UW Climate Change Video Awards

The public screening and award show is coming up on Saturday, May 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Town Hall in downtown Seattle. We are in the final review stage of the videos, and we're especially excited to announce our emcee for the evening will be Yoram Bauman, an environmental economist, author and comedian! Yoram earned a Ph.D. in economics from UW in 2003 and now performs as the “world's first and only stand-up economist." He is the founder and co-chair of Carbon Washington, a grassroots campaign to bring a revenue-neutral carbon tax (I-732) to Washington, and he is also the co-author of The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change. We’re thrilled to have him and our other judges—Dean Lisa Graumlich, Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky) and Ethan Steinman—and can’t wait to see who wins the top prize of $5,000 in the high school and undergraduate categories. Register today!



SEFS Year-End Celebration: Last Call for Nominations!

It’s been a crazy few weeks, and we’ve heard from a few folks who wanted a little more time to submit a nomination for our awards this year: Staff Member of the Year, Faculty Member of the Year, Undergraduate Student of the Year, and Graduate Student of the Year. So now you have an extra week to send nominations to Sarah Thomas by Monday, May 9! Read more about the awards and help us recognize your outstanding peers, professors and students.


SEFS Researchers Awarded Grant to Study Fire Management in Washington

Three researchers at SEFS—Research Associates Derek Churchill and Van Kane, as well as Research Ecologist Alina Cansler—are part of a team that was just awarded a $383,565 grant through the federal Joint Fire Science Program. They will be studying recent fires in the Okanogan-Wenatchee and Colville national forests, with the goal of assisting forest managers in better understanding the effects of large wildfires on landscape conditions.


Inspiración del Perú: Blending Fashion with Conservation

Next Wednesday, May 11, at Metropolist in Seattle, take part in a Peruvian-themed benefit—co-hosted by undergrad Ava Holmes and doctoral student Sam Zwicker—to raise money to help local communities along the Las Piedras River in Peru develop more sustainable agricultural practices. The benefit includes an an eco-fashion show, “Runway to Peru,” and other live performances, tastings and activities. Learn more and get your tickets today!


UW Botanic Gardens BioBlitz: May 6 and 7!

This coming Friday and Saturday, the UW Botanic Gardens invites you to join our 2016 BioBlitz at the Washington Park Arboretum! Groups of scientists, naturalists and community volunteers—including you?!—will be conducting an intensive field study to look for bats, birds, insects, lichens, weeds, spiders and mussels at the Arboretum’s Foster Island. Get involved!


Urban Forest Symposium: May 17

Coming up at the Center for Urban Horticulture in two weeks, the 8th annual Urban Forest Symposium will explore approaches to sustaining the urban forest in the face of rapid densification. The event is hosted by PlantAmnesty and the UW Botanic Gardens; read more and register.


May 14, 2016:

UW Climate Change Video Awards, 7-9 p.m., Town Hall Seattle

May 17, 2016:

Urban Forest Symposium

May 25, 2016:

SEFS Year-End Celebration, 4:30-6:30 p.m., AND 207

June 10, 2016:

SEFS Graduation, 10:30 a.m., Kane Hall 130



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We’ve plowed through a pile of talks and events the past couple weeks, but we aren’t done yet!

First, tomorrow—Tuesday, May 3—we will have the final faculty candidate talk for the Forest Ecosystem Science and Services position, Professor Holly Barnard from the University of Colorado-Boulder: “Coupled carbon - water processes in a rapidly changing world: how landscape structure influences forest resilience.” Her talk will be held in the Forest Club Room from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., to be followed by a reception. (Please not the earlier time!)

After that, SEFS doctoral student Catherine Kuhn passed along word of a great panel coming up on Wednesday, May 4, “Rethinking Data Science for the Social Sciences: Urban Sociology.” One of the panelists is Dr. Karen Seto from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and Catherine says Karen does amazing research regarding urbanization and environmental science. The panel has a focus on urban sociology, but lots of this research is intimately connected to questions of sustainability and development. Held in Kane Hall 225 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., the event is open to the public and no RSVP is required.

Next week, on Tuesday, May 10, the Society of American Foresters - UW Student Chapter invites you to a year-end pizza and root beer float social at 5 p.m. in the Forest Club Room. They will also be holding elections for the 2016-2017 academic year for four officer positions: chair, vice chair, treasurer and secretary. If you have any questions about the event or are interested in a specific position, please contact Marisa Bass. Hope you can make it!

A day later, on May 11, the College of the Environment is holding its Spring Celebration from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Fishery Sciences lobby (first floor). Dean Lisa Graumlich invites you to join her for ice cream and sundaes as we celebrate the end of the year and recognize the winners of the 2016 College awards—including, if you don’t mind some kudos butting into the events, our very own Professor Josh Lawler (Outstanding Researcher), Isabella Carrera Zamanillo (Outstanding Community Impact - Student), and Chang Dou (Exceptional Mentoring of Undergraduates). Congratulations to these deserving award winners, and RSVP if you’re able to join the celebration honoring them!

Eventually, we’ll cap off the year on Friday, June 10, with the SEFS Graduation Celebration, which will feature SEFS alumnus Phil Rigdon (’96, B.S.) as the keynote speaker. The ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. in Kane Hall 130, to be followed by a reception in the Anderson Hall courtyard. RSVP now!

