Diversity, Inclusion, Access
President Ana Mari Cauce brought renewed focus to diversity, inclusion, and
access at UW through her widely publicized address to
the campus. In wake of her talk, many have asked me to define the College’s
vision for diversity and I have a ready answer. I cite the need, especially in
a college devoted to environmental sciences, to have “all hands on deck”—ensuring that access to our critically important research and education is
never deterred by gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, or
disability. The vision is clearly laudable and is reflected in the dedicated
efforts of the Dean’s Office and the College Diversity Committee and a broad range of opportunities for faculty and staff and students. However,
as a college, we have yet to collectively translate our vision into a
coordinated and fully resourced action plan.
We can do more. Over the next year, I am dedicating
my own efforts and College resources to building a stronger strategic plan for
diversity that reflects who we are as a college: our values, our aspirations,
and, importantly, where we currently stand.
Chair named for Earth and Space Sciences
We are pleased to announce that Bruce Nelson has
been named the next Chair of the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the
College of the Environment. Nelson, a geochemist who
specializes in the tools of isotope geochemistry, is known for his expertise in
a wide range of Earth science topics, including volcanology, sedimentary
transport, tectonic history, and environmental contamination to name a few.
College of the Environment honors graduates by helping fund on-campus water savings
In honor of its graduating class of 2015, the College will jointly fund a student project with the Campus Sustainability Fund that will build a rainwater collection and purification system in More Hall’s Construction Materials Laboratory. Based on feedback from our Student Advisory Council and a vote by the College’s graduating students, this new system will reduce the lab’s tap water consumption by an average of 600 gallons per day and save $1,800 per year.
Antarctic ice core shows northern trigger for
ice age climate shifts
Using evidence trapped in ice cores
from the West Antarctica Ice Sheet, scientists in the Department of Earth and
Space Sciences were part of an international team that discovered a
consistent link between abrupt temperature changes in Greenland and Antarctica
during the most recent ice age.
UW ecologist and citizen scientists lead the
charge against invasive crayfish
Julian Olden, a freshwater ecologist
at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and local mudbug expert, recently met with
residents of Pine Lake in Sammamish, Washington, to discuss his citizen science
program aimed at controlling the invasive population of red swamp crayfish in
New knowledge and technology help scientists
track harmful algae
Though the waters of
Puget Sound are full of beneficial algae, there are also plenty of nasty ones
that can sicken humans and wreak havoc on shellfish and fishing industries. Researchers
working with Washington Sea Grant have started to narrow in on harmful algae’s
behaviors, and are developing some slick techniques for much more effective
detection and monitoring.
Sound’s clingfish could inspire better medical devices, whale tags
Researchers at Friday Harbor Laboratories are studying
the Northern clingfish to understand how it summons massive suction power in
wet, slimy environments. They are looking at how the biomechanics of clingfish
could be helpful in designing devices and instruments to be used in surgery and
even to tag and track whales in the ocean.
Meryl Mims, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences graduate student
Spotlight is an ongoing series that will introduce you to the many members that make up the College community.
With two degrees under her belt and
dissertation research to complete, Meryl Mims found herself in southeastern
Arizona’s Sky Islands in the summer of 2013. In a landscape known for the
juxtaposition of its sprawling features—where towering, forested mountains seep
upward through the desert’s dry, cracked surface—a two-inch long frog captured
“We were already out there and we were
hearing the Arizona treefrogs. It’s like they were calling us in,” Mims said.
Philanthropy: Making a Difference
June is an exciting month for
students (graduation, summer) and faculty (fieldwork) at the College of the
Environment! We anticipate another strong year in private support, thanks to an
ever-increasing number of gifts and private grants. We can’t overstate how
important this private support is to helping the College.
There are many opportunities to
help support the College, through the fund of your choice or through one of our
highlighted funds below:
- UW Botanic Gardens Director’s
- Oceanography Undergraduate
- College of the Environment
Environmental Leadership Fund
Save the Date
Friday Harbor Labs Illg Distinguished Lectureship and Jazz at the Labs (July 2 and August 22)
On July 2, Professor Stefan Bengtson from the Swedish Museum of Natural History will discuss his work in animal evolution, particularly from the time around the Cambrian Explosion. Bengston’s lecture, part of the Illg Distinguished Lectureship honoring Professor Paul L. Illg, will shed light on new fossil evidence related to one of Darwin’s greatest mysteries: the origin of animals. On August 22, Friday Harbor Labs will hold its 15th annual Jazz at the Labs! Please join in for a fabulous dinner in FHL’s historic dining hall and enjoy music provided by the San Juan Jazz Quintet and Seattle’s Jazz Coalescence. All proceeds will benefit FHL’s K-12 Science Outreach Program. Find out more about both of these events on the Friday Harbor Labs event page.
You can always stay up to date with the latest events happening at the College of the Environment by checking out our Events Calendar.
Awards & Acknowledgements
Congratulations to the School of Marine and
Environmental Affairs’ Brian Tracey, the first-ever recipient
of the College’s Outstanding Diversity Commitment Award.
Nearly 30 faculty
members, students, and staff from the College were nominated, but
Tracey nabbed the top prize for his dedication and leadership in working toward
a more diverse and inclusive program, College, and University.
The London-based Royal Meteorological Society
Robert Houze, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, the Symons
Gold Medal in recognition of his distinguished work in
Bourgeois was recently chosen as the recipient of the
Laurence L. Sloss Award! This
is the Division of Sedimentary Geology’s highest honor and their
opportunity to recognize important contributors to sedimentary geology.
Twenty years of work on sea and land to save
threatened seabirds from becoming fishing bycatch earned national
recognition for senior fisheries scientist, Ed Melvin, in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. The research project he leads
develops, tests, and promotes bird-scaring streamer lines for long-line fishing
vessels and received the 2015
Presidential Migratory Bird Federal Stewardship Award in
Kudos to Emily Newsom, a PhD student in the Department of Earth and
Space Sciences and Geophysics, for being chosen as one of 85 doctoral students
nationwide to receive the Philanthropic
Educational Organization’s Academic Scholar Award for 2015-2016!
An esteemed panel of judges, including the College
of the Environment’s Dean Lisa Graumlich, chose undergrad Sarra Tekola as
the winner of the UW Climate Change Video Contest! Tekola and fellow UW student
Michael Moynihan won $5,000 for their powerful, creative performance of an
original rap. Watch all 10 of the finalists’ incredible videos on the School of
Environmental and Forest Sciences' Offshoots
The Environmental Studies Spring Capstone Symposium
was a success and showcased a wide array of project topics ranging from
education and outreach in farmers markets, commuter friendly
transportation and urban restoration efforts, to improving policies
to increase salmon populations. Congratulations to the award winners for best
oral presentation: Emily Warnock and Samuel Timpe, and best poster
presentations: Andrew Jauhola and Qiren Lu.
Congrats to the Department of Earth and Space
Sciences’ Noell Bernard Kingsley! She recently received an Outstanding
Advisor Award from NACADA – The Global
Community for Academic Advising.
Kudos to the student
athletes in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, the Program on the
Environment, and the Department of Earth and Space Sciences who participated in
UW’s recent rowing competitions! The men’s rowing team swept all five IRA
Races and earned the National
Championship, while the women’s team
placed fourth at the National Championship.