David G. Briggs: 1943-2014

We were extremely sad to learn that a wonderful member of the SEFS family, Professor Emeritus David Briggs, passed away at his home on Saturday, July 26. From when he first arrived here as a student in 1968, through his many distinguished years as a professor, Briggs was known for his enormous kindness, generosity and professionalism. He had a tremendous zeal for life and the outdoors, and he mentored and inspired dozens of students and young faculty. This coming Sunday, August 17, his family is hosting a celebration of his life from 4-7 p.m. at the University of Washington Club. We will miss you, Dave.



Arboretum Interactive Map Launches

The digital map identifies landmarks, trails, gardens and every woody plant growing in the Arboretum. While browsing or searching, users can turn layers on and off, measure distances, draw a custom route and print out a custom map. Get in there and explore this fantastic new resource!


Alumni/Staff Spotlight: Wendy Gibble

Gibble earned her master’s from SEFS in 2006, and even before graduating took on the role of program manager for the Washington Rare Plant Care and Conservation Program—moving from student to alumna and staff member in a matter of months. Learn more about her work and background, including years spent volunteering on raptor research projects!


Director's Message: Summer 2014

Tom DeLuca reflects on the importance of developing a love and respect for the outdoors at an early age, and two SEFS programs—the Mount Rainier Institute and the Fiddleheads Forest School—that are designed to capture the imaginations of young minds and cultivate the next generation of environmental stewards and leaders.


Tell Us: Favorite Field Trip as a Student

In the first issue of Roots, our new alumni e-newsletter, we asked alumni to tell us about their favorite field trips as a student. Read what Marion “Bud” Fisk of Tieton, Wash., remembers about his time down at Pack Forest in the 1950s.


Aug. 22, 2014:

Summer Quarter Ends

Sept. 17, 2014:

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

Sept. 19, 2014:

Graduate Student Orientation

Oct. 1, 2014:

Annual Salmon BBQ, 4-6 p.m.



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David Briggs was not the only member of the SEFS community we've recently lost. Another alumnus and great friend, Steve Stinson, passed away on Wednesday, July 16, after a two-year battle with cancer. Stinson grew up working on his family’s Cowlitz Ridge Tree Farm in Toledo, Wash., and was a tireless advocate for forestry. He was particularly known for his support of small family forest owners, and he was an integral part of the Washington Farm Forestry Association. Stinson was widely respected for his pragmatism, genuine concern for other people, and a relentless pursuit of science-based decision-making. He invested so much of his time and passion in the forestlands of Washington State, and helping landowners navigate the complexity of modern forest management. He will be greatly missed.

It’s never easy to follow such heavy news with anything positive, but we do have some more upbeat developments afoot. To start, we are very pleased to announce the hiring of Sarah Thomas as an outreach and communications specialist. In this role, Thomas will be helping coordinate a number of events and activities—providing support to departments across the school—and also acting as a primary point of contact for alumni. Her first day will be Monday, August 18, and she will be (at least temporarily) stationed in Anderson Hall 107C.

In other fun news, we have some kudos for Dave Cass, who recently hosted a film crew down at Pack Forest for a new movie in production, Captain Fantastic, starring Viggo Mortensen. Cass put in a great deal of work helping scout film locations at Pack, and then assisting the crew during filming a couple weeks ago. Nice work, Dave!

We have some big kudos, as well, for SEFS undergrad Cameron McCallum, who recently won one of the 2014 Husky Green Awards. McCallum, a BSE major and Restoration Ecology minor, has been involved in a number of sustainability projects around campus, including his work with the UW chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration and the Biodiesel Cooperative. Great job, Cameron!

From down at the Wind River Field Station, Research Scientist Ken Bible passed along word of a new promotional video, produced by the National Academy of Sciences, about the value of field stations and marine laboratories.

On the activities front, take a look at the schedule of classes still available at the UW Botanic Gardens for late summer/early fall!

Oh, and don’t forget that the annual SEFS Fall Retreat is coming up on Wednesday, Sept. 17, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Mountaineers Program Center (same location as last year). It’s a full-day affair with a number of sessions and activities that build throughout the morning and afternoon. We’ll keep you engaged and thoroughly fed and hydrated along the way, starting with breakfast, snacks, lunch and then a reception later in the afternoon with beers and wine. Look for an RSVP link in the next few days.

You should also probably start salivating for the annual Salmon BBQ, which is set for Wednesday, Oct. 1, from 4-6 p.m. in the Anderson Hall Courtyard. Details are still coming together, but one thing is certain: Deliciousness will reign!


Professor Steve Harrell and Research Associate Alicia S.T. Robbins published an article this past June in The China Quarterly, “Paradoxes and Challenges for China’s Forests in the Reform Era,” about the challenges China faces if it is to meet its laudable—but sometimes contradictory—goals for its forest sector: improving rural livelihoods, sustaining and restoring ecosystem services, and increasing output of the forest product-dependent manufacturing and construction sectors.


On Thursday, July 31, Research Scientist Susan Prichard was interviewed on KUOW for a segment about the role fires play in Washington's ecology, and the efficacy of current firefighting methods: “Managing Wildfires With More People in Dangerous Areas."

Professor John Marzluff’s new book, Subirdia, has been garnering some great press, including recent stories in Audubon Magazine (“Do Birds Prefer Suburbia?”) and on NPR (“Where The Birds Are Is Not Where You'd Think”).

Professor Jerry Franklin was cited in a KUOW story published on July 29, “Should a Controversial Oregon Timber Harvest Become Regional Model?” Professor Franklin also appeared in an article from July 17 in the North Coast Journal (Humboldt County, Calif.), “Big Trees: Old-growth gurus talk about growing forests for the future.”


A Seattle Times story from back on July 11, “Seattle couple hosts attic full of bats,” features SEFS alumna Michelle Noe (B.S., 2003), who is president of Bats Northwest. The article is about an attic in Columbia City that suddenly became home to some 270 bats a couple months ago!