Nominations Open for College of the Environment Awards

The College of the Environment is now seeking nominations to honor students, staff and faculty who make exceptional and meaningful contributions to the College community. Award categories include distinguished staff member, outstanding teaching faculty, outstanding researcher, outstanding community impact, and Dean’s medals for undergraduate and graduate students. Check out last year’s winners, and see below for specific requirements and eligibility for each award!

To nominate an award recipient, all you have to do is submit a letter of nomination, via catalyst, to Dean Lisa Graumlich (you must have a UW NetID to participate). Letters should be no more than two pages in length and may be from a single nominator or group of nominators. The deadline for all nominations is Friday, February 28, so don’t delay in recognizing your worthy SEFS classmates and colleagues!

Distinguished Staff Member

Criteria: Nominees should provide extraordinary service beyond the basic job description and demonstrate the University of Washington values of integrity, diversity, excellence, collaboration, innovation and respect.

Eligible: College of the Environment staff members who hold a 50 percent or greater permanent appointment, and have been employed at the University for a minimum of six months as of the nomination deadline.

Outstanding Teaching Faculty

Criteria:  Nominees should demonstrate:

* Mastery of subject matter including the continued growth in his/her own teaching
* Demonstration of enthusiasm and innovation in the teaching and learning process
* Ability to engage students both inside and outside of the classroom
* Aptitude to inspire independent and original thinking in students
* Ability to stimulate students to do creative work
* Innovations in course and curriculum design

Eligible: College of the Environment tenure-track, WOT (without tenure) and research faculty; lecturers and instructors.

Outstanding Researcher

Criteria: Research or scholarship contributed within the past two years that has been or has the potential to be widely recognized by peers and whose achievements have had or may have a substantial impact of the profession, on research or the performance of others, or on society as a whole.

Eligible: College of the Environment tenure-track, WOT (without tenure) and research faculty; lecturers, instructors, staff or students who are engaged in research.

Outstanding Community Impact

Criteria: Stakeholder engagement within the past two years that stimulates, inspires and drives interactive uses of environmental science and information to impact the broader community.  Includes, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:

* Working with communities to change management of natural resources
* Bringing diverse groups of people together to address a common problem
* Developing business, economic or industry solutions through hands-on interaction and collaboration
* Affecting or changing city, local or state policies and/or processes

Eligible (two awards):

1.  Staff or faculty, acting within their role in the College, who did not receive the College of the Environment’s Outstanding Public Engagement Award the previous year.
2.  College of the Environment student who did not previously receive the College of the Environment’s Outstanding Public Engagement Award.

Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist

Criteria: Outstanding academic achievement, including research, overall GPA and other measurable academic achievements, as well as outstanding leadership or service, including community service and leadership on or off campus.

Eligible: College of the Environment undergraduate students

Graduate Dean’s Medalist

Criteria: Outstanding academic achievement, including research, overall GPA and other measurable academic achievements, as well as outstanding leadership or service, including teaching, community service and leadership on or off campus.

Graduate Student Symposium Set for March 14!

Coming up on Friday, March 14, is the 11th annual Graduate Student Symposium at the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS)! (The original date was moved back two weeks from Feb. 14 due to a scheduling conflict.)

Organized by and for SEFS graduates students, the day-long symposium—held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Forest Club Room—highlights the research of our graduate students through presentations and a poster session. It’s an excellent opportunity for our students to present to their colleagues and professors, gain valuable experience and feedback, network with professional contacts and alumni, and also learn more about the work other students are doing at SEFS. Undergraduates are also encouraged to participate in the poster presentation.

Graduate Student SymposiumThe day’s schedule and full line-up of speakers haven’t been finalized yet, but the symposium usually kicks off with keynote presentations from leaders in the field, followed by graduate student talks and then poster presentations. The Forest Club Room will be a hive of activity and energy all day, and it’s a terrific showcase of the SEFS student community. So get involved and come out and join us on March 14!

