College of the Environment


June 18, 2010
Vol. 2, No. 11


Congratulations Graduates - Congratulations to the Spring 2010 College of the Environment graduates. The College granted a total of 143 undergraduate degrees and 54 graduate degrees (46 Master’s level; 8 PhDs). [Note: These numbers reflect the students who have applied to graduate this quarter. Because of the large number of students graduating in spring quarter, the Registrar's office will have final data on the exact number of degrees granted by the CoEnv for spring 2010 in mid-July 9.] This brings the total number of graduates for the College's inaugural year to 298 (204 undergraduates, 74 Master's, and 20 PhD).

Graduation Volunteers - Thank you to all those who helped make this year's commencement ceremony such a memorable event, with special thanks to our student ganfalonier Lori Hanson (Program on the Environment/Oceanography) and faculty College Marshals Vince Gallucci (Aquatic and Fishery Sciences/Marine Affairs), Rob Harrison (Forest Resources), Paul Johnson (Oceanogrphy/Earth and Space Sciences) and Mike Wallace (Atmospheric Sciences).

NOAA expands its partnership with JISAO - As part of its expanded focus JISAO will receive as much as $20 million per year for five years, with an option to extend the partnership for an additional five years. The research partnership will focus on 10 core areas: climate and its impacts; polar regions; aerosols; environmental chemistry; ocean acidification; geological and other processes that occur on the seafloor; marine ecosystems; protecting and restoring marine resources; tsunami observations and modeling; and ocean and coastal observations. Two of those areas – ocean acidification and protecting and restoring marine resources – are new focal points for the institute. The award, the result of a competitive process, extends a partnership that has been in place since 1977 and supports 120 UW science and staff positions in Seattle as well as costs associated with the research.

Welcome Friday Harbor Labs - Friday Harbor Labs will be joining the College as of July 1, 2010. Directed by Ken Sebens, FHL is located on a 484-acre site within a biological preserve on San Juan Island. With varied terrestrial and freshwater habitats and diverse flora and fauna, FHL provides facilities for research and instruction on many aspects of marine biology, botany, and oceanography.

Welcome Washington Sea Grant - Washington Sea Grant will be joining the college as of July 1, 2010. Under the direction of Penny Dalton, WSG works to identify and address important marine issues, provide better tools for management of the marine environment and its resources, and initiate and support strategic partnerships within the marine community. The program is part of a national network of 30 other Sea Grant colleges administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


As the college reaches the end of its inaugural year, we are pleased to congratulate the winners of the 2010 College Environment Awards. In honor of their outstanding service and decication, this year's award recipients are:

  • Outstanding Teaching Faculty: Loveday Conquest (Aquatic and Fishery Sciences & Forest Resources)
    Loveday Conquest was recongnized for "her continued devotion to quality training in quantitative science for students in the environmental and natural resource fields," and for her "efforts and creativity in teaching technically-challenging, quantitative subjects that are absolutely critical in the training of natural resource professionals and environmental scientists."
  • Outstanding Researcher: Julian Olden (Aquatic and Fishery Sciences)
    "Julian Olden is richly deserving of this award based on the diversity and innovative nature of his research, his broad and deep involvement in the conservation movement, his intellectual leadership, and his absolutely limitless potential for future growth as a scientist."
  • Distinguished Staff Member: Suanty Kaghan (Marine Affairs)
    "Suanty is the embodiment of the many unsung heroes on the UW staff who work tirelessly so that the rest of us have the opportunity to work with maximum efficiency on the research, teaching and service that we're hired to do."... "She was always the most efficient worker in the place, no job too big or too small, energetic and cheerful, never failing to deliver on everything expected of her and more."
  • Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist: Frances Janny (Oceanography)
    "In addition to conducting her own research on reconstructing the tropical Pacific climate, Fran played a crucial role in the coordination and planning for this logistically complicated expedition. Fran is also active in service to the community outside the University from volunteering at Children's Hospital to running a summer day camp about organic farming at Seattle Tilth. Fran is an extremely talented young scientist, who thinks (and acts) about the environment both globally and locally."
  • Graduate Dean's Medalists: Amanda Bruner (Aquatic and Fishery Sciences)
    "Amanda is a driving force on and off campus for the promotion of scientific literacy and diversity.....she is a wonderful example of a graduate student who engages positively with the community while simultaneously achieving excellence in research and formal course work. She has conducted herself with the utmost professionalism with her advisor and her committee.... She is committed to science education and outreach, and she has played and continues to play a priminent role on and off campus in increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities in science."
    and Christopher Kenaley (Aquatic and Fishery Sciences)
    "He excels academically and demonstrates leadership at all levels...In addition to classroom teaching, he has made an extraordinary, and I think, unprecendented effort to mentor a large number of UW undergraduates....He will, without a doubt, soon become an influential leader in the field of organismal and environmental biology. Not only has he applied himself well to his own research interests, but the care and interest he has taken with the other students in my lab, undergraduates as well as his fellow graduate students, is extraordinary."

