Two Alumni Partner on Owl Research Project

A little more than three years ago, two of our alumni, Stan Rullman (’12, Ph.D.) and Dave Oleyar (’11, Ph.D.)—both of whom worked with Professor John Marzluff—started new roles at two different organizations. Stan accepted a position as research director for the Earthwatch Institute in Boston, Mass., and Dave was hired as senior scientist for HawkWatch International in Salt Lake City. Working closely together while at SEFS, Stan and Dave always hoped they’d get a chance to collaborate professionally on a raptor project somewhere, and last year they found the perfect partnership for their two organizations: a research project in Utah and Arizona to study the ecology of small forest owls. Learn more about this research, including how you might get involved!



Wildlife Science Seminar: Spring 2017 Schedule

We have another compelling slate of speakers and topics on tap, ranging from Magellanic penguins and beluga whales to the need for critical thinking in an era of alternative facts, fake news and fake science. The talks are held on Mondays from 3:30 to 4:50 p.m. in Kane Hall 130, and the public is always invited.


Join the Pack Forest and ONRC Summer Crews!

Every summer, a hardy crew of SEFS student interns heads down to Pack Forest for two months of hands-on field training in sustainable forest management. It’s one of our oldest and most memorable field traditions, and this year there’s an exciting twist: We’re creating a second crew that will be based out at the Olympic Natural Resources Center (ONRC) in Forks, Wash. Learn more and apply by April 9!


Next Week (4/4): Sustaining Our World Lecture

Coming up on Tuesday, April 4, at 6 p.m. in Anderson 223, we are very pleased to welcome Professor Emeritus Anthony Sinclair from the University of British Columbia to give our annual spring lecture, “The future of conservation: Lessons from the past and the need for rewilding of ecosystems.” The talk is free and open to the public, but we encourage you to register in advance to make sure we have enough seating upstairs!


Science and a Movie with Anna Simpson

On March 21, SEFS grad student Anna Simpson was one of two speakers at Central Cinema’s “Science and a Movie” night, featuring the classic Aliens. Anna gave a short presentation before the screening and then answered some audience questions afterward—including explaining what it might take for extraterrestrial life to be compatible for interactions with humans!


Save the Date: SEFS Year-End Celebration and Silent Auction, May 23!

For this year’s celebration, set for Tuesday, May 23, from 3 to 6 p.m., we’re hoping to hold it in the Anderson Hall courtyard (weather permitting). The rest of the festivities will be familiar: delicious catered snacks, an expansive wine tasting, loads of fun items to bid on in the Silent Auction, and the presentation of our annual SEFS awards. So mark your calendars now, and stay tuned for more details about the auction and nomination process!


First Section of Arboretum Loop Trail Opens to the Public

Opened on Thursday, March 23, this segment from 31st Ave. E and E Madison connects Arboretum visitors to Arboretum Drive via a new asphalt path. The trail is ready for use, though landscape and other work elements will continue into the spring. Check it out!


March 29, 2017:

Northwest Environmental Forum, CUH

April 4, 2017:

Sustaining Our World Lecture, 6 p.m., AND 223

May 23, 2017:

SEFS Year-End Celebration, 3-6 p.m., AND 207

June 9, 2017:

SEFS Graduation Celebration, 2 p.m., Kane Hall 120



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Welcome to spring quarter!

In case you missed the great news last Thursday, we were thrilled to see three folks from SEFS win awards from the College of the Environment, including David Campbell for Outstanding Staff Member, Robert Swan for the Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist, and master’s student Jessica Hernandez for Outstanding Commitment to Diversity. Please join us in congratulating these deserving honorees, and you can toast them yourself when they receive their awards at the official celebration on May 17 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Fishery Sciences Building first floor lobby. Congratulations!

We’ll keep the kudos rolling for Jessica Hernandez, because she was also selected to receive a 2017 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. This fellowship program recognizes Jessica’s demonstrated potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the United States science and engineering enterprise, and we couldn’t agree more. Awesome work, Jessica!

Kudos, as well, for SEFS doctoral student Catherine Kuhn, who presented in the Evening Talks at ONRC speaker series on Friday, March 17: “River Chemistry from Space.” Catherine's research is on the human transformation of large river systems and explores the intersection of water resources, biogeochemistry and environmental change.

On the jobs front, David Diaz passed along an opportunity with the U.S. Forest Service to work as a GIS fellow through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). Supporting the Forest Service’s Office of Sustainability and Climate program, this opportunity is available for recent graduates who have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree within the last five years. The fellow will participate in work on developing national web maps and AGOL story map applications, in addition to gaining experience on various GIS analytical and data management projects. Focus topics include climate change vulnerability assessments and adaptation plans, drought risk assessments, carbon sequestration and flux, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy management. The internship pays a stipend, around $72,000 a year for someone with a graduate degree, less for undergrad, plus possibilities for additional allowances. The time period for the fellowship is for one full year with an option to extend up to two additional years. There is no closing date on the announcement, but learn more about the position and apply as soon as possible—and definitely before April 5. Email with any questions.

On the events front, we’re resuming our Student Brown Bag Lunch series this Wednesday, March 29, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Forest Club Room! Remember, there’s no agenda or formal structure; it’s simply a chance to relax and hang out with your fellow students (staff and faculty are also invited!). We’ll host these casual gatherings on the first and third Wednesdays of each month (barring any major events or other conflicts), and you are welcome to show up anytime during the hour. What you bring for lunch is up to you, but we will try to bring cookies!

On Tuesday, April 11, the Seattle Public Library invites you to a talk featuring author and Seattle Times environmental reporter Lynda Mapes about her forthcoming book, Witness Tree. Her talk will be held at the Central Library at 7 p.m.

Also, in honor of Earth Month 2017, you are invited to join a workshop featuring the Tilth Alliance and Washington Native Plant Society on Thursday, April 20, from 12 to 1 p.m. in the UW Tower Auditorium. Topics include Gardening With Natives, Stewarding Urban Parks and more. You can register online (with your NetID).

After all the fun news and congratulations, though, we have to end with some awfully sad news that Sarah Geurkink, our enormously talented and seemingly indefatigable manager of the UW Farm, has departed to take over as production manager at the Michigan State University Student Organic Farm. It’s an awesome opportunity for her, but we will all miss Sarah’s tremendous initiative and creativity. Good luck, Sarah, and stay in touch!



Nothing to share in this issue, but please send us articles and updates that might be of interest to the broader community!



We have formed a new Building and Space Committee, which will meet monthly to discuss our ongoing building issues and projects, including faculty offices and labs, as well as the myriad lab safety and building concerns we face with our aging infrastructure. Please send questions or concerns to the committee to



Wildlife Seminar: Mondays, 3:30-4:50 p.m., Kane 130

SEFS Seminar Series: On hiatus until Autumn 2017



Professor Josh Lawler is a co-author on a new paper in Resource and Energy Economics, “Identifying the impacts of critical habitat designation on land cover change.”



Don’t forget to send us news clips involving you or your students!



SEFS alumnus Hunter Decker (’11, B.S.; ’12, MFR) is one of two foresters working for Clark County Public Works, and the department ran a great spotlight story on him this month (in print only, unfortunately). Great work, Hunter!