SEFS BioBlitz Team Featured Nationally

Two weeks ago, a team from SEFS participated in the Olympic National Park BioBlitz, which was one of dozens of BioBlitzes held across the county as part of the National Park Service’s centennial celebration this year. The Olympic National Park team included Research Scientist James Freund and Affiliate Professor Robert Van Pelt, along with graduate students Russell Kramer, Sean Callahan and Korena Mafune. In preparation for the BioBlitz, they put together a five-minute video of some of their tree-climbing work high up in a 401-year-old Douglas-fir in the Hoh River Valley. Even cooler, too, is that the National Park Service chose this video as one of only three across the country to show on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.!



UW Climate Change Video Awards: Photos and Winners!

We hosted our second UW Climate Change Video Awards on Saturday, May 14, at Town Hall in Seattle, and it was quite a show. Among the winners was one of our ESRM students, Ben Jensen, who was part of a team that took second place—worth $1,000—in the undergraduate category!


Brockman Memorial Tree Tour Going Mobile

For the past two quarters, a pair of undergrads in the University of Washington Information School (iSchool)—Omar Rojas and Jamy Southafeng—have been working on developing a mobile app for the Frank Brockman Memorial Campus Tree Tour. Designed to be used on Android phones, their app will enable users to set up customized tours and use GPS navigation to locate trees from anywhere on campus.


Emilio on the Go: From French Guiana to Venezuela

This spring, from March to May, SEFS doctoral student Emilio Vilanova traveled to French Guiana to participate in a research meeting, and then he spent several weeks in Venezuela as part of a team doing field work monitoring the dynamics of forests in the neotropics. Read more about his research!


College Contributes to Two Projects at CUH for Graduation Gift

For its annual gift to the graduating class this year, the College is partnering with the Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF) to help fund two projects at the Center for Urban Horticulture: planting pollinator habitats to create suitable habitat for local pollinating insects, and installing a composting toilet!


This Friday (6/3): Dead Elk Spring Party!

Come celebrate the end of classes this Friday, June 3, at the Dead Elk Society’s annual spring party! “Fin de Año” starts at 5 p.m. at the Center for Urban Horticulture. There will be games, free food and plenty of free beer, and also live music from Mariachi Quinto Sol de UW. All are welcome—students, staff, faculty, friends and family—so head over to CUH for a fun-filled fiesta!


June 3, 2016:

Dead Elk Spring Party, 5 p.m., CUH

June 10, 2016:

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

June 20, 2016:

Summer Quarter A Term Begins

July 20, 2016:

Summer Quarter A Term Ends



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We’ll start this issue—the final Straight Grain before graduation at 10 a.m. on June 10!—with some major kudos for Professor Jerry Franklin, who recently received the 2016 Eminent Ecologist Award from the Ecological Society of America! The award honors a senior ecologist for an outstanding body of ecological work or sustained ecological contributions of extraordinary merit, and it’s a tremendous honor. Congratulations, Jerry!

We’ll continue with some big-time kudos for SEFS doctoral student Hyungmin “Tony” Rho, who was recently awarded a Research Mentor Award from the University of Washington!

Kudos to all of the award winners at the SEFS Year-End Celebration last Wednesday, including Professor Patrick Tobin for Faculty Member of the Year; David Campbell for Staff Member of the Year; Allison Rossman for Graduate Student of the Year; and Stephen Calkins for Undergraduate Student of the Year. Other honorees included Ben Dittbrenner for a Director’s Award for TA Service; Professor Monika Moskal for Director’s Award for Faculty Service; Shane Krause for a Director’s Award for Staff Service; and Aaron Tam and Connor Meyer for the Richard D. Taber Outstanding Wildlife Conservation Student Award. Congrats to all of them, and to the many other incredible nominees!

Kudos, as well, to everyone who made the celebration such a wonderful evening! The lion’s share of thanks for organizing goes to Sarah Thomas for taking care of the nomination process, programs, fantastic catering and loads of other details; to Karl Wirsing for all the email outreach and pulling together the Silent Auction; to Steve West and Bruce Lippke for organizing the wine tasting—their last time leading it!—and to all of the donors who filled out such an amazing line-up of wines; to the judging crew—Carrie Cone, Melissa Pingree, Steve West and Ernesto Alvarado—who had an exceptionally hard job selecting the honorees this year; to everyone who donated so many awesome items to the auction, and everyone who bid on them to raise money for the scholarship fund (early results suggest we might top $4,000, which would be nearly $1,500 more than last year!); to Styles Carnley for helping with the music; to K.C. Deterling for helping set up the Silent Auction and the computer/laptop for the presentations; to Tom Hinckley for giving the thoughtful tribute to Susan Bolton; and to all of you for showing up to celebrate the final weeks of another terrific year at SEFS!

