Big-Time Collaring of a Big Cat

SEFS doctoral student Shannon Kachel recently led the capture and first successful satellite collaring of a snow leopard (Panthera uncia) in Kyrgyzstan! Snow leopards are among the most secretive and least studied of the big cats, so this GPS collaring will open an unprecedented window into the leopard’s movements and range—and also help with broader conservation efforts in the region. Learn more about the capture, the international partners involved, and Kachel's research at SEFS (including a brief video clip he shared of a leopard narrowly avoiding a snare)!



New Faculty Intro: Anthony Dichiara

This fall, we were very excited to welcome Professor Dichiara as a new faculty member with our BSE program. Dichiara joins us after two years with the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y., and his research here will focus on the synthesis of carbon-based nanomaterials from biomass.


Get Involved: Centennial Woods Restoration at Union Bay Natural Area

In 2007, the SEFS Alumni Group helped organize a volunteer event to plant a wooded area, now known as the Centennial Woods, to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of our school. Learn more about restoration efforts at the site, led by SEFS alumnus Jon Diemer (’14, MEH), and how you can help!


Xi Sigma Pi's "Tour de Labs"

Next Tuesday, November 24, Xi Sigma Pi will be hosting its second annual “Tour de Labs” from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The tour starts in the Forest Club Room and is open to all SEFS students, staff and faculty. It’s a great opportunity to learn about and visit several labs in our school!


Christmas Tree Sale: Place Your Orders!

Don’t forget to order your noble fir by Friday, December 4, to have it ready for pick-up at the Center for Urban Horticulture on Sunday, December 6. All trees are $45, and you can reserve your tree online or by submitting the paper form.


Nov. 24, 2015:

Xi Sigma Pi's "Tour de Labs," 3:30-5 p.m.

Nov. 24, 2015:

Xi Sigma Pi's Pineluck, 5-9 p.m.

Nov. 26-27, 2015:

Thanksgiving Holiday

Dec. 9, 2015:

SEFS Holiday Party, 4:30-6:30 p.m.



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We are very excited welcome our newest IT staff member, Styles Carnley, whose first day was last Thursday, November 12! Styles joins us from UWIT, and his primary role here will be to field SEFS helpdesk inquiries and also help with new computer set-ups, software installs and general troubleshooting, among other tasks. You can reach him through our helpdesk contact information at or by calling 206.616.7365. If you have a moment in the next couple weeks, please stop by Bloedel 156 and wish him a warm welcome!

In other exciting news, we are pleased to announce that we’ll be holding the second edition of the UW Climate Change Video Contest this winter and spring! We’re still finalizing a few of the details, but the award ceremony will once again be in May, and we’re hoping to launch the contest in the next week or two. Last year’s contest was such a huge success, and we can’t wait to engage with more talented high school students and undergrads across the state!

Speaking of cool events, Allison Rossman and several other grad students are working on a “Prospective Grad Student Weekend” this spring, timed to coincide with the Graduate Student Symposium on Friday, March 4. The plan is to host prospective students overnight with current students and/or faculty, and then to arrange time for them to meet with advisors and faculty, attend the GSS and Dead Elk party afterward, and also possibly take part in a hike or restoration work party, or simply explore more of the city. Interested students are welcome any day(s) and should contact Allison at to set up their host for the weekend. We’ve wanted to organize this kind of weekend for years, and we think it could be a fantastic recruitment opportunity. So we hope you’ll help us reach out to your prospective students and encourage them to come!

In other fun news, we’ve set the date for our annual SEFS Holiday Party on Wednesday, December 9, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Forest Club Room (directly following the SEFS Seminar). Emeritus Professors Steve West and Bruce Lippke have volunteered once again to organize the legendary wine tasting—was it nearly 40 bottles last year?!—and we’ll send out an email soon with more information about the potluck, including the competition for best savory and dessert offerings.

Let’s shift from there to some big kudos for Sarah Thomas and MFR student John Kirby, who staffed our school’s booth and alumni reception at the 2015 SAF National Convention in Baton Rouge, La., two weeks ago. It’s not always riveting work to stand at a booth and field questions for the better part of two days, but that kind of positive outreach is hugely important for our recruitment and alumni community. Nice work!

We also have kudos for Michelle Trudeau, who will be representing SEFS this coming Thursday, November 19, at the Snohomish County “Focus on Forestry Conference,” held at the Evergreen Fairgrounds in Monroe, Wash.

What else, what else …

Betsy Fradd with Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest passed along word of another great video about the biofuels process, “Renewable Biofuels and Biochemicals: Cellulosic Ethanol.” Cellulosic ethanol is the cheapest and simplest biofuel to produce from wood, and it may be the first poplar-based biofuel to appear on the market. This short segment explains how cellulosic ethanol is helping prepare the Pacific Northwest for a sustainable hardwood bioproducts and biofuels industry.

SEFS Director Tom DeLuca is giving a talk this week at the Soil Science Society of American Annual Meetings in Minneapolis, Minn.: “A biologically based method for assessing phosphorus across complex landscapes.”

Students: If you’re looking for a terrific PAID internship opportunity, make sure to check out the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Conservation and Land Management Internship Program.

Also, we got a tip about a great student housing option just off campus along the Burke-Gilman Trail (or what’s left of it after the latest construction mess). It’s a 2BR/2BA apartment at 3900 2nd AVE NE in Wallingford, and it’s listed at $2,500 a month. Text 206.795.0859 with questions or to set up a viewing appointment, or check out the full listing on Craig’s List.

SEFS IT NEWS: Instead of using the old clipboard system in Anderson 107, all projector reservations must now be completed online. When picking up your projector, please sign the sheet at the front desk in Anderson 107 and obtain the key to the cabinet to retrieve your projector.

For laptops, you can sign out the device using the sheet at the front desk, and then obtain a key to the cabinet and select any available device.



Professor Patrick Tobin has joined the Curriculum Committee for a two-year term.



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

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



Professor David Butman recently had a paper accepted for publication in PNAS, “Aquatic carbon cycling in the conterminous US and implications for terrestrial carbon accounting.”



Professor Laura Prugh was featured in the Yukon News on Friday, October 23, “NASA sponsors a closer look at Dall sheep and the warming North,” about her recent grant through NASA’s ABoVE campaign.

On November 5, Live Science put together a great story about SEFS doctoral student Shannon Kachel and his leopard collaring, “Spotted! Elusive Snow Leopard Caught on Camera in Kyrgyzstan.” It includes a shot from the actual capture!

A Seattle Times story on November 1, “Students clear the way for frogs, salamanders near Union Bay,” features SEFS master’s students Anna Carragee and Joel Bidnick.

And a KUOW story on November 3, “Birds Of A Feather Sometimes Still Divorce,” features Professor John Marzluff. The radio segment is about 6 minutes and well worth the listen!



The newly elected Snohomish County Executive is Dave Somers, who happens to be one of our alumni! Somers, who had previously been serving on the Snohomish County Council, earned his master’s in 1995 working with Professor Bob Naiman.