If you’d like to submit an abstract for a presentation (graduate students) or a poster (undergraduates), email Brooke Cassell with your abstract by March 1 to ensure your space in the symposium. There will be awards recognizing the best presenters and posters.

For more information, check out the great poster (at left, created by Anna Simpson!) or visit the Graduate Student Symposium site. You can also contact two of the organizers, Luke Dow and Lisa Hannon, with any questions. They’ll be updating the schedule, speakers and other activities as we get closer to the event!

Wanted: Garden Guides for the Arboretum!

This winter and spring, the Washington Park Arboretum is looking for volunteer “Garden Guides” to lead hands-on, science-based fieldtrips for school groups of kindergarteners through 6th graders!

Garden GuidesHosted by the UW Botanic Gardens, the programs are 90 minutes long and take place during two different timeslots, 10 a.m. or 12 p.m., Monday through Friday. They’re recruiting volunteers of all ages, and working as a Garden Guide is an especially great way for students to share their knowledge and love of nature with the next generation of environmental stewards—all while strolling through the Arboretum!

If you’re interested in signing up, Garden Guides receive a free training series to lead tours on topics such as botany, ecology and interpretation. Guides are asked to work one two-hour shift per week, and new guides shadow experienced guides to learn the programs until they’re confident and comfortable enough to lead tours themselves.

The Garden Guides program runs from now through June 15. To learn more or sign up, contact Lisa Sanphillippo at uwbgeduc@uw.edu or 206.543.8801!

Photo © UWBG.

Alina Cansler Earns National Wilderness Award

Last year, SEFS doctoral candidate Alina Cansler collaborated on a paper that recently won the 2013 Excellence in Wilderness Stewardship Research Award, which will be presented at a ceremony for the National Wilderness Awards in Missoula, Mont., on January 28!

Alina Cansler

Cansler measuring shrubs in Yosemite.

Co-sponsored by the International Journal of Wilderness and the U.S. Forest Service, the award recognizes the contribution of a timely research endeavor that informs and responds to wilderness stewardship challenges. Cansler and her coauthors won for their 2013 paper, “Latent Resilience in Ponderosa Pine Forest: Effects of Resumed Frequent Fire,” which was originally published in Ecological Applications and addresses forest structure and composition in the Bob Marshall Wilderness following the reintroduction of fire after decades of exclusion.

Andrew Larson, the lead author on the publication, earned his Ph.D. from SEFS in 2009, and the SEFS connections don’t end there, as Affiliate Professor Don McKenzie and Jeremy Littell won the award in 2011!

Congratulations, Alina and Andrew!

Winning Publication
Andrew J. Larson, R. Travis Belote, C. Alina Cansler, Sean A. Parks, and Matthew S. Dietz 2013. Latent resilience in ponderosa pine forest: effects of resumed frequent fire. Ecological Applications 23:1243–1249.

Photos © Alina Cansler.

Call for Submissions: Evans School Review

If you’re looking to build your publishing credentials and share your research with a wider audience, the Evans School Review is accepting submissions for their 2014 journal!

Evans School ReviewThe Review is an online, student-led, peer-reviewed academic journal hosted at the Evans School of Public Affairs. They publish graduate-level, multidisciplinary research addressing various dimensions of public policy and management. As an exclusively student-run publication, the Evans School Review “strives to highlight innovative research and novel ideas that work to strengthen sound public policy and management and influence the current dialogue around policy issues of interest.”

If you have an idea that sounds like a good fit, the deadline for submission is Saturday, February 15, but you are encouraged to submit your work as early as possible to leave as much time for careful consideration and editing. Check out the “Submission Guidelines” below for a full breakdown of what the Review publishes.

