Alumni Spotlight: Ellen Lois Hooven (1924-2016)

Seventy-two years ago, a young woman named Ellen Johnson (second from right in the black dress with two white stripes) arrived on the UW campus to begin her studies. She didn’t realize it when she applied, but Ellen would be one of the first two women ever enrolled in the College of Forestry, and four years later, in 1948, she would become the very first to earn an undergraduate forestry degree from UW. Last month, on December 5, we were very sad to learn that Ellen passed away a couple weeks shy of her 92nd birthday. We were enormously grateful to have had a chance to catch up with her the previous year, and some of her memories of college—nearly 70 years after graduation—were still as poignant as the day she got tossed into Frosh Pond on Garb Day.



An Intimate View of Wild Lands

This month, from January 4 through 30, the Elisabeth C. Miller Library at the UW Botanic Gardens is hosting a photography exhibition, “An Intimate View of Wild Lands,” featuring Richard Dunford, the son of SEFS alumnus Earl Gerald Dunford (’35, B.S.).


Sustaining Our World Lecture: Tony Sinclair

We are very pleased to announce that this year’s speaker will be Professor Emeritus Anthony Sinclair from the University of British Columbia. Tony is one of the most influential ecologists alive today, and his topic will be on the subject of rewilding (title TBD). We have set the date for his talk on Tuesday, April 4, and we’ll nail down the rest of the details in the next couple weeks. In the meantime, we hope you’ll mark your calendars and plan to join us for our annual spring lecture!


Student Spotlight: Danielle Bogardus

An Environmental Studies major with POE, Danielle secured an independent research project as part of the Vogt Lab last winter. The goal of her research is to divert waste and contribute to healthy forests and communities in Madre de Dios, Peru, in connection with Hoja Nueva, a nonprofit that SEFS doctoral student Sam Zwicker cofounded a couple years ago. Learn more about Danielle and her project!


UW Botanic Gardens Director Search

The search has begun for a tenure-track faculty position to serve as director of the UW Botanic Gardens. This position is hugely important to our school and community, so we hope you will help us circulate the advertisement to reach as many top-notch candidates as we can. The application deadline is March 1, 2017.


Jan. 17, 2017:

College Culture Study Results, 3:30-4:30 p.m., AND 207

Jan. 25, 2017:

College Culture Study Results, 3:30-4:30 p.m., AND 207

March 2-5, 2017:

SEFS Prospective Student Weekend

March 3, 2017:

Graduate Student Symposium, AND 207



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We’ll start with some big-time kudos for SEFS master’s student Summer Kemp-Jennings, who was just named a 2017 Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management! Summer is a graduate research assistant with the Fire and Mountain Ecology Lab and Affiliate Professor David Peterson, and this two-year leadership development program—which comes with salary and benefits—will be a great opportunity to move into a career in resource management with a federal agency. There were 6,370 applicants to the PMF program, and only 417 finalists named—less than 7 percent. Congratulations, Summer!

Also, in the kudos from the last issue, we may have undersold how much the annual Christmas Tree Sale raised by saying “a couple thousand.” In the final tally, they raised $3,737.90!

Collection for UW Tent City: To help address the crisis of homelessness in Seattle, the University of Washington is hosting a tent city (Tent City 3, officially) for 90 days in Parking Lot W-35 along Brooklyn Avenue. This encampment will operate until the middle of March, and SEFS is hosting a clothing, food and goods drive this month to collect items for residents of the tent city. You can check out a calendar and wish list for the residents that captures up-to-date needs, and you can also explore the longer list to get an idea of what will be most useful; options come in all sizes and costs. We have set up a collection box in Anderson Hall 116—huge thanks to everyone who has already made donations!—and we will make the first delivery of collected items this Wednesday, January 18.

Save the Date: The 2017 Graduate Student Symposium has been set for Friday, March 3, all day in the Forest Club Room. SEFS graduate student Cole Gross is taking the lead this year, and we will have more details to share in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we hope you’ll mark your calendars to take part in this great showcase of student research, and you can email Cole with any questions.

