Bear With Us

In this photo taken by a remote camera, a brown bear hunts along a salmon-spawning stream flowing into Lake Aleknagik, Alaska. As part of an annual project led by SAFS Professor Tom Quinn and SEFS Professor Aaron Wirsing (and happening right now), researchers have deployed two barbed wires each on six streams, and one wire per stream is paired with a remote camera trap to document what happens when bears encounter the wires. The wires are set just high enough for bears to step gingerly over them, often leaving small tufts behind. The hairs, in turn, yield DNA samples for individual identification. The researchers’ goal is to provide a better understanding of how coastal brown bears in Alaska make use of the salmon that arrive each summer. The project team is housed at the Fisheries Research Institute, a research program within SAFS.



Staff Spotlight: Pat Saunders

A native of Maine, Saunders talks about what inspired her move across the country, her family history with forestry, and what she enjoys most about working at Pack Forest (plus a few surprises!).


The Buzz is Back!

Not since the 1990s had the buzz of the white-bottomed Western Bumble Bee been heard in Washington State. But a couple weeks ago at a park just northeast of Seattle, a group of bee enthusiasts and biologists from UW documented the first official, confirmed sighting in two decades!


Olympic Peninsula Memoirs

While researching material for a book he’s writing about the history of CFR/SEFS, Professor Emeritus Bob Edmonds came across a book that one of our alumni, Bob Dick (’74), recently coauthored. Check out Edmonds’ review of Skunk Cabbage and Chittum Bark: Sons of the Wynooche!


Field Notes From the Olympics

Maureen Ryan, a post-doc in Professor Josh Lawler’s lab, recently took a journalist out backpacking in the Olympics to visit her field sites. Ashley Ahearn from Seattle’s KUOW Public Radio was working on a story about the effects of climate change on wetland habitats in the Pacific Northwest.


Sept. 18, 2013:

SEFS Fall Retreat

Sept. 19, 2013: 

Graduate Student Orientation

Sept. 25, 2013:

Fall Quarter Begins!

Oct. 2, 2013:

Salmon BBQ



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Congratulations to Miranda Wecker, whom Governor Inslee has reappointed to the Fish and Wildlife Commission. She has have served on the commission since May 2005 and has been chair since 2008. Her new term will last six years until December 2018.

Congratulations, as well, to Professor Sharon Doty’s Lab, which recently earned a “Silver” rating from the new Green Laboratory Certification program with UW Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability! The rating is especially impressive given all the plastics they have to use, but they were able to innovate enough—in part by circulating a sheet of “green rules” to all lab members—to achieve this distinction. Nice job!

Several current and past members of the SEFS community were involved in producing the Indian Forest Management Assessment Team (IFMAT) III report, which was just released. Among the contributors were Laurel James and Larry Mason from SEFS, and Don Motanic and Phil Rigdon of the Intertribal Timber Council.

Professors Rob Harrison, Darlene Zabowski and Tom DeLuca recently took nine SEFS graduate students to the North American Forest Soils Conference in Whitefish, Mont., this past June. Director DeLuca gave a talk, and six students presented posters at the conference, which is held every five years. The attending students were Melissa Pingree, Camila Tejo Haristoy, Colton Miller, Seth Wing, Jason James, Betsy Vance, Stephanie Mickelson-Correa, Marcella Menegale and Erika Knight.

SEFS Ph.D. student Meghan Halabisky recently attended the International Conference and Workshop on the Analysis of Multi-temporal Remote Sensing Images in Alberta, Canada, June 25-27. The conference is held only every four years in North America, so it was a rare opportunity for Halabisky to present her research to this group and make international connections with top researchers in her field. She received a scholarship from the College of the Environment and support from the Director’s Student Travel Fund to attend the conference.


Don't forget to send in your new publications!


On July 5, Professor John Marzluff’s research was featured prominently in Science as part of a story, “Into the Minds of Birds,” about applications of a new brain-scanning method in animal cognition studies.

In other fun news, Professor Sally Brown was recently featured in two publications. First, after speaking at the Northwest Biocarbon Summit in June, she appeared in Chemical and Engineering News, “Returning Carbon to the Farm.” Then, after giving a talk in Ellensburg about biomass, she made the front page of the Ellensburg Daily Record, “Biosolids meeting participants don't agree on much.”


We’ll have more information available soon, but here’s another reminder to mark your calendars for Wednesday, October 2, and the Annual SEFS Salmon BBQ. It’s a great opportunity to meet currents SEFS students, staff and faculty—and of course gorge on some heavenly fish!