2016 Sustaining Our World Lecture

For our annual Sustaining Our World Lecture, we are very excited to welcome Lynda V. Mapes, author and environmental reporter for the Seattle Times: “Witness Tree: My year with a single, 100-year-old oak.” Lynda specializes in covering native cultures, natural history and a wide range of environmental topics, and one of her previous books, Elwha, a River Reborn, explored the dam removal and wilderness restoration project on the Olympic Peninsula. This lecture, though, will focus on her forthcoming book, The Witness Tree, which draws from her time as science writer in residence at the Harvard Forest. The lecture is open to the public and will be held on Thursday, April 21, from 6 to 7 p.m. in Kane Hall 210. Event registration is free, but we encourage you to RSVP as soon as possible to make sure we have enough seating for everyone!



SEFS Spring Gathering: April 10!

In case you missed the email invitation last Friday, you’re all invited to attend our annual Spring Gathering on Sunday, April 10, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Center for Urban Horticulture. It’s a family-friendly potluck barbecue, with live music and a wine tasting (naturally, it’s a SEFS event!), and this year we’ll be honoring SEFS alumnus Ross Braine (’09, B.S.). RSVP today to join a great afternoon with alumni, friends and colleagues!


2016 UW Climate Change Video Contest

The stakes are high and exciting, with $13,000 in total prize money awaiting the winners, and we’re down to the final two weeks for submissions. So help us spread the word to reach as many high school and undergraduate students in Washington as possible!


Beetles Save Needles: Purple Haze Talk & Tour

This Wednesday, March 23, Dr. Richard McDonald (a.k.a. Dr. McBug) will lead a lecture and walking tour in the Arboretum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. You’ll get to see science in action on a night hike to show how a UV light purchased at Archie McPhee led to an important scientific discovery for detecting predators of the hemlock wooly adelgid. The program is free, but please pre-register to help with planning.


2016 Garden Lovers' Book Sale

Coming up next week on April 1 and 2, the book sale is the biggest event of the year and an important fundraiser for the Elisabeth C. Miller Library, so come join the page-turning fun!


A Shakespearean Twist

This winter, SEFS doctoral candidate Ben Dittbrenner taught ESRM 426: Wildland Hydrology. One of the bus drivers for the course, GregRobin Smith, happened to be president of the Washington Shakespeare Festival, and he helped introduce a hydrology lesson from Henry V to the class.


In the News ... in 1915

John Tylczak recently sent us a clipping from an October 15, 1915, issue of an old trade publication, the West Coast Lumberman, which includes a lengthy update from happenings at the College of Forestry. Take a glimpse at our news from more than a century ago!


March 21-22, 2016:

Northwest Environmental Forum, CUH

April 10, 2016:

SEFS Spring Gathering, 4-7 p.m., CUH

April 21, 2016:

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

May 25, 2016:

SEFS Year-End Celebration



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We’re excited to announce that construction is soon to begin on the 1.2-mile Arboretum Loop Trail, which, when completed, will connect to Arboretum Drive to create a 2.5-pathway through the Washington Park Arboretum. The trail is being funded through the Washington State Department of Transportation as part of mitigation for the SR 520 bridge project, and the paved, multi-use Arboretum Loop Trail will provide incredible public access to the Arboretum’s collections. For more information on the trail and construction updates, visit the Seattle Parks and Recreation project page.

We’ll jump from there to some big kudos for SEFS Director Tom DeLuca, who was recently awarded a $60,000 Amazon Catalyst grant in support of a project titled, “Charcoal: The Intersection of Sustainable Forestry and Farming.” The 12-month grant comes through a partnership between the University of Washington and Amazon, and Tom’s research team includes his grad student Si Gao and Kai Hoffman-Krull, CEO of the nonprofit Forage.

Kudos, as well, to SEFS doctoral student Caitlin Littlefield, who recently used SEFS Student Travel Funds to attend a conference in Tasmania, where she presented at the inaugural Species on the Move International Conference from February 9 to 12 (her talk was “Landscape connectivity to address climate change: tracking climates through time and space”). The conference drew researchers from all over the world, and UW brought one of the largest delegations, including Caitlin, Professor Josh Lawler and Scott Rinnan from SEFS, along with Julian Olden and Lise Comte from SAFS, and Professor Janneke Hille Ris Lambers and Leander Love-Anderegg from Biology. Great stuff!

We also have kudos for Professor Sally Brown, who took part in a 2014 meeting—organized by the U.S. Botanic Garden, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America—which resulted in a recently released report, “Agriculture and the Future of Food: The Role of Botanic Gardens.”

On the events front, SEFS doctoral student Jason James will be giving a talk at Town Hall Seattle this evening at 6 p.m. as part of the “UW Science Now” series. Speaking right after Oceanography grad student Max Showalter, Jason will explain how soil reveals the mysterious history of Earth’s landscapes, with an emphasis on soil’s place in the global carbon cycle. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and admission is free for anyone with a Husky card (and $5 otherwise).

Also, students, as you probably saw in an email a couple weeks ago, we are organizing a bus to take graduate and undergraduate students up for a free day at Mount Rainier National Park on Sunday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p .m. The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial this year, and the event will include both indoor and outdoor activities at Paradise, ranging from informal yard games in the snow to ranger-led snowshoe walks. If we’re able to get 25 students signed up, we’ll reserve a SEFS bus to drive up to the park that Sunday around 7:30 or 8 a.m. (and if we hit 50 sign-ups, we’ll get two buses!). We already have more than 20 students who’ve expressed interest, so send an email to Karl Wirsing if you’d like to be included. This is an informal sign-up, and we’ll have more details to share later.



The interview process has concluded for the Professor of Practice faculty position. A final decision is expected soon, after which point the faculty will vote on the candidate.



No seminars are scheduled during Spring Break, but we’ll resume normal scheduling next week (with full speaker line-ups posted later this week).

Wildlife Science Seminar: Mondays, 3:30-4:50 p.m., KANE 130

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



SEFS Director Tom DeLuca was a co-author on a recent paper in Environmental Research Letters, “Biomass offsets little or none of permafrost carbon release from soils, streams, and wildfire: an expert assessment.”



In the last issue, we wrote about a new publication from SEFS doctoral candidate Meghan Halabisky and Professor Monika Moskal. Last week, Michelle Ma from UW News put together a great story about the research, “New technique tracks ‘heartbeat’ of hundreds of wetlands.”

SEFS Research Associate Van Kane's research in Yosemite was recently featured in a story from the April issue of Discover magazine, “Science in America's National Parks.”

An article Professor Sharon Doty wrote, “Key roles of the poplar microbiome," was featured in the quarterly newsletter of the International Poplar Commission.



This March, SEFS alumna Amy Clark Eagle became the director of science and certification for the Forest Stewardship Council US. Amy had been working for nearly 20 years with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and she earned her master’s from SEFS in 1995. Nice work, Amy!