Northwest Environmental Forum

We are very excited to announce the re-launch of our long-running Northwest Environmental Forum, coming up on March 21 and 22 at the Center for Urban Horticulture! Involving stakeholders from the public and private sectors as well as academic and industry representatives, this forum is designed to explore the current science, laws, regulations, diverse perspectives and passions surrounding net pen aquaculture—the farming and cultivation of marine organisms in netted enclosures (similar to the pens above in Norway; photo by Thomas Bjørkan). Invitations went out last week, and you can contact Sarah Thomas for more information about the event!



Native Plant Nursery: Spring Internships!

The UW student chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER-UW) is seeking applicants for two undergraduate intern positions to work in the Native Plant Nursery during the spring quarter. These positions are unpaid, but interns can receive ESRM 399 credit and will gain all sorts of hands-on learning experience. Learn more and apply by the end of today, March 7!


Pack Forest Summer Crew

There are up to six internship positions available for the 2016 Summer Quarter, which runs from June 20 to August 19. Each position is eligible for 4 ESRM credit hours (with in-state tuition included), as well as a $200 weekly stipend and free housing in cozy cabins for a summer spent in the shadow of Mount Rainier. Hard to beat!


Final Stretch of Yesler Swamp Trail Under Construction

Work is underway on the final section of trail through six-acre Yesler Swamp, which abuts the eastern edge of the Center for Urban Horticulture. It’s the culmination of nearly a decade of work by a host of dedicated university and community partners!


2016 College of the Environment Awards

The nomination period has been extended through this Wednesday, March 9, and nominations require only a one- to two-page letter. So learn more about the categories and support one of your fellow colleagues, classmates and students today!


2016 Garden Lovers' Book Sale!

The annual event at the Elisabeth C. Miller Library is coming up on April 1 and 2, and there’s a lot to get excited about, from the preview party and rare book silent auction, to the all-day book sale of all things horticultural on Saturday. It’s the biggest event of the year for the library, so mark your calendars and come join the fun—and learn how you can donate your own gently used gardening books to the sale!


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’ll start with some major kudos for Professors Sharon Doty and Josh Lawler, who were just notified last Friday of their promotions to full professor! This is a huge and well-deserved accomplishment, and we hope you’ll join us in extending a full-throated congratulations to them!

Another round of kudos goes to Josh, who along with Professor Katie Davis was just awarded a University of Washington innovation award in the environmental sciences. The award, which provides funding for $400,000 over two years, is for his project, “NatureCollections: Can a mobile app connect kids with nature?” The Innovation Awards are designed to nurture and stimulate innovative approaches in research and education. Nicely done!

Big-time kudos also belong to SEFS undergrads Elizabeth Newman and Grant Whitman, who volunteered as science mentors this quarter for the 23rd Annual Bryant Elementary Science Fair, which was on Saturday, March 5, at the Bryant school gym/lunchroom (3311 NE 60th Street). Our students regularly volunteer for this great event—indeed this was Grant’s second year as a mentor—and they provide expertise in the scientific process and serve as inspiring role models for young students. It’s a substantial commitment, involving more than 20 hours during the course of eight weeks, including in-school sessions and time outside of the classroom with the 4th and 5th graders.

Kudos, as well, to SEFS master’s student Cole Gross, who will be attending the 2016 SERNW Regional Conference on ecological restoration, held April 4 to 8 in Portland, Ore. The conference will bring together scientists, restoration professionals and government agencies involved in the practice and science of ecological restoration and management in the Cascadia Bioregion.

We’ll continue with kudos for SEFS undergrad Cyrena Thibodeau, who received $250 from the Director’s Office to support her senior capstone project. She is actually working on several projects, all of which support ongoing (or newly established) garden-based educational programs at UW—including working to expand and prepare the children's garden at the Washington Park Arboretum (which will be the focus of her award funding). She has already held several classes with Fiddleheads Forest School students, and she is using a portion of the grant to cover the cost of garlic they planted, with the remainder going toward purchasing perennials to plant in the space. In addition to this project, she has been helping to establish the children's garden at the UW Farm and has also written a grant to the Campus Sustainability Fund for a composting toilet. This facility would support students and workers at the UW Farm and at the Center for Urban Horticulture as a whole. Great stuff!

