many meetings as needed, but a typical incubator involves 2-3 multi-day meetings held over a 6-12 month period. We welcome teams of practitioners and University of Washington researchers from diverse disciplinary, professional, and cultural backgrounds to apply. Do you have an idea for an Incubator and funding to support it? Read more here!


Oceanography Internship Opportunity for UW Students

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Interested in the intersection of environmental science and game development? Check out this amazing summer internship/consultancy with E-Line Media over the summer (20-40 hours per week) to help with the design of a new video game.  The main focus is on the mesopelagic through abyssopelagic zones and looking at the various trophic webs unique to those habitats and phenomena such as bioflourescence, bioluminescence, electrosensory perception, etc.  E-Line is looking for someone who can help source likely species and inter-species relationships, unique behaviors and interesting species.  The chosen candidate will have the opportunity to consult with some top researchers and explorers to whom E-Line Media can provide access, including David GruberMandy Joye, and (to a more limited extent) Sylvia Earle. This is a paid position.  Additional course credit though an independent study with the Center for Creative Conservation can also be arranged.
Please contact if you are interested in applying. Questions about the internship and E-Line media can sent to Matt Swanson (

Eco, Shelter 2, and Walden win awards at inaugural EarthGames on Tap

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Three earth-friendly video games won awards at the Center for Creative Conservation’s inaugural EarthGames on Tap event, which took place May 18, 2017 in Seattle. Twelve stunning “earthgames” were entered into the games showcase. A panel of three judges carefully evaluated the games based on their potential to have an environmental impact and the quality of their game play. In the judges’ competition, Shelter 2 won first place and Walden won second place. In addition, audience members voted for their favorite game, and Eco won the people’s choice award. Congratulations! We hope EarthGames on Tap inspires more video games that are good for people and the planet, and we hope to see all of the participating developers, and more, at our next event.

EarthGames on Tap 2017

EarthGames on Tap catalyzes a new community

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We are excited to report that our first EarthGames on Tap event was a smashing success! Thanks to everyone who came out! Held May 18, 2017 at Impact Hub Seattle, the event drew a crowd of 140, showcased 11 stunning new “earthgames” and more from the UW studio, and brought together professionals in the game development, environmental research, and education fields. The evening catalyzed many new connections, and a new community dedicated to joining games and research in creative ways for the good of people and the planet. Explore the EarthGames on Tap site to view photos from the event, learn more about the featured speakers and panelists, and take a peek at the showcased games. To receive an invitation to our next event, email and request to join the mailing list – and join our Facebook group to stay in touch and help our new community grow!

Games Showcase

Racial Ecologies Conference

Register now for the Racial Ecologies Conference!

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The Center for Creative Conservation is honored and excited to co-sponsor the Racial Ecologies Conference, hosted by the UW Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity. The conference will bring scholars from across the country together with locally based scholars and activists to exchange information and inspiration. Drawing from multiple disciplines, the conference will focus on collaborative research, on the unequal impact of environmental degradation, and on the work of communities of color to address those impacts. Join us!

Thursday, June 1, 2:30-4pm & Friday, June 2nd, 8:30am-4:30pm. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center, University of Washington, Seattle. Free with RSVP.


Announcing “Change From Within: Diversifying the Environmental Movement”

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We are delighted to announce Change from Within, the culmination of Jasmmine Ramgotra‘s capstone internship with the Center for Creative Conservation. Change from Within explores the lack of diversity in the environmental field and solutions for improvement in the cross-disciplinary format of contemporary dance. Jasmmine creates a movement-based representation of interviews she conducted with leaders of Seattle’s environmental community over the past two quarters, including individuals in government, NGO’s, business, and academia. Using the interview audio as a sound score, and four dancers to communicate the message, the performance presents clear takeaways about how to create positive change on an individual level. This unique, cross-disciplinary performance is the outcome of Jasmmine’s double degree in environmental studies and dance at UW.

Change from Within features Esra Cömert-Morishige, Megumi Hosaka, Peter Kohring and Sean O’Bryan as performers/movement collaborators, and an original sound score by local compositional artist Eli Hetrick / HETRIK.

Two performances are available, both free and open to the public with an RSVP. Join us!

Thursday, June 1, 7-8pm, Olympic Sculpture Park, Paccar Pavilion, Seattle. This performance will be followed by an audience and collaborator discussion to reflect on the piece collectively, focusing on our dissonances, insight, and collective inspirations. Free with RSVP.

Friday, June 2, 3:30-4pm, Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center, University of Washington, Seattle. This performance is part of the Racial Ecologies Conference, and will be followed by a reception. Free with RSVP for the post conference reception.

Help keep Jasmmine’s work free and accessible for all by donating to her GoFundMe.

See you there!


Join us for EarthGames on Tap!

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We are gathering researchers and game developers together to spark collaborations on new video games that are good for people and the planet.

Join us for an evening of fun and inspiration!

Thursday, May 18, 6-9pm

Impact Hub Seattle, 220 2nd Ave S. (near the Pioneer Square light rail station)

Come hear short, spirited presentations by acclaimed writer Emma Marris and award-winning game developer John Krajewski (Strange Loop Games). Learn how to ‘gamify’ research, and meet others working in the environmental, education, and social change realms. Mingle and brainstorm over dinner & drinks–and try your hand at a curated selection of new ‘earthgames’!



Help us spread the word! Please visit our Facebook event page & share with your friends.

Register now for “The Living Breath of wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ” Indigenous Foods and Ecological Knowledge symposium

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The UW Intellectual House Advisory Committee, including Dr. Charlotte Cote, a member of the C3 Steering Committee and an Associate Professor in American Indian Studies, is excited to host The “Living Breath of wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ” Indigenous Foods and Ecological Knowledge Symposium. Register now for this two-day event at the wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ (University of Washington Intellectual House) featuring keynote speaker, Kaliyah Rampant (Nuu-chah-nulth, Woodland Cree, Finnish), a 16-year old Indigenous songwriter, musician and activist. The symposium also includes 10 seminars ranging from Community Food Assessment to Biodynamics of Soil. For more information and to register, click here.

Sponsered by: UW’s – Department of American Indian Studies, Social and Historical Studies (UW-Tacoma), Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, College of the Environment, Devon Peña-The Acequia Institute, wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ Intellectual House, Canadian Studies/Jackson School, Bill Holm Center, Lucy Jarosz-Department of Anthropology.

Friday May 5th at 8:00AM – Saturday May 6th at 5:00PM
UW “wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ” Intellectual House
4249 Whitman Court
University of Washington, Seattle Campus
Seattle, WA 98195