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The Insider: College of the Environment Newsletter

From Dean Graumlich

Dean Graumlich

As we begin the 2012-2013 academic year, I want to extend a warm welcome to our incoming students. You have chosen to attend a university that is world-renowned for its academic excellence, innovative practices, and commitment to its community. The College of the Environment exemplifies these attributes in our research, education, and community engagement, as we advance our understanding of the environment and our place in it, and apply this understanding to address the environmental challenges of today and tomorrow. We are so glad you’ve joined us!

The educational opportunities you have here are unparalleled – for example, in 2012, over 1,000 undergraduates participated in the annual UW Undergraduate Research Symposium, one of the largest research symposia for undergraduates in the nation. You can conduct and share original research through the Washington NASA Space Grant program. Work with community partners to address environmental issues while pursuing a graduate certificate in Environmental Management. Additionally, our Oceanography program is the only national program offering degrees at all levels, from BA through PhD – and undergraduates are guaranteed time aboard the R/V Thompson.

Throughout your career here, you will have the chance to interact with globally engaged researchers. You might attend a class with Oceanography professor Seelye Martin, who this summer was honored with NASA’s Exceptional Public Service Medal. Learn about plate tectonics and landscape evolution from Katharine Huntington, Assistant Professor of Earth and Space Sciences who was awarded the Geological Society of America’s Young Scientist Award for 2012. Study climate change with Atmospheric Sciences professor Dennis Hartmann, one of CoEnv’s contributing authors to the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

You’ll find many ways to immerse yourself in the places of the Pacific Northwest while pursuing world-class study, whether you engage in field work at the Center for Sustainable Forestry at Pack Forest, or experience an at-sea immersion with the Ocean Observatories Initiative, or complete a Research Apprenticeship at Friday Harbor Labs, where students come together from across the country and around the world to study our oceans and coasts.

No matter what you study, we at CoEnv are committed to connecting you with your on-campus and off-campus community. Join us in participating at this year’s SACNAS National Conference. Share your research with grad students around the country at the nation’s premier Graduate Climate Conference, or with people from around Seattle through the Engage program. Get involved with your local environment and community, by restoring natural areas with the Restoration Ecology Network, or by learning about living sustainably in LEED-certified Poplar Hall.

I am committed to making sure that your experience at CoEnv is rich with learning, doing and sharing environmental science, and I look forward to hearing from you about the innovative ways in which you make the most of your time with us.

Lisa Graumlich Signature

Lisa Graumlich
Dean, UW College of the Environment
Virginia and Prentice Bloedel Professor



Description: Macintosh HD:Users:jjmeyer:Desktop:CoEnv Annual Report 11-12.jpgCollege of the Environment Annual Report

The College of the Environment released its first-ever Annual Report last month, highlighting some of the College’s achievements and activities, financial data, and a few of the many people that make the College the spectacular place it is.  You can access the full report here.



cliffGingerTwo CoEnv Scientists among New Members of the WA State Academy of Sciences

E. Virginia Armbrust (Professor and Director of Oceanography) and Clifford Mass (Professor of Atmospheric Sciences) have both been inducted into the Washington State Academy of Sciences, along with 24 other new members from throughout the University of Washington.  The Academy provides 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.  In all, 37 new members were inducted at the Academy’s annual meeting on September 20th at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.  You can read more about the inductees here


Bruce BareEmeritus Dean Bruce Bare to Lead the Institute of Forest Resources
Dr. Bruce Bare has been appointed the new Director of the Institute of Forest Resources housed within the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.  The Institute was directed to reorganize by the Washington State Legislature in 2011.  Its mission is to provide timely and relevant education, research and outreach related to Washington’s rural and urban forest ecosystems to sustain the multiple products and services derived from these resources. Its vision is to improve the understanding and stewardship of our forest and related natural resources through the application of relevant science and the development of sound forest policy. Read more about the strategic vision of the IFR here.