On the kudos front, we had a number of SEFS students honored with 2016 Husky Green Awards, which recognize sustainability leadership at the University of Washington! Honorees include Aaron Tam, a senior ESRM major and president of the UW Earth Club; master’s students Kelly Broadlick and Anna Carragee for their work with the Native Plant Nursery; and master’s student Daniel Sorenson for his work on the Salvage Wood Program through Facilities Services Grounds Management. Honorable mentions also went to undergrad Salina Abraham and UW Farm Manager Sarah Geurkink. Awesome work!

Kudos to SEFS undergrad Ali Flisek recently received $250 from the Director’s Office to work on her senior capstone project, a “Comparative study into the available phosphorus in canopy soils of big leaf maples (Acer macrophyllum) and the forest floor of the Queets River Watershed, Olympic National Park, Washington.” She will be sampling the soil in the canopy of three big leaf maples and evaluating their phosphorus concentrations, and then comparing them to samples she will be taking from the surrounding forest floor soil. She will be working with Professor Dan Vogt, and her goal is to add more “pieces of the puzzle” that will help us more fully understand the entirety of the forest ecosystem and the processes involved. Great stuff!

Similar kudos to SEFS undergrad Emmett Lawrence, who recently received an award of $250 to work on his senior capstone project. The award will help cover the cost of travel to Costa Rica to spend a couple months living and working on an organic cocoa farm. During this time, he will conduct research on a common fungal pathogen called frosty pod rot, which regularly decimates cocoa plantations. Cocoa has been cultivated in Latin America since the pre-Columbian era, and it remains hugely important economically and culturally. He will be examining the correlation between different growth conditions, treatments, sites and the prevalence of the pathogen. The results of this project could help inform local farmers of the growth conditions that promote, or help prevent, the spread of pod rot. Nice!

One more round for SEFS undergrad Will Mooreston, who received $250 to supporter his capstone project. His initial census of the Oak Savanna and Prairie habitat cells took a total of three days while he figured out how to string up the quadrats and identify the selected species. He then performed two more counts, both before and after the Duwamish Alive weeding event, to capture any changes due to volunteer activities. He plans to perform a final count on May 14 and 15.

We also have big-time kudos for SEFS doctoral candidate Melissa Pingree, who won best student poster at this year's Northwest Scientific Association Meeting. Her poster is currently on display outside of Bloedel 260!

We’ll finish with double kudos for SEFS doctoral student Korena Mafune, who received a $500 travel grant through the College of the Environment to travel to the Mycological Society of America's annual meeting, coming up this August at Berkeley. She also received the $6,000 Ben Hall Genetic Conservation Award through the College, which will add a leg to her doctoral project. Now she is not only looking at the fungal communities associated with roots of host trees, but also the fungi associated with bryophytes, and epiphytic plants.

Also, you may remember that SEFS doctoral student Jason James gave a talk a few weeks ago at Town Hall Seattle about the global carbon cycle. You can now check it out online!

Same goes for the terrific talk with Andrew Waugh last Thursday about building tall with wood. The Washington Forest Protection Association put together a blog post about the lecture, and TVW filmed it as well. Andrew was a fantastic speaker, and his words are well worth the listen!

Finally, graduating students: Have you had a chance to vote on the gift the College will be donating in your name for graduation this year?



Professor Sharon Doty has been approved as a new three-year member of the PMT Committee, replacing Professor Josh Lawler.



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

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

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



Professor Laura Prugh is a co-author on a new paper just published in PLOS ONE, “Implications of Harvest on the Boundaries of Protected Areas for Large Carnivore Viewing Opportunities.” The lead author on the paper is one of Laura’s former Ph.D. students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Bridget Borg, and Michelle Ma at UW News put together a great story about the research, “Hunting wolves near Denali, Yellowstone cuts wolf sightings in half.”



Martha Childress with the Natural Choice Network is planning a 30-minute radio show focused on the benefits of “Nature and Learning” and is going to interview Kit Harrington and Sarah Heller to talk specifically about Fiddleheads and the success of nature schools. The show will be aired on May 10 on 1150 AM Alternative Talk Radio.

There’s a great story on UW Today, “UW experts call Paris climate agreement ‘bold,’ ‘encouraging’,” that includes a quote from SEFS undergrad Salina Abraham.

Lynda Mapes—our wonderful 2016 Sustaining Our World Lecture speaker—wrote an article in the Seattle Times on April 19 about the record-setting heat, “3 days in a row of 80-degree heat in April? Never before in Seattle.” The article features quotes from Professor Emeritus Tom Hinckley and Professor Sarah Reichard.

Also, on April 21, Michelle Ma at UW News published a great story about Professor Jerry Franklin and his recent Pinchot Award, “UW’s Jerry Franklin honored for lifetime of forest research, policy.”



A few months ago, we received the manuscript of an unpublished memoir that one of our late alumni, Dan Gellerman, completed in 1987. Dan attended the College of Forestry in the late 1930s and died on October 3, 2012, less than a month shy of his 96th birthday. His book meticulously details his childhood, education and career in forestry in California from 1940 through the late 1960s, and we are combing through it now to pull out a few stories to share!