Submission Guidelines

  1. The Evans School Review publishes scholarly articles, research papers, degree projects, opinion-editorials, book reviews or features that broadly fall under the subjects of public policy and management.
  2. Scholarly articles, research papers and degree project submissions must adhere to a 5,000-word limit. Opinion-editorials, book reviews and features must adhere to a 1,500-word limit.
  3. Research papers should include substantive evidence with solid theories to support conclusions. Although author opinion will inevitably find its way into submissions, this should be muted as much as possible wherever it is unsupported by the methods taught in social sciences and at the Evans School. Papers that bridge the divide between theory and practice are encouraged.
  4. In accordance with professional journal practices, the Review will not check citations; we assume that our authors submit works with honest intent. Incorrect citing of sources reflects poorly on the author’s future career, as it is considered plagiarism and a violation of academic honesty.
  5. Submissions are reviewed based on internal and external logic, critical thinking and originality.

Submissions should include:

  1. One cover document containing all author(s) information, including name, mailing address, telephone and email address. Please indicate the primary author and primary contact if there are multiple authors. Do not show any author’s name on any page of the article.
  2. A one-page abstract (approximately 150-250 words).
  3. A brief biographical statement of each author (up to three lines).

If you have any questions about the submission process, contact the Review’s Editorial Board at esratuw@gmail.com, or visit www.evansschoolreview.com for more information! (You may also reach out to Ben Roe, who is co-editor-in-chief of the Review and is also earning a joint master’s from SEFS!)

CINTRAFOR Scores Major Victory for Pacific Northwest Timber and Forest Products Industry

This past December, Professor Ivan Eastin of the Center for International Trade in Forest Products (CINTRAFOR) successfully teamed up with Dr. Daisuke Sasatani at Auburn University, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, and the Softwood Export Council to have Douglas-fir designated as a “local species” under a new softwood lumber subsidy program recently introduced in Japan. This is great news for the U.S. timber industry, ensuring that Douglas-fir grown and harvested in the U.S. Pacific Northwest maintains its access to the Japanese market.

Ivan Eastin

Douglas-fir logs being prepared for delivery to a local sawmill in Hiroshima.

The Wood Use Points Program, or WUPP, is a program designed to provide the domestic forestry and sawmill sectors in Japan with a competitive advantage by subsidizing the increased use of “local wood” species—such as sugi, hinoki and Japanese larch—in residential home construction. Homeowners and builders who use more than 50 percent of a “local wood” species in structural and non-structural end-use applications can receive as much as ¥600,000 in points. While the points don’t have a cash value, they can be redeemed for other products, such as energy-efficient windows or wooden furniture. “The size of the subsidy is huge,” says Eastin, the director of CINTRAFOR and lead author of the U.S. “local wood” submission. “The U.S. forest products industry stood to lose substantial market share as a result of these subsidies.”

While Douglas-fir is not indigenous to Japan, it is highly popular with local builders because of its unique combination of high-bending strength, durability, aesthetic appeal and reliability of supply. Douglas-fir is widely used in horizontal beam applications in traditional post and beam houses in Japan. In fact, more than 90 percent of the softwood products exported from the U.S. to Japan are Douglas-fir. Without gaining the “local wood” designation for U.S. Douglas-fir, the WUPP subsidy would have sharply reduced the demand for Douglas-fir products in Japan. A recent CINTRAFOR analysis estimates that the WUPP could have cost U.S. forest products exporters as much as $36 million over the 18-month duration of the subsidy program.

Ivan Eastin

Douglas-fir precut lumber that will be used in traditional post and beam housing in Japan.

CINTRAFOR, an internationally recognized center of excellence located within the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington, worked closely with Dr. Sasatani, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the Softwood Export Council to demonstrate that U.S. Douglas-fir complied with the criteria established by the Japan Forestry Agency for gaining recognition as a “local wood” species. To make their case, CINTRAFOR needed to document that U.S. Douglas-fir satisfied three conditions: 1) that it is sustainably grown, 2) that it is legally harvested, and 3) that Douglas-fir wood products provide economic benefits to rural and mountain communities in Japan.

