Putting the "Tree" in Streets

Last Wednesday, May 28, the UW Botanic Gardens and Plant Amnesty hosted the 6th annual Urban Forest Symposium at the Center for Urban Horticulture. With a packed house for the all-day event, this year’s symposium focused on the impacts of climate change on urban forests. Among the presenters was Professor Emeritus Tom Hinckley, pictured above just before he led the first afternoon session about how trees die from too little water—offering current thinking and evidence from aspen, ponderosa pine and pinyon pine dieback in the Rockies and Southwest. It was a superb event, held in a superb setting (and, as it happened, with superb weather)!



Undergrad Spotlight: Julie Hower

This past February and March, SEFS senior Julie Hower spent four intensive weeks in Yellowstone surveying one of the park's wolf packs as part of the long-running Yellowstone Wolf Project. Read more about her incredible experience, including what Hower will be doing next after graduation!


SEFS Graduation Celebration: Friday, June 13!

Don’t forget to clear your calendars a week from Friday for the SEFS Graduation Celebration, which begins at 2 p.m. in Kane Hall 120. The keynote speaker this year will be Professor David Ford, and check out more information for guests and the reception afterward in the Anderson Hall courtyard.


SEFS Students Honored with College Scholarships

The College of the Environment recently announced the winners of the 2014-2015 Dean’s Office Scholarships, and we were thrilled—though certainly not surprised—to see six of our students among the honorees: Benjamin Antonius, Dana Chapman, Natalie Pollett, Emily Richmond, Benjamin Roe and Maria Zamanillo!


Recognition Event: Honorees and Auction Results!

On Monday, May 19, a great crowd of students, staff and faculty gathered in the Forest Club Room for our annual SEFS Recognition Event. Check out the honorees, and a huge thanks to everyone who bid during the silent auction and helped us raise more than $3,100 for the student scholarship fund!


June 2, 2014:

Wildlife Science Seminar, 3:30-4:30 p.m., ARC 137

June 3, 2014:

Water Seminar, 8:30-9:30 a.m., Mary Gates 389

June 3, 2014:

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

June 13, 2014:

SEFS Graduation Celebration, 2 p.m., Kane 120



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We have a couple exciting hires to report, starting with Dr. Patrick Tobin, who has accepted the post of Assistant Professor of Disturbance Ecology! Joining us from the U.S. Forest Service, Tobin will provide expertise in the areas of disturbance ecology, entomology, forest health and quantitative sciences. His starting date will be October 1, 2014, and he and his family will be relocating to the Seattle area during the summer.

Also, the Olympic Natural Resources Center (ONRC) is very pleased to announce the hiring of Fred Hanson as the new education and outreach coordinator! Hanson brings a wealth of experience as a lifelong educator, and his family also manages a small private forest. His first day was May 1, so please introduce yourself and welcome him to the SEFS community!

Among other duties, Hanson will be helping continue the Evening Talks at ONRC speaker series. The most recent talk, on Friday, May 9, came from SEFS graduate student Rachel Roberts: “The Olympic Experimental State Forest—Stakeholders’ Perspective.” (If you’re a grad student and interested in sharing your research with the Forks community, including earning a small travel stipend and a free night of lodging at ONRC, contact Karl Wirsing or Frank Hanson anytime.)

We have some big kudos for the 2014 Xi Sigma Pi research grant winners! Among the awards were: $500 for Angela Klock (“Biogeography and ecological constraints of microbial diversity and antibiotic resistance along a stream network”); $250 for Kaeli Swift (“Is the function of American Crow 'funerals' danger learning and avoidance?”); and $250 for Chris Vondrasek (“Improving riparian floodplain habitat delineation with LiDAR and imagery”). Great work!

Using Director’s Travel Funds, SEFS graduate student Alexandra Harwell recently attended the Society of Ethnobiology’s 37th Annual Conference, held May 11-14 in Cherokee, N.C. Harwell says she enjoyed spending several days surrounded by fellow “plant geeks” and researchers from around the world. She primarily attended research sessions that focused on traditional ecological knowledge, people and place, forest management, and resource management and conservation. She also presented her project during a poster session on the final day of the conference, and she left feeling motivated and encouraged in her own research. Nice work, Alex!


Don’t forget to send us word of publications involving you or your students!


On May 27, Sandra Hines at UW News put together a terrific story about the restoration plans for Yesler Swamp, “UW students, neighbors join forces down on the Union Bay ‘bayou'.” Yesler is Seattle’s second-largest swamp and once site of the historical Yesler sawmill. Now, with the help of UW students and neighborhood supporters, work has started on the first phase of a 1,200-foot boardwalk trail in the swamp, a six-acre area on the shore of Union Bay just east of the Center for Urban Horticulture. (The Seattle Times ran its own great story on the project, as well: “UW students restoring portal into Lake Washington’s past,” published on May 25.)

In other news, Research Scientist Kathy Wolf was featured in a Newsweek story on May 1, “Money Growing on Trees,” about the public health and other benefits of trees in urban areas.


SEFS alumnus Scot Medbury (1990, M.S. Forest Resources), one of John Wott’s former grad students, recently received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service from First Lady Michelle Obama at a ceremony at the White House. Medbury is president of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and his master’s thesis was on the history of the Washington Park Arboretum. Congratulations, Scot!