It’s a kudos kind of Monday, because we also have plaudits for SEFS undergrad Claudia Arends, who received $250 from the Director’s Office to support her capstone project. Claudia, who presented her poster at the GSS last Friday, has focused her research on eco-districts, and particularly the lack of promoting environmental restoration and supporting native vegetation and habitat in urban areas. The focus of an eco-district is efficiency and support for humans, but Claudia says we can do better as far as our natural environment is concerned—and we don't need to limit our work to parks only!

We'll finish with kudos for Professor Sally Brown, too, as she represented the Soil Science Society of America at a Climate Science Day in Olympia, Wash., on February 10. The purpose of the event was to provide Washington congressional members with the best possible scientific information on climate science when making policy decisions.

Changing gears slightly, the students in SEFS 502 (Analytical Techniques for Community Ecology) are preparing presentations that are the culmination of this quarter's activities. These students, from SEFS and Biology, are investigating topics in ecosystems from the marine to the mountaintop. On their behalf, Professor Jon Bakker invites you to stop by and see their final presentations in Anderson 22. Presentations are concise (15 minutes) and fascinating, and you are welcome to stay for an entire session or to pop in for individual presentations. Those presenting this Friday (March 11, 9 to 10:50 a.m.) are: Lyda Harris, Mo Turner, Amelia Root, Mitchell Parsons, Loretta Fisher, Jonathan Kane and Miles LeFevre. Those presenting next Wednesday (March 16, 8:30 to 10:20 a.m.) are: Apryle Craig, John Wros, Josh Chenoweth, Meera Sethi, Ryo Okubo and Brendan Whyte. The detailed schedule of speakers and times is available online, and we hope you get a chance to check out some of the presentations!

Also on the events front, we heard of an upcoming conference through the American Society for Environmental History that might be of interest to some of you: “Environmental History and Its Publics,” March 30 to April 3, held right here in Seattle. Take a look at the details if you’re intrigued.

Oh, and don’t forget a cool event coming up related to the National Park Service’s centennial this year. Mount Rainier National Park is planning an event for the end of National Park Week on Sunday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p .m.: Mountain Meetup: A Centennial Millennial Event. The park is especially interested in bringing college students and other young adults to enjoy a day at the park, so if you're up for a free visit to Rainier, here’s a fantastic opportunity. The event will include both indoor and outdoor activities at Paradise, ranging from informal yard games in the snow to ranger-led snowshoe walks. We are arranging for a bus (or buses) to leave from UW that morning, and we’ll have a more detailed invite out in the next couple days.



Updates on our three faculty searches underway: The search for an assistant professor in the area of forest ecosystem science and services is down to four candidates, and in-person interviews are likely to be scheduled in the next few weeks. The search for an assistant professor in the area of nature, health and recreation is down to several candidates, as well, with in-person interviews likely to start at the end of March or early April. The third search, for a Professor of Practice who will also serve as lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy, has also been narrowed to a final few candidates, with interviews slated to begin later this month.



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

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

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



SEFS doctoral student Meghan Halabisky is the lead author on a new paper published 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).” The research evolved from Meghan’s master’s thesis, and co-authors include Professor Monika Moskal and SEFS alumnus Michael Hannam (‘13, Ph.D.), who is now working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Md. You can also check out an interesting audio story about the research that another of Monika’s former students, Chris Vondrasek (’15, M.S.), produced.

In other news, SEFS Research Associate Nabin Baral and Professor Stanley Asah are co-authors on a new paper in PLOS ONE, “Wolf Lethal Control and Livestock Depredations: Counter-Evidence from Respecified Models.”



Professor John Marzluff, as well as grad student Loma Pendergraft, are featured in a story in Audubon magazine, “Meet the Bird Brainiacs: American Crow.”

Also, this past January SEFS grad student Michael Havrda and one of his advisors, Robert Long, senior conservation fellow at Woodland Park Zoo, did an interview with Alison Morrow at King 5 News about the urban-wildland carnivore project that is the focus of his research at SEFS. King 5 came with them into the field, and the terrific segment aired on Friday, February 19 (“Urban carnivores tracked by secret cameras”)!



Professor Marianne E. Krasny, who was Professor Kristiina Vogt’s first Ph.D. student at SEFS (’86), was just elected as a foreign fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry. Marianne is a professor in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University and director of the Civic Ecology Lab, and she is an international expert on community environmental stewardship and education in urban areas. She was one of 25 scientists elected this year. Congratulations, Marianne!