How Do You Convince a Climate Skeptic?

We’re excited to announce the launch of our third UW Climate Change Video Contest! This year, we’re challenging students with a timely new prompt: create a two-minute ad that will convince a climate change skeptic to take action. A top prize of $5,000 awaits the winner, and we’ll screen and celebrate the finalists at the UW Climate Change Video Awards this spring (above, Annie Leonard fires up the crowd during our 2015 show). We can’t wait to see how students tackle this one, so help us spread the word throughout the state of Washington!



Interim Director’s Welcome: Elizabeth Van Volkenburgh

As she rounds out her first month at SEFS, Liz shares some of her background and research interests from 30 years as a biology professor at UW—from early collaborations with faculty at SEFS, to ongoing experiments in her Plant Growth Lab!


February 14: Natural Resources Career Fair

The Society of American Foresters - UW Student Chapter is hosting its 3rd annual Natural Resources Career Fair on Tuesday, February 14, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Forest Club Room. Last year’s career fair was a great success, with more than 200 students attending and visiting with more than 15 natural resource organizations.


February 22: Environmental Career Fair

A week later, the College of the Environment will host its own annual career fair—which attracts an even larger array of employers—from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Mary Gates Hall Commons. Now is a great time to be on the hunt for internships and jobs, and to work on your interviewing skills, so we hope you’ll carve out time to take advantage of these fantastic opportunities!


UW Farm CSA: Sign Up for Summer Shares!

This summer, the UW Farm will once again be offering shares of its Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Buying a CSA share entitles you to a weekly selection of fresh produce for 17 weeks from June 7 to September 27, with each share feeding a family of four. The price is $510 ($30/week) for faculty, staff and community members, and $470 for students. Learn more and sign up today!


Washington Botanical Symposium: Student Scholarships Available!

On Wednesday, March 15, the First Washington Botanical Symposium will take place at the Center for Urban Horticulture from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in NHS Hall. It will bring together an extensive network of professional, academic and amateur botanists who are actively engaged in the conservation, management and study of Washington’s diverse flora. Read more about the agenda and registration details, including how to apply for a student scholarship to attend for free!


IFSA to Host Yoga Fundraiser

This February, the UW Local Committee of the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA) is hosting the Canadian-American Regional Meeting, which will welcome 30 students from several universities in the United States and Canada. These student guests will be spending a week here to learn about forestry practices and restoration work in Washington, and IFSA has organized a yoga class on Saturday, February 11, to help raise funds for this great event!


Feb. 14, 2017:

SAF Natural Resources Career Fair, AND 207

Feb. 22, 2017:

Environmental Career Fair, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mary Gates Hall Commons

March 2-5, 2017:

SEFS Prospective Student Weekend

March 3, 2017:

Graduate Student Symposium + Dead Elk Party, AND 207



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We’ll kick off this issue by welcoming Grace DeMun, who has joined our staff to help with IT helpdesk requests and also build our internal equipment database. That includes everything from loaner and field gear to lab equipment, helping us know what we have, and for those resources that are open to the community, how to gain access to them. This project came out of our most recent strategic planning retreat, and it should bolster future Student Technology Fee (STF) proposals. Welcome, Grace, we’re excited to have you here!

Where to go from here, where to go from here …

For starters, the UW Farm is hiring for three undergraduate positions for the 2017 growing season. Students, take a look at these great opportunities!

Azavea, a developer of advanced geospatial models, is accepting applications for a Summer of Maps, a three-month paid fellowship giving student GIS analysts the opportunity to perform geospatial data analysis for local and national nonprofits. Check it out!

SEFS master’s student Jessica Hernandez invites all of you 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 Jessica 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!

Graduate Students: In case you missed the email a few days ago, the College of the Environment is hosting a half-day science communication workshop on Friday, February 17, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Anderson 22. The workshop will focus on why science communication is important, and how to hone your message for particular audiences. The day is highly interactive, and participants will be able to practice writing and talking about their work in ways that will resonate with others. This workshop is free of charge but space is limited, so register as soon as possible, and email any questions to John Meyer.

Oh, and don’t forget to submit your abstracts to present at the 2017 Graduate Student Symposium, coming up on Friday, March 3, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Forest Club Room. This year's theme is "Your Science Narrative," and the deadline to submit an abstract is February 10 at midnight!

Also on the events front, you are invited to a special seminar this Friday, February 3, featuring Chris Golden, associate director of the Planetary Health Alliance: “Impacts on food security and human nutrition from global wildlife and fishery declines.” The talk will be held from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Health Science D-209.

Activities 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 Mt. 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 Mt. 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!

Student Brown Bag Lunches: This Wednesday, February 1, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Forest Club Room, we are hosting the second in a bimonthly brown bag lunch series for students. We had a great group show up two weeks ago for our inaugural lunch, and we look forward to seeing even more folks this week. Remember, there’s no agenda or formal structure; 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 (staff and faculty are also invited!). 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. What you bring for lunch is up to you, but we will try to bring cookies!

Finally, please see below for two Department of Defense funding opportunities through the Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (PNW CESU):

The first project, “Humpback Whale Tagging in Support of Marine Mammal Monitoring Across Multiple Navy Training Areas in the Pacific Ocean,” will address measures in support of marine mammal monitoring across multiple Navy training areas in the Pacific Ocean. Approximately $280,000 is expected to be available to support the base requirements of this project.

The second project, “Passive Acoustic Monitoring of Marine Mammals in the Gulf of Alaska Range Complex,” will address marine species monitoring in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Range Complex. Approximately $250,000.00 is expected to be available to support the base requirements of this project.



Professor Kristiina Vogt passed along this story from the New York Times on January 18, “America’s Great Working-Class Colleges,” which explores the importance of recruiting and training more diverse—including lower- and middle-income—students at our country’s universities.



The search committee for the new SEFS Director position convened last Thursday, January 26. Details should be available soon about the final job description and announcement.



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

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



Professor Clare Ryan has had a few recent publications, including two just published this month: “Digging Deep: Managing Social and Policy Dimensions of Geoduck Aquaculture Conflict in Puget Sound Washington,” in Coastal Management, and “Evaluating Ecological Monitoring of Civic Environmental Stewardship Sites in the Green-Duwamish Watershed, Washington,” in Landscape and Urban Planning.

A third publication, “Visions of Restoration: Lessons from the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program,” this time in Environmental Management, features several SEFS coauthors, including SEFS alumna (’11, Ph.D.) and current research associate Lauren Urgenson, and Professors Charles Halpern, Jon Bakker and Jerry Franklin.



On January 16, Professor Sally Brown published a cheeky piece in the Huffington Post, “Pee for Plants.”



We recently learned that Feng Sheng Hu, who earned his Ph.D. from SEFS in 1994 with Professor Emerita Linda Brubaker, has been named the Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Illinois. Feng is a professor of plant biology and geology, has served as a faculty member at Illinois since 1998, and as associate dean for life and physical sciences in LAS since 2014.