RAPID Response

In 1988, wildfires burned about a third of Yellowstone National Park’s forests. Most of those wooded areas hadn’t burned in 100 to 300 years, largely within the average burn cycle for those forests, and they bounced back really well from the disturbance. But what happens when the next fire comes far sooner than the average? With shorter-interval burns and changing climate conditions, will the younger trees and forest be as resilient to a severe fire? Along with collaborators at the University of Wisconsin, Professor Brian Harvey will try to answer those questions, among others, as part of a new National Science Foundation grant for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) this summer!



Guest Seminar (5/10): Paul Armsworth

This Wednesday, May 10, we are very pleased to welcome Professor Paul Armsworth from the University of Tennessee to give a visiting seminar in Anderson Hall 223 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.: “The ecological benefits and economic costs of protected areas.”


Guest Seminar (5/11): William Burch

On Thursday, May 11, at 10:30 a.m. in the Forest Club Room, we’re also hosting a visiting talk with Professor Emeritus Bill Burch from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences: “Taking charge: A human ecosystem approach for joining rural and urban communities in sustaining their legacies and future hopes.” The seminar is open to the public and kicks off the Spring 2017 Governor’s ONRC Advisory Board.


SEFS Women in Science Panel: May 16!

Next Tuesday, May 16, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in the Forest Club Room, you are invited to a panel featuring accomplished women from diverse STEM fields—including Dean Lisa Graumlich and Professor Monika Moskal—to discuss the challenges and opportunities they've faced along their journeys. Snacks and drinks will be provided, and you can RSVP by email to help them plan for the right number of attendees!


2017 UW Climate Change Video Awards: Meet the Emcee, Judges and Keynote Speaker!

The videos are in, and we have an exciting awards show coming together, including Dr. Peter Kareiva as the keynote speaker, Ashley Ahearn as the emcee, and a panel of four distinguished judges. Register today to join us on Friday, June 2, 7-9 p.m. at Town Hall Seattle!


New Summer Course: Intro to Papermaking (BSE 490B)!

In this fun new class, Shannon Ewanick will teach students about methods of papermaking (from hand to machine), raw materials (from rags to wood), environmental sustainability (from water and air pollution to energy use and recycling), and you’ll get to make your own paper on the pilot-scale paper machine in Bloedel Hall. The course is offered in the Summer A Term and requires no prerequisites, science or engineering background. Learn more and register today!


Washington Hardwood Commission’s Annual Symposium

The Washington Hardwoods Commission invites you to join its annual symposium on June 15, 2017, at the U.S. Forest Service office in Olympia, Wash. The theme of this year’s symposium is “Where Are We Growing?” and speakers will represent the U.S. Forest Service, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Washington State University, among others. Check out the day’s agenda, and you can register by mail or online.


May 16, 2017:

SEFS Women in Science Panel, 4:30-7 p.m., AND 207

May 23, 2017:

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

June 2, 2017:

Climate Change Video Awards, 7-9 p.m., Town Hall

June 9, 2017:

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



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We’ll start, as we love to do, with some big-time student kudos for Trevor Robinson, a SEFS graduate student completing the concurrent MS/MPA program this June. Trevor has been selected as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF), a prestigious two-year training and development program to attract outstanding citizen-scholars to federal service from a variety of academic disciplines and career paths who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs. Trevor has accepted a position as a recreation planner at the White River National Forest in Colorado. In addition, on May 2 at the Governor’s mansion in Olympia, Trevor received the American Society for Public Administration-Evergreen Chapter’s Outstanding Graduate Student in Public Administration award!

We are equally excited to send kudos to Professor Sharon Doty, who was one of five faculty members—out of 159 nominees—to receive an Undergraduate Research Mentor Award! The awardees will be recognized at the opening of the Undergraduate Research Symposium on Friday, May 19. Awesome work, Sharon!

Major kudos to Professor Laura Prugh, as well, who just got official notice of receiving a National Science Foundation CAREER grant for $266,254—as part of a larger award for $898,551 that includes other partners—in support of her project, “Integrating positive and negative interactions in carnivore community ecology.” The award starts June 15 and ends May 31, 2022. Great stuff!

From there, we’ll dip into a deep pool of upcoming events …

Tomorrow, May 9, Professor Aaron Wirsing will be one of four panelists at the College of the Environment’s next edition of Amplify: Conversations About Science Communication, with the theme, “Communicating Science in a World with Differing Values.” Held in the Vista Café at the William H. Foege Genome Sciences Building (GNOM), Amplify begins at 5 p.m. with a happy hour, followed from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. by the panel and conversation.

