Remembering Sarah Reichard: 1957-2016

Last Monday, August 29, our community woke up to the heartbreaking news that Professor Sarah Reichard had passed away while leading a UW Botanic Gardens tour in South Africa. We can’t begin to express our shock and sadness at the loss of such a tremendous person and scholar, and our thoughts are with her husband Brian and all of her family, friends, colleagues and students. We have so much more to say and share about Sarah’s wonderful career, including scores of tributes from people whose lives she touched across the region and world, and we will post more information as it becomes available. She will be dearly missed.



New Faculty Intro: Brian Harvey

It’s been a grim week around here with little to celebrate, but we do have some bright news to share, including an introduction to new faculty hire Brian Harvey, who will officially join our community this coming March as an assistant professor of forest ecosystem science and services.


SEFS Students Mentor Doris Duke Scholars

This summer, two SEFS doctoral students—Caitlin Littlefield and Clint Robins—led five undergraduate interns through eight weeks of hands-on field research as part of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, an experiential learning program that aims to build more diversity and inclusion in the conservation community.


Migrations in Motion

The Nature Conservancy recently developed an incredibly cool animated map that depicts how more than 2,900 species of birds, mammals and amphibians might migrate in response to rising sea levels and temperatures. The flow model, called Migrations in Motion, draws from a paper Professor Josh Lawler coauthored in Ecology Letters in 2013. Take a look!


Salmon BBQ: Oct. 5!

For countless students around the country, the end of summer can trigger the cold Pavlovian sweats of a new school year. Around here, though, you’re far more likely to get the meat sweats this time of year thanks to our Annual Salmon BBQ, coming up on Wednesday, October 5, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Anderson Hall courtyard!


Taylor's Checkerspot: An Endangered Butterfly with an Interesting Diet

Coming up next Monday, September 12, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., the UW Botanic Gardens is hosting a talk with one of our doctoral candidates, Nate Haan, whose dissertation focuses on the relationship between Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly and its larval host plants. The talk is free and open to the public, but please RSVP in advance online.


Sept. 21, 2016:

SEFS Annual Retreat

Sept. 23, 2016:

Graduate Student Orientation

Sept. 28, 2016:

Fall Quarter Begins

Oct. 5, 2016:

Salmon BBQ, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Anderson Courtyard



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As we begin the difficult transition following Sarah Reichard’s tragic passing, SEFS Director Tom DeLuca has appointed Fred Hoyt, the long-time associate director of the UW Botanic Gardens, to serve as interim director, and Wendy Gibble will take over the role of associate director. Tom has also appointed Professor Emeritus Tom Hinckley to assist as a part-time academic advisor for the UW Botanic Gardens. Our goal is to initiate a national search for a professor and director of the UW Botanic Gardens after consultation with the faculty at our next faculty meeting in late September.

In other school business, the SEFS Annual Retreat—which is open to all faculty, staff and students—is coming up on Wednesday, September 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Mountaineers (7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115). This year’s theme, “Collaboration, Cooperation and Community,” will draw on all perspectives in our school community, and the day will include a continental breakfast to start the morning, lunch and then a casual reception (with beer and wine) starting around 3 p.m. It’s one of the only chances all year to get as many of us as possible together in one space, and while we aren’t promising a bonanza of laughs all day, the face-to-face time is priceless. You should receive your official invitation and RSVP link tomorrow, and we encourage you to fill it out as soon as possible to help us finalize planning for the right number of mouths to feed. We cover all the basics, so all we need are you and your ideas!

Kudos to Michelle Trudeau and Professor Ernesto Alvarado, who spoke with a group of students, ages 16 to 20, from the Muckleshoot Youth Conservation Corps on Tuesday, August 23. The students worked this summer in the Tomanamus Forest, and they were here for a campus visit to find out more about furthering their education in forestry and related fields at UW. They started their campus visit with a tour of the Arboretum and Intellectual House, and then UW Admissions talked with them about pathways to UW, especially focusing on Native Education. Then, after Ernesto and Michelle spoke with them about our programs, the students went to the Fishery Sciences Building to attend the Exploring Climate Careers Panel (sponsored by Seattle Youth Climate Action Network and College of the Environment).

SEFS had a prominent presence at the Ecological Society of America’s 101st Annual Meeting, held Sunday, August 7, to Friday, August 12, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. This year’s theme was “Novel Ecosystems in the Anthropocene,” and attendees and presenters from SEFS faculty alone included Professors Jon Bakker, Beth Gardner, Josh Lawler, Monika Moskal and Laura Prugh (and we might have missed a couple!). It’s never too early to start planning for next year, either, when the meeting will take place just down the road in Portland, Ore., in August 2017.

This Saturday, September 10, the Olympic Natural Resources Center (ONRC) will once again be hosting the University of Washington’s Astronomy Program, complete with the hugely popular Mobile Planetarium. The family-focused program will run from 1 to 3 p.m., followed by a program for adults from 7 to 9 p.m. Then, on Tuesday, September 13, the next installment of the Evening Talks at ONRC speaker series will feature Professor Parker MacCready from the UW School of Oceanography. His talk, “New Modeling Tools for Ocean Acidification and Harmful Algal Blooms on the Washington Coast,” will begin at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

Also, don’t forget that Geohackweek, hosted by the University of Washington’s eScience Institute, is coming up this November 14 to 18. Geohackweek will feature wide-ranging tutorials, data exploration, software development and community networking—all focused on open source tools to analyze and visualize geospatial data. Learn more and apply to attend by September 15.



Nothing new to report.



Wildlife Seminar: Schedule posted soon

SEFS Senior Seminar: Schedule posted soon

SEFS Seminar Series: Schedule posted soon



Professor Josh Lawler published a paper in Nature Communications that has drawn some nice press coverage, including a piece on August 23 from BBC, “Most nations lack ability to deal with invasive species.” Kelly Knickerbocker at the College of the Environment also wrote a great story about the research, “Nations slated to be hit hardest by invasive species are the least prepared.”



Professor Jerry Franklin is quoted in a story in Science from August 12, “Scientists split on Oregon old-growth forest plan.



We are extremely pleased to announce that SEFS alumnus Randy Dahlgren (’84, M.S.; ’87, Ph.D.) will be giving our Distinguished Alumni Seminar on October 5! Immediately preceding our Salmon BBQ, Randy’s talk will run from 3:30 to 4:20 p.m. in AND 223 as part of the SEFS Seminar Seminars: “From Subduction to Salmon: Geologic Subsidies Drive High Productivity of a Volcanic Spring-Fed River.”