New Report on Potential Debris Accumulation from Japanese Tsunami
Two Washington Sea Grant staff members — Coastal Hazards Specialist Ian Miller and Marine Habitat Specialist Jim Brennan — have written an assessment of the range of Japanese tsunami debris that might be expected along the Pacific Coast, particularly in Washington. The debris, which has been difficult to track, represents a potential human and environmental hazard, raising concerns about the type and volume of materials that may wash ashore over the next few years. The report is intended to help local, state and tribal governments develop plans and response strategies.  You can access the report here


cool schoolUW Ranked Again as a ‘Cool School’
The University of Washington is leading the way in terms of sustainability, and was once again recognized by the Sierra Club as being a leading “Cool School” in the United States.  Ranked as the fourth greenest school, UW ranked highly for its priority on buying local, using sources of renewable energy, and its emphasis on environmental stewardship in many of its policies. Notably, the University has developed a Climate Action Plan with the goal of the campus becoming climate neutral.  This is the fifth year in a row that UW has ranked in the top 10 of Cool Schools.  Read more about this award and how UW measures up here.




Save the Date

Friday Harbor Labs' Associate Director to Speak at Northwest Fishery Science Center – October 11th

The next installment of the 2012 Fall Quarter Northwest Fishery Science Center’s Weekly Monster Seminar JAM series will feature Dr. Adam Summers, Biology and School of Aquatic & Fisheries Sciences.  His presentation entitled "Sandlance, Sharks and Sticky Fish - Inspiration for New Materials and Biomimetic Solutions to Unusual Problems", will take place on 11:00 a.m. in the Northwest Fisheries Science Center Auditorium: 2725 Montlake Blvd. E., Seattle.

Please visit the Monster Seminar JAM web page for additional information about the Series, as well as upcoming installments.  The NWFSC Monster Seminar JAM is part of the OneNOAA Science Discussion Seminar Series and is open to all who wish to attend.


UW Sustainability Summit – October 22nd - 25th

The UW Sustainability Summit celebrates the University’s leadership and accomplishments in environmental stewardship and sustainability. It provides the opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to find ways to get involved with sustainability on campus, and to learn about the Campus Sustainability Fund, the UW Climate Action Plan, and how our community partners play a role in helping UW remain a continued leader in sustainability.  Learn more about what’s happening during the summit here.


Launch of the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound – October 24th

Come celebrate the launch of the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound, a new effort to synthesize and share scientific information about Puget Sound recovery.  The event will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the FSH Auditorium on the Seattle campus and include a panel discussion from 4:00-5:00 p.m. moderated by Dean Graumlich.  For more information, check out the website here.


WdayW Day - November 2nd 

Show your Purple Pride and celebrate the UW’s birthday. All Huskies and members of the community are invited to join us in Red Square from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, for live music, giveaways and more. Grab free, limited-supply swag including W flags, purple T-shirts and Cupcake Royale cupcakes.  Check out this website for more information about what’s happening on campus and in the surrounding community.


CoEnv Events Calendar

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.



For & About Students

The 2012 SACNAS National Conference comes to Seattle
The SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) National Conference is coming to Seattle October 11-14. The theme is "Creating a Healthy World through Science, Diversity & Technology," and the conference is expected to draw 4,000 attendees, including 200 prospective students that will tour UW. The College is taking part in the tour and will host a "Meet a Scientist" breakout session for students interested in environmental science to meet some of our faculty and current students. CoEnv will also be exhibiting at the convention center.

NEW College of the Environment Dean's Award for Undergraduate Innovation – APPLY NOW!

The College of the Environment is pleased to announce a new funding opportunity for undergraduates – the Dean's Award for Undergraduate Innovation.

Autumn Quarter Deadline: October 31, 2012

Funds are competitively awarded to support College of the Environment undergraduates engaged in research, as well as community-based projects or experiential learning, combining academic content and skill set learning with innovative applications to particular issues or problems within an environmental context. It is essential that the student play a central role in generating the idea and in designing and delivering the project. Most CoEnv students complete a culminating senior capstone project or engage in undergraduate research for at least one quarter. These funds are designed to support students not just in completing the level of projects that they might already be required to complete for their degree programs, but also in taking their projects to a higher level, significantly adding to the depth, quality, creativity, and impact of their work.

