17 posts of type: Dean's Letter

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Dean’s Letter: Three innovation imperatives

Mussels, anenomes, and urchins.

We recognize that the environmental challenges we face in the 21st century can appear daunting: the problems are complex, the stakes are high, and time is short. From my vantage point as Dean, the good news is that our faculty, staff, and students tackle grand challenges with an innovation mindset: a set of values and practices that link knowledge and action. 

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Dean's Letter: Boundless? You bet.

Moon over Douglas Firs

Those of us on UW campus have noticed the Be Boundless tagline emerge all over the grounds during recent months. It’s everywhere – purple wristbands and huge bus banners. Taglines like this don’t simply emerge from a quick engagement with a marketing firm. For the past year, UW did research, taking a good, hard look at what people value about their experiences here. 

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Dean's Letter: To what end?

The Pacific Northwest (photo: John Meyer)

As Dean I am often asked to explain the importance of the College of the Environment in simple, accessible language to the public—the proverbial “elevator speech.” In my first year as Dean I often described the size and scope of the College. And, in truth, it’s impressive: the biggest college of the environment in the United States, with $115 million in externally-funded research taking place on all seven continents and in each of the world’s oceans. 

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Dean's Letter: Interdisciplinary innovation

Sea Star

Interdisciplinary collaboration is never far from my mind, but I am particularly focused on it this month. In the next four weeks, I will participate in four different strategic planning retreats that run the gamut from the College’s Executive Committee to the Woodland Park Zoo’s Advisory Board. I know many of you are similarly engaged in planning, whether it is the upcoming quarter, new research projects, or broader initiatives. The best planning exercises are those where we pool our diverse expertise and perspectives to tackle really big issues. And the most creative yet durable strategies are those that arise from the cross-pollination of different expertise and points of view.

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Dean's Letter: 'Soft skills' for success in sustainable careers

Students applying their classroom skills in the field (photo: UW Archives)

This week we find ourselves in the middle of that annual rite of passage, graduation. Our class of 2014 should be proud of their accomplishments, and feel genuine excitement to use their education as a cornerstone for a successful and productive career. At the College of the Environment, we recognize that the keys to a successful career look substantially different than they did a generation ago. 

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