Richard D. Taber: 1920-2016

We were incredibly sad to learn that Professor Emeritus Richard “Dick” Taber, a long-time faculty member at SEFS from 1968 to 1985, passed away on January 25 in Missoula, Mont. He was 95 years old. Dick was the last graduate student of Aldo Leopold at the University of Wisconsin, and he was instrumental in helping develop the original undergraduate and graduate programs in wildlife science at SEFS. He advised 23 master’s and 16 doctoral students, including two—Dave Manuwal and Ken Raedeke—who went on to become fellow faculty members with him at SEFS. He had a long, decorated career, and he will be sorely missed by scores of students and colleagues.



Tomorrow (2/2): BYOM Résumé Café with UW TAPPI!

Have interviews coming up? Attending any job fairs? Then come to a résumé café this Tuesday, February 2, at 4 p.m. in the Forest Club Room. Mike Roberts from the Washington Pulp and Paper Foundation will be presenting on the do’s and don’ts of professional résumés, and bring your own mug to enjoy hot cider.


This Wednesday (2/3): Staff and Faculty Appreciation Pancake Breakfast

Xi Sigma Pi is very pleased to show its syrupy gratitude for all SEFS staff and faculty at the annual pancake breakfast, coming up this Wednesday, February 3, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Forest Club Room!


Also this Wednesday (2/3): Fireside Chat with IFSA

The International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA) is holding its Winter Quarter General Membership meeting this Wednesday, February 3, at 5:30 p.m. in the Forest Club Room (immediately following the seminar reception). They will be celebrating with s’mores and warmth from the fireplace. All are welcome, and you can learn more and keep up on the IFSA Facebook group!


2016 Graduate Student Symposium: Submit Your Abstracts!

The GSS is coming up on Friday, March 4, and the abstract submission period is now open. You can submit an abstract, via the online form, through Friday, February 12, at 5 p.m. As always, there are a limited number of presentation spots available, so submit your abstract ASAP!


Director's Message: Winter 2016

Tom DeLuca reflects on how much of the SEFS community revolves around the Forest Club Room, which—despite its famously tattered couches and wobbly tables—gamely hosts everything from holiday gatherings and guest lectures to thesis and dissertation defenses, Dead Elk parties and countless study groups.


Grad Student Spotlight: Korena Mafune

Korena, who earned her master’s last spring working with Professors Dan and Kristiina Vogt, has begun her doctoral work researching plant-fungal relationships in Washington's temperate old-growth rain forests, with a specific focus on canopy soils and host tree fungal interactions. Learn more about her research project!


Feb. 2, 2016:

UW TAPPI Résumé Café, 4 p.m., AND 207

March 4, 2016:

Graduate Student Symposium

April 10, 2016:

SEFS Spring Gathering, CUH

April 21, 2016:

Sustaining Our World Lecture



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In case you missed the news last week, we were very sorry to announce the departure of Dave Cass, the forester at Pack Forest, who has accepted a great opportunity with Washington State Parks. Dave has been invaluable at Pack Forest, a great supporter of graduate and undergraduate students on their research and capstone projects, and an active member of the SEFS community—from hauling up the incredible trees for our holiday parties, to supplying the wood for the annual Salmon BBQ. We are enormously grateful to Dave for his years of great service to our school, and we wish him well in his new job!

And as we wish Dave farewell, we also welcome Jeff Kelly as the interim forester at Pack Forest. Jeff has forestry degrees from Utah State (bachelor’s), the University of Florida (master’s) and Macquarie University in Australia (Ph.D.), and he recently completed a postdoc at the University of Alberta. Please join us in welcoming him to the SEFS community!

On the events front, the National Park Service will be celebrating its centennial this year, and 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. They are especially interested in bringing college students and other young adults—the next generation of stewards—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. Two buses will leave from UW, and our Mount Rainier Institute might be cross-promoting its own event that day to further boost the UW presence there. Stay tuned for more details, but mark the date on your calendar if you’re keen to hit the mountain—for free!