For 2012-2013, the College will offer 6 awards to a maximum of $2,500 each.

To Apply:
Visit the CoEnv website for detailed application instructions.
Applicants must complete the CoEnv Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Innovation application no later than October 31, 2012. Faculty member(s) who will serve as mentors for funded projects must complete the Faculty Member Endorsement: CoEnv Dean's Award for Undergraduate Innovation no later than October 31, 2012.

Selection Criteria:
The CoEnv Scholarship and Funding Committee will review the project proposals for evidence of the clarity of goals, the student's role in the project, and the role the funds will have on success of the project.


College of the Environment Student Meeting Fund – APPLY NOW!

Autumn Quarter Deadline: October 31, 2012

The College of the Environment supports undergraduate and graduate students in furthering their careers, and in particular in connecting students to networking opportunities afforded by the presentation of their original work in meeting venues. CoEnv supports two types of student attendance at meetings:

Student-Organized Meetings
(maximum of $1,500 or 20% of total expenditures, whichever is smaller; one per organization annually; maximum of 4 awards given out annually)
CoEnv supports a range of student organizations that organize and host meetings attended by CoEnv students where central goals of the meeting include linking science (natural and/or social) to policy or real world application; and interdisciplinary attendance realized within CoEnv as attendance and presentation by students from multiple units within the College. CoEnv will competitively award grants to student organizations for partial funding of interdisciplinary, student-run meetings at which CoEnv students are presenting original (including co-authored work where the student is first author) work.

Individual Student Travel to Meetings
(maximums of $300 for North American travel and $500 for all other international travel; one per student per degree career; maximum of 10 awards given out annually)
CoEnv realizes that presentation of original work at national or international meetings hosted by scientific/academic societies can truly accelerate the career of a student. Because grant and contract funding, unit-based funding sources, and/or individual resources are occasionally not enough to cover travel expenses, the CoEnv will competitively award travel grants to individual students on a one-time basis who are giving oral presentations of their original work (including co-authored work where the student is first author).

To Apply:
Visit the CoEnv website for detailed application instructions.



Philanthropy - Making a Difference

Private gifts and grants make all the difference in the lives of our students, faculty, and programs. Did you know the College is the beneficiary of hundreds of gifts and grants annually from generous and far-sighted donors whose philanthropy make possible student scholarships and fellowships, the advance of critical research, and outreach involving multiple corporate, non-profit, agency, and community partners?  For more information on ways to make a gift, or programs you can support, please contact Marilyn Montgomery, CoEnv's Assistant Dean for Advancement, at 206-221-0906 or mmmontg@uw.edu.


We’d like to note, and express our appreciation, for the following gifts made in the last two months:

The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grants
Daniel Schindler (Aquatic and Fishery Sciences), Jeffrey Richey (Oceanography) and post-doc Gordon Holtgrieve have received a $350,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to study how seasonal flood regimes impact fish species in Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake region of the Mekong River Basin. The Basin represents the largest freshwater fishery in the world and is critical to Southeast Asia both as a food resource and driver of economic growth. The Mekong is also a global hotspot of freshwater biodiversity, with the second most diverse freshwater community, including over 1100 fish species of which more than 100 are fished commercially or for subsistence. Livelihoods for the majority of people living in the Lower Mekong are in one form or another tied to freshwaters and the surrounding floodplains. Despite the overwhelmingly important role freshwater ecosystems play in the region, there is little direct ecological information and many scientific questions important for biodiversity conservation and fisheries management remain unanswered even as managers face growing pressures to develop extensive networks of hydroelectric dams throughout local waterways.  Data collected from the MacArthur-funded study will inform effective resource management policy by evaluating data, simulating future scenarios, and providing a framework for future assessment. The scientific information being developed by the UW illuminates policy options for the region and their associated trade-offs, providing policy-makers a substantially broader set of tools to work with in developing and assessing management strategies.


