Internal Insider

Dean's Letter

Dean Lisa Graumlich

Interdisciplinary Innovation: Seeking breakthroughs while courting failure

Interdisciplinary collaboration is never far from my mind, but I am particularly focused on it this month.  In the next four weeks, I will participate in four different strategic planning retreats that run the gamut from the College’s Executive Committee to the Woodland Park Zoo’s Advisory Board. I know many of you are similarly engaged in planning, whether it is the upcoming quarter, new research projects, or broader initiatives. The best planning exercises are those where we pool our diverse expertise and perspectives to tackle really big issues.  And the most creative yet durable strategies are those that arise from the cross-pollination of different expertise and points of view.

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New Unit DirectorsCollege names two new unit directors

The College of the Environment is pleased to share that Professor Billie Swalla has been named director of the Friday Harbor Laboratories on San Juan Island, and Professor Terrie Klinger has been named director of the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs

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Doris Duke Conservation ScholarsDiversifying what it means to be a "conservation professional"

The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at UW wrapped up its inaugural year, welcoming the first cohort of students to Washington state for jam-packed season of learning in the field. The goal of the program is to broaden participation within conservation and diversify what it means to be a “conservation professional.” 

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College of the Environment launches new forum for science communication

Last spring, the College of the Environment kicked off Amplify, a new discussion series that brings together faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate students interested in communicating science beyond academia. Moderated by Dean Graumlich, the inaugural event explored the costs and benefits of sharing science with non-scientist audiences, being an advocate for science, and the “secret benefit” of fun that some forms of outreach can provide. You can read more about Amplify and upcoming discussions on the College website.

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New faculty at the College of the Environment

We extend a heartfelt welcome to new faculty joining the College of the Environment this fall! The School of Environmental and Forest Sciences has three professors joining their ranks: David Butman, Patrick Tobin, and Peter Kahn; and Emily Roland Saenger will join the School of Oceanography.

Awards & Acknowledgements

Congratulations to College of the Environment-affiliated scientists David Battisti, Qiang Fu, Michael McPhaden, and James Overland on their election as fellows to the American Geophysical Union. The organization’s mission is to “promote discovery in Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity.”

Congratulations to the Washington State Academy of Sciences inductees that are affiliated or work with the College of the Environment, including André Punt, Eric D’Asaro, Bradley Coleman, Alvin Kwiram, and Ann Bostrom. The organization is charged with providing expert scientific and engineering analysis to inform public policy-making, and works to increase the role and visibility of science in the State of Washington.

Congratulations to Kiki Jenkins of the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs on being awarded the Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty.


Angela FengAngela Feng, Senior in Environmental Studies

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

What might Program on the Environment student Angela Feng and the internationally-known Seattle hip-hop star Macklemore have in common? Besides their love for good music, they both share a commitment to and passion for the environment. They are teaming up with others to raise awareness on the importance of respecting nature, and are working on a campaign for environmental protection in a south Seattle neighborhood.

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For & About Students

SMEA LogoNew thesis options for School of Marine and Environmental Affairs students

The School of Marine and Environmental Affairs has new curriculum options for Master of Marine Affairs (MMA) students, offering a professional track and a thesis track. Curriculum requirements will vary depending on track. Professional track students will focus on applied learning via a capstone project, and thesis track students will develop and hone their research skills through a master's thesis. 

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Observatory StudentsUW students help install cabled deep-sea observatory

Students at the College of the Environment got a taste of what doing oceanographic research is all about this summer, spending numerous days at sea aboard the UW’s giant research vessel, the Thomas G. Thompson. The project: installing an underwater, cabled ocean observatory that will give scientists a continuous presence in the Pacific waters off of Oregon and Washington.

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Mt. St. Helens StudentsGetting a glimpse inside Mount St. Helens

Earth and Space Sciences (ESS) graduate student Carl Ulberg led teams of scientists from UW, the Cascade Volcano Observatory, and Cornell University to install 70 broadband seismometers on and around Mount St. Helens over the summer. The goal: to create images to better understand the deep magma plumbing system under the mountain, as well as earthquake activity and other unusual signals. The overall $3 million NSF-funded project, called imaging Magma Under St Helens (iMUSH), is led by ESS’ Ken Creager, John Vidale, Heidi Houston, and Olivier Bachmann.  

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Philanthropy: Making a Difference

Private gifts and grants make all the difference in opening doors for new research and expanding educational opportunities for our students. We are grateful for our numerous donors’ generosity. 

The College of the Environment would like to thank Bill and Beatrice Booth for their exceptional gift to fund three new endowments, benefitting School of Oceanography and Friday Harbor Labs, and the Arboretum Foundation in its continued generosity and partnership with UW Botanic Gardens. We would also like to acknowledge new and noteworthy partnerships with the XPRIZE Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and Long Live the Kings.

There are numerous ways to help support research and students at College of the Environment—please consider making a gift to the fund of your choice, including:

  • The Program on the Environment Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Director's Fund for Excellence in Oceanography
  • Climate Impacts Group Gift Fund

To learn more about these funds and how you can help, please visit the College of the Environment website.

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Private Funding Opportunities

Seeking private funding for your project or program? Below are recent corporate and foundation opportunities that may be of interest to you.

  • Captain Planet Foundation: Grants for Hands-On Environmental Education Activities
  • AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science
  • Environmental Solutions for Communities Grant Program: Request for Proposals
  • Mountaineers Foundation: Funding for Research and Conservation of Pacific Northwest Wilderness
  • National Geographic: Expeditions Council Grant Application

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Save the Date

AmplifyJoin us for our upcoming November 18 Amplify event, where scientists from the College and beyond will explore how to communicate science online: the rewards, the pitfalls, the trolls and the tweets. Stay tuned for final event details on the Amplify section of the College website.

SustainableUWThe SustainableUW Festival October 20-25 is fast approaching! Led by the Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability office, this expansion of the earlier Sustainability Summit has morphed in to a full weeklong festival. Learn more about the festival, and register any activities that your lab or unit might have on their webpage.

Join the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences for their fall seminar series this year, which will take place on Wednesdays at 3:30pm. Learn more on the School’s website.

You can always stay up to date with the latest events happening at the College of the Environment by checking out our Events Calendar.

September / October 2014

In the Media

California blue whales rebound from whaling

Old ship logs reveal adventure, tragedy and hints about climate

A unique lab class: UW students explore nation’s largest dam removal

Oso disaster had its roots in earlier landslides 

Demystifying lush landscapes of the ancient African Sahara

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