Farewell, Tom!

Last Wednesday—assuming his little U-Haul truck made it over Snoqualmie Pass—Tom DeLuca set off for Missoula to begin his new role as dean of the College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana. (The search is underway for his replacement, and Professor Liz Van Volkenburgh from the UW Department of Biology arrives this afternoon to take over as interim director). In his final director’s message, Tom tries to take stock of the past four years, recalling a few poignant memories that capture what he has enjoyed most about his time at SEFS—and what he will carry with him to Montana!



SEFS Researchers Partner with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Four researchers from SEFS—including Professors Josh Lawler (PI) and Aaron Wirsing, Affiliate Professor Peter Dunwiddie and postdoc Michael Case—have teamed up on the project, “Evaluating Flora and Fauna Diversity in the John Day/Willow Creek Project for Special Status Species Protection.” The research is funded through the Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (PNW CESU).


Wildlife Science Seminar: Winter 2017 Schedule

The SEFS Seminar Series will be on hiatus this quarter (returning in the spring), but we still have two other terrific series to keep you thoroughly engaged, including the Wildlife Seminar, led by Professor Laura Prugh this quarter. The talks are open to the public and will be held on Monday afternoons from 3:30 to 4:50 p.m. in Kane Hall 120, starting on January 9!


ESRM 429 Seminar: Winter 2017 Schedule

SEFS doctoral student Si Gao is running the show this quarter, and she’s put together an excellent line-up of speakers around the theme of “Ecosystem Services.” Talk topics range from deep soil carbon to plant remediation and oceanography, and you can catch them on Tuesdays from 8:30 to 9:20 a.m. in Anderson 223.


Southern Garden Tour with UW Botanic Gardens

From March 19 to 26, you have an incredible opportunity to join other garden enthusiasts on “Behind the Garden Gate,” an exclusive tour of Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C. The tour is offered by UW Botanic Gardens in partnership with Earthbound Expeditions, and space is limited. So act fast if you want to sign up for this unforgettable trip!


This Winter and Spring: Grad Student Speakers Wanted!

Out at our Olympic Natural Resources Center in Forks, Wash., Frank Hanson is busy lining up dates for the  Evening Talks at ONRC speaker series. He’s already connected with several potential speakers, but if you are a graduate student who would like to present your research this winter or spring—for a $200 stipend and a night of free lodging—contact Karl or Frank today!


Jan. 3, 2017:

Winter Quarter Begins

Jan. 10, 2017:

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

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



Like your news and updates on a daily basis? “Like” SEFS on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, and help promote our school!


We’ll start with some double kudos for ESRM major Olivia Moskowitz, who was just awarded a Mary Gates Research Scholarship! Competition for these awards is always exceptionally strong, and Olivia will present at the Undergraduate Research Symposium on May 19, 2017. Olivia was also awarded $250 for her senior capstone project. For the research, she is investigating the morphological responses of seedlings of 12 different Pacific Northwest tree species to different light and moisture regimes to determine the threshold conditions for successful post-transplant survival and development. Congratulations, Olivia!

We have cool kudos, as well, for SEFS doctoral student Russell Kramer, who was awarded the 2016 Dean’s Visualization Prize for outstanding visualization of his research data!

We also have kudos for David Campbell—from Michelle Trudeau, Lisa Nordlund and other campus advisors—for his recent workshop on the UW Enterprise Data Warehouse. From one of the attendees: “Thought you’d like to know he did a great job. It was cool to have a techy adviser—he knew that sort of stuff we need/want to find and how to do it.” 

SEFS doctoral student Ben Dittbrenner also sent some great kudos to David for his work keeping things on track with the reader/grader search for hydrology. “That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” says Ben. “David rocks, and despite the fact that everyone knows it, I just wanted to say it one more time.” Nice work, David!

We’ll end with some big-time kudos for everyone who helped organize the annual SEFS Christmas Tree Sale. Master’s student Caileigh Shoot took her second turn at the helm of this fantastic community tradition, and she was able to recruit a record number of volunteers, including representatives from several student groups. They raised a couple thousand dollars, which will go directly to supporting the Society of American Foresters, International Forestry Students’ Association, TAPPI, Dead Elk, Xi Sigma Pi and the Prospective Graduate Student Weekend. Awesome work, all!

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. Learn more about the internship projects, eligibility information and application instructions, and submit your applications by Thursday, January 19!



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 Michael Case and Professor Josh Lawler have a new article in Global Change Biology, “Integrating mechanistic and empirical model projections to assess climate impacts on tree species distributions in northwestern North America.” Modern climate change is already affecting tree species distributions. Most attempts to project the impacts of future climate change on species ranges have relied on relatively simple models with several well-known shortcomings. For this paper, Michael and Josh combined projections from such simple models built for six tree species in northwestern North America with the outputs of a complex vegetation model that simulates growth and competition among different basic plant types. Their combined model projections tended to forecast more climate-driven contraction in species distributions than did the simple models alone. This study highlights the potential for simple models to underestimate the impact of climate change.

SEFS doctoral student Jason James and Professor Rob Harrison have a new paper in the journal Forests, “The Effect of Harvest on Forest Soil Carbon: A Meta-Analysis.”



On December 28, Lynda Mapes wrote a great story in the Seattle Times that features Professor John Marzluff and a new paper in the journal PLOS ONE, “Birds in the suburbs: Faced with urbanization, some beloved species thrive, some move out.” Coauthors on the just-released article, “Breeding Dispersal by Birds in a Dynamic Urban Ecosystem,” include SEFS doctoral candidate Jack DeLap, Professor Beth Gardner, alumnus David Oleyar (’11, Ph.D.) and alumna Kara Whittaker (’07, Ph.D.).

Michelle Ma at UW News covered the paper, as well, with a great story earlier today, "Songbirds divorce, flee, fail to reproduce due to suburban sprawl."



This October, SEFS alumna Kyla Caddey (’14, B.S.) joined Soundview Consultants LLC, an environmental consulting firm in Gig Harbor, Wash., as a staff scientist. Previously she had been working as an education & habitat restoration assistant with Washington Conservation Corps.

We also heard from SEFS alumna Luyi Yi (’15, M.S.), who started working with the Forest Stewardship Council’s China office in June. Her current role focuses mainly on business development.