The David & Lucille Packard Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation grants
Ray Hilborn has received a total of $300,000 in funds from the David & Lucille Packard Foundation and Walton Family Foundation to study one of the most contentious issues in the management of marine fisheries: the use of mobile bottom contact gears, trawls and dredges.  About 25% of world fish catch comes from the use of these gears and catch from trawls is an important element in food security in much of the world.  Yet trawls can dramatically transform sensitive ecosystems on the seafloor, eliminating much of the flora and fauna.  Conversely, extensive studies have shown that there are fewer changes to less sensitive habitats, particularly in regions subject to frequent natural disturbance.  Hilborn will lead a group of ecology and fisheries management experts to provide a scientific basis for policies on trawling. Scott Burns, Director of Walton Family Foundation’s Environment Program, said of the study: “Many observers have pointed to the problematic impacts of trawling on sea bottom habitats. Dr. Hilborn’s important study will pinpoint how to minimize these impacts in the most economically efficient manner – and this in turn will enable us to formulate new prescriptions that make sense to both fishermen and conservationists. ”


The Thomas Hinckley Student Support Fund in Environmental and Forest Sciences established
With a lead gift of $25,000 from Professor Emeritus Tom Hinckley and his wife Arline, the Thomas Hinckley Student Support Fund in Environmental and Forest Sciences has been established in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS). Tom Hinckley started as a professor in SEFS (then the College of Forest Resources) in 1980, and served as interim director of the School for the past three years. He is a beloved teacher, and has a strong belief that much of the transformative learning for SEFS students occurs on field trips, which inspired his establishment of this fund. His hope is that it will be used to fund experiences, like student travel and fieldwork, which normally cannot be covered through tuition assistance and other funding sources. Faculty, alumni, and friends in the SEFS community have already made additional contributions to this fund, and we welcome additional gifts of support.



Private Funding Opportunities

Requests for Proposals are now available for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Marine and Coastal Keystone
The Marine & Coastal Keystone focuses on building conservation partnerships to overcome the most important challenges to the health of the marine and coastal environment. The goal in the Marine & Coastal Keystone is to find the best conservation investments, fund the best solutions, and deliver measurable results for a broad cross-section of fish and wildlife representing marine and coastal ecosystem health. Under this mission statement, initiatives are selected that focus on making a measureable impact on specific species and their habitats. Individual initiatives are focused under three themes that are critical for marine and coastal wildlife in America: promoting sustainable fisheries, protecting marine natural heritage, and climate change adaptation. Specific initiatives include:

Preproposal deadline: November 1, 2012
Full proposal deadline: January 7, 2013
Notification: April 15, 2013
For more information, please visit this website.

Grants are also currently available via NFWF’s Wildlife and Habitat program.


John Templeton Foundation Announces Meaning of Evolutionary Convergence Grant Program
Grants of up to $1 million are available for research projects on the significance of biological convergence toward a better understanding of the living world.  The foundation also welcomes funding inquiries for its core program areas, which include science and the big questions (mathematical and physical sciences, life sciences, human sciences, philosophy and theology, science in dialogue with philosophy or theology), character development, freedom and free enterprise, exceptional cognitive talent and genius, and genetics.
Deadline: October 15, 2012
For more information, please visit this website.


Private Funding Opportunities 
Please contact Chris Thompson, CoEnv’s Associate Director for Corporate and Foundation Relations, for more information about this opportunity or other corporate and foundation engagement, at 206-221-6372 or csthomp@uw.edu



CoEnv Community Spotlight

The CoEnv Community Spotlight is an ongoing series that will introduce you to the many members that make up the College community.  These include faculty, students, philanthropists, staff, and many more.  In each newsletter, we will feature a member’s unique story and how they help make the College the vibrant place that it is.

Vada May Corkery, ‘42
vada mayThe Corkery family roots run deep in Washington.  Moving west from Wisconsin to start a timber company, George Corkery opened his doors in Aberdeen in 1915.  Nearly 100 years later, the Corkery name is still connected to Washington forests and forestry in a big way through their support of the College of the Environment.

