Marvelous Microbes

Professor Sharon Doty’s Plant Microbiology Lab has been exploring a range of potential applications for phytoremediation, the use of plants to clean up pollutants in soil and water. One of the most exciting developments in this research involves inoculating plants with naturally occurring microbes that live inside plants to enhance and accelerate the phytoremediation process. Learn more about two of the students involved in this research—one former undergrad, David Roman, and one current doctoral student, Ellen Weir—and how phytoremediation could be used to remove contamination from Gas Works Park here in Seattle!



Farm to Table Dinner Sells Out, Draws Nearly 200

Held on Thursday, October 23, the UW Farm’s "Farm to Table Dinner" packed NHS Hall at the Center for Urban Horticulture, and the event raised more than $3,000 for the UW Farm. Read more about the dinner, from the incredible menu to the live music!


Arboretum Loop Trail Nears Start of Construction

Design for the new trail in the Washington Park Arboretum is nearly complete, and the first phase of construction could begin as early as this spring. Read more about this major project, and how it could transform the visitor experience at the Arboretum.


Xi Sigma Pi Presents "Tour de Labs"

Coming up this Friday, November 21, Xi Sigma Pi will be hosting “Tour de Labs” to showcase some of the incredible research going on at SEFS. The Bakker, Bura, DeLuca, Ettl, Franklin and Resende labs are all participating, so come out and see what your colleagues are up to!


Annual Christmas Tree Sale: Place Your Orders!

You have until November 27 to place your orders, and then the Forest Club will cut the sustainably grown trees and have them ready for pick-up on Sunday, November 30, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Reserve your tree today and help support the Forest Club!


Nov. 17, 2014:

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

Nov. 19, 2014:

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

Dec. 3, 2014:

SEFS Holiday Party, 4-6 p.m.

Dec. 5, 2014:

Dead Elk Holiday Party, 5 p.m. to midnight



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Tonight: Retired DNR forester Jack Zaccardo will be presenting the next installment of the Evening Talks at ONRC speaker series. His talk, “Logging History on the Peninsula: 1890s to 1930s,” will run from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Hemlock Forest Room at the Olympic Natural Resources Center in Forks, Wash. The public is heartily invited, should you happen to be in the area or want an excuse to venture that way!

We are very excited to introduce two new staff members to SEFS, Alicia Blood and Kate Maher! Alicia joins UW Botanic Gardens as our youth and family education programs supervisor, and she is based at the Washington Park Arboretum. She has worked for more than 10 years in youth environmental education, most recently at the Metrocenter YMCA in Seattle, and she earned a master’s in biology for teachers from UW. Kate joins UW Botanic Gardens to develop and lead educational programs for young children and their families, including the weekly Fiddleheads Family Nature Classes for preschool-aged children and their caregivers. She will also be developing educational programming for Saturdays at the Arboretum to help UW Botanic Gardens reach a wider audience and increase our public outreach during weekends. Welcome, Alicia and Kate!

In other fun news, the Mount Rainier Institute has released a great new three-minute video about the students and teachers from Sequoyah Middle School in Federal Way, and how much they enjoyed their time down at Pack Forest and Mount Rainier!

On the kudos front, we have a big congratulations for the Predator Ecology Lab, which successfully raised $12,000 in 30 days—27, to be exact—through a new crowdfunding platform, USEED! Organized by Professor Aaron Wirsing and a team of his graduate students, the campaign was raising money to fund radio collaring deer as part of an ongoing wolf study in eastern Washington. (And if you want to see the kind of footage these deer cams can capture, take a look at this harrowing video clip of a cougar taking down a deer!)

Kudos, as well, to SEFS doctoral student Melissa Pingree, who attended and presented at the annual Soil Science Society of America meeting in Long Beach, Calif. It was an invaluable opportunity to present her preliminary dissertation research results in a major conference setting, and her travel was completely funded by the Graduate School Fund for Excellence and Innovation and the SEFS Director's Student Travel Fund.

Speaking of soils, we also have some kudos for the DeLuca Lab, which was recertified at the “GOLD” level in the Green Laboratory Certification program, run by UW Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability. Nice work!

If you want to ramp up your kudos for a fellow staff member, you have until this Friday, November 21, to submit nominations for the UW Distinguished Staff Awards. All faculty, staff and students may nominate a staff person or team for this award, so check out the guidelines and nominate one of your exemplary colleagues today!

Adjunct Associate Professor John “Buck” Banks, who is based at UW Tacoma—and whom you might remember from some of his field updates from Kenya last year—passed along some more interesting news on his blog, “Notes from the Field.” Check it out!

Also, with the UW Combined Fund Drive winding down, we’re creeping closer to our goal, and there’s still time to take part! You have through November 28 to sign up to support a great cause or organization through payroll deduction, and if you have any questions about the drive, contact Lisa Nordlund.


The Research Committee received a new charge letter on November 6, and the RFP for McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research Funding will be released this week.

The External Relations and Communications Committee met on Tuesday, November 4; the minutes are available online.


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


On November 13, Professor Emeritus Bruce Lippke published a guest column in the Seattle Times, “How to fight climate change by harvesting wood.”

Some of Professor Sally Brown’s biosolids research was recently featured in a seminar at the University of Chile that focused on proposals to improve the management of organic waste and mining (Spanish translation required).

Professor John Marzluff’s new book, Subirdia, continues to generate wide-ranging coverage and plaudits, including in the New York Review of Books, "It's Time to Live with the Birds" (a partial version is available online, but you have to subscribe to read the full story), and also this recent blurb in Nature:

“Great horned owls and bald eagles live and hunt in ornithologist John Marzluff's suburban garden in Washington state. As Marzluff shows in this rich account of fieldwork in 'metropolitan wilds' from New Zealand to Costa Rica, such annexed environments—which boast some 75 billion trees in the United States alone—can host an astounding diversity of birds. But, he argues passionately, intelligently and with scientific authority, any land-use change reweaves the ecological web, and may leave it threadbare.”


On Wednesday, December 3, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Anderson 223, the final SEFS Seminar of the quarter will feature alumnus Stephen M. Hopley, “My life story as a paper science and engineering graduate.” After his talk, we’ll be holding our annual SEFS Holiday Party in the Forest Club Room, and all students, staff, faculty and alumni are invited!