Lights, Camera ... Climate Action!

Today, we are launching our first-ever UW Climate Change Video Contest for high school and undergraduate students throughout the state of Washington. Our goal is to recognize and promote the creative voices of future environmental leaders, so we are asking students: What does climate change mean to you? In three minutes or less, they can approach the topic from any perspective and scale, and through any artistic style, from music video to Claymation, rock opera, documentary or whatever inspires them. We'll be awarding two prizes in each category—high school and college—with $5,000 for first place and $1,000 for the runner-up. The winners will be announced at an evening awards ceremony and screening this coming May. Take a look at the contest guidelines and spread the word to potential filmmakers!



Field Work Day at Pack

On December 1, right after the first snow of the season, SEFS grad students Matthew Aghai and Emilio Vilanova joined Dave Cass and Pat Larkin down at Pack Forest to assist with research into the effects of drought on managed forests.


UW Botanic Gardens: Winter Class Schedule

Whether you’re a novice gardener or an experienced horticulturist, you are sure to find something to pique your interest in the 2014-15 Winter Catalog, which features offerings from botanical drawing and watercolors to pruning and beekeeping. Take a look at these classes offered January through March!


SEFS to Sponsor Campus Orienteering Event

This Saturday, December 20, the Cascade Orienteering Club is hosting an orienteering event on the UW campus. Open to participants of all ages and experience levels, the one-day event will help you appreciate the enjoyment of well-made maps, and your ability to make and trust your own decisions in unfamiliar situations.


Fragrance Garden Undergoing Renovation

The Fragrance Garden at the Center for Urban Horticulture is being refreshed with help from the Seattle Garden Club, including the removal of a declining stripe bark maple and the addition of several new scented plants.


Jan. 5, 2014:

Start of Winter Quarter

Jan. 5, 2014:

Wildlife Seminar, 3:30-4:50 p.m., Smith 120

Jan. 7, 2014:

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

Jan. 12, 2014:

Wildlife Seminar, 3:30-4:50 p.m., Smith 120



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Maybe it’s the holiday season, or possibly a brisk wind in our eyes, but we’ve been feeling awfully misty and sentimental about our students. So much tremendous work and activity has been going on, and we want to send some well-earned kudos to a number of groups, including TAPPI for their annual paper sale; the Forest Club for ably carrying on the amazing Christmas tree tradition; the Dead Elk Society for another rocking holiday party (and decorating our massive tree); Xi Sigma Pi for a packed lab tour and introduction; the UW student chapter of the Society of American Foresters for some gorgeous wreaths, swags and garlands; to Caitlin Littlefield for organizing “Tuesday Trots with Tom;” and so many other students and groups that have contributed so much to the SEFS community. Thank you!

Kudos, as well, to everyone who helped organize an extremely festive and boisterous SEFS Holiday Party this year. Special thanks to Amanda Davis and Sarah Thomas for a ton of work planning, setting up and cleaning afterwards, and also to everyone who brought a delicious dish or bottle(s) of wine to share (and, of course, Steve West and Bruce Lippke for arranging and stewarding that glorious wine tasting). A great many others chipped in along the way, from cutting and hauling the tree, to helping tidy up the Forest Room afterwards, so thank you—everyone—for coming and making it such a warm and spirited celebration!

Back to the business front, we are very pleased to report that the Bullitt Foundation Board has approved our requested grant for lead support of the Northwest Environmental Forum. The grant is for $50,000 per year, for three years—with annual renewal subject to a staff-level review of progress and impact.

It’s that time of year when we hope you'll help us fill the barrel in Anderson 115 (copy room) with donations for the University District Food Bank! Take a look at the items they're collecting; any donations you're able to make this holiday season will be hugely appreciated.

In case you missed the news from Michelle Trudeau a few days ago, we have some excellent enrollment trends and highlights to share (as of October 3, 2014), including reaching record undergraduate enrollment this fall with 436 students, up 5.8 percent overall, and up 1.5 percent for total student credit hours (9,379!). We still have plenty of areas to improve, including overall diversity enrollment and graduate student numbers, but we’re continuing to grow our programs!

On Monday, December 8, SEFS grad student Seth Kammer presented the case study he’s been working on—and almost completed—for partial fulfillment of the Peace Corps Masters International Forestry Program: “Factors Influencing the Adoption of Soil and Water Conservation Technologies: A case study of two farming communities in rural Ethiopia.”

Also, as you might remember from last spring, SEFS students in “Forest Ecology & Management (SEFS521/ESRM490)” presented the forest stewardship plan they prepared during the class to King County officials with great success. A few weeks ago, several of those students presented the plan to a different group of county officials with the King County Rural Forest Commission, again receiving high marks for all the work they put into the project. Presenters included Abraham Ngu, Ian Hash, Sean Jeronimo and Nichole Studevant. Nice work!


Three finalists have been selected in the faculty search for a new director of the Olympic Natural Resources Center (ONRC). Those candidates are scheduled to be on campus in January, so keep an eye out for subsequent emails with specific dates and times for each session: Candidate 1, January 6-9; Candidate 2, January 13-16, and Candidate 3, January 20-23.

In order to integrate with the new payroll system, we have implemented new guidelines for appointing postdocs. To be compliant, all postdoc appointments will end on June 30 of each year and will need to go through a formal renewal process; the previous short-term renewal process is no longer available. For more questions about the new system, please contact Wendy Star.


This month, a paper Professor Sándor Tóth co-authored came out in Forest Science, “Temporal Connectivity of Mature Patches in Forest Planning Models.”


There’s a terrific piece about Professor Sally Brown and her husband in the latest issue of Columns magazine, “Soil Sage: Chef-turned-professor digs into a new crop—turning recycled waste into better soil, better food, better health.”

In other local news, SEFS doctoral student Carolyn Shores was featured in a November 24 story in her hometown paper, The Mercer Reporter, “Predator feared but essential.”


In the category of the recently graduated, new alumna Nichole Studevant, who successfully defended her master’s thesis two weeks ago, will be heading out on a cross-country bicycle ride this winter. Her path is going to be a winding one, but she’ll be flying to Georgia this month, and then beginning her solo trek back West after the holidays. Good luck, Nichole, and keep us posted on your progress!