Meet the Mammals

Last month, SEFS grad students Laurel Peelle (above) and Jack DeLap volunteered in the annual “Meet the Mammals” event held at the Burke Museum on Saturday, November 14. It’s the only day of the year when the museum brings out hundreds of specimens from its extensive mammalogy collection for visitors to see and touch, and this year more than 1,100 people—a record high—joined the fun. Read more about their day engaging with curious visitors of all ages!



SEFS Undergrad Speaks at COP21

Representing the International Forestry Students’ Association in Paris last week, SEFS student Salina Abraham gave a short keynote address at the Closing Plenary of the Global Landscapes Forum. Watch her fantastic talk about the importance of youth involvement in addressing the challenges of climate change!


Patty Haller Art Exhibit: "Forest Sampling"

Later this winter and spring, from February 16 to March 30, the Elisabeth C. Miller Library will be hosting an art exhibit by SEFS alumna Patty Haller (’84, B.S.), a Seattle oil painter who studied forest ecology with Professor David R.M. Scott.


New Tram at the Arboretum

Thanks to its brand-new 13-person, open-air tram, the UW Botanic Gardens has started offering free tram tours of the Arboretum on the first Thursday of each month through March 2016. Learn more about the new tram, and sign up for one of the tours!


Save the Date: Graduate Student Symposium!

This year’s GSS has been set for Friday, March 4, in the Forest Club Room—to be followed by a Dead Elk party, and coinciding with the prospective grad student weekend—and will be organized around the theme, “The Interface Between Scientific Research and Management.” We'll send out a call for abstracts in January, but we hope students will put it on their calendars and start thinking about possible posters and presentations!


Dec. 18, 2015:

Fall Quarter Ends

Jan. 4, 2016:

Winter Quarter Begins

March 4, 2016:

Graduate Student Symposium

March 18, 2016:

Winter Quarter Ends



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We’ll start with some big-time kudos for the huge contingent of SEFS students, staff, faculty and alumni who participated in the 6th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress, held November 16 to 20 in San Antonio, Texas. Doctoral students involved included Colton Miller, Paulina Llamas and Jim Cronan; faculty included Professors Ernesto Alvarado and Jim Agee (Emeritus); staff included Susan Prichard (’96, M.S., ’03, Ph.D.) and Joe Restaino (’12, M.S.); and alumni included Morris Johnson (’01, M.S., ’08, Ph.D.), who now works with the Forest Service; Clint Wright (’96, M.S., ’10, Ph.D.), now with the Forest Service; Roger Ottmar (’80, M.S.),now with the Forest Service; Ryan Haugo (’06, M.S., ’10, Ph.D.), now with The Nature Conservancy; Christina Restaino (’09, M.S., ’14, Ph.D.), now a postdoc at UC Davis; David W. Peterson (’93, M.S.), now with the Forest Service; Jaime Yazzie (’14, B.S.), now a grad student at Northern Arizona University; Faviola Castillo (’07, M.S.), now a Ph.D. student in Mexico; Brooke Cassell (’12, M.S.), now a Ph.D. student at Portland State University; Philip Higuera (’02, M.S., ’06, Ph.D.), now a professor at the University of Montana; and Mark Finney (’86, M.S.), now with the Forest Service. What a showing!

Kudos, as well, to the UW student chapter of the Society of American Foresters, which donated a beautiful wreath from its holiday fundraiser to alumnus and long-time supporter Ben Harrison (’66, B.S.), who turned 90 earlier this year. We delivered the wreath to the Harrisons on December 3, and it now handsomely adorns their door. Harrison, as it happens, started the Forest Club’s annual Christmas Tree Sale back in 1966—49 years ago—and Sean Jeronimo sent him a card with photos from this year’s harvest. Very cool!

We’ll finish with some COP21-related kudos, as our own alumna Sarra Tekola was also in Paris last week representing climate justice organization Got Green, and as part of the It Takes Roots delegation. Check out a short profile of Sarra’s involvement in Yes! Magazine (and then a later piece in The Stranger about an unfortunate racial profiling incident while she was there).

On Thursday, December 3, Professor Laura Prugh gave a talk as part of the SAFS Autumn Seminar Series, “Enemies with benefits: Integrating positive and negative interactions among terrestrial carnivores.”

Betsy Fradd with Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB) sent along another great informational video, “Poplar for Recycled Water Reuse and Phytoremediation.” Poplar trees, known for their fast growth and versatility, are now being used as an effective resource for recycling treated wastewater and cleaning contaminated soil. This new video explains how poplars are being grown by many municipalities for phytoremediation, and how they can improve water quality, reduce waste and prevent top soil erosion.



Our faculty search for an assistant professor in the area of nature, health and recreation is now active, with the deadline to apply on January 6, 2016.

We just launched a third faculty search, as well, for an accomplished conservation leader to serve in a joint position as the Lead Scientist for The Nature Conservancy in Washington and Professor of Practice in SEFS and the Center for Creative Conservation (CCC). Deadline to apply is February 1, 2016.



None scheduled until Winter Quarter resumes on January 4, 2016; schedules TBD.



SEFS doctoral student Jason James recently published a new paper, and co-authors include fellow doctoral student Christiana Dietzen and Professor Rob Harrison. The paper, “Lessons on Buried Horizons and Pedogenesis from Deep Forest Soils,” won the graduate student paper contest in the journal Soil Horizons, which is published by the Soil Science Society of America.



Michelle Ma at UW News put together a great story about the Rare Care Plant and Conversation program, which the U.S. Forest Service recently honored with the Regional Volunteer Award for Citizen Stewardship & Partnerships. The story, “Award honors hundreds of citizen scientists who search for Washington’s rarest plants,” features Wendy Gibble, manager of conservation and education with the Rare Care program.

Also, a Seattle Times story on November 25, “Northwest Gardening Great: Ray Larson takes over UW Botanic Gardens,” features UW Botanic Gardens Curator Ray Larson.



SEFS alumna Camille Swezy (’14, B.S.) has been working for the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment for a little more than a year. It’s an organization that works to promote healthy forests and watersheds, and also to advance rural community health and economic well-being. The Sierra Institute is based in Taylorsville (pop. 150) in the northern Sierra Nevada in California. She says the transition from Seattle to a very small rural forested community was quite literally a breath of fresh air, and now she gets to spend every weekend exploring her backyard—the Plumas and Lassen national forests. “The work is inspiring and the area is beautiful,” she writes. “I feel pretty lucky to have landed here.”