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Dean's Letter

Dean Graumlich headshot

When people hear of the College of the Environment, many think that means we are “the College of Environmental Problem Solving.” While, admittedly, we excel at addressing some of the greatest environmental challenges of our day, our research and education programs have a much broader scope. The rigorous and innovative fundamental science that our faculty, staff and students undertake addresses scientific questions that push the frontiers of what we know about life, our planet, and our solar system, and embodies the pure joy of discovery.

Read more of Dean Graumlich’s letter on our website.


Penny DaltonDavid Fluharty

College of the Environment faculty appointed to Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council

David Fluharty, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, and Penny Dalton, Washington Sea Grant, have been appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to serve on the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council. The Council advises the governor, state and local agencies, and the Washington State Legislature on coastal resource management issues focused on the Pacific Coast of Washington.

Read more on the College of the Environment website.

Mount Rainier Institute successfully completes pilot programs

Mt. Rainier

This fall, the Mount Rainier Institute successfully conducted its first two pilot programs at Pack Forest. The program invites school students from all backgrounds—and especially from diverse communities with limited access to parks and other natural spaces—to spend three nights at Pack Forest near Mount Rainier National Park. The mission of the Institute is to provide outstanding nature-based education experiences that are rooted in science and nurture the next generation of environmental stewards and leaders.

Read more about this program on the College of the Environment website.


Washington Ocean Acidification Center funds forecasting project

The newly established Washington Ocean Acidification Center, housed in the College of the Environment, was tasked by the governor and legislature to oversee five priority actions.  One of them is to develop the ability to make short-term forecasts of unfavorable conditions related to ocean acidification for application to shellfish hatcheries, growing areas, and other areas of concern. The Center recently funded a project aimed at addressing this need, which will result in a real-time online tool accessible to shellfish growers and managers to track acidification on a scale of days to weeks, giving them time to change or adjust their hatcheries’ operation.

Read more about this research on the College of the Environment website.


Sustainability Studio: Athletics

Sports and sustainability: nothing in common? Think again

This quarter, Program on Environment’s Sustainability Studio students partnered with University of Washington Husky Athletics Green Team members, and with representatives from the Green Sports Alliance, UW Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Office, and UW Recycling, to assess existing practices and identify opportunities for sustainability improvements in UW sports. The teams developed and implemented four innovative projects to help ramp up Husky athletics sustainability efforts: Athlete Engagement in Locker Room Waste Diversion, Analysis of Local Food at Husky Stadium, Carbon Footprinting Offsetting of Game Day Travel, and Fan Outreach and Education via Social Media.

Read more on the College of the Environment website.


Congratulations to Tom DeLuca, professor and director of the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, and his lab for earning their place as the greenest lab in the 2013 College of the Environment Green Lab Competition.

Congratulations to LuAnne Thompson, professor of oceanography and director of the Program on Climate Change, on being named an American Meteorological Society Fellow. Also, congratulations to Fang-Zhen Teng, professor of Earth and space science, on receiving the Mineralogical Society of America Award.

Congratulations to Interim Director Billie Swalla at the Friday Harbor Laboratories, who has been named the recipient of the Dennis Willows Director's Endowed Professorship by Ana Mari Cauce, UW Provost and Executive Vice President. The appointment was approved by the Board of Regents in October.



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Katharine Huntington, Earth and Space Sciences

Spotlight is an ongoing series that will introduce you to the many members that make up the College community. 

Katharine “Kate” Huntington grew up in both Pennsylvania and northern Italy, which set a perfect stage for her research across continents. Now an assistant professor in the UW College of the Environment’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences, she traverses the mountains of India and Nepal, western North America, and Argentina and Chile, exploring how landscapes evolve over millions of years. She and her research group seek to understand how tectonics, erosion and climate shape Earth’s surface through time, and how the evolution of Earth’s surface and crust both reflect and record these interactions.

Read more about Huntington on the College of the Environment website.

Philanthropy: Making a Difference

Private gifts and grants make all the difference in the lives of our students, faculty, and programs.  We wish to salute and thank every one of our amazing supporters, be they individuals, corporations, private foundations, organizations, or community partners. You help ensure that the College of the Environment—and all of its exceptional schools, departments, centers, programs and people—remain and grow as national and global leaders in education, research and outreach across a broad array of environmental fields.

For more information on ways to make a gift, or programs you can support, please contact Marilyn Montgomery, Assistant Dean for Advancement, at 206-221-0906 or mmmontg@uw.edu.


Lee Alverson Memorial Fund Established

Highly respected as a fisheries scientist and policy maker, UW alumnus and affiliate faculty member Lee Alverson, passed away earlier this year. Friends and family came together to establish the Lee Alverson Memorial Fellowship Fund, which will provide support to students studying the science and management of North Pacific fisheries. The fund, led by gifts from the Pacific Seafood Processors Association, the Bering Sea Fisheries Research Foundation and alumnus Wally Pereyra, will serve as a lasting memory of Mr. Alverson's influence on North Pacific fisheries. If you’d like to make a gift to the fund, you can give online through the UW Foundation website, or contact Daniel Webb at 206-221-4573 or dcwebb@uw.edu.


This Month's Highlighted Funds

Please consider making a generous annual gift to any of the funds below, or to the fund of your choice via the UW Foundation:

Save the Date

Friday Harbor Labs' art featured at the Seattle Aquarium

Adam Summers, professor of biology and resident scientist at FHL, is being featured in an art exhibit at the Seattle Aquarium.  On display are stunning photos of cleared and stained fish that he has prepared for research.  The exhibit runs from December 2013 through Spring 2014. See some of the images that will be on display.


Portal to Current Research at the Pacific Science Center

The Portal to Current Research at the Pacific Science Center showcases local scientists' advances in current research through a combination of digital media, graphics, objects and interactive displays and programs. Currently, Erika Harnett in the College’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences is featured in an exhibit called Exploring Our Solar System With Local NASA Scientists through the month of December.


2013 College Slideshow FUTURE OF ICE.jpgFuture of Ice Lecture Series

As climate change transforms our environment, the Arctic and Antarctic face a troubling, uncertain fate. Join us for The Future of Ice, a six-part lecture series that covers our polar regions from a variety of perspectives. We offer a slate of renowned experts who will cover issues including glacial retreat, wildlife at the poles, and the changing Arctic environment’s impact on Inuit culture.

Please join us for this series that will take place throughout Winter Quarter, beginning with the first event on January 7.  The series is sponsored by The Graduate School, UW Alumni Association, College of the Environment, Canadian Studies Center at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, Polar Science Center at the Applied Physics Laboratory, Quaternary Research Center, Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, Department of American Indian Studies, Department of Communication, and School of Art Photomedia Department.

For more information on the speakers and to register, visit our webpage.

Don’t forget the many on-going series of seminars of interest to researchers and laypersons alike happening throughout the College and elsewhere – you can stay current through our events calendar or by subscribing to our weekly events bulletin here.

November / December 2013

In the Media

Listen: With One Dam Gone, Life Returns to Elwha River

Ecosystems 101: Hard lessons from the mighty salmon runs of Alaska’s Bristol Bay

Search for Ocean Fuel

Redwood trees reveal history of West Coast rain, fog, ocean conditions

More wildfires, earlier snowmelt, coastal threats top Northwest climate risks

Friday Harbor Labs Tide Bites: Issue 3 and Issue 4

Jumping fans register a magnitude 1 or 2 quake during Seahawks TD fumble return

Post-shutdown, UW Arctic research flights resume

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