Recent Gifts

The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) of Gig Harbor, WA, has awarded the College of the Environment one year funding of $40,000 to support the design and initial implementation of the public outreach component of the interdisciplinary “Shelf to Sound.” Led by Oceanography faculty member Rick Keil in partnership with Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Anne Steinemann, “Shelf to Sound” is comprised of three phases: (1) identification, tracking and analyses of household consumer products (e.g., laundry products, all-purpose cleaners, hand sanitizers, lotions, fragrances, cosmetics, deodorizers, and baby products) as they travel from homes into municipal stormwater and sewage streams, and finally into local rivers and Puget Sound; (2) a review of the literature to determine the state-of-the-art and possible relationships among the chemicals in the products, their presence in water systems and water bodies, and adverse biological effects; and (3) public outreach to provide citizens of Puget Sound with science-based information to help inform and promote actions individuals can take to ameliorate or reduce adverse effects on human health, Puget Sound, and surrounding bodies of water. Phases 1 and 2 have received significant federal support, while TRFF grant will provide the seed money to launch the outreach effort in FY11.


Federal funding opportunities

The National Science Foundation Environmental Chemical Sciences (ECS) Program supports basic research in chemistry that promotes the understanding of natural and anthropogenic chemical processes in our environment. Projects supported by this program enable fundamentally new avenues of basic research and transformative technologies. The program is particularly interested in studying molecular phenomena on surfaces and interfaces in order to understand the inherently complex and heterogeneous environment. Projects utilize advanced experimental, modeling and computational approaches, as well as developing new approaches. Topics include studies of environmental surfaces and interfaces under laboratory conditions, the fundamental properties of water and water solutions important in environmental processes, dissolution, composition, origin and behavior of molecular scale systems under a variety of naturally occurring environmental conditions, chemical reactivity of synthetic nanoparticles and their molecular level interactions with the environment, and application of theoretical models and computational approaches to discover and predict environmental phenomena at the molecular scale. The full proposal windows in 2010 are July 1 - August 2 and November 1 - November 30.

Private funding opportunities

The National Geographic Society awards grants for scientific field research and exploration through its Committee for Research and Exploration. All proposed projects must have both a geographical dimension and relevance to other scientific fields and be of broad scientific interest. Applications are generally limited to the following disciplines: anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, biology, botany, geography, geology, oceanography, paleontology, and zoology. In addition the committee is emphasizing multidisciplinary projects that address environmental issues (e.g., loss of biodiversity and habitat, effects of human-population pressures). Applications are considered throughout the year.

Colleagues in the News

(June 2 - June 17, 2010)

Regional Climate Meeting: Wet Areas to Get Wet Wetter (Eric Salathe/JISAO & ATMS, June 16, 2010)

Living In A World With No Ice Caps (Peter Ward/ESS, June 16, 2010)

Green School: New UW college focuses on the environment (Lisa Graumlich/CoEnv, June 15, 2010)

Drilling fervor subsides in some (Paul Johnson/OCN, June 11, 2010)

Mount Rainier shaking with tiny ice quakes (Stephen Malone/ESS, June 10, 2010)

UW Gets Federal Grant for Environmental Research (Thomas Ackerman/JISAO, June 10, 2010)

Bristol Bay sockeye thrives on diversity, UW study says (Daniel Schindler/SAFS, June 10, 2010)

'The Flooded Earth': Peter Ward's vision of a world awash in the consequences of climate change (Peter Ward /ESS, June 10, 2010)

Worst Laid Plans (Thomas Leschine/SMA, June 10, 2010)

Cousteau: How U.S. responds to spill reflects the soul of this country’ (Thomas Leschine/SMA, June 9, 2010)

NOAA boosts UW funding for ocean-science research (Tom Ackerman and Terrie Klinger/JISAO, June 9, 2010)

Thousands of 'ice quakes' detected on Mount Rainier (Stephen Malone/ESS, June 9, 2010)

On Shaky Ground: Unearthing The Faults (Brian Atwater/ESS, June 8, 2010)

Diversity Yields Benefit for Salmon Stocks (Ray Hilborn/SAFS, June 4, 2010)

Study: Diversify salmon portfolios (Ray Hilborn/SAFS, June 3, 2010)

UW researchers look for greener way to grow grass (Rob Harrison/SFR, June 3, 2010)

Scientists have worked at deeper sites than Gulf oil spill (John Delaney/OCN, June 2, 2010)

Upcoming Events

Check out the College events calendar for a comprehensive list of upcoming seminars, conferences, lectures, and other public events.

You can also subscribe or unsubscribe to the weekly update of upcoming events.

If you have a suggestion for additional information that should be included in the College of the Environment bi-weekly announcements, please submit it to Becca Baughman.