We'll keep the kudos rolling with SEFS doctoral student Carol Bogezi, who spoke on a wildlife panel at the Bellevue STEM Career Fair on Wednesday, May 18.

And we'll finish with kudos for master’s student Anna Carragee, who presented this past April at the SERNW Regional Conference in Portland, Ore. Anna's talk, “SER-UW Nursery: Forging the Missing Link Between Plant Materials and Student Restoration Projects,” covered her work with the Native Plant Nursery. Great work!

The kudos are over (sigh), but we have some other mostly super news to share: The roofing project slated for Anderson Hall this summer has been postponed indefinitely. It’s true, you should never celebrate the deferral of maintenance we definitely need, but the construction threatened the removal of many trees and shrubs around Anderson hall. So we will still celebrate this revelation as quite a relief, and huge thanks go to Amanda Davis for spending countless hours fighting and negotiating on behalf of our greenery!

On the events front, you are invited to join your fellow students and colleagues tomorrow evening—Wednesday, June 1, at 7 p.m. in Anderson 22—to enjoy student findings from their recent ESRM 458 field trip to Yellowstone National Park. At this annual event, “An Evening in Yellowstone,” three student teams will present their assessments of 1) Human Activity and Elk Vigilance; 2) The Relationship of Weather and Health on Prey Selection by Wolves; and 3) Elk Vigilance as a Function of Wolf Risk. In addition to lively discussion, a hearty buffet of granola bars and fruit drinks will be served.

The next day, you are invited to the Spring 2016 Capstone Poster session on Thursday, June 2, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Forest Club Room. You'll be able to learn about a wide range of undergraduate research projects, with 21 posters ranging from "Examining Bird Return Rates to Restored Ecosystems" to "Sustainable Community Design in King County."

Then, next week the UW Student Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration would like to invite you to a presentation by their landscape design intern, Rebecca Christy, on Monday, June 6, at 3:30 p.m. in Anderson 22. Rebecca will be presenting a planting plan for Whitman Walk, our interpretive forest on North Campus. The planting plan will provide a vision for managing the site over the next few years as we adapt to impacts from the North Campus Housing project and expand into new areas near the Intellectual House. Contact Jim Cronan with any questions.

The 15th Annual Research Symposium of the Native Organization of Indigenous Scholars was held last Friday, May 27, at the Intellectual House. One of our graduate students, Jessica Hernandez, was among the organizers, and you can check out a story in the UW Daily for more info about the event.

In other fun news, the Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (PNW CESU) has a new website! We encourage you to check it out and learn more about their work, members and funding opportunities. You can find more than 350 project reports in their Project Library, which allows searches by agency, partner, project type or keyword.



Several hiring updates are imminent, but nothing was ready at press time!



Wildlife Seminar: Done for this quarter

SEFS Senior Seminar: Done for this quarter

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



Professor Sharon Doty has a new paper on N-fixation in poplar trees in PLOS ONE, “Variable nitrogen fixation in wild Populus.” This research involved three undergrads from other departments, and SEFS graduate student (at the time) Mahsa Khorasani. (Professor Soo-Hyung Kim and Director Tom DeLuca were also co-authors.) The paper has been picked up by a number of media outlets, and for more background you can check out a great story Michelle Ma at UW News put together about the paper, “Bacteria in branches naturally fertilize trees.”

Also, on May 21 Professor Peter Kahn co-authored a great perspective piece in Science, “Living in cities, naturally.”



Lynda Mapes wrote a great Seattle Times story on May 26, “Odd spring covers Cascades in wildflowers way ahead of schedule,” that features Professor Emeritus Tom Hinckley.

On May 20, there was a nice story on Northwest Public Radio that features Derek Churchill and some of his work with dry forest restoration, “App Helps Crews Protect NW Forests From Wildfires.” You can listen to the 4-minute segment or read the story.

On May 24, the UW Sustainability Blog ran a cool piece, “Washington Park Arboretum aims to reduce water consumption,” that features several quotes from gardener Kathleen DeMaria.

Also, on the UW homepage you might have noticed a story about alternative spring breaks that features one of our ESRM majors, Ann Margaret Stompro! The College of the Environment put together its own story, too, which includes two other SEFS student participants, Natalie Gray and Kat Schaffer. Great stuff!



Avery Meeker, who graduated a year ago as an ESRM major, will be returning to the program this summer as a new master’s student with Professor John Marzluff!