The first two conditions were fairly easy to demonstrate using forest inventory data provided by the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program of the U.S. Forest Service. To demonstrate compliance with the third criterion, an economic model was developed to estimate the economic contribution derived from processing Douglas-fir logs to lumber in sawmills located within four prefectures in Japan. Each of the “local wood” submissions was translated into Japanese by Dr. Sasatani with support from Tomoko Igarashi, the director of the American Softwoods Office in Tokyo.

It took three submissions—one in August, another in October, and then a third in December—before Japan’s National Land Afforestation Promotion Organization finally approved the inclusion of U.S. Douglas-fir under the WUPP program on December 17. This recognition marks the first, and only, case where an imported wood species has received “local wood” status under the WUPP program, and the designation will help U.S. forest products exporters maintain, and potentially increase, their market share within the Japanese market.

Photos © Ivan Eastin.

Evening Talks at ONRC: Tom Rosmond

This coming Friday, January 17, at 6:30 p.m., the Olympic Natural Resources Center in Forks, Wash., will be hosting the fourth installment of its new speaker series, Evening Talks at ONRC.

Evening Talks at ONRC

The ONRC campus just outside of Forks, Wash.

This month, ONRC is pleased to welcome Tom Rosmond, a consultant for the Naval Research Laboratory, Marine Meteorology Division. In his talk, “An Introduction to Modern Weather Prediction: Is it going to rain or maybe snow?” Rosmond will discuss how modern weather prediction tries to answer this age-old question, and he’ll show some of the science and technology used to support weather predictions. He’ll also discuss the accuracy of today’s weather predictions and suggest ways it could be enhanced and improved.

Rosmond grew up in Forks and graduated from Forks High School. During school breaks, he worked in his family-owned business, Rosmond Brothers Lumber Company, a prolific lumber mill for 38 years that operated on the current site of the 101 Business Park. He later attended the University of Washington, graduating with a bachelor’s and master’s in Oceanography, and a doctoral degree Atmospheric Sciences.

The talk is open to the public, and you are welcome to bring a favorite snack to share—or just eat up the presentation this Friday at 6:30 p.m.!

Evening Talks at ONRC is supported by the Rosmond Forestry Education Fund, an endowment that honors the contributions of Fred Rosmond and his family to forestry and the Forks community. For more information about ONRC or the speaker series, contact Ellen Matheny.

Exploration Seminar: Costa Rica!

For the past five years, Professor John Marzluff has led a group of 15-20 students on a month-long exploration seminar to Costa Rica. The course, “Natural and Cultural History of Costa Rica,” is equal parts expedition and cultural immersion, and students get to learn about everything from local history and ecology to language and tourism.

Costa Rica

One of the group’s activities involves a day following one of four monkey species (including this white-faced capuchin monkey).

The day-to-day itineraries often vary slightly from year to year, but the trip generally begins in central Costa Rica around the city of San Jose. From there, the class heads south to higher-elevation oak ecosystems, then back down to low elevations and the rich tropical rainforests of south-central Costa Rica.

The next destination is the far southern Pacific coast along the border with Panama, including Corcovado National Park. “It’s quite a wild area,” says Marzluff, “and it involves a full-day hike along the beach to get into it. All the big cats are there.” They haven’t seen one yet, but the chance to spot an ocelot or puma is always there. This year, though, they did come face to face with several rare Baird’s tapirs on the trail. “There aren’t many places left in the wild to see them,” he says.

After a few days in and around the park, they start working their way back up the coast while exploring sea turtle breeding and other sorts of coastal recreational development (students and instructors also find time to fit in a bit of fishing, waterfall hiking and surfing here and there).

Marzluff’s co-instructors for the course are Professor Marc Miller from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, and SEFS doctoral student Jack DeLap. Marzluff focuses on the birds, natural history and tropical ecology of the region. Miller approaches the social dimensions of the area, including sustainable tourism along the Pacific coast, and DeLap works with the students on scientific illustration techniques—paying special attention to field characteristics while drawing the plants, animals and habitats they’re seeing and studying. Marcos Garcia, a local Costa Rican, attends to language lessons for the students and provides unique color commentary. (One other fun SEFS connection is that Robert Tournay, a grad student in Professor Sharon Doty’s lab, is the travel coordinator for the trip. He works with Tropical Adventures in Education, and he helps arrange local contacts and set up accommodations.)

