Going Solar

Last year, Allison McGrath was already plenty busy with her graduate school commitments. In addition to pursuing a joint master’s with SEFS and the Evans School of Public Affairs, she was working part-time as a student assistant for the Evans School Executive Education program. But then she stumbled across a volunteer project with a student group, UW-Solar, that got her involved in plans to build a brand-new solar array on top of one of the Mercer Court dorms. The project paralleled her research interests in water management and offered a tremendous opportunity to apply her studies to direct practical use—so check out what McGrath and the UW-Solar team helped launch!



Grad Student Spotlight: Cameron Newell

Newell grew up about an hour northwest of Melbourne, Australia, and after undergrad spent a few years exploring an assortment of jobs, from driving seeding drills and rouseabouting on farms, to working for the Victorian state government as a firefighter, to serving as a cameraman on several documentaries. Learn more about his story, including how he ended up in Seattle to pursue a Master of Environmental Horticulture degree.


SEFS Graduation Slideshow

Hard to believe it’s already been a month since we bid farewell to the Class of 2014, and the doldrums of summer have definitely set in around campus. To help recapture some the fun of our graduation celebration, we put together a slideshow from the ceremony and cupcake reception!


Jaime Yazzie Places Second in Poster Competition!

Yazzie, an ESRM major, recently used Director’s Travel Funds to attend the 38th Annual National Indian Timber Symposium, hosted by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in Worley, Idaho, June 23-June 26. She presented a poster on her capstone project, “Fires and Sustainability on the Navajo Nation Forests,” and placed second in the student poster session. Nice work, Jaime!


Aug. 22, 2014:

Summer Quarter Ends

Sept. 17, 2014:

SEFS Strategic Planning Retreat, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 19, 2014:

Graduate Student Orientation

October 2014:

Annual Salmon BBQ, date TBD



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Let’s start with some extremely happy, hearty kudos to Amanda Davis, who will be moving down the hall in Anderson to take over as the assistant to Director Tom DeLuca! No question, she leaves a huge hole in Student & Academic Services, but we’re excited for Amanda to take on this new role (and the search will soon be under way to fill her old position). Her official start date is not until July 29, and until then she’ll be floating between the two offices during the transition. So same email, same amazing Amanda, just new digs and duties. Congratulations!

A couple weeks ago on Friday, June 27, Professor Monika Moskal gave an online seminar, “Terrestrial and aerial LiDAR for the measurement and monitoring of forest ecosystem services,” as part of an ongoing series hosted by the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) GIS Division in partnership with the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS) and the Geographic and Land Information Society (GLIS).

Coming up this August 2-6 in Milwaukee, Wis., is the annual meeting and trade show of the International Society of Arboriculture. One of the tree-climbing demonstrators will be SEFS grad student Nicholas Dankers with his presentation, “The Double-System Technique (DST): Working in Trees with Redundant Safety.” Nice work, Nicho!

Professor Sally Brow
n was recently invited to be part of a group of experts to provide input to the U.S. Botanic Garden on how to tell the story of agriculture and develop future exhibits at the gardens. The group was organized in cooperation with the Crop Science Society of America, the American Society of Agronomy, and the Soil Science Society of America.


Any recent summer publications involving you or your students? Yes? Maybe?


On July 2, King 5 News in Seattle ran a great story about SEFS grad student Kaeli Swift’s research into whether crows “mourn” their dead, “Do crows gather for funerals? UW researcher aims to find out.”

SEFS grad student Nicholas Dankers was featured in a Seattle Times story on June 8—including in the main photo, high up in the tree—about an artist making a mold of a western hemlock's trunk for a sculpture: “Northwest Wanderings: Artist John Grade builds ‘Middle Fork’.” Dankers was there to help the artist and crew safely work eight stories up in the hemlock to make their mold of the tree. Read more details about the sculpture—it’s very cool stuff!

On June 23, Professor Sally Brown was featured in an extended segment on the Mike Nowak Show, WCPT Radio in Chicago, “Improving the Soils in Our Cities.” The episode covers contaminants in urban soils and the potential for remediating them, including with biosolids; it’s available for download and includes two other guest speakers.

Also, you might remember the exciting buzz last summer about the re-discovery of western bumble bees in the Seattle area. SEFS postdoc Lisa Hannon passed along word that the reporter who wrote the original article in the Seattle Times recently wrote a nice follow-up on June 27, “Rare bumblebee rebounding? Sightings create a hopeful buzz.” The story doesn’t include the involvement of Hannon and other UW volunteers, but it’s great to see the bees still churning up some well-deserved interest!


Nalini Nadkarni (1983, Ph.D. Forest Resources) was recently awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Brown University and was the 2014 commencement speaker. Congratulations, Nalini!

In other fun alumni news, this spring and summer Lindsay Malone (2007, M.S. Forest Resources) is taking a six-month leave of absence from her role as member services director for Northwest Natural Resource Group to through-hike the Continental Divide Trail. By July 13, she was more than 1,300 miles into the 2,700-mile trail, and you can follow along on her blog. Thanks for staying in touch, Lindsay, and good luck the rest of the way!