Media Outlets Pounce on Cougar Study

Professor Laura Prugh is a coauthor on a new paper in Conservation Letters, “Socioeconomic Benefits of Large Carnivore Recolonization Through Reduced Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions,” and the story of how cougars could help reduce car collisions with deer generated a wave of local and national coverage. First, on Monday, July 16, Michelle Ma at UW News put together a great piece about the research, and then KOMO News in Seattle picked up the scent the same day. The study then made the front page of in the Science section, “Too Many Deer on the Road? Let Cougars Return, Study Says,” followed by a piece on Vox, “How 10,000 cougars could prevent hundreds of automobile accidents.” Laura spoke live on CBC Radio in Victoria on July 20, and the Washington Post ran its own story, “The surprising reason mountain lions’ killer instincts could save human lives.” Great stuff—and the hits keep coming! (Photo © Brian Kertson).



Bees in Wink!

On Tuesday, July 19, Alison Morrow from King 5 News brought a film crew to shoot some footage of the glass-enclosed observable beehive that we’re hosting this summer for the popular summer course, “ESRM 491D: Bees, Beekeeping and Pollination,” taught by Evan Sugden. Learn more and watch the great segment on King 5!


Director's Message: Summer 2016

In his summer message, Tom reflects on the compressed research timeline for graduate students, and how they have to be exceptionally focused and nimble—and willing to absorb a fair amount of surprise—in order to nurture their work to completion.


Professor Torgersen Helps Organize Riverscape Workshop in France

From June 22 to 24, USGS Landscape Ecologist Christian Torgersen co-organized a workshop in Antony, France, “Putting the Riverscape Perspective into Practice: State of the Science and Future Directions in Freshwater Management.”


Students: Plant Survey Volunteers Needed!

Looking to gain valuable field experience this September? SEFS doctoral student Apryle Craig is recruiting several volunteers to help her survey plants at deer exclosures as part of a study investigating the impacts of recolonizing wolves on deer herbivory!


Aug. 19, 2016:

Summer Quarter Ends

Sept. 21, 2016:

SEFS Annual Retreat

Sept. 28, 2016:

Fall Quarter Begins

Oct. 5, 2016:

Salmon BBQ, 4-6 p.m., Anderson Courtyard



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We’ll kick things off with the fantastic news that Dr. Brian Harvey has accepted our offer to join us as an assistant professor of forest ecosystems and ecosystem services! Brian is finishing his postdoctoral appointment at the University of Colorado and will start here in March 2017, just in time for Spring Quarter. He brings a wealth of experience, energy and knowledge in the areas of ecosystem ecology, fire ecology and landscape ecology, and we expect him to take an active role at the Wind River Experimental Forest. We are thrilled to have him join our community, and we can’t wait to welcome all of our new faculty members in the next year.

Speaking of which, today is the first official day for Professor Phil Levin, our new Professor of Practice who will jointly serve as lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy in Washington. We'll have a longer introduction ready soon (as well as his UW email!), and in the meantime we encourage you to stop by his office in Bloedel 388 to introduce yourselves!

From there, let’s jump to some big-time kudos for SEFS doctoral student Caitlin Littlefield, who was just awarded the 2016 Gloria Barron Wilderness Society Scholarship from The Wilderness Society. This scholarship, which will support her research to understand the drivers and variability of post-fire forest recovery, includes a $10,000 award. Congratulations, Caitlin!

We also have kudos for SEFS Research Scientist Kathy Wolf, who will be the keynote speaker at the 2017 Arizona Community Tree Council Conference & Workshop, coming up this September in Prescott, Ariz.: “Environment Psychology and the Relationship Between People & Trees.”

In the 2016 Library Research Awards for Undergraduates, one of the winners—Chelsea Clayton, “The Forest for the Trees: A Comparative Analysis of Urban Forestry Regimes in Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon”—credits Professor Emeritus Gordon Bradley and new alumnus Jorge Tomasevic in the acknowledgements.

On the departures front, long-time library liaison for our school, Maureen Nolan, is moving on to a new role after 10 years (she started in our old Forestry Library in Bloedel Hall). Her colleague, Kari Anderson, will be taking over as liaison to SEFS. Kari is currently located in Suzzallo Library, and if you have any questions about her role as liaison, feel free to contact her at or 206.685.2789—or stop by to say hello to her in Suzzallo Library, Room 123. And thank you, Maureen, for so many years of service!

This spring, we learned the Peace Corps has decided to discontinue the Peace Corps Masters International program, which Professor Ivan Eastin had led for years. While the program phases out in the next couple years, Professor Patrick Tobin will be overseeing the final students as they complete their overseas assignments and coursework back on campus.

Speaking of Professor Tobin, he is happy to report that the website is up and running for his Disturbance Ecology Lab!

Finally, the first session of the middle school girls science and technology camp, which has been using Anderson 22 and 10, is now complete, and the second session will use the rooms again for the week of August 8 to 12. We didn’t notice too much extra noise, but if you did experience any excessive disruptions or annoyances, please let us know right away so we can make sure the next camp operates as quietly as possible. And if you’re curious to know what’s going on with the camp, check out a story from Kiro 7, “Shoreline middle school girls learn science and technology at UW.”



Nothing concrete to report at the moment, but we expect to have more details soon about the hiring and transition plan to replace SEFS Director Tom DeLuca when he leaves at the end of December 2016.



Wildlife Seminar: Done until the fall.

SEFS Senior Seminar: Done until the fall.

SEFS Seminar Series: Done until the fall.



Professor Sally Brown is an editor and also author of several chapters for a couple new books, including Sowing Seeds in the City: Human Dimensions, and Sowing Seeds in the City: Ecosystem and Municipal Services. These books have other SEFS connections, as well, including alumna Kristen McIvor (’11, Ph.D.) as a co-editor and chapter author for both!



On July 12, Professor Kristiina Vogt was featured in an article in The Daily, “Find your inner peas through gardening.”



You may remember we recently featured BSE major Samantha Mendez, who headed down to Arkansas in June for an internship with Domtar as a process engineering intern. We briefly caught up with her last week, and she says she has loved her experience so far. The humidity is rough, she admits, but not a deal breaker—which is good, since this internship could lead to a full-time role after she graduates in the fall!