Summer Doldrums at SEFS

Classrooms sit silent, “out of office” messages abound, and coffee—gasp—often isn’t made in Anderson Hall until after 8 a.m. The summer is a quiet time around SEFS, at least if you’re counting warm bodies on campus. But preparations for the Fall Quarter, from grad student orientation to the all-school retreat, are already well under way. So are you savoring the serenity, or are you anxious for the next crop of eager minds to arrive?



Alumni Spotlight: Brian Kertson

Kertson, who grew up in Woodinville and earned his Ph.D. from SEFS in 2010, is living his dream as a large carnivore researcher with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife—and also as an affiliate faculty member with his alma mater.


Understanding the Carbon Balance of Biofuel Production

As SEFS researchers continue developing a system to convert poplar trees into liquid biofuels, early results show significant greenhouse gas emission reductions compared to petroleum-based fuel.


Sept. 18, 2013:

SEFS Fall Retreat

Sept. 19, 2013: 

SEFS Graduate Student Orientation

Oct. 2, 2013: 

SEFS Annual Salmon BBQ



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Congratulations to Jim Lutz, who has accepted an assistant professor position in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University. You will be sorely missed at SEFS, but we wish you well in this next chapter!

Big kudos, as well, to David Campbell, who recently unveiled a robust new functional staff directory that lists the roles, responsibilities and skill areas of SEFS staff. The directory is part of an ongoing process to provide better communication and collaboration within the SEFS community—and if you’d like to update or make any other edits to your listing, just send a quick note to David or Karl!

From June 7-9, SEFS graduate student John Simeone presented at the annual ASPAC (Asian Studies on the Pacific Ocean) Conference in Monterey, Calif. He was the only UW graduate student to attend the conference, and he spoke on a panel with UW economist Judith Thornton and Dr. Rens Lee, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a think tank based in Philadelphia. He received funding support from GSFEI and the Director's Student Travel Fund.

This past June, as well, several SEFS graduate students and Professor Clare Ryan presented their research at the 19th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management in Estes Park, Colo. SEFS faculty and students had the opportunity to share their research with more than 550 participants from around the world, and presenters included Hanna Lee, Ellen Weir, Mu-Ning Wang and Sebastian Tramon. Participants received funding support from the Director's Student Travel Fund.


Weyerhaeuser Company, the U.S. Forest Service, Olympia Lab and the University of Washington have been collaborating on studies assessing biomass removal at the Fall River, Matlock and Molalla long-term soil productivity studies for more than 15 years. Professor Rob Harrison contributed to a recent publication of some of their findings in Forest Ecology and Management: “Tree growth ten years after residual biomass removal, soil compaction, tillage, and competing vegetation control in a highly-productive Douglas-fir plantation.”

In other cool news, the European Union issued a press release this July that highlights ongoing research SEFS Director Tom DeLuca has been collaborating on for several years. The story, “Food security depends on sustainable nutrient management of soils,” is based on a paper published in the Journal of Applied Ecology (“Nutrient stripping: The global disparity between food security and soil nutrient stocks”).


Former SEFS graduate student Andrea Watts, who successfully defended her thesis this past March, recently published a great piece in TimberWest magazine, “The Many Faces of Pack Forest,” which features Greg Ettl, Dave Cass and John Hayes. Nice work, Andrea!

Also, SEFS research scientist Van Kane was featured in a cool story published on July 10 in Wired, “Next Mars Rover Is First Step Toward Bringing Samples Back to Earth.”


Lloyd Nackley, who recently earned his Ph.D. from SEFS, has accepted a post-doc position in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He will be conducting research in plant ecophysiology with a focus on studying plant responses to elevated and sub-ambient CO2. He is leaving for South Africa this month. Congratulations, Lloyd!