Costa Rica

This year, the group came face to face with several rare Baird’s tapirs.

Course Takeaways
While traveling the country, students get thorough exposure to tropical ecosystems, learning firsthand how they function and the incredible diversity within them. In terms of wildlife, you’ll have a chance to see close to 300 species of birds, all sorts of snakes, sea turtles laying eggs on the beach, maybe even another tapir. You’ll gain experience identifying a wide range of plants and animals, including close observations of hummingbirds, and a day following one of four monkey species. “You never know what you’re going to see,” he says.

Central to the course, as well, is cultural immersion, and students spend a lot of time learning how people live in different parts of Costa Rica, including the use of sustainable, low-tech operations (human- and animal-powered machines), composting toilets and other creative innovations. “There’s a lot of ingenuity as an everyday part of Costa Rican life,” says Marzluff.

Spanish language education is another component, and Garcia travels with the group to provide general language support and Spanish lessons every day. You don’t need to have Spanish language experience coming into the program; the lessons are flexible to suit beginners up through fluent speakers looking to hone their skills.

Costa Rica

Don’t expect a cushy stay in Costa Rica on this trip, as you’ll be doing a ton of hiking and getting incredible access to remote ecosystems.

What It Takes
“It’s a great class, no doubt about that,” says Marzluff, but it definitely requires a serious commitment. It can be seriously hot and humid in Costa Rica, and you’ll be doing a lot of walking, so you need to be in pretty good physical condition—or at least be willing to get in shape in the months before the class begins. You’ll be engaged full-time from early in the morning until late in the evening, from longer treks and night hikes to other tours and projects. You won’t be camping, but your lodging will vary from fairly high-end to rustic, as well as a homestay with a local Costa Rican family for up to a week. You should expect periodic heavy rains and unpredictable floods, and even a possible earthquake. All of which is to say, if you’re willing to live and travel with a group of students in these conditions, and you have a bit of an adventuresome spirit, you’ll be all set—and have one sensational experience to recall at the end of it!

How to Sign Up
Organized through the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences and the UW Study Abroad office, the field seminar runs from the August 28 to September 19, just before the start of the fall quarter. Most participants are undergrads, but occasionally graduate students come along as well.

Registration is open now, and the deadline to apply is March 1. The course cost is about $4,000, which is essentially all-inclusive when you’re there, but students are responsible for airfare to and from Costa Rica. You can check out a more detailed description of activities and sites you’ll visit, as well as the overall application process and schedule.

So take a closer look, and sign up for an unforgettable month in Costa Rica!

Photos © John Marzluff.

Costa Rica

Advanced Silviculture Seminar

For the Advanced Silviculture Seminar (SEFS 526) this quarter, Professor Greg Ettl has organized a truly continental line-up with speakers from Canada, Mexico and the United States. This winter’s theme, “Single Tree and Small Gap Selection Forestry Systems of North America,” will explore responses to selection systems where one to a few trees have been removed at regular intervals from forests (in some cases for decades). And thanks to the videoconference facilities in Kane Hall, the speakers will be able to present live from eight different locations without making the long flight out to Seattle!

The seminars are open to the public and are held on Fridays from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in Kane Hall, Room 19 (with time afterward for Q&A). Check out the full schedule below, and come out and join us—starting this Friday, Jan. 10—for an incredible series of talks from experts across North America!

Advanced Silviculture SeminarJanuary 10
“Introduction to single-tree and small gap selection systems: Potential applications in the Pacific Northwest.”
Greg Ettl, SEFS

January 17
“Selection methods for loblolly and shortleaf pine: Lessons from the Good and Poor Forty Demonstration established 1937, Crossett Experimental Forest, southeastern Arkansas.”
Jim Guldin, USFS, Southern Research Station, Hot Springs, Ark.

