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Climate Change Video Contest

This year, we're challenging high school students to create a two-minute ad that will convince a climate change skeptic to take action. A top prize of $5,000 awaits the winner, and we’ll screen the finalists at an award show this spring.

Winter Greetings!

We are entering a season of transitions here at SEFS. Director Tom DeLuca has departed to take over as dean of the College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana, and Elizabeth Van Volkenburgh, a long-time professor of biology at UW, has begun her term as interim director. As the search begins for Tom’s permanent replacement, though, we aren’t slowing down for a moment, and our calendar is packed with events—including two great opportunities for you to join us in the next couple months!

First, on Friday, March 3, is the 14th annual Graduate Student Symposium, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Forest Club Room. It’s a tremendous showcase of graduate student research, and this year’s theme, “Your Science Narrative,” promises some insights into the importance of science communication (check out the full program). Then, on April 4 we will welcome Professor Emeritus Anthony Sinclair from the University of British Columbia to give the annual Sustaining Our World Lecture, “The future of conservation: Lessons from the past and the need for rewilding of ecosystems” (separate invitation with more details coming soon).

It’s going to be a busy winter and spring, and we hope we’ll get a chance to see you soon!

Colton Miller & Jessica Farmer
Alumni Group Co-Chairs



Alumna Spotlight: Ellen Hooven (1924-2016)

Seventy-two years ago, a young woman named Ellen Johnson arrived on the UW campus to begin her undergraduate studies. She didn’t realize it when she applied, but Ellen would be one of the first two women ever enrolled in the College of Forestry, and four years later, in 1948, she would become the very first to earn an undergraduate forestry degree from UW.


Interim Director's Welcome

With her nine-month appointment beginning on January 3, 2017, Elizabeth Van Volkenburgh shares some of her background and research interests from 30 years as a biology professor at UW—from early collaborations with faculty at SEFS, to ongoing experiments in her Plant Growth Lab.


SAF Accredits Three Degree Programs

As of January 1, 2017, the Society of American Foresters has granted continued accreditation to our Master of Forest Resources - Forest Management, as well as initial and provisional accreditation, respectively, to two options within our undergraduate Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Environmental Science and Resource Management: Sustainable Forest Management, and Natural Resource and Environmental Management.


Northwest Environmental Forum: March 29

The next installment in our long-running series will be organized as a Regional Open Space Leadership Forum, addressing the theme, “From Research to Action: Conserving the Best of the Central Puget Sound.” The day-long forum will be held at the Center for Urban Horticulture, and more details will be available soon. Contact Sarah Thomas for more information.


WPPF Annual Meeting: May 25

The Washington Pulp and Paper Foundation will be hosting its annual business meeting, luncheon, poster session and banquet on Thursday, May 25, at the University of Washington. More details and registration information will be available in the coming weeks, and you can email Juliet Louie with any questions in the meantime.




Taking Flight with Bio-Jet Fuel


This past November, Alaska Airlines made history by completing the first commercial flight using an alternative jet fuel made in part from forest residuals. Several SEFS researchers contributed to the development of this bio-jet fuel, including leading the overall environmental, community and deep soil carbon impact assessments. Learn more about this exciting project!






After a nine-year hiatus, Emil A. Cherrington (’04, M.S.) returned to school in 2013 and earned his Ph.D. in forest ecology and remote sensing in 2016. He now serves as the Regional Science Coordination Lead for West Africa for NASA's SERVIR program, based at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. 

In January 2016, Theresa Valentine (Melchior) retired after 30 years with the federal government, most recently with the U.S. Forest Service PNW Research Station, Corvallis Lab. Theresa (’79, B.S.) had spent the last 20-plus years as a Geographic Information System (GIS) specialist, and her last assignment was as the spatial information manager for the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest Long Term Ecological Research Site. 

Robyn Schroeder (’14, B.S.) has joined Starbucks as a project engineer with the Global Operations Innovation & Engineering department. 

Feng Sheng Hu (’94, Ph.D.), who studied with Professor Emerita Linda Brubaker, has been named the Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Illinois. Feng is a professor of plant biology and geology; he has served as a faculty member at Illinois since 1998, and as associate dean for life and physical sciences in LAS since 2014. 

Augustus “Jenks” Farmer (’93, M.S.) has been appointed to the American Horticultural Society’s Book Award committee. He joins six other horticultural professionals across the county in reviewing and presenting awards to the authors and publishers of the best North American books on gardening from the last year. 

Kyla Caddey (’14, B.S.) has joined Soundview Consultants LLC, an environmental consulting firm in Gig Harbor, Wash., as a staff scientist. Previously, she had been working as an education & habitat restoration assistant with Washington Conservation Corps. 

This past October, Vicki Christiansen (’83, B.S.) was named Associate Deputy Chief, State and Private Forestry, for the U.S. Forest Service. 

Joowon Park (’11, Ph.D.) has been hired as an assistant professor in the School of Forestry Sciences and Landscape Architecture at Kyungpook National University in South Korea. 

Steve Butterworth (’67, B.S; ’71, M.S.), who spent 42 years with the National Park Service, has spent the past six years working for the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 

On December 23, 2016, John D. Hodges (’62, M.S.; ’65, Ph.D.) passed away. John, who studied silviculture for his master’s and plant physiology for his Ph.D., spent 22 years at Mississippi State University. He was regarded as the preeminent hardwood silviculturist in the South, and he also worked for many years with the U.S. Forest Service. 

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, “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