Banner-Roots-450 University of Washington College of the Environment School of Environmental and Forest Sciences University of Washington

FALL 2015


Annual Salmon BBQ

The rain broke just long enough for us to enjoy another fantastic feast in the Anderson Hall Courtyard on Wednesday, October 7. Check out a short slideshow from the afternoon!

Autumn Greetings!

The fall is quickly slipping away, and we’re already only a few weeks from the end of the quarter and the official start of winter. The change of seasons isn’t all bad news, of course, as it means our annual SEFS Holiday Party is right around the corner! We invite you to join us for the festivities on Wednesday, December 9, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Forest Club Room (immediately following the SEFS Seminar in Anderson 223, if you’re able to come earlier to hear a great talk from Professor Bernard Bormann, “Real Changes? 20-year Interpretation of the Northwest Forest Plan”). We’ll have an extensive wine tasting and loads of good cheer, and we encourage you to bring a sweet or savory item to share for the potluck competition.

If you can’t make the holiday party, we hope you’ll keep an eye out for several events in the coming months, including a mentoring event this winter and then the annual SEFS Spring Gathering in April. We’ll have more details and specific dates to share soon, so stay in touch!

Jessica Farmer & Colton Miller
Alumni Group Co-Chairs



Alumni Spotlight: Greg Lambert

Lambert, who celebrated his 90th birthday this past May, spent 26 years as a pilot with the U.S. Navy and worked with the Simpson Timber Company for 32 years. He still downhill skis twice a week, takes long boating excursions, and flies a Cessna 172 a couple times a month. Learn more about Lambert, including why he left school only a few weeks before finishing his degree in forest management.


New Faculty Hires

This fall, we were thrilled to welcome two new faculty members, Professors Anthony Dichiara and Laura Prugh (pictured), and a third new professor, Beth Gardner, is set to arrive this spring. We also just launched a faculty search for an assistant professor of forest ecosystem science and services, and a position in nature, health and recreation should be listed soon. 


Get Involved: Centennial Woods Restoration

In 2007, the SEFS Alumni Group helped organize a volunteer event to plant a wooded area in the Union Bay Natural Area to commemorate our 100-year anniversary. Learn more about restoration efforts at the Centennial Woods, led by SEFS alumnus Jon Diemer (’14, MEH), and how you can help.


Director's Message: Autumn 2015

SEFS Director Tom DeLuca reflects on the irreplaceable value of hands-on field research, as well as the big upgrade to our field courses this fall: a 30-passenger bus to shuttle larger groups of students to research sites more safely and efficiently.


SEFS Christmas Tree Sale

Partnering with the UW chapters of the International Forestry Students’ Association and the Society of American Foresters, the Forest Club is once again proud to organize one of our most popular community traditions. All trees are $45, and you can place your orders through Friday, December 4, to pick up your noble fir on Sunday, December 6.


SEFS Involved in Four NASA Grants

NASA recently launched the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), a major field campaign in Alaska and western Canada with the goal of better understanding the vulnerability and resilience of ecosystems and society to a changing climate. This year, four of the 21 awarded proposals involve researchers at SEFS!




What was your favorite spot on campus?

Roots_Tell Us_112315

Read what Tara Wilson (’14, B.S.), who is working nearby as a research technologist with the Center for Conservation Biology, shared with us!

Next Issue: Are you still working within the field you studied at college? Or have you ventured off in a totally different direction? Please send submissions, of no more than 250 words, to, and we’ll publish at least one response in the next issue of Roots, and also on the "Offshoots” blog.






Dave Somers (’95, M.S.), who had previously been serving on the Snohomish County Council, was recently elected Snohomish County Executive. Somers studied with Professor Bob Naiman. 

In September, recent MFR grads Ben Roe ('15) and Nichole Studevant ('15) started working as pre-sales foresters with the Quinault Indian Nation in Tahola, Wash. Their duties include stand examinations, timber sale preparation, harvest layout and working with other technical experts to meet the social, environmental and economic objectives of the Quinault Nation. 

Last year, Aaron Johnston (’13, Ph.D.) was awarded a prestigious, two-year postdoctoral position with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program. Johnston studied competition between eastern and western gray squirrels in the Puget Sound lowlands for his dissertation (working with Professor Emeritus Steve West), and he’s now exploring the effects of climate change on American pikas. 

Steve Anderson (’79, M.S.) is president of the Forest History Society, which is dedicated to advancing scholarship in forest and conservation history. 

On October 7, Will Littke (’82, Ph.D.), who studied with Professor Emeritus Bob Edmonds, gave the Distinguished Alumni Seminar as part of the SEFS Seminar Series. Littke recently retired from Weyerhaeuser after a long career as a forest health researcher. 

On September 11, KUOW featured Intertribal Timber Council President Phil Rigdon (’96, B.S.) in a story about the Washington fire season last summer, “After A Bad Fire Season, Northwest Tribes Question Federal Firefighting Priorities.” 

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