Join the 2016 Pack Forest Summer Crew!

Every summer, a hardy crew of SEFS students heads down to Pack Forest for two months of hands-on field training in sustainable forest management. It’s one of our oldest field traditions, and also one of the most memorable, so take a look at the internship opportunities coming up this summer!

2016_02_Pack Forest Summer Crew2There are up to six internship positions available for the 2016 Summer Quarter at Park Forest, which runs from June 20 to August 19. Each position is eligible for 4 ESRM credit hours (with in-state tuition included), as well as a $200 weekly stipend and free housing in cozy cabins for a summer spent in the shadow of Mount Rainier. Hard to beat!

* Three to five spots are open for Forest Resource Interns, who will assist with the management and stewardship of Pack Forest’s timber resources, research installations, roads and trails. These students will develop forest mensuration skills, practice species identification, participate in research programs, and learn about sustainable forest management.

* One additional position is available for an Outreach & GIS Intern, who will actively participate in public outreach, environmental education and/or GIS applications for natural resource management. This student will develop skills in communications, public outreach, curriculum development and natural resource management.

The deadline to apply has been extended to Wednesday, April 20. If you’re interested, please send your resume and a cover letter describing how the internship will fit into your program of study to Professor Ernesto Alvarado.

2016_02_Pack Forest Summer Crew

Alumni Spotlight: Ben Harrison

In the fall of 1966, the Forest Club, one of the oldest and longest-running clubs at the University of Washington, realized it was nearly broke and didn’t have enough funds for some of its activities, including Garb Day. Ben Harrison, who was working on the final quarter of his forest management degree, came up with an idea to raise some money for the group and spread a little holiday cheer on campus: a Christmas tree sale.

The Seattle Times story from December 8, 1966.

The Forest Club had about a dozen members at the time, and Harrison managed to get permission from the Forest Service for them to cut some Pacific silver firs from a plantation in the Hansen Creek area near Snoqualmie Pass. They succeeded in selling all the trees—including unloading a few extras to local banks—and rescuing the group’s finances. They also brought back one especially large fir to place on Red Square right in front of the old Administration Building (now Gerberding Hall).

President William Gerberding came out to light the 30-foot tree, which freshman and sophomores had decorated, and the Husky Band played to a lively crowd of students. The Seattle Times even covered the occasion in an article on December 8, 1966, “Tree Caps Collegiate Career,” referring to Harrison as a “spirited forestry student.”

Harrison turned 90 earlier this fall and now lives in Issaquah with his wife Dorie. He was a slightly older student while at UW, where he met Dorie, and his career covered multiple chapters before and after his time at school. Harrison twice served in the Navy, first enrolling at age 16 for submarine service during World War II (his older brother signed his papers). He later served as an electrician and medic during the Korean War, and after graduating from college he went to work as a forester for Weyerhaeuser—and then eventually as a contract forester with private landowners. Along the way, he staffed a Society of American Foresters booth at the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962, traveled to every continent except Antarctica, and received the Honored Alumnus Award from our school in 1992.

It’s impossible to pick one legacy from such a life and career, but one of his most enduring contributions to our school was organizing that first tree sale. Though he never imagined it at the time, he kicked off a tradition that has now continued for 49 years, drawing together students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members across Seattle.

Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the sale, and maybe we can convince Harrison to head out with the Forest Club when they harvest the next batch of trees!

Photo of Ben and Dorie Harrison © Karl Wirsing/SEFS.

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2016 Pack Forest Spring Planting: March 21-25!

For nearly 80 years, SEFS students have been putting down roots at Pack Forest, helping to shape the woods for future generations. This Spring Break, you can leave your own mark by taking part in the annual spring planting, March 21-25, as one of the elite Pack Forest interns!

2016_02_Pack Forest Spring PlantingWhile staying in cozy cabins at Pack Forest—just down the road from Mount Rainier—you’ll get to roll up your sleeves and work on forest establishment, including planting, regeneration surveys and survey reports.

Your housing (and some food) will be covered, there’s a kitchen at your disposal, you’ll earn a $200 stipend, and two course credits are also available. It’s a week of field work and hands-on learning in the daytime, and also a whole lot of fun as you explore the gorgeous 4,300 acres of Pack Forest and hang out with fellow interns in the evenings. Seriously, it’s an unforgettable experience!

The internship is open to undergraduate students (and possibly MFR grad students), and the deadline to apply is Friday, February 19. Contact Professor Ernesto Alvarado at or 206.616.6920 to learn more and apply.

Need more inspiration? Check out this great video from the 2014 crew!

UW Farm: CSA Shares on Sale!

For the third season, the UW Farm will be offering its Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, and the summer 2016 sign-up period is now open!

2016_02_CSA SharesBy purchasing a CSA share, you’ll get to support the farm with an initial investment, and in return you’ll get a weekly box of fresh produce throughout the growing season. Each box is packed for a family of four, and you’ll be able to pick them up at the Center for Urban Horticulture or elsewhere on the main UW campus (exact location TBD).

Right now, you have a chance to join the CSA for the period from June 1 to September 28, which covers 18 consecutive weeks of produce. There are 40 shares available, and the cost is $540 ($30 per box) for faculty, staff and community members, and $450 ($25 per box) for students. You may pay in installments, but full payment for the whole season is due by the first pick-up on June 1. (August and fall shares will be on sale later in the season.)

The UW Farm kicked off its CSA program in the summer of 2014, serving 15 members of the campus community. In 2015, they more than doubled the number of CSA shares they offered, delivering to 37 members each week.

Now you have a chance to join for this summer, so sign up now!

Oh, and if you pay in full by the end of February, you’ll get a choice of early bird incentives: 3 u-picks of their organic-cut flowers throughout the season, or five seedlings for you to plant in your garden!

2016 Graduate Student Symposium: Submit Your Abstracts!

The 2016 Graduate Student Symposium (GSS) is coming up on Friday, March 4, and the abstract submission period is now open! Students will be able to submit an abstract, via the online form, from Friday, January 29, through Friday, February 12, at 5 p.m. As always, there are a limited number of presentation spots available, so submit your abstract ASAP!

This year’s GSS, which will be held in the Forest Club Room (AND 207), is built around the theme, “The Interface Between Scientific Research and Management.” Many SEFS students seek to build careers in land management or other applied fields, yet we receive most of our formal training in an academic setting. Is our research responding to on-the-ground priorities? How can we improve the dialogue between science, management and other stakeholders? How can we best communicate our results—including variability and uncertainty? A stellar panel of experts will kick off the day to help us grapple with these questions.

Open to the public and everyone in the SEFS community, GSS is a friendly gathering to share your work and hone your presentation skills. You can present a preliminary proposal, your results from a completed project, or anything in between. Presentations last 10 minutes and are followed by 2-3 minutes of Q&A. Undergraduate capstone students will be showing off their research during poster sessions throughout the day. As is tradition, the symposium will be followed by a Dead Elk party—the perfect opportunity to discuss the presentations and posters over food and drinks.

Again, don’t forget to get your abstract submissions in as soon as possible during the next two weeks. And if you have any questions, please email