In related centennial news, the National Park Service is teaming up with the National Geographic Society to conduct BioBlitzes and biodiversity celebrations at more than 100 national parks across the country on May 20 and 21. A BioBlitz is a biological inventory where teams of volunteers, each led by a subject matter expert, find and identify as many species as possible within a 24-hour period. In the Pacific Northwest, NPS is holding BioBlitzes at eight units of the National Park Service, and they are currently recruiting field biologists and naturalists to participate. If you’d like to serve as an expert, sign up before February 15.

From there, we’ll jump to some fantastic kudos for the Washington Park Arboretum, which was just awarded a 2016 UW Green Seed Fund grant for $52,323 to improve the outdated irrigation system for Azalea Way—and dramatically reduce water consumption in the 230-acre park! The project team includes Kathleen DeMaria, New Zealand horticulturist for the Arboretum; Ryan Garrison, UW irrigation lead at the Arboretum; David Zuckerman, manager of horticulture and plant records for the UW Botanic Gardens; Professor Jon Bakker, who is advising and assisting with the project; and Karen Galt, irrigation conservation program coordinator for Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Sustainable Operations Division. Great stuff!

We also have excellent kudos for Brian Thompson, manager and curator of horticultural literature for the Elisabeth C. Miller Library. Last Wednesday, he gave a presentation as part of the monthly staff seminar series, and he brought a wonderful collection of older books—a couple from the mid-1800s—and other pieces for us to enjoy. It was very nicely done!

Let’s keep the kudos rolling for the Society of American Foresters UW Student Chapter, which hosted a hugely successful Natural Resources Career Fair last Wednesday, January 27! Marisa Bass and the other organizers pulled together an impressive list of companies and agencies, and the Forest Club Room was packed and buzzing all afternoon.

Kudos, as well, to Professor Patrick Tobin, who participated in the “Meet, Greet, Teach” panel hosted by the College of the Environment last Wednesday, January 27. The theme was interdisciplinary teaching on environmental issues.

Other major kudos belong to Professor Josh Lawler, whose group he co-founded in 2015, EarthGamesUW, helped two teams from UW win prizes in the inaugural Climate Games Jam competition (“UW-designed climate change games honored this week in Washington, D.C.”).

Last, but certainly not least, we have kudos for the brave students who risked an assault of sap and scrapes by taking down the SEFS Christmas Tree last Monday. We always wait WAY too long and let the poor thing dry to a crisp, so the needles tend to explode everywhere when you touch it. So we are so, so grateful for the help in taking it down, cutting it up, hauling it out and cleaning up afterward!



No updates to report.



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 Carolyn Shores is the lead author on a new paper in Conservation Genetics Resources, “Comparison of DNA and hair-based approaches to dietary analysis of free-ranging wolves (Canis lupus).” She wrote a blog post about the research, as well, which came from her master’s work on gray wolf dietary ecology.

SEFS postdoc Michael Case and Professor Josh Lawler have a new publication in Climatic Change, “Relative vulnerability to climate change of trees in western North America.”

Also, that recent publication from SEFS postdoc Jeff Richardson and Professor Monika Moskal in Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, “Urban food crop production capacity and competition with the urban forest,” got some more coverage, this time in Conservation magazine on January 26: “This is why cities can’t grow all their own food."



Pack Forest recently had a hand in creating the brand-new Nisqually State Park (which is right next door to it), and The Dispatch covered the news on January 27, “A park is born.”

On January 20, Seattle Refined put together a neat little piece on the Arboretum, “Discover magic in the Washington Park Arboretum.”

A story in The Olympian on January 19 features SEFS Research Scientist Elaine Oneil, “Farm forestry marks 75th year in Evergreen State.”

Also, in the last issue we shared news of the new phone-friendly interactive map for the Arboretum. For more on the map, check out a story from Michelle Ma at UW News, “What’s the name of that tree? New interactive plant map for arboretum.”



We recently heard from Audrie Starsy (’14, B.S.), a former ESRM major who now works as a stormwater scientist and project manager at SoundEarth Strategies, Inc. She really enjoyed her undergraduate experience here, and she was often inspired by the professionals who would come into the classrooms as guest lecturers. Now as an alumna, she is interested in possibly serving in a similar role as a guest lecturer in courses that involve water quality—especially if dealing with industrial, construction and municipal stormwater. If you have a possible opening for Audrie, let us know!