Forest-Powered Jet Fuel

This past November, Alaska Airlines made history by completing the first commercial flight using an alternative jet fuel made in part from forest residuals, the limbs and branches that remain after the harvesting of managed forests. The first-of-its-kind renewable biofuel comprised 20 percent of the jet fuel blend, and it helped power the demonstration flight on a Boeing 737-800 from Seattle to Washington, D.C. Learn more about this triumphant flight and the SEFS researchers who contributed to the project!



SAF Accredits Three SEFS Degree Programs

We are very pleased to report that as of January 1, 2017, the Society of American Foresters has granted continued accreditation to our Master of Forest Resources degree, as well as initial and provisional accreditation, respectively, to two options within our undergraduate B.S. in Environmental Science and Resource Management: Sustainable Forest Management, and Natural Resource and Environmental Management. These options are now the only SAF-accredited B.S. programs in Washington!


Pack Forest Spring Planting: March 20-24

This Spring Break, sign up for a week of hands-on learning as a Pack Forest intern! Your housing (and some food) will be covered, there’s a kitchen at your disposal, you’ll earn a $200 stipend, and one course credit is available. Apply by February 26 to take part in this fantastic tradition!


This August: Symposium on Systems Analysis in Forest Resources

From August 27 to 31, Professor Sándor Tóth is organizing the Symposium on Systems Analysis in Forest Resources (SSAFR), an international gathering that has been held every couple years since 1975. Co-sponsored by the Precision Forestry Cooperative, this symposium will be held at the Clearwater Resort in Suquamish, Wash., about an hour outside of Seattle.


Next Week (2/22): Environmental Career Fair

The College of the Environment is hosting its annual career fair next Wednesday, February 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Mary Gates Hall Commons. More than 30 agencies, businesses and organizations will be there, from The Nature Conservancy to the Port of Seattle, so head over anytime during the three hours to explore some terrific career possibilities!


Northwest Environmental Forum: March 29

The next installment in our long-running series will be organized as a Regional Open Space Leadership Forum, addressing the theme, “From Research to Action: Conserving the Best of the Central Puget Sound.” The day-long forum will be held at the Center for Urban Horticulture, and additional details will be available soon. Contact Sarah Thomas for more information in the meantime.


IFSA to Host Canadian-American Regional Meeting

Starting this Saturday, February 18, our UW Local Committee of the International Forestry Students’ Association will be hosting around 40 students from universities across the United States and Canada to learn about sustainable forestry practices in Washington. Activities range from field trips to a Pecha Kucha night and the Forester’s Ball, and IFSA invites you to check out the schedule and participate in as many events as you can!


March 2-5, 2017:

SEFS Prospective Grad Student Weekend

March 3, 2017:

Graduate Student Symposium, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., AND 207

March 3, 2017:

Dead Elk Party, 5:30 p.m. - ??, AND 207

April 4, 2017:

Sustaining Our World Lecture, Time TBD



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We’ll dive in with some big-time kudos for SEFS doctoral candidate Laurel James, who was recently awarded the 2017 Yakama Nation Endowed Fund for Student Support, which was established by Tom and Arline Hinckley to support the efforts of Yakama Nation undergrad and grad students. Laurel, who was also in the 2016 Husky 100, is working on a forest history for Montana's Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Congratulations, Laurel!

We also have kudos for SEFS undergrad Katherine Jesser, who was awarded $250 from the Director’s Office for her senior capstone project. This support will aid her camera-trapping study of North American river otters in the Green-Duwamish watershed, exploring the effects of human presence and pollution on otter populations and reproduction. Nice work, Katherine!

Kudos, as well, to SEFS doctoral student Emilio Vilanova, who recently participated in the “Phylogenetic and Functional Trait Analyses for Ecology in R Workshop” in Annapolis, Md., February 1 to 4. Held at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), the workshop welcomed early-career scientists and graduate students to explore analytical tools to asses two topics in community ecology: the characteristics of functional traits as descriptors of species function in ecosystems, and the role of phylogeny (i.e. the study of the evolutionary history and relationships among individuals or groups of organisms) in these processes. Great stuff!

The 2017 Graduate Student Symposium is coming up on Friday, March 3, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Forest Club Room. The deadline to submit abstracts has been extended to this Friday, February 17, so act swiftly to take part in this long-running showcase of grad student research!

Also on the cool events front, a couple years ago former SEFS master’s student Nicholas Dankers assisted with the Middle Fork sculpture, which has completed its showing at the Davos World Economic Forum and is headed back to the Seattle Art Museum for its opening this month. Nicho will be back in Seattle for the show, and it’s definitely worth checking out—including this great little video to get you primed!

Events for the Prospective Grad Student Weekend will run from Thursday, March 2, to Sunday, March 5, and include a welcome dinner the first night; a campus tour and meeting with the GO-MAP program; attending the GSS and Dead Elk party on Friday; a Saturday trip to Mount Rainier; and some Seattle neighborhood tours. If you’d like to get involved, organizers are looking for help in a few areas: hosting a prospective student at your house/apartment; participating in any events to chat with prospective students; leading a tour at Mount Rainier (especially if you are doing research there!); or leading a tour of your neighborhood. If you’re up for any of these roles, send an email to the planning team at

SEFS master’s student Jessica Hernandez invites you to register for the “Living Breath Indigenous Foods and Ecological Knowledge Symposium,” coming up May 5 to 6 at the wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ - Intellectual House on campus. The cost for adults is $20 for one day or $35 for two, and all students can attend for free. Learn more and register today!

Finally, we were deeply sad to learn that Cass Turnbull, founder of PlantAmnesty and TreePAC, passed away on January 26. Cass was a good friend and partner of the UW Botanic Gardens for a long time, including working closely on the annual Urban Forest Symposium and Master Pruner Series. She led both of her organizations with a strong voice to advocate for tree preservation and proper pruning and care, and she worked tirelessly to preserve and improve our urban greenspaces.



You are all invited to attend an Environmental (IN)Justice Showcase Symposium on Monday, March 6, and Wednesday, March 8, from 10:30 a.m. to noon each day in the Forest Club Room. The symposium is part of a course SEFS master’s student Jessica Hernandez is teaching, ESRM 490B: Decolonizing the Environmental Discourse, and it will explore environmental justice and several specific cases. A light continental breakfast will be provided, and you can RSVP for free online.



Nothing new to report.



Wildlife Seminar: Mondays, 3:30-4:50 p.m., Smith 120

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



Professors Kern Ewing and Jim Fridley are coauthors on a new paper in Ecological Engineering, “Ecological engineering principles in a restoration curriculum.”

Professor John Marzluff is the sole author on a new publication in the International Journal of Avian Science (IBIS), “A decadal review of urban ornithology and a prospectus for the future.”

John was a coauthor, as well, on a paper in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B- Biological Sciences, “Urban driven phenotypic changes: empirical observations and theoretical implications for eco-evolutionary feedback.”



The Wildlife Society ran a story on February 2, “JWM study: Lasers help map red tree vole habitat in Oregon,” which is about a paper that SEFS alumnus Aaron Johnston and Professor Monika Moskal published last October in the Journal of Wildlife Management, “High-resolution habitat modeling with airborne LiDAR for red tree voles.”

Also, on February 8 the Washington Society of American Foresters posted our accreditation news on their homepage!



We were very happy to hear from Joowon Park (’11, Ph.D.), who has been hired as an assistant professor in the School of Forestry Sciences and Landscape Architecture at Kyungpook National University in South Korea!