Put Your Paws Together!

Last month, Professor Sharon Doty’s Plant Microbiology Lab ran a popular display at the Paws-on Science event at the Pacific Science Center. Using interactive displays, lab members dazzled curious visitors with the wonders of endophytes, the beneficial microbes that live within plants. Families and kids got to puzzle over petri dishes of odd-looking microbial colonies, or look through microscopes to visualize the cells (as Zareen Khan was assisting above!). Most of these topics are not what you’d call overly remedial or obvious—N-fixation, phytoremediation, bioenergy—but Professor Doty and her lab kept everything fun and accessible, and they were a big hit. Nice work!



Conservation Catwalks: Strut Your Environmental Stuff!

During orientation this past summer, Ava Holmes and Olivia Moskowitz instantly connected over a shared love of dancing, conservation and fashion—the latter two passions leading them to found a new student group together, “Conservation in Style,” and so much more!


Spring Comes to the Cascades

Professor Emeritus Tom Hinckley recently led his famous “Spring Comes to the Cascades” (ESRM 401) class on a snowshoe hike out to Spring Lake. Their object was to learn about two new species—mountain hemlock and Pacific silver fir—and understand the effect of avalanches and snowpack on ecological and ecosystem processes.


Slideshow: SEFS Spring Gathering

In case you couldn’t make the Spring Gathering on April 27, or if you did go and just love trying to spot yourself in photos, then take a look at a slideshow from the event! It was a breezy, beautiful day, the wine tasting was extraordinary (as usual, thanks to Bruce Lippke), and a great crowd turned up for a festive time.


2014 Garb Day: Back to Tradition!

The UW Forest Club, one of the oldest and longest-running clubs on campus, is proud to present the 2014 edition of Garb Day on May 10 and 11 down at Pack Forest! Tickets are on sale now for $20, so sign up for a weekend of field games, frolicking in the woods, camping, live music and … wait, do you really need more incentive to go?!


May 5, 2014:

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

May 6, 2014:

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

May 6, 2014:

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

May 19, 2014:

SEFS Recognition Event, 4-6 p.m., Forest Club Room



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We’ll kick things off with some hearty, much-deserved kudos for Professor Jerry Franklin, who was elected last month as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences! Professor Franklin joins an elite group of roughly 4,600 fellows and honorary members worldwide, including more than 250 Nobel Prize laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. The induction ceremony will be October 11, 2014, at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. Congratulations, Jerry!

Speaking of Professor Franklin, students, take note: If you’ve never had the joy of taking one of his classes, there are two field opportunities coming up this summer. First, July 14-21, is ESRM491A (Ecology and ecological forestry of forests of the Cascade Range), followed by the annual two-week immersion in Oregon, September 2-16 (ESRM425). You’ll be out in the field touring the ecological and social aspects of forest science and management in moist and dry forests of the Pacific Northwest. Ask anyone who’s gone—these are unforgettable experiences!

For some other major kudos, we are very pleased to share that Professor Christian Torgersen was recently honored with an invitation to give a talk as part of the esteemed Hynes Lecture Series, which features some of the biggest names in freshwater biology from around the world. The lecture series is named for Dr. H.B. Noel Hynes, who earned his Ph.D. from the University of London in 1941 and was known as “the father of running water ecology” (he passed away in 2009). Well done, Christian!

Coming up tomorrow—Tuesday, May 6—Xi Sigma Pi is holding the 3rd Annual Staff Appreciation Pancake Breakfast for SEFS admin, IT and custodial staff. Stop into Anderson 22 between 9 a.m. and noon to power up for the day, and to feel the appreciation and love of our students!

Here’s another reminder, as well, to mark your calendars for the SEFS Graduation Celebration, which is set for Friday, June 13, at 2 p.m. in Kane Hall 120. The keynote speaker this year will be Professor David Ford, and stay tuned for more information on ordering tickets and other event details.

Last Wednesday, April 30, Helen Lowman, associate director for volunteer recruitment and selection with the Peace Corps, visited SEFS to meet informally with our PCMI students—some who are back from assignments, and others who are preparing to leave. Sitting in a collegial circle in the Forest Club Room, students had a rare, wonderful opportunity to ask Lowman about the future direction of the Peace Corps and other strategic topics.

In case you missed the 2014 Sustaining Our World Lecture or want to enjoy it a second (or third) time, the filmed production is now available online! You can also catch it airing on UWTV (Comcast Ch. 27) on the following dates: Sun., May 11 @ 3:30 a.m.; Mon., May 12 @ 1:30 p.m.; Mon., May 12 @ 9 p.m.; Wed., May 14 @ 4:30 p.m.; Fri., May 16 @ 3 a.m.

If you're looking for a fun video but only have a few minutes to spare, here’s another short clip from John Hayes and the Mount Rainier Institute that features the excited, inspiring voices of students who attended the pilot programs!

This past April, SEFS graduate student Mu-Ning Wang received Director’s Travel Funds to attend the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting in Tampa, Fla. The theme of this year’s conference was GIS and sustainability, and Wang—as a GIS specialist and practitioner in environmental management—participated in many sections that involved cyber-infrastructure and cyber-GIS.

Doctoral candidate Jason Scullion also applied Director’s Travel Funds from SEFS, as well as from other student travel programs, to attend two conferences in Berlin, Germany: the Global Land Project biannual conference, and then a joint workshop between NASA and EARSEL, a professional organization for remote sensing scientists in Europe. At the conferences, Scullion presented two posters and gave two talks about his work in the Peruvian Amazon studying land-cover change and conservation policy dynamics.

IT NEWS: You may have noticed an uptick in activity on the SEFS Helpdesk blog, which has a new look and is loaded with important information about computing and other IT resources available to students, staff and faculty. Check it out!


Professor Christian Torgersen is a coauthor on a new publication with the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Network analysis reveals multiscale controls on streamwater chemistry.”

SEFS postdoctoral research associate Maureen Ryan is the lead author on a new publication in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, “Amphibians in the climate vise: loss and restoration of resilience of montane wetland ecosystems in the western US.” For more background on the paper and research, you can take a look at the great piece Sandra Hines put together for UW News!


Shawn Behling, a doctoral student working with Professor David Ford, had another of her talents featured in the Seattle Times on Sunday, April 20: “Local art truly priced for everyone.” The story is about Behling’s work as an artist with a focus on making art available to people of all income levels—hence the name of her website, Minimum Wage Art!

Take a look at the gallery and get excited, because Behling has generously offered a couple pieces to be bid on at the Silent Auction!

In other fun news, on April 18 Seattle Met ran a great story, “10 Secret Seattle Gardens," about the city's 10 most stunning gardens that you probably don't even know about. We were excited (if delightfully unsurprised) to see two of ours on the list: the Soest Garden at the Center for Urban Horticulture, and the Medicinal Herb Garden on the main campus!


Fresh off the fantastic Spring Gathering, the SEFS Alumni Group will be holding its Annual Alumni Meeting on Friday, May 16, from noon to 1 p.m. in Anderson 22. All alumni and friends are welcome to attend, and you can contact Jessica Farmer with any questions about the meeting. Also, if you’d like to tune in from afar, the call-in is 712.432.1500 (access code: 759527#).