Alumni Spotlight: Cindy Dittbrenner

For the past year and a half, Dittbrenner (’07, M.S.) has committed several days a month, as well as three additional weeks for longer trips, to take part in the AgForestry Leadership Program. She’s been traveling to intensive, hands-on seminars in different cities and towns across Washington, tackling subjects from public policy to media relations and the criminal justice system. The culmination was helping to introduce an actual bill to the Washington State Legislature. It's been an immersive, exciting 18 months, so learn more about what has made the program such an empowering experience for Dittbrenner!



Vada May Corkery: 1921-2015

We lost a long-time friend and supporter when Vada May Corkery passed away peacefully at her home on March 5, 2015. Her husband Jack studied forestry here in the 1930s, and the Corkery family established the first endowed chair in the College of Forest Resources.


SEFS Students Compete in 2015 Silviculture Challenge

On March 6 and 7, six SEFS students headed up to Canada to compete against the University of British Columbia in the 9th Annual International Silviculture Challenge. In one of the toughest challenges to date, the students were tasked with planning a harvest—using helicopter logging—on a highly sensitive site.


2015 Recognition Event: May 5!

We have set the date for this year’s Recognition Event—Tuesday, May 5, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Forest Club Room—so mark your calendars for a celebration of all things SEFS. Nominations are now open for our annual awards, so check out the categories and help us recognize your amazing students and colleagues! Oh, and did you see the plaques with last year's winners are now up in the Anderson Hall display case?


Charles Lathrop Pack Essay Competition

With a tantalizing top prize of $500, our annual writing competition is open to juniors, seniors and graduate students enrolled in SEFS during Spring Quarter 2015. Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, April 28, so check out this year’s prompt and get typing!


SEFS Seminar Series: Spring 2015

In case your seminar withdrawal symptoms are setting in, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at the fantastic spring line-up, which kicks off next week on Wednesday, April 1, at 3:30 p.m. in Anderson 223!


April 2, 2015:

Sustaining Our World Lecture, 6-7 p.m., Kane 210

April 19, 2015:

SEFS Spring Gathering, 4-7 p.m., Washington Park Arboretum

May 5, 2015:

SEFS Recognition Event, 3-5 p.m., AND 207

June 12, 2015:

SEFS Graduation, 10 a.m., Kane 130



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It might be the start of Spring Break, but things have hardly slowed down around here. First, we’re excited to announce the 2015 SEFS Spring Gathering, which is coming up on Sunday, April 19, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Washington Park Arboretum! It’s a potluck-style picnic that brings together all ages in the SEFS community, from first-year students to some of our longest-tenured staff, faculty and alumni. Families are warmly invited, and we hope you’ll join us for an afternoon of old friends and new faces. Check out the official invite—you are ALL invited—and please RSVP as soon as possible if you’re able to come.

Second, for all our undergrads: Don’t forget to submit a video for our first-ever UW Climate Change Video Contest! Deadline for submissions is Monday, April 13, and the entries are starting to roll in. Did we mention the top prize for undergraduates is $5,000?! Get working on your own concept!

We are also happy to report that Professor Greg Ettl is now accepting applications for the legendary Pack Forest Summer Crew. The deadline to apply is April 9, and we’ll have more info on “Offshoots” soon, as well as some flyers up around school.

In other event news, tomorrow, March 24, the Olympic Natural Resources Center is partnering with Peninsula College to host a “Career Exploration Day” for students in grades 8 through 12 in Forks, Wash. The day will feature presentations by 24 guest speakers as well as representatives of military, higher education and regional businesses. Contact Frank Hanson to learn more about the career fair.

Next week, the annual Sustaining Our World Lecture is coming up on Thursday, April 2, at 6 p.m. in Kane 210. Learn more about our featured speaker, Molly Steinwald, and reserve your spot today!

Then, the weekend after our lecture, April 3 and 4, is the Elisabeth C. Miller Library’s annual Garden Lovers’ Book Sale! It’s the biggest event of the year and an important fundraiser for the library—not to mention a great time—so mark your calendars and come join the fun. They are still collecting book donations, as well, in case you have anything you’d like to offer. Contact Martha Ferguson to see whether your book donations might be a good fit for the sale.