Peer Perspective Fridays: Starting last Friday, Lisa Nordlund launched a weekly session, called “Peer Perspective Friday,” from noon to 2 p.m. in Anderson 116. This two-hour window will provide students who are curious about the ESRM major an opportunity to speak with a peer mentor—an ESRM upperclassman they can ask about courses, capstone projects, extracurricular activities, etc. For the first Friday, Ceci Henderson was the mentor, and we look forward to more great segments!

Student Brown Bag Lunches: This Wednesday, January 18, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Forest Club Room, we are hosting the first in a bimonthly brown bag lunch series for students! There’s no agenda or formal structure for the lunch; it’s simply a chance to relax and hang out with your fellow students, whether you’re a first-year undergrad or a fifth-year doctoral candidate. 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 and a half. What you bring for lunch is up to you, but we might have some cookies!

Prospective Student Weekend: After the great success of last year’s event, the second edition is coming together from March 2 to 5. Organized and led by current grad students, this activity-filled weekend will give prospective students a closer look into the SEFS community to see if our graduate program is the right fit for them. They’ll get to meet prospective faculty advisors, learn about current grad student research, attend events catering to underrepresented and minority students, college-wide receptions, and—if they’re visiting Seattle—explore the city and surrounding area. For more information, email

The 2017 Green-Duwamish Watershed Workshop is coming up on Monday, February 27, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Tukwila Community Center. Learn more!

Second Call for Abstracts: Papers are being accepted for the international conference on Forest Regeneration in Changing Environments that will be held July 11 to 13, 2017, in Corvallis, Ore. Online submission for abstracts (oral and poster presentations) is open until February 5, and papers are welcome on all topics related to forest regeneration around the world. Of special interest are papers related to the changes and challenges (environmental, ecological, technological, economic and social) associated with the successful regeneration and management of young forests. Graduate student participation is highly encouraged.

Students: The Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (PNW CESU) has put out a call for 2017 student applications for the George Melendez Wright Initiative for Young Leaders in Climate Change (YLCC). Graduate and upper-level undergraduate students and recent graduates are invited to apply for the program, which involves a paid summer internship to work on diverse issues related to climate change and its effects in national parks. The deadline to apply is this Thursday, January 19, so learn more about the internship projects, eligibility information and application instructions, and submit your applications ASAP!

We’ll end with some sad news, as we recently learned that Wenona (Nonie) Sharpe, the widow of former Professor Grant Sharpe, passed away on January 1. Grant served on the faculty here from 1967 to 1990, and he was instrumental in building our recreation program at the time. The Sharpes helped establish the Grant and Wenonah Sharpe Endowed Fellowship in Parks and Wildland Sustainability, which supports research at SEFS on sustainability by focusing on complex ecological, economic and social issues related to the conservation, restoration and stewardship of environments such as parks, open spaces and wildlands.



Nothing new to report.



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

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



SEFS postdoc Nico Deguines is the lead author on a new paper in the Journal of Animal Ecology, “Precipitation alters interactions in a grassland ecological community.”

Professor Laura Prugh was a coauthor on that paper, and she also had another recent publication in Global Ecology and Biogeography, “A global analysis of traits predicting species sensitivity to habitat fragmentation.”



On January 11, SEFS doctoral student Kaeli Swift got a mention in a delightfully provocative feature in The Washington Post, “Scientists are building an animal fart database.”

On January 4, Michelle Ma at UW News published a great story about new research involving Professor Phil Levin, “Eelgrass in Puget Sound is stable overall, but some local beaches suffering.” The research comes from a new paper in the Journal of Ecology, “Forty years of seagrass population stability and resilience in an urbanizing estuary.”



We just learned that SEFS alumna Mu-Ning Wang (now Brandeis) is lead author on a new paper in Cartography and Geographic Information Science, “Finding meaningful participation in volunteer geographic information and citizen science: a case comparison in environmental application.” Her coauthor was SEFS doctoral student Isabel Carrera Zamanillo.

We were very sad to learn that alumnus John D. Hodges (1937-2016) passed away on December 3. John earned his master’s in silviculture in 1962, and his Ph.D. in plant physiology in 1965. He spent 22 years at Mississippi State University and was regarded as the preeminent hardwood silviculturist in the South. He also worked for many years with the U.S. Forest Service.