The vision of the College of the Environment’s Student Advisory Council (SAC) is to be a hub of College-wide student advocacy amplifying student voices and agency, promoting change and choice, and improving the student experience through collaboration and advising with the Dean’s office.

Students working at tables in the Suzzallo Library cafe.


The Council’s mission is to act as a voice for the student population. Council members provide communication pathways between themselves, their student communities, and the Dean’s Office.  By regular advising, dialogue, and collaboration with the Dean and Associate Deans of the College, we provide recommendations on issues such as, but not limited to, College-level budgets, new initiatives, policies, and planning that affect students such as admissions, curriculum, and JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion).


  • Promote and incubate innovative initiatives and ideas
  • Advise on various topics that impact students within the college
  • Keep the SAC connected and accountable to the general student body
  • Elevate and advocate on behalf of student concerns and grievances
  • Promote interdisciplinary college community and identity

Council structure and membership

The College of the Environment Student Advisory Council includes members from all undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as student governance and at-large membership, including:

Department of Atmospheric Sciences

One undergraduate, one graduate

School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

One undergraduate, one graduate

Department of Earth and Space Sciences

One undergraduate, one graduate

School of Environmental and Forest Sciences

Two undergraduates (one from Bioresource Science and Engineering and one from Environmental and Terrestrial Resource Management), one graduate

Environmental Studies/Program on the Environment

One undergraduate

Marine Biology Program

One undergraduate

School of Marine and Environmental Affairs

One graduate

School of Oceanography

One undergraduate, one graduate

Center for Quantitative Science

One graduate

Associated Students of UW Student Senate representative

One ASUW Student Senate member who is a student in the College of the Environment

Graduate and Professional Student Senate representative

One GPSS member who is a College of the Environment student

At-large representatives

Three members from Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) affiliated with the College of the Environment. RSO student members do not have to be in a College of the Environment majors/degrees. Affiliation is defined as: College sponsors the RSO with funding; the RSO has College staff or faculty as an advisor; or College students and the RSO collaborate with the College on projects.

Total Possible Members = 20

Council positions

Chair or co-chairs

Elected by the council members. Co-Chairs (one undergraduate and one graduate student) are responsible for setting the agenda, serving as liaison with Dean’s Office staff and facilitating meetings.


Elected by the council members; can be a rotating position; responsible for posting meeting materials on the council’s Catalyst site and taking meeting notes.

The Student Advisory Council may create other positions as needed.

2022-23 membership

View council member profiles

Unit Name Level
School of Aquatic and Fishery Science Phoebe Berghout undergraduate
School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences Zach Bengtsson (co-chair) graduate
Department of Atmospheric Sciences Jared McGlothlin undergraduate
Department of Atmospheric Sciences Ariel Jacobs graduate
Department of Earth and Space Sciences Erin Davis undergraduate
Department of Earth and Space Sciences Emma Heitmann (AUT-WIN), Paul Morgan (SPR) graduate
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences Madeline Buehrer undergraduate
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences Sophia Goodson undergraduate
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences Alec Solemislie graduate
Environmental Studies/Program on the Environment Tiffany Shin undergraduate
School of Marine and Environmental Affairs Aina Hori graduate
Marine Biology Program Clara Kreutziger undergraduate
School of Oceanography Aisha Rashid (co-chair) undergraduate
School of Oceanography Katy Christensen graduate
Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management Zoe Rand graduate
ASUW Representative Open undergraduate
GPSS Representative Terrance Wang graduate
RSO/At Large Representative Isaac Olson undergraduate
RSO/At Large Representative Jackson Page-Roth undergraduate
RSO/At Large Representative Chloe Stafford undergraduate

Application and review process

The Council calls for applications for new members annually in late winter quarter.

Questions? Contact

Councilmember terms and responsibilities

Councilmember terms of service

  • Councilmembers will serve 1-year terms (Autumn – Spring) with 1-year reappointment possible.
  • Staggered terms (i.e., some inaugural members will serve only one year; some will proceed for re-appointment at end of first year). The council will ask for volunteers to serve an additional year or end terms as needed for staggered terms.
  • Reappointment does not require a new application.
  • Total annual commitment: minimum 30-35 hours, including meeting time, preparation for meetings and follow-through work arising from decisions at meetings.

Councilmember responsibilities

At minimum, each Councilmember is responsible for:

  • Introducing themselves via email to the students they represent in their units or organizations at the beginning of the school year.
  • Understanding, and innovating, communication pathways between themselves and their student constituents, including sharing information from the Dean’s Office and the SAC with their student community, and requesting, assembling, and synthesizing information and input from their student community to communicate back to the SAC and the Dean.
  • Joining or creating issue-specific sub-committees, as needed. Should Councilmembers choose to join a sub-committee, their duties may include attending additional meetings.  Sub-committees may be temporary.
  • Creating and maintaining a SAC “cookbook” which includes but is not limited to:
    • further description of the duties and responsibilities of SAC members including elected officers
    • communication pathways specific to each SAC position including relevant in-unit or in-organization listservs, email lists, or other methods of reaching the relevant student community
    • annual work plans for any SAC-led projects ensuring full transfer of knowledge and “how-to’s” from one year to the next
    • SAC meeting documents and other best practices

Meeting schedule

  • Four meetings/quarter, except summer quarter (~12/year).
  • Standing meeting time is set quarterly (1.5 hours/meeting).
  • Dean’s Office staff representative will attend all meetings.
  • The Dean will attend at least two meetings each quarter.

Benefits of serving on the SAC

  • Develop your leadership skills.
  • Represent students in your major/program in College-level discussions.
  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at how the College of the Environment is organized and how policies and budgets shape the work of the College.
  • Help develop and incubate initiatives and policies that may continue after you are no longer a student.
  • Expand your network beyond your department. Make meaningful connections with Dean’s office staff, and students from across the College.

Key topics that may be addressed annually by the Student Advisory Council

  • Student recruitment and retention
  • Academic affairs and programs
  • Budget issues and planning
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives
  • Engaging students in research and research funding

Past SACS have:

  • recommended new initiatives such as the FieldNotes undergraduate research journal which is now supported annually as a credit-bearing class and through a science communication fellowship.
  • provided specific input on new funding initiatives submitted to the Provost’s Office in years when such funding has become available.
  • provided input on potential cuts to the College budget, in years when the University has had to cut the amount of permanent funding to the colleges.
  • reviewed and provided critical feedback on new undergraduate recruitment plans and associated materials.
  • provided input to the Dean on matters of import to specific student groups, including: maintaining and sustaining the UW Student Farm, recruitment and retention of a more diverse student body, the (then proposed) DIV requirement, the (then proposed) Marine Biology major.
  • annually selected the College Graduation Gift.

Dean's Office Contact: