Congrats, Class of 2016!

Last Friday, June 10, we honored and bid farewell to an incredibly talented group of graduates—including 91-year-old Greg Lambert, who received his long-awaited Master of Forestry! SEFS alumnus Phil Rigdon (’96, B.S.) gave the keynote address, Allison Rossman and Stephen Calkins delivered great student speeches, and we reveled in the proud, boisterous energy of a packed house in Kane Hall. We can't thank our graduates enough for their countless contributions during their time with us, and we wish them the absolute best in their next adventures. Stay in touch, always!



Melissa Pingree Preps for Summer Research Program in Japan

This summer, SEFS doctoral candidate Melissa Pingree will be spending 10 weeks in Japan studying in the Teshio Experimental Forest—an ideal field research center in northern Hokkaido that provides 22,550 hectares of sub-boreal forests. Learn more about the program she applied through, and the project she'll be working on while she's there!


Undergrad Spotlight: Samantha Mendez

For someone about to graduate with an engineering degree, Sam got hooked on her program through a surprisingly mundane product: a popcorn bag. Read more about the WPPF outreach in Spokane that convinced her to become a BSE major, and where she’s heading this summer for her third and final internship!


Chief Kitsap Academy Immersion Day

On Tuesday, May 24, a group of students from Chief Kitsap Academy visited the University of Washington for a college immersion day, which included a classroom lecture with Professor Kristiina Vogt, a tour of the Intellectual House, and a presentation from students at the iSchool, among other activities.


WPPF Holds 48th Annual Meeting

The Washington Pulp and Paper Foundation (WPPF) recently held is 48th annual meeting and banquet on Thursday, May 26, and the day-long event included a morning board meeting, luncheon, tour of the Paper and Bioresource Science Center, afternoon poster session with BSE students, and then a cocktail hour and award reception at the University Club.


Sustaining Our World Lecture: Watch the Video!

The video from this year’s lecture is now available online, and we highly recommend watching the fantastic talk Lynda Mapes gave in April: “Witness Tree: My year with a single, 100-year old oak.”


Climate Change Video Award Winners Launch Kickstarter Campaign

Audrey Seda and Tommy Tang, whose entry won first prize in the undergraduate category at this year’s Climate Change Video Awards, have launched a campaign to fund a cool film project in India. They are putting together a documentary about an Indian nonprofit that teaches women to build solar panels and electrify their villages, and Audrey and Tommy are planning a trip to India right now. If you’d like to support their project, visit their Kickstarter page and help spread the word!


June 20, 2016:

Summer Quarter A Term Begins

July 20, 2016:

Summer Quarter A Term Ends

Sept. 21, 2016:

SEFS Annual Retreat

Sept. 28, 2016:

Fall Quarter Begins



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We are extremely pleased to announce that Greg Bratman has accepted our offer to join our faculty as an assistant professor of nature, health and recreation! Greg will be completing a project at Stanford University for the next year and will officially arrive here on September 16, 2017. We are thrilled to welcome his enthusiasm, intellect, creativity and energy to our school!

We’ll jump from that great news to a bunch of kudos, starting with special recognition and appreciation for Michelle Trudeau, who exemplified calm under pressure in guiding another fantastic graduation celebration! Others who helped make last Friday such a success included Phil Rigdon for giving a warm and well-received keynote speech; Colton Miller for welcoming the latest class of alumni; Dean Lisa Graumlich for giving her thoughtful comments; our student speakers, Allison Rossman and Stephen Calkins; our faculty presenters, Monika Moskal, Rob Harrison, Clare Ryan and Rick Gustafson; Lisa Nordlund and David Campbell, who did everything from the program and data gathering to the slideshow; Karl Wirsing for being the official photographer; Wendy Star for helping with logistics in Kane Hall 130; our wonderful student helpers, Kaila Turner, Steven Leonti, Maika Bui and Cecilia Henderson for doing a ton of tough work; and our expert set-up crew for the reception back at Anderson, Amanda Davis, K.C. Deterling and Sarah Thomas—who even went out to buy last-minute chocolate and flowers. Terrific work, all, for a wonderful send-off!

