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Clink Your Glasses

As always, this year’s Alumni Spring Gathering featured a generous spread of wines donated by Bruce Lippke, pictured here doing the uncorking duties, with a hand from Steve West.

Summer Greetings!

As you celebrate the long days and sunshine, I invite you to read a few stories and catch up on what’s happening with your school and community. Many of us were fortunate enough to connect this past April at the annual Alumni Spring Gathering, held at the UW Botanic Gardens’ Center for Urban Horticulture. The event was a great success, honoring Jim Brown (’62), who attended with several friends and family members. We enjoyed amazing food and wine, lovely music and festive cheer. Many thanks to this year’s planning committee, including Cynthia Welte, Ara Erickson, Jim Gullickson, Bob Edmonds, Bruce Lippke and a host of other dedicated volunteers. Take a look at a slideshow from the afternoon!

We’ll have more opportunities to connect this fall, starting with the Salmon BBQ on October 1 (see below), and the planned renewal of the Distinguished Alumni Seminar (more details to come). If you have updates to share or ideas of how you’d like to connect, I encourage you to email me anytime.

Cheers to a happy and healthy summer,

Jessica Farmer
Alumni Group Chair



Alumni Profile: Wendy Gibble

Gibble earned her master’s from SEFS in 2006, and even before graduating took on the role of program manager for the Washington Rare Plant Care and Conservation Program—thus moving from student to alumna and staff member in a matter of months. Learn more about her work and background, including years spent volunteering on raptor research projects.


Save the Date: Salmon BBQ!

You are cordially invited to join us for the Annual SEFS Salmon BBQ on Wednesday, Oct. 1, from 4-6 p.m. in the Anderson Hall courtyard. In addition to the usual feast this year, we’re also planning an exhibit in the Forest Club Room featuring a selection of photographs by John Tylczak, who documented the faces of the Washington timber industry, from chasers and rigging slingers to shingle sawyers, in the 1980s and early ‘90s.


CORRIM Research Updates

The Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM) continues to lead research evaluating life-cycle environmental and economic impacts of using wood in construction and other industrial applications. Learn more about CORRIM’s recent reports, fact sheets and other ongoing projects, and contact Elaine Oneil if you have any questions about their research.


2014 Sustaining Our World Lecture

Michael Green of Michael Green Architecture in Vancouver, B.C., gave a fantastic talk about building tall with wood, and the importance of using local, renewable resources as an integral component of sustainable design. If you weren’t able to attend the lecture on April 10, we filmed the talk, “PLANT CUT BUILD REPEAT: Natural solutions to complex problems,” and now have it available for you to watch online.


WPPF Annual Meeting

More than 100 students, alumni, faculty and foundation member representatives attended the Washington Pulp and Paper Foundation Annual Conference on May 22. This year's theme was “Celebrating our Heritage,” and the eight charter member companies that helped found WPPF in 1968 were specially recognized. Dean Emeritus Bruce Bare was honored with a place on the foundation’s “Wall of Fame,” and the conference ended with the traditional banquet at the University Club.


Autumn Alumni Hike: Oct. 3-5

Professor Emeritus Tom Hinckley is once again organizing one of his famed fall hikes in the Methow Valley. The plan is to take one or more hikes of varying difficulty, and then to have evenings free to relax and enjoy the area. Email Hinckley if you’re interested or would like more details about the weekend’s schedule and lodging.




What was your favorite field trip as a student?


Read what Marion “Bud” Fisk remembers about his time down at Pack Forest!

Next Issue: Who was your favorite professor, and why did he/she have such a big impact on you? Please send submissions, of no more than 250 words, to, and we’ll publish one (or more) response in the next issue of Roots, and also on the "Offshoots" blog.






Nalini Nadkarni (’83, Ph.D., Forest Resources) was recently awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Brown University and was the 2014 commencement speaker. 

Cynthia Welte (’03, B.S.) recently started a new job as philanthropy and membership associate at Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island, a large public garden and the former estate of Prentice Bloedel. 

The Soil Science Society of America recently elected Dr. Brian Strahm (’06, Ph.D.) as Chair-Elect of the Forest, Range, and Wildland Soils Division. He will serve as Division Chair-Elect in 2015, as Division Chair in 2016, and as Past Chair in 2017. Past alumni who have served as chairs or board reps of this division include Professor Darlene Zabowski, Helga Van Miegroet and Dale Johnson, as well as John McColl, Stan Gessel, Neil Foster, Gray Henderson and Dale Cole. 

Alex Thomas (’12, B.S.) has started a new job as a bioinformatics systems analyst for the Joint Genome Institute, based in Walnut Creek, Calif., with the U.S. Department of Energy. 

This past February, Jennifer Leach (’04, B.S.; '07, M.S., Forest Resources) started a new job as environmental programs manager for Seattle Tilth, a nonprofit that works to safeguard natural resources while building an equitable and sustainable local food system. 

Scot Medbury (’90, M.S., Forest Resources), one of John Wott’s former grad students, received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service from First Lady Michelle Obama at a ceremony at the White House this past May. Medbury is president of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and his master’s thesis was on the history of the Washington Park Arboretum. 

This spring and summer, Lindsay Malone (’07, M.S., Forest Resources) is taking a six-month leave of absence from her role as member services director for Northwest Natural Resource Group to through-hike the Continental Divide Trail. By mid-July, she was more than 1,300 miles into the 2,700-mile trail, and you can follow along on her blog

Roots is the official e-newsletter for School of Environmental and Forest Sciences alumni. It is jointly produced by SEFS and the SEFS Alumni Group, and new issues are mailed three times a year (Winter, Spring/Summer and Fall). Please submit alumni news, “Tell Us” responses, “Class Notes,” events and other story ideas to Back issues are available in the online archive, and if you’ve been forwarded this message and wish to subscribe, contact Roots today