Helicopter Sampling in Alaska

A few weeks ago, Professor David Butman returned from spending 11 days in the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, where he had the memorable opportunity to conduct his field sampling by helicopter and float plane. Taking advantage of Alaska’s endless summer sunshine, he spent 16 to 17 hours a day flying around with a pilot and a student technician to collect data from 18 different lakes. “It was kind of exciting,” he says. “Some of these systems have never been measured.” Learn more about Butman’s research in Alaska, and how he pulled the trip together on a shoestring budget!



UW in the High School

Starting this fall, Professors Kristiina Vogt and Aaron Wirsing will be helping several local high school teachers deliver college-level courses to their students, giving them a chance to earn UW credit.


Arboretum Gets Top Honors

According to a new rating by Best Colleges Online, the Washington Park Arboretum was ranked in a tie for first among the “50 Most Amazing University Botanical Gardens and Arboretums in the U.S.” Michelle Ma at UW News put together a great story about the announcement, and congratulations to everyone who works to make the Arboretum such a special place and resource!


Plant Nursery Internships Available

The UW student chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration (UW-SER) is looking for two undergraduate interns to help expand the native plant nursery this fall. Deadline to apply is August 28, so spread the word and apply soon if you’re interested!


Stories About Science: Jerry Franklin

Last Tuesday, July 7, Professor Jerry Franklin participated in an evening of cocktails and ecology-themed stories, “Stories About Science,” hosted by Springer Storytellers and The Story Collider as part of the 9th Annual International Association for Landscape Ecology World Congress in Portland, Ore.


July 22, 2015:

Summer I Ends

July 23, 2015:

Summer II Begins

Sept. 23, 2015:

SEFS Annual Retreat, CUH

Sept. 30, 2015:

Fall Quarter Begins



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We’ll start with some big-time kudos for Professor Ivan Eastin, who recently accepted an invitation to join the 2015 CoMotion Presidential Innovation Fellows. The program recognizes the value that entrepreneurial thinking brings to the University of Washington, the region and society, and fellows receive $5,000 in discretionary innovation funds. Congratulations, Ivan!

We have some excellent kudos for ESRM major Sophia Winkler-Schor, who was recently awarded a $250 Capstone Award for her senior project. This summer, she will be undertaking her second season of field work in the Amazonian state of Madre de Dios (MdD), Peru, to assess the forest quality of an ecotourism concession in the remote Las Piedras region. The goal of the project is to use drones to improve the science and place-based conservation of tropical forests, and her team aims to develop an approach to using drones to map and monitor selective illegal logging. Check out a video that captures some of this research, and you can also get more photos and info on the Wild Forest and Fauna Facebook page. Great stuff!

Kudos, as well, to SEFS undergrad Ross Furbush, who was awarded a $50 Capstone Award to complete his senior project, which involved measuring bird-window strike mortality between two campuses: University of Washington and Principia College in Illinois (he found that Principia College had higher mortality). Well done!

The capstone kudos keep coming, as SEFS undergrad Kaitlin Stair was also awarded a $50 grant to work on her senior thesis, which involves testing how direct and indirect predation affects the growth rate of insects. In her study, she will be using the common mealworm (Tenebrio moliter) as the prey and measuring the time it takes for the mealworms to mature under threat of predators (Hippodamia convergens). Good luck!

Let’s continue the kudos for recent SEFS graduate Luyi Li, who presented a poster at the 58th International Convention of the Society of Wood Science and Technology, held June 7 to 12 in Grand Teton National Park. Li, who earned her Master of Forest Resources this past June, also presented a paper with Professor Eric Turnblom in the conference proceedings, “Evaluate Soil Parent Material and Nitrogen Fertilization Impact on Whole Tree Wood Quality of Douglas-fir in the Pacific Northwest.” Great work, Luyi!

Last but definitely not least, one of our ESRM minors, Lena Easton-Calabria, recently won a $2,500 scholarship from the Seattle Public Library for her essay, “Reviving an Ancient Whaling Tradition in the Face of Discrimination: Cultural Courage by the Makah Tribe.” To win this Stim Bullitt Civic Courage Scholarship, Lena had to write an essay about an individual or group of individuals from Washington state who have demonstrated civic courage on an issue of importance to the community at great personal, political or professional risk.

In other news, if you’re looking to loosen your limbs among the lovely limbs of the Arboretum, you can sign up for a new summer course the U.W. Botanic Gardens is offering, “Yoga in the Arboretum”! Classes will be held on select Saturdays this August, and possibly a few other days, so check out the schedule and sign up today.

KEEP SAVING THE DATE: The annual SEFS retreat has been set for Wednesday, September 23, at the Center for Urban Horticulture. More details will be available later this summer, but in the meantime please go ahead and block off that day!



Starting this fall, Professor Greg Ettl will be on year-long sabbatical, and Professor Monika Moskal will serve as acting associate director in his absence.



No weekly seminars scheduled for the summer.



Professor Jon Bakker is a co-author on a new publication in Nature Plants, “Grassland productivity limited by multiple nutrients.” The paper is based on information from 42 NutNet sites around the globe, including the Smith Prairie site on Whidbey Island. The paper's key message is that productivity in many grasslands is not limited solely by nitrogen.

Professor David Butman is a co-author on a new paper in Environmental Science and Technology, “Organic Carbon Burial in Lakes and Reservoirs of the Conterminous United States.”



Betsy Fradd from Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest passed along word of a great story in The Spokesman-Review on July 2, “Poplars’ potential: Rathdrum Prairie grove part of study on cellulose-based biofuel,” that explores some our biofuels research at SEFS.

In a story on July 8, “Probiotics for plants,” the American Society of Agronomy highlighted some of the endophyte research that Professor Sharon Doty and her Plant Microbiology Lab are leading.

Professor John Marzluff was featured in a KUOW story a couple weeks ago, “It’s Crow Dive-Bombing Season in Seattle,” that probably sounds about right for anyone on campus this month.

Michelle Ma at UW News put together a great piece about a new paper from authors at the Natural Capital Project, “Group at UW shows how to account for nature’s benefits in decisions.”

Also, check out the second slide in The Seattle Times slideshow from UW Commencement—it’s our own Ben Hagood with a Western red cedar on his cap!



Ross Braine (’09, B.S.), tribal liaison with the UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, recently received a 2015 Distinguished Staff Award from the University of Washington. Congratulations, Ross!

Recent alumnus Clarence Smith just moved to Washington, D.C., to begin working with the U.S. Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry organization as a marketer for the Community Forest Project (CFP). It’s an outreach position to promote the CFP to Native American tribes, and his job is to increase tribal involvement and to identify the program’s marketing and communications strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Nice work, Clarence!