A Visit to Vashon

Last month, on the first Friday of November, Professor David Ford led his “Principles of Silviculture” class on a field trip to Vashon Island to explore two examples of community forestry and the management strategies of smaller forest plots. Their guide was Derek Churchill, a former Ph.D. student at SEFS who now lives on Vashon and works as a private forestry consultant. Check out more from their trip, including a slideshow from the afternoon!



Hardwood Biofuels Webinar Series

Next Wednesday, Dec. 11, Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest is hosting the second webinar in an ongoing series about aspects of the biofuels industry and current research. Presenters include Professor Rick Gustafson and graduate students Erik Budsberg and Jordan Crawford.


Track Our PCMI Students Around the Globe!

Most grad students at SEFS have field sites somewhere in Washington or in surrounding states. Not so for students in our Peace Corps Master’s International program. They’re scattered around the globe right now, and you can get a vibrant window into their lives and projects through the blogs many of them are keeping.


"Climate of Change" Video Series Features Pack Forest, UW FARM

The UW Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability office recently released its four-part “Climate of Change” video series, which showcases a variety of sustainability programs, activities and research taking place at UW. The second episode, “Modeling Sustainability,” includes stories and footage from Pack Forest and the UW Farm.


Hyungmin Rho Presents Research at Conference in Florida

Rho, a second-year doctoral student working with Professor Soo-Hyung Kim, presented a poster at the 2013 ASA, CSSA and SSSA International Annual Meetings in Tampa from November 3 to 6.


Dec. 2, 2013:

Wildlife Science Seminar, 3:30-4:20 p.m., Bagley Hall, Room 131

Dec. 3, 2013:

SEFS Seminar Series, 3:30-4:20 p.m., AND 223

Dec. 4, 2013:

SEFS Holiday Party, 4-6 p.m., Forest Club Room

Dec. 6, 2013:

Dead Elk Holiday Party, 5 p.m.-??, Forest Club Room



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In case you haven’t had a chance to meet our newest staff additions—Wendy Star as the new SEFS administrator, and Deepor Sahachartsiri as the new budget/fiscal analyst—it’s never too late to send them an introductory email to say hello and let them know how you fit into the SEFS community!

On a related note, in case you’d generally like to learn more about what each of us does here at SEFS, we encourage you to take a look through the new Staff Functional Directory (which complements the basic staff directory). Thanks to David Campbell’s diligent outreach and collection efforts, this directory offers a good overview of our skill areas and job responsibilities.

The U-District Food Bank FOOD DRIVE has begun! Each campus building (Anderson, Bloedel, Winkenwerder and UWBG) now has a large food collection barrel in it, so let’s compete to see who can bring in the largest number of donations. To get you started, the current top five needs at the food bank are canned fruit (pineapple, mandarin oranges and fruit cocktail, especially), soy or rice milk, pasta and sauce, soups and stews, and toiletries (soap, toilet paper, toothpaste). However, any unopened, unexpired (or recently expired) nonperishable food items would be greatly appreciated. So donate what you can this holiday season!

REMINDER: Just prior to the annual SEFS Holiday Party this Wednesday, Dec. 4, we’re holding a short all-school meeting in the Forest Club Room from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. We don’t often get a chance to gather in our full glory—students, staff and faculty all in one room—so we encourage you to join us for the quick half hour before we dive in to enjoy the potluck offerings, wine tasting and general merriment of the holiday party!

In other drinkable news, the annual Latte Cart is back and will be in Bloedel Hall—in the first floor hallway—on Tuesday, Dec. 3, from 9 to 11 a.m. Sponsored by the College of the Environment, the Latte Cart will have FREE lattes and pastries for students, staff and faculty!

The annual TAPPI holiday paper sale is under way! Learn more about the SEFS papermaking tradition, and what kind of handcrafted offerings are available this year. (TAPPI will also have a booth at the SEFS Holiday Party.)

Xi Sigma Pi, the forestry honor society, hosted an informational event on Thursday, Nov. 21, to help students find a capstone project idea and learn how to get involved in SEFS labs around campus. They had a great turnout of 36 students, and several SEFS grad students gave short presentations about their labs and opportunities available to undergrads. There will be a list of opportunities and the grads who spoke coming out soon. For more information, contact

Correction: In the last Straight Grain, we reported on a new publication that included one of Christian Torgersen’s doctoral students, Karen Hutten, as a co-author—but we misspelled her last name as “Hutton.” Our sincere apologies to Karen!


Future faculty member David Butman, who will be moving to SEFS from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies starting in September 2014, co-authored a study that recently appeared in Nature, “Global carbon dioxide emissions from inland waters.”


On Thursday, Nov. 28, the Forks Forum ran a great piece about the most recent installment of the “Evening Talks at ONRC” series, “Fleck recounts West End shipwrecks at ONRC chat.” Kudos to Ellen Matheny for taking the lead on this terrific new speaker series!

Commenting on a paper about the indirect effects of wolves on grizzlies in Yellowstone, Professor Aaron Wirsing was quoted in a story on, “Wolves boost food for Yellowstone’s threatened grizzlies.”

Professor Josh Lawler was featured in a story in The Post and Courier (based in Charleston, S.C.): “Species moving already as climate heats; Lowcountry on a climate ‘cusp’?”


The Society of American Foresters recently elected SEFS alumnus Robert L. Alverts (1966, B.S. Forest Management) as vice president for 2014, and then in 2015 he will become president. Congratulations, Bob!

On the hiring front, two of Professor John Marzluff’s former grad students—Stan Rullman and Dave Oleyar—have recently landed excellent new positions. Rullman, who earned his Ph.D. in 2012, was just hired as the research director for the Earthwatch Institute in Boston. His first day was Monday, Nov. 18, and though he’s currently working remotely from his home on Bainbridge Island, in January he’ll be driving his family across the country to his new home in the Northeast. If you have any ideas about projects with Earthwatch, Rullman says to email him anytime.

Oleyar, who also earned his Ph.D. in 2012, has been hired as the research director for HawkWatch International in Salt Lake City. He and Rullman are already talking about potential collaborations between Earthwatch and HawkWatch. Nice work, Stan and Dave!