What a Show!

Last Friday, June 2, we hosted the 2017 UW Climate Change Video Awards at Town Hall Seattle. The evening featured lively discussion among our four judges and student finalists, and of course the main event with the screening of the top six videos from the contest. We’ll be posting and sharing those videos, as well as photos from the evening, in the coming days. In the meantime, we want to thank everyone who supported and helped organize the show, including Professor Josh Lawler and several student volunteers (Maika Bui, Sarah Chase and Kyle Binder), David Campbell for running the videos at Town Hall and working with Teresa Bresee to process the submissions and support the website. Above all, we want to thank Sarah Thomas, who put in countless hours—over many months—to pull together such a fantastic show and community showcase. We can’t wait for you to see the winning videos!



This Friday (6/9): SEFS Graduation!

We hope you’re all planning to join us in celebrating our graduates this Friday, June 9, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in Kane Hall 130! This year, we are adding a hooding ceremony for our doctoral graduates, and we’ll have our customary reception in the Anderson Hall courtyard immediately after the formal event. See you there (and good luck trying to dodge our relentless cameraman)!


New Summer Course: Proto-Timber Design-Build Studio

This summer, Professor Greg Ettl will be one of four instructors for a new cross-disciplinary course, Proto-Timber (ARCH 403B/506B), that will explore the nexus of 21st century technology, design and environmental science. The workshop involves designing and building a new outdoor education teaching shelter for the Mount Rainier Institute at Pack Forest, so it should be one heck of a hands-on experience!


Xi Sigma Pi: Research Grant Winners + New Officers!

After a highly competitive proposal and review process, the Xi Sigma Pi forestry honor society is very pleased to announce the winners of its annual research grants—two for graduate students, Lesly Franco and Mitchell Parsons, and one for an undergraduate, Hannah Booth—totaling $2,200 in funding for the next year!


Save the Date: Annual SEFS Retreat (9/20)!

We have set the date and location for this year’s annual retreat for Wednesday, September 20, at the Center for Urban Horticulture (roughly from 9 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m.). We don’t want to leak any false narratives, as we have lots of planning and refining to do, but the graduate program is likely to be a major focus. So mark your calendars now, and we’ll have more details to share this summer!


June 9, 2017:

SEFS Graduation Celebration, 9-10:30 a.m., Kane Hall 130

June 19, 2017:

Summer Quarter Begins

Sept. 20:

Annual SEFS Retreat, CUH

Oct. 4, 2017:

Salmon BBQ (tentative)



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We hate to get going with a goodbye, but after 20 years of service at UW—including more than a decade with SEFS!—Margery Cooper will be retiring as our payroll coordinator this month. Her last day in the office will be June 19, and we hope you’ll join us in congratulating her for her many years of service to the school. We wish you great joy (and no more payroll forms) in retirement, Margie, but we will miss you!

From there we’ll launch into some great kudos for the honorees at the SEFS Year-End Celebration on Tuesday, May 23, including Rachel Yonemura as Undergraduate Student of the Year; Caitlin Littlefield as Graduate Student of the Year; Greg Ettl as Faculty Member of the Year; Karl Wirsing as Staff Member of the Year; Ryan Garrison for receiving the John A. Wott Fellowship in Plant Collection and Curatorship; Shelby Pace for earning the Richard D. Taber Outstanding Wildlife Conservation Student Award; Kern Ewing for the Director’s Award for Faculty Service; K.C. Deterling for the Director’s Award for Staff Service; and Loretta Rafay and Robert Tournay for Director’s Awards for Teaching Service. We’ve never had so many amazing nominees, or so many deeply thoughtful nominating letters, and we thank all of you for helping to make the awards such a wonderful part of the Year-End Celebration! (Oh, and we are still working through results from the Silent Auction, but you can expect an email soon, with info about payment and pick-up, if you won any items.)

Kudos to several undergraduate students who, after taking ESRM 458: Management of Endangered Species last winter, published a piece in The Wild Cascades newsletter about their work in the class, “The plight of the cascade red fox.” The course was taught by Professor John Marzluff and doctoral student Kaeli Swift from SEFS, along with Professor Marc Miller from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, and the student authors include Kyle Barry, Tyler Haas, Patrick Kuo, Emily Newell, Ivy Terry and Suzannah Yu. The Wild Cascades is the newsletter of the North Cascades Conservation Council, and this issue should be available online soon.

Kudos, as well, to a great collaborative project—sponsored by Professors Dan and Kristiina Vogt at SEFS, along with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville and other partners—which won an award at the iSchool capstone night! Five graduate students in the iSchool have been working on an interactive tribal language game, and we have a longer story in the works about this very cool project. Great stuff!

In other news, the College of the Environment announced its annual gift in honor of the graduating class! Based on the recommendation of the Student Advisory Council and a vote by our graduating students, the College will be partnering with the Campus Sustainability Fund to help fund a project at Friday Harbor Laboratories (the College’s marine biology laboratory on San Juan Island) to construct an industrial composting facility, which will handle all of the current food waste production at FHL, reducing their CO2 emissions by 11 metric tons per year. Learn more about the funded project!



We welcome news, stories and events that touch on all aspects of diversity and inclusiveness, here on campus and around the world.



The candidate visits for four faculty searches—soils, BSE/ecohydrology, UW Botanic Gardens director and CINTRAFOR—are now completed (the video of the final UW Botanic Gardens candidate talks should be available shortly).

We now also have a tentative schedule for three candidate visits in the SEFS Director Search:

Candidate #1, June 14 and 15
Candidate #2, June 21 and 22
Candidate #3, June 28 and 29

We will confirm and provide more details about these visits and public talks as soon as they are finalized.



Wildlife Seminar: Done for the quarter

ESRM 429 Seminar: Done for the quarter

SEFS Seminar Series: On hiatus until Autumn 2017



Professor Aaron Wirsing is a co-author on a new paper in Nature Communications, “Top predators constrain mesopredator distributions,” and Michelle Ma at UW News wrote a great release about the research, “Wolves need space to roam to control expanding coyote.”



Aaron’s wolf paper has drawn some other great coverage, including a story and radio segment on KUOW, “Study: To Mitigate Problem Predators, Give Wolves More Space, Tolerance.”

Also, Professor Phil Levin was featured in a story on June 2 in UW Today, “How UW Works: Tips and Tricks from Leading Students and Professors.”



Don’t forget to pass along alumni news, great and small!