Rolling out the Red Carpet!

It was quite a show last Friday at the UW Climate Change Video Awards! A great crowd turned out, the videos showed beautifully at Town Hall, the judges had a fantastic rapport and really nailed the discussion, and our emcee Annie Leonard got the crowd all fired up about UW’s coal divestment and the “Paddle in Seattle” protest the next morning. On top of everything, one of our own students, Sarra Tekola (above left), took home the top prize in the undergraduate category! She produced a video with fellow UW student Michael Moynihan (above right), and they won $5,000 for their powerful rap, which will be available online—along with the other nine finalists—in the next couple weeks. Thanks to everyone for attending and making it such a special evening, and we'll have a story available with more photos and the full list of winners soon!



Recognition Event: Honorees and Auction Results!

In case you missed the SEFS Recognition Event on May 5, we celebrated in style with a spirited wine tasting (featuring a record 38 donated bottles!), a delicious catered array of tapas offerings, all sorts of goodies in the Silent Auction, and, of course, our annual awards. Check out this year’s awards, and please join us in congratulating all of the incredible nominees!


This Wednesday (5/20): Conservation Catwalk!

Conservation in Style, a UW student group that focuses on eco-friendly fashion and raising funds and awareness for endangered species, is putting on a “Conservation Catwalk” this Wednesday, starting at 7 p.m. in Gould Hall. Our own grad student Sam Zwicker will be hosting, so get your tickets today and come explore your wild side!


Urban Forestry Symposium: Register Now!

Hosted by PlantAmnesty and the UW Botanic Gardens, the 7th annual Urban Forest Symposium is coming up this Wednesday, May 20, from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Learn more about this year’s line-up and theme, “For What It’s Worth: Valuing the Urban Forest,” and register today.


This Thursday (5/21): IFSA Ice Cream Social

The International Forestry Students’ Association is hosting a Spring Ice Cream Social and General Meeting this Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in the Forest Club Room. It’s open to all SEFS students, and there will be a fun induction ceremony for new members and next year’s officers—oh, and lots of ice cream and tasty toppings!


Art Installation Opening at CUH

Join us at the Center for Urban Horticulture on Thursday, May 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. for the opening reception of Phenomenal Transparency III, the new permanent art installation by UW art student Amber Barney. Come welcome the large-scale piece to its new home at the Douglas Research Conservatory, and chat with the artist about her work.


May 20, 2015:

Urban Forest Symposium, 8:45-4 p.m., CUH

May 21, 2015:

IFSA Ice Cream Social, 4:30 p.m., Forest Club Room

May 21, 2015:

Conservation Catwalk, 7 p.m., Gould Hall

June 12, 2015:

SEFS Graduation, 10 a.m., Kane 130



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The UW Climate Change Video Contest was such a tremendous success, and we owe some major league kudos to the principal organizers, starting with Sarah Thomas, who invested countless hours planning and prepping for the event, and whose creative touches were widely evident, from the fantastic venue to the red carpet treatment for the finalists and judges; Professor Josh Lawler for conceiving and shepherding the contest from start to finish; David Campbell for expertly managing the video submission process, and personally handling the video duties at the show; grad students Caitlin Littlefield and Scott Rinnan for generously pitching in, no matter how big or small the task; as well as a host of other students and staff who contributed enormously for months and helped out on the night of the awards, including Kaila Turner, who staffed the SEFS information table; Dean Lisa Graumlich, who was terrific on the panel of judges; and so many others who chipped in along the way. We sure hope we get to do it again!

We are very pleased to welcome Thomas Kaghan to the staff! He’ll be helping us at the front desk in Anderson 107 for the next few weeks, so make sure to introduce yourself the next time you pass through here.

The Washington Pulp and Paper Foundation will be holding its 46th Annual Meeting this Thursday, May 21. The day starts in the Forest Club Room with the Board of Directors meeting, followed at noon by the luncheon and business meeting, then a student poster session, and then a reception and awards banquet that evening at the Burke Museum.

This past week, SEFS grad student Alex Harwell attended the annual Society of Ethnobiology Conference in Santa Barbara, Calif. This year’s theme was “The Many Faces of Ethnobiology,” and Harwell presented some of her own project work and got feedback and advice from many experienced ethnobiologists. Another highlight for her was learning about regionally specific information for Chumash territory and southern California. Nice work, Alex!

SEFS grad student Ashley Mihle recently traveled to San Diego for the 37th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals. She presented her research on water, climate change and water policy for potential biorefineries in Washington State at a poster session, and her poster—along with other posters presented by her fellow lab members, as well as speaker sessions by Professor Renata Bura and Rodrigo Morales Vera—drew attention to biofuels and biochemical research going on at SEFS. Great stuff!

This Wednesday, May 20, the next installment of the Evening Talks at ONRC speaker series will feature Steven Moore from the Red Cross, “Disaster Preparedness: An American Red Cross Presentation.” Moore is the disaster services coordinator for the Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the American Red Cross, and he will share the main risks of disasters we face in Western Washington, and specifically out on the Olympic Peninsula. The talk begins at 7 p.m. in the Social Hall at ONRC, and the public is heartily invited.

The Northwest Horticultural Society is accepting applications for the 2015 Elisabeth Carey Miller Scholarship in Horticulture, which is open to UW graduate students in horticulture and related disciplines in our school. Applications are due by this Friday, May 22, 2015, so contact Ray Larson at for more information about the scholarship and application process.

SAVE THE DATE: The annual SEFS retreat has been set for Wednesday, September 23, in Merrill Hall 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!

Also, don’t forget that on Tuesday, May 26, the University of Washington will be hosting a special lecture with Professor Linda Steg, an environmental psychologist from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. The talk, “How to inspire people to engage in pro-environmental actions,” will be held in the Alder Hall Auditorium at 6 p.m., and it is free and open to the public.



A final agreement has been reached in the hiring of Professor Beth Gardner, who will be joining SEFS as an assistant professor of quantitative wildlife sciences. Her work focuses on the use of hierarchical modeling to assess wildlife population dynamics and the response of wildlife populations to natural and anthropogenic stressors. She will contribute directly to the wildlife program within SEFS, grow our capacity in conservation sciences, and bolster our ability to deliver courses in the Center for Quantitative Sciences. Her official start date will be March 16, 2016.



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

Water Seminar: Tuesdays, 8:30-9:20 a.m., AND 223

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

Advanced Silviculture Seminar: Thursdays, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Odegaard Library, Room 320



Professor Patrick Tobin is a coauthor on a new paper in PNAS, “Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche-efficiency.” The University of Alaska Fairbanks put out a nice release about the paper, as well.



Last week, John Hayes at the Mount Rainier Institute was featured in a great television segment on Tacoma’s CityLine program for May 14; you can pick up the action around the 31-minute mark. It’s well worth a watch!



Heard any job or life updates involving our alumni? Send them along!