SEFS, the New Class

At our graduate school orientation last Friday, September 19, we welcomed a room full of students from all over the country and world, and carrying a wide range of impressive credentials. They’ve come here in pursuit of a wide range of impressive acronyms, as well, from MEH to MFR to MS to PhD. We’re excited to harness and help cultivate their various skills and insights, and to see what they’ll discover and innovate in the next few years and throughout their careers. Welcome!



New Faculty Intro: Patrick Tobin

Tobin joins us as an assistant professor after spending more than 11 years with the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station in Morgantown, W.Va. Learn more about his background, including some of his favorite study species and what he'll be teaching at SEFS.


SEFS Seminar Series: Fall Schedule

Starting this Wednesday, we have 10 fantastic talks lined up for the quarter, including presentations from two new faculty members—Professors Patrick Tobin and David Butman—and one of our alumni, as well as visiting speakers from CalPoly, Portland State University and other units on campus. The seminars are held on Wednesdays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in Anderson 223. Check out the full line-up, and we’ll see you in two days!


Yesler Swamp Boardwalk Taking Shape

With the first phase of the Yesler Swamp boardwalk completed, the Friends of Yesler Swamp and UW Botanic Gardens celebrated with a Cajun-themed ribbon-cutting yesterday at the Center for Urban Horticulture. When finished, the trail will offer views of the wetlands, the beaver lodge and lagoon, while protecting wildlife by directing human foot traffic away from these sensitive areas.


Salmon BBQ: Wednesday, Oct. 1

Don’t forget that a glorious feast awaits us next Wednesday, Oct. 1, from 4-6 p.m. in the Anderson Hall courtyard! We’ll be providing scads of salmon, as well as beer and wine and a few sides. The rest comes from you, potluck-style. Look for an email later this week with more details about the BBQ and potluck. Families welcome!


Sept. 24, 2014:

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

Sept. 29, 2014:

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

Oct. 1, 2014:

Salmon BBQ, 4 to 6 p.m., Anderson Courtyard

Dec. 3, 2014:

SEFS Holiday Party



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We’re thrilled to welcome our three newest faculty members, Professors David Butman, Peter Kahn and Patrick Tobin. All three gamely took part in our annual retreat last Wednesday—and, remarkably, didn’t flee for the hills afterward—and we’re enormously pleased to have them as part of the SEFS community. In case you haven’t met your new colleagues yet, be sure to introduce yourselves!

Speaking of the retreat, we have some hard-earned kudos for everyone who helped organize the all-day event, with special thanks going to Amanda Davis and Gordon Bradley for their meticulous planning in advance and on the day of the retreat. So many others had a hand in the process, from the long work of the planning committee, to all of the staff units that gave presentations, to Sarah Thomas for diving in and helping with folder stuffing and other unenviable tasks, to Greg Ettl for his always-enjoyable turn as the emcee, to the graduate students who took the time to share their perspectives. Turnout was the highest in years, spirits were boisterous, and we sure burned through some serious beer and wine at the reception. All in all, a fine affair!

We owe similar kudos to Michelle Trudeau and David Campbell for their tremendous work organizing the graduate student orientation. It was David’s first orientation as the new graduate student counselor, and everything came together beautifully, especially with some much-appreciated assistance from Abraham Ngu, Lisa Nordlund and Sarah Thomas. A fun twist this year was having student groups host the happy hour at the end of the day, so we had lots of help from the Dead Elk Society, Xi Sigma Pi, the UW Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration, the Institute for Study Abroad, the Forest Club, and our new student chapter of the Society of American Foresters. We hear they did a great job, with special thanks to Jim Cronan (though what was that about no IPAs?!).

While we’re at it, let’s give a round of exuberant kudos for John Hayes and the Mount Rainier Institute, which just wrapped up its first official week of students (from Bryant Montessori in Tacoma). Hayes has assembled a fantastic education team for this inaugural season, and we’ve heard this first class was a big success. Not a surprise, of course, because it's an awesome program.

And finally, we have some back-patting kudos to everyone who helped pull off the outstanding invasive plants conference last week at the Center for Urban Horticulture. The two-day conference—“Meeting the Challenge: Preventing, Detecting and Controlling Invasive Plants”—drew rave reviews from participants, who came from all over the region and country. Top honors go to Jessica Farmer and her able assistants, Sasha McGuire and Elyse Denkers, as well as all the graduate students and volunteers. Other indispensable contributions came from Wendy Gibble, the facilities staff, Tracy Mehlin and Fred Hoyt, the Elisabeth C. Miller Library staff, Riz Reyes, and so many others who chipped in along the way. Great teamwork!

Oh, and don’t forget that in addition to the Salmon BBQ next Wednesday, we’re excited to kick-off the month-long exhibition of John Tylczak’s photography in the Forest Club Room. The black-and-white portraits he’s sharing with us come from his broader collection, Views from the Northwoods: 1983-1995, which captures the faces and scenes of the Washington timber industry in the mid-1980s and early 1990s. Tylczak will be at the opening, which coincides with the Salmon BBQ on October 1, so come meet him and take a look at his work!


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


With the first students arriving for the Mount Rainier Institute last week, Pack Forest decided as a safety precaution to prohibit hunting Monday through Thursday while kids are in the forest. The local paper in Eatonville, The Dispatch, covered the policy change on the front page last week, “No hunting when students in Pack Forest” (no link currently available).

Professor Sally Brown was featured in a nice story on Boise NPR, “Why Boise Owns a 7 Square-Mile Farm (Hint: It's For Your Poop),” published September 10. Great headline, and a (bio)solid story!

Professor Josh Lawler was featured in a September 8 story in National Geographic, “Climate Change May Put Half of North American Birds at Risk of Extinction.”

In other news, SEFS doctoral student Jason Niebler was featured in an Everett Herald story on August 21, “From classroom to plate.” Niebler has already earned a masters’ from SEFS and currently works as the director of the Edmonds Community College’s new Sustainable Agriculture Education program. Very cool!


We were sad to learn that one of our distinguished alumni, William D. “Bill” Hagenstein, passed away on September 4 at the age of 99. Hagenstein was born in Seattle in 1915 and earned a bachelor’s in forestry from SEFS in 1938, and then a master’s in forestry from Duke University in 1941. He went on to work as a forester for more than 75 years and was a proud and outspoken defender of the profession, still attending conferences and alumni gatherings well into his 90s. “Conversations with Bill were most enlightening, entertaining and professional,” says Professor Bruce Bare. “While always polite and generous, he was also very resolute in his convictions. We will forever remember him as an honest and honorable man.”