SEFS Director Tom DeLuca recently gave a talk at the 2015 Alberta Soil Science Workshop. His presentation is available on YouTube in three segments: part one, part two and part three.

On the kudos front, we’ll jump in with some rousing applause for the UW Farm, which blew past its fundraising target in its USEED crowdfunding campaign, “Growing the UW Farm.” By the close of the month-long campaign on March 10, they had raised $10,386.11, or about 115 percent of their goal. Congratulations to Farm Manager Sarah Geurkink and everyone on her team!

Big-time kudos also belong to ESRM major Chika Acholonu, who has been awarded a Mary Gates Scholarship for his capstone research with Professor Dorothy Paun on assessing financial, environmental and corporate social responsibility performance. Congratulations, Chika!

The kudos deluge continues for ESRM majors Ben Saari and Grant Whitman, who volunteered as science mentors this quarter for the Bryant Elementary Science Fair. As mentors, their commitment extended over a nine-week period for about 1.75 hours a week, during which time they shared their expertise in the scientific process and served as role models for Bryant students. Great stuff, Ben and Grant!

In that same spirit of volunteerism, we have kudos for SEFS doctoral student Apryle Craig, who will be sharing her scientific expertise with a group of 6th graders at Bellevue Big Picture School. The students are currently studying the effects of consumerism on the environment and, more specifically, our local ecology. They’ll be giving final presentations at an “Ecology Night” on March 31, and Craig will be providing feedback for the students. Nice work, Apryle!

We’ll keep the kudos rolling for Professor Kristiina Vogt, who was invited to become a faculty affiliate in the Center for Environmental Politics at UW, and then end with some belated kudos for Professor Ernesto Alvarado, whom we mistakenly omitted from our previous kudos for participating in Science Inside Out!


We should be able to announce hiring news soon for the new wildlife faculty position, and we will also have updates on a number of office moves throughout the school, from new digs for WPPF to some lab adjustments. Our primary sources on such matters are out of the office presently, so rather than hazard some (likely erroneous) guesses, we will wait for their return to clarify what’s happening.


SEFS doctoral student Emilio Vilanova is a co-author on a new publication in Nature, “Long-term decline of the Amazon carbon sink,” which reflects some of his work with the RAINFOR network. Check out a press release about the paper to learn more about the findings.

Professor Monika Moskal passed along word of a new publication in Remote Sensing,Terrestrial Laser Scanning Reveals Seagrass Microhabitat.” She is a co-author on the paper with Michael Hannam, who earned his Ph.D. from SEFS and is currently a postdoc with the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences.

Hannam had a related paper published in Biological Invasions back in January, “Microtopography promotes coexistence of an invasive seagrass and its native congener,” which explores the same patterns with transplant experiments.

Professor Kristiina Vogt and SEFS grad student Samantha Zwicker co-authored an interesting piece for the Center for Humans & Nature, “De-extinction in an Anthropogenic World.”


Last week, Jen Davison at the College of the Environment wrote a great story about some of Professor Fernando Resende’s research, “Kill two birds with one dead tree? Beetle-killed pines could fuel machines instead of fires.”

Her story came out of one of Professor Resende’s papers in the Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis last year, “Fast pyrolysis of beetle-killed trees.”

If you picked up a copy of the Seattle Times on Sunday, March 22, you might have seen a neat story about financial planning that features SEFS doctoral student Caitlin Littlefield and her fiancé, Nick Neverisky, “Young career couple advised to wait on big expenses.”

Our own Anderson Hall got some nice coverage in the Seattle Times, too, with a story on March 20, "See collegiate Gothic grace on the UW campus, Anderson Hall." The author might have been less smitten had he inspected some of the inside of Anderson, but hey, he's spot on about our splendid curb appeal!


A couple weeks ago, we were excited to hear from Shannon Armitage, who was hired by the WA Department of Natural Resources two months ago to work as a forester in Forks! Armitage earned her Master of Forest Resources last year, and she says everything has been going amazingly with her new job. Congratulations, Shannon, and thanks for staying in touch!