January 24
“The application of partial harvest systems for the southern boreal forests of Québec in the context of natural disturbance-based management.”
Brian Harvey, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue

January 31
“Long-term dynamics and emerging trends associated with selection-based systems in Lake States northern hardwood forests.”
Anthony D’Amato, Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota

February 7
“Response of mature trees versus seedlings to gaps associated with group selection management: The Blodgett Forest, Sierra Nevada, California.”
Rob York, University of California

February 14
“The effects of selection system harvesting on longleaf-slash pine forests: light availability explains regeneration, and understory composition.”
Kimberly Bohn, University of Florida, Milton, Fla.

February 21
“Single-tree selection in Acadian mixed conifer forests: the balanced, multi-aged stands of the Penobscot National Forest.”
Laura Kenefic, USFS Center for Research on Ecosystem Change, Bradley, Maine

February 28
“A dominance of shade tolerant species following 60 years of single-tree selection cutting in upland mixed-hardwood forest of the southern Appalachian Mountains.”
Tara Keyser, USFS, Southern Research Station, Asheville, N.C.

March 7
No seminar.

March 14
“The success of the ‘Mexican Method’ of selection forestry in pine and pine-oak forests.”
Martin Mendoza, Colegio de Postgraduados, Mexico

SEFS Grads Begin Alaskan Adventure

A few weeks ago, we heard from two of our recent graduate students, John Simeone and Erika Knight, who each earned a master’s from the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS) this past year. They actually met and started dating while undergraduates at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.—they’re now engaged—and this past September they loaded their Volkswagen, hitched up a small U-Haul trailer and set out on the 2,400-mile drive to try life in Anchorage, Alaska!

Knight and Simeone

Knight and Simeone on a hike up to Flattop Mountain, about a 20-minute drive from their apartment in Anchorage.

Simeone grew up outside of New York City, and Knight is originally from New Hampshire, so Alaska would open a totally new frontier for them. And since they weren’t in a hurry, they decided to soak up the scenery on the way, including making a couple memorable stops at the Liard Hotsprings in northern British Columbia, and then the Kluane Lake area in the Yukon. They ended up taking almost six days to complete the journey before pulling into their driveway in Anchorage on October 3 (some make the drive in three days, says Simeone, but what’s the fun in that?!).

Since then, they’ve been reveling in the outdoor offerings in and around Anchorage, finding great hiking and ski trails within minutes of their apartment. “The autumn seems to have sped by quickly,” he says, “and by early November the snow started flying, which we were very glad of since we were excited to get out on the extensive cross-country ski trail networks in town—not to mention getting out into the mountains to backcountry ski!”

Erika Knight

As snow and ski lovers, Knight and Simeone have moved to the right place!

The only downside is that as the snow gets heavier, the days keep getting shorter. “The darkness is certainly hard,” says Simeone, “but the abundance of snow makes up for it! For instance, as I write this email at 10 a.m., it is basically pre-dawn light right now. But the days are already starting to get longer!”

Gobbling up some of those precious daytime hours, of course, are their jobs. Knight has been working for a consulting firm as a full-time environmental scientist, and Simeone has been piecing together some part-time contract consulting work from places as far reaching as Washington, D.C, and Russia. As he continues looking for a full-time position, he has a new contract starting that will involve working on Russia-Alaska king crab trade issues for the World Wildlife Fund’s arctic office.

The real fun, though, has been exploring their new city and state, and they’re just getting started. If you’d like to get a peek at their Alaskan adventure so far, Simeone and Knight shared some of the photos they took during their spectacular drive and first autumn in Anchorage. We put a selection of them in a gallery below, so check it out!

Best of luck to both of you, and stay in touch!

All photos © John Simeone and Erika Knight.