George’s sons – Jack and George, Jr. – studied at the UW in what was then the College of Forest Resources during the late 1930’s, training to follow in their father’s footsteps.  But times got tough in the timber business – so the two brothers soon founded the successful Corkery Brother’s Painting Company where they served out their careers.

But the Corkery heart never strayed far from Washington’s rich forested landscapes, and in 1991 the family – all graduates of the UW, including George, Jr, ’41; Jack ’39; Jack’s wife Vada May ’42; and their sister Alberta ‘37 – established the first endowed chair in the College of Forest Resources.  The endowment was meant to enhance the University's ability to recruit and retain distinguished faculty in the college, and continues to do so.  Today, the family legacy lives on through Vada May Corkery – an accomplished artist whose imagery reflects the family’s love for the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest – and their daughter Karleen Snetsinger.

shuksan“A person who likes the place where they were educated should give something back,” said Vada May in a recent visit to her home in Seattle.  It was her idea to give to the university in the first place, asking Jack “What are you going to do with your money?  You better do something good with it!”

And good they have done indeed.  Through their philanthropy, the Corkerys have not only created the Corkery Endowed Chair, they supported academic and research programs at Pack Forest, and funded the Bruce Bare Endowed Professorship in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.

“We always liked Bruce,” says Vada May.  “He is so easy to get along with, he always listens, and Jack and I thought he was a fine dean and teacher.”

The Bare Professorship honors Dean Emeritus and Professor Bruce Bare who served as dean of the College of Forest Resources from 2001-2009 and still teaches in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.  It allows the school to recruit, retain and reward distinguished faculty who conduct research and teaching on the science of sustainability, while emphasizing the integration of human and natural elements involved in natural resource management.

The Corkery’s gifts have not ended there.  Their long history of family giving includes support to UW’s History and Economics Departments, the Seattle Preparatory School, and Seattle Children’s Hospital.   It’s their way of giving back to the community, one which they care deeply about and have called home for nearly a century.



Big congratulations are due to Katharine (Kate) Huntington – Earth and Space Sciences – for earning the Young Scientist Award (Donath Medal) for her extraordinary contributions to the application of geomorphological, geochemical, and geochronological observations to tectonic problems.   This award is given from the Geological Society of America – you can read more about it here.


Robert Naiman – Aquatic and Fishery Sciences – is the recipient of the Ecological Society of America’s Eminent Ecologist Award, the organization’s highest honor. Naiman's influence has been primarily in freshwater ecology, but he has also made fundamental contributions to the study of riparian systems and the concept of ecotones. Read more about Bob’s accomplishments and this award here.


John Delaney – Oceanography – has been recognized by the American Geophysical Union for his contribution to the enhancement of the public understanding of the world's oceans through the award of the Athelstan Spilhaus Award. The Award is given not more than once annually to an individual AGU member for devoting portions of their career to conveying to the general public the excitement, significance, and beauty of the Earth and space sciences.  Read more about this outstanding achievement here.


Congratulations are in order to Seelye Martin – Oceanography – who received the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal.  This honor is awarded to any non-government individual for sustained performance that embodies multiple contributions on NASA projects, programs, or initiatives.


Congratulations to Kelly Hillbun – Earth and Space Scienceswho took first place in the Association of Petroleum Geologists Student Oral Awards Competition.  Her work for the first time integrates the carbon isotope record with the great mass extinction in the Devonian Period. 


Eric Olsson – Washington Sea Grant – has received a Legacy Award from the Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force.  The award recognizes Olsson’s years of service and leadership in oil spill prevention education.


Congratulations to Kiddy Emmanuel, capstone student in the Program on the Environment, who created a video about an innovative community farm project as one of her deliverables — and it was selected as one of the winners of The Next Fifty’s A Story Runs Through It neighborhood film project. Check out her inspiring short film.


Jabe Blumenthal – CoEnv Dean’s Advisory Board – was awarded the Microsoft Foundation’s Integral Fellows Award, which honors Microsoft alumni who have made a meaningful difference in the daily lives of others through philanthropy and nonprofit work.  Jabe is the co-chair of the board of directors for Climate Solutions, which will receive a grant through this award.  Read more about the award here.



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