This Friday, May 12, SEFS master’s student Courtney Bobsin will be giving the next presentation as part of the Evening Talks at ONRC speaker series: “Updates on the experiment at the Long Term Ecosystem Productivity Site in the Olympic State Experimental Forest (OESF).” Held at the Olympic Natural Resources Center in Forks, Wash., Courtney’s talk begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

After that, May 19 is Endangered Species Day, and the UW Botanic Gardens has put together a series of great events to recognize the importance of protecting endangered species and highlight the conservation value of our collections. First, visit the Elisabeth C. Miller Library and discover a special exhibit of books relating to endangered species. Then, from 11 a.m. to noon, Rare Care Program Manger Wendy Gibble will give a lecture on Washington's Endangered Native Plants, and Curator of Living Collections Ray Larson will lead a tour on The Arboretum's Conservation Collection: Endangered Plants from Around the World, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. All events are free and open to the public, and we highly encourage you to take part!

On May 23, the 9th annual Urban Forest Symposium, “Equity & the Urban Forest,” will explore the intersection of social justice and urban forestry. Come to hear from arborists and environmental stewardship organizations working to engage and serve diverse audiences. Speakers will discuss strategies to increase opportunities for communities of color and low-income communities to receive the benefits of urban forestry. Learn about tools you can use to apply an equity lens to your hiring, training, communications and engagement. Come to ask questions, to hear your colleagues’ stories of how their equity work looks and feels, and to develop a more informed perspective on the importance of equity within the field of urban forestry.

That same day, of course, is our SEFS Year-End Celebration, and we’re still collecting items for the Silent Auction. Let me know if you have any donation ideas, and we’ll send out another reminder later this week!

Also, don’t forget that another Student Brown Bag Lunch is coming up this Wednesday, May 10, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Forest Club Room. Bring your lunch and come hang out with fellow students (staff and faculty also invited)!



On April 21, Crosscut published a story about the March for Science through a social justice lens, “On Earth Day, check your privilege.” The author is Thaisa Way, executive director of Urban@UW and a professor in Landscape Architecture in the College of Built Environments.



The search committee for the new soils faculty candidate released a schedule for the four on-campus visits and talks, and three remain this month, including this afternoon:

Monday, May 8: Candidate #2's research talk will take place from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Forest Club Room.

Monday, May 15: Candidate #3 will talk with graduate students from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Anderson 107A; drop in anytime, no assigned schedule. His/her research talk will take place from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Forest Club Room.

Monday, May 22: Candidate #4 will talk with graduate students from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Anderson 107A; drop in anytime, no assigned schedule. His/her research talk will take place from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Forest Club Room.



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

ESRM 429 Seminar: Tuesdays, 8:30-9:20 a.m., AND 223

SEFS Seminar Series: On hiatus until Autumn 2017



Professor Fernando Resende is a co-author on an exciting new publication in the journal Fuel, “Pyrolysis of whole wood chips and rods in a novel ablative reactor,” which explores a solution to remove beetle-killed trees from the forest and use them to make renewable transportation fuels or high-value chemicals. Other co-authors include SEFS master’s student Devin Chandler and undergrad Ryan Eng, and Michelle Ma at UW News wrote a great story about this research, “Researchers find more efficient way to make oil from dead trees.”

While on sabbatical last year, Professor Aaron Wirsing joined with several Australian colleagues to write a "short communication" for the journal Biological Conservation examining the impacts of domestic dogs on threatened vertebrates. Led by Tim Doherty, the paper shows that the estimated 1 billion (!) domestic dogs roaming the planet are more ecologically influential than previously thought, with their effects linked to 11 vertebrate extinctions and the threatened status of at least 188 species worldwide.

SEFS Research Scientist Michael Case co-authored a chapter, “Climate-Smart Approaches to Managing Forests,” in a book that just got published. The book, In People, Forests, and Change: Lessons from the Pacific Northwest, considers the nature of forests in flux and how to best balance the needs of forests and the rural communities closely tied to them.

SEFS alumnus Benjamin Shryock (’09, M.S.; ’14, MFR) and Professors John Marzluff and Monika Moskal co-authored a new paper in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, “Urbanization Alters the Influence of Weather and an Index of Forest Productivity on Avian Community Richness and Guild Abundance in the Seattle Metropolitan Area.”



Professor Peter Kahn has been in the news a few times recently, including an April 29 broadcast of NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt that covered some of his work on human interactions with technological systems, “Talking Home Assistants Can Do Nearly Everything You Ask, but is the Technology Good for Kids?



Alumnus Cody Sifford (’16, M.S.) was featured on the cover of the Spring 2017 issue of Winds of Change, the magazine of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES).

The U.S. Forest Service recently published a great spotlight on alumnus Phillip Chi (’04, B.S.; ’08, M.S.), a silviculture forestry technician on the Sisters Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest.

Also, last Thursday, May 4, alumnus Riz Reyes (’06, B.S.) presented at the Seattle Art Museum as part of the “My Favorite Things” series.