Kudos to the newest inductees to the Xi Sigma Pi forestry honor society, including Hiruni Jayasekera, Regina Wandler, Anna Maxwell, Daniel Sorensen, Matthew Scott Martin, Salina Abraham, Nick Neverisky, Kathryn Cerny-Chipman, Timothy Eric Seaman, Nina Mowat, Kelsey Taylor, Danyan Leng, Jack Christopher Armstrong, Alexis Regan Wachtell, Cole D. Gross, Simiao You, Danielle Lang, Amanda Bidwell, Nikki Furner, Laura Elizabeth Newman and Fabiola Pulido. Congratulations!

Kudos, as well, to the new elected officers of Xi Sigma Pi, including: Forester: Fabiola Pulido; Assistant Forester: Nina Mowat; Secretary: Hiruni Jayasekera; Treasurer: Danyan Leng; Ranger: Timothy Seaman; Social Ranger: Lexi Wachtell; and Continuity Officer: Samantha Zwicker.

A final round of Xi Sigma Pi kudos belongs to its just-announced research grant winners, including Korena Mafune, who received a $1,000 award for her canopy soil and fungi research; Mitchell Parsons, who received $500 for his project with fishers; and Angel Klock, who received $500 to support her project studying water quality and stream health.

We have some nice kudos for Professor Sally Brown, who is an invited keynote speaker for the Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) National Conference, “Compost: Beyond Production,” August 3 to 5 in Australia.

Same for Professor Patrick Tobin, who was in Washington, D.C., two weeks ago attending the North American Forest Insect Work Conference. Three of his students were also there to present posters, including Sean Callahan, “Silent springtails: Effects of vehicular pollution on arboreal Collembola;” Riley Metz, “Smothering the forest: Gypsy moth growth rates and forest fragmentation;” and Michael Freeman, “Winter is (not) coming: Characterizing Douglas-fir beetle dynamics in a changing climate.” Great work!

We’ll finish with some kudos for SEFS doctoral student Carol Bogezi, who spoke last month to high school students at the Bronx Zoo in New York City. Carol says she has developed an interest in talking to high school students about careers, and she finds it very rewarding to know she is helping younger people learn more about the choices they have ahead.



The Director's Council is reviewing a number of office and room requests, including for incoming faculty, and we will have several updates to report in the next issue.



Wildlife Seminar: Done until the fall.

SEFS Senior Seminar: Done until the fall.

SEFS Seminar Series: Done until the fall.



Professor Josh Lawler is a co-author on a new paper just released today in PNAS, “Achieving climate connectivity in a fragmented landscape,” with lead author Jenny McGuire, a former SEFS postdoc who is now a research scientist in the School of Biology at Georgia Tech. The paper looks at whether the landscape of the United States is well enough connected to allow species to move in ways necessary to track changing climates. The researchers found that only 41 percent of the more natural lands in the country are well enough connected to allow species to move (including only 2 percent in the eastern United States). Establishing climate-change-focused wildlife corridors increases the percentage of connected natural lands to 65 percent, with some of the largest gains in the southeastern part of the country. Michelle Ma at UW News put together a nice story with more context about the paper, "Eastern U.S. needs 'connectivity' to help species escape climate change."

SEFS doctoral candidate Meghan Halabisky
, Professor Monika Moskal and former doctoral student Michael Hannam are co-authors on a paper in Remote Sensing of Environment,Reconstructing semi-arid wetland surface water dynamics through spectral mixture analysis of a time series of Landsat satellite images (1984-2011).”

Professor Aaron Wirsing is a co-author on a new paper in Ecological Modelling, “Theoretical impacts of habitat loss and generalist predation on predator-prey cycles.”



Michelle Ma at UW News put together a great story about Professor Peter Kahn’s recent perspective piece in Science, “Finding connections to nature in cities is key to healthy urban living.” Her piece includes a separate Q&A with Peter!

Michelle also published a great story about Professor Jerry Franklin’s recent award, “Jerry Franklin named 2016’s ‘Eminent Ecologist’ by leading ecological group,” which went out as one of the top stories in the UW Today email earlier today.

In other fun news, Julie Gonzales-Corbin, who writes a “Climate Adventurists” blog for, interviewed the winners of our Climate Change Video Awards for one of her recent features, “School of Thought: Student Storytellers Reflect on Their Climate Futures.” Check it out!



We recently heard from Zac Mahlum (’09, B.S.), who was part of a month-long Antarctic expedition to summit Vinson Massif this past winter in West Antarctica. Zac has now summited 4 of the 7 “Seven Summits,” including Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Vinson Massif and Elbrus. He has accepted an invitation to join a Denali summit bid in Spring 2017. Great stuff!