Guest Seminar (10/18): Kate Troll

On Wednesday, October 18, we are very pleased to host a visiting seminar with Kate Troll, “Ten Points of Hope for Progress on Climate Change,” from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Forest Club Room!

Kate is a long-time Alaskan with more than 22 years of experience in climate and energy policy, coastal management and fisheries. She’s been elected to local office twice and currently serves as an op-ed columnist for Alaska’s only statewide paper, the Alaska Dispatch News. As executive director of the Alaska Conservation Voters, Kate helped draft the creation of the Alaska Renewable Energy Fund and lobbied for the Sustainable Energy Act, a comprehensive roadmap to generate 50 percent of Alaska’s electrical energy from renewable sources by 2025. She served as executive director for United Fishermen of Alaska (nation’s largest fishing organization), and she also worked as a fisheries development specialist and policy analyst for the state of Alaska. Internationally, Kate was regional fisheries director (North and South America) for the Marine Stewardship Council, a global eco-label program. She was also appointed by Governor Sarah Palin to serve on the Alaska Climate Mitigation Advisory Board, and was the only Alaskan invited to participate in Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2008 Global Climate Summit.

About the Talk
Kate will share her stories, insights and experience in dealing with the political difficulties of advancing conservation initiatives in a state dominated by extractive resource industries. In her new book, The Great Unconformity: Reflections on Hope in an Imperiled World, she uses the power of adventure storytelling to convey key policy insights and ‘hope spots’ in dealing with the challenges of sustainability and climate change. To inspire and empower others, her talk highlights 10 points of hope for progress on climate change, leading to a robust discussion of the most practical ways to make a difference both personally and professionally.

John Tylczak to Host Fourth Photography Exhibition at SEFS

This October, we are very pleased that local photographer John Tylczak will be hosting his fourth photography exhibition in the Forest Club Room!

John grew up in Shelton, Wash., where four generations of his family have lived since 1885 (his grandfather, in fact, was the executor of Agnes Anderson’s estate). The black-and-white portraits he will be showcasing come from his broader collection, Views from the Northwoods: 1983-1995, which captures the faces of the Washington timber industry in the mid-1980s and early 1990s—from fallers and rigging crews, to loaders and transport workers, log scalers and mill workers. John’s broader collection includes more than 1,500 photographs, and the 10 images he’s sharing this year will focus on shots from Weyerhaeuser properties.

The exhibition will officially kick off on October 4—coinciding with the annual Salmon BBQ (4 to 6 p.m. in the Anderson Hall courtyard)—and run through the end of the month. It will be open to the public during normal weekday business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We heartily encourage you to come by and enjoy John’s powerful photographs!

Photo Gallery: 2017 Pack Forest Summer Crew Recap!

For nine weeks, from June 19 to August 18, four SEFS undergraduate students—Nicole Lau, Xin Deng, Brian Chan and Joshua Clark—took part in this year’s Pack Forest Summer Crew!

As part of the internship, these students worked closely with SEFS graduate students Matthew Aghai, Kiwoong Lee and Emilio Vilanova, as well as forester Jeff Kelly. They participated in a diverse set of activities, including a great amount of time measuring 92 permanent forest plots from the Continuous Forest Inventory (CFI) project. During this time, they became true field experts and were able to update a vital piece of information for the sustainable management of Pack Forest.

On a similar note, the interns joined Matthew in several field tasks related to his doctoral research project, both at Pack Forest and the Cedar and Tolt River Watersheds. They also helped in the maintenance of a through-fall exclusion project led by Professor Greg Ettl and Kiwoong Lee, and they were critical in the upkeep of the trail network at Pack Forest and measuring additional small-scale research projects, ranging from regeneration surveys to the installation of other research plots. Finally, during the summer the interns also got to participate in three field trips, including official visits to Rainier Veneer and Silvaseed facilities.

Check out a photo gallery for more on another fantastic summer at Pack Forest!

Photos courtesy of Emilio Vilanova
.

Student Spotlight: Jake Henry

This summer, one of our Environmental Science and Resource Management (ESRM) majors, Jake Henry, landed a great paid internship as part of Waste Management’s (WM) Recycle Corps. The award-winning program puts college students through intensive, hands-on job training involving the latest strategies in engaging people and organizations to change behavior around waste reduction and recycling.

Jake, left, conducting commercial outreach earlier this week.

Over the course of 10 weeks, WM Recycle Corps interns work with businesses, multifamily properties and residents in 26 cities across two counties to improve recycling habits and reduce waste. “We have a group of 14 of us, all college students about the same age,” says Jake, whose fellow interns attend the University of Washington, Western Washington and other colleges in the area. “We do a lot of education and outreach in Seattle and surrounding cities, like Mukilteo, Auburn and Tukwila. We answer questions and share information about recycling and composting.”

This outreach process often involves meetings with city council members and other community leaders to determine local priorities, and interns then fan out in pairs to talk with businesses and residential customers throughout the week (in the past three years, WM Recycle Corps interns have conducted more than 48,000 customer conversations). “We also work events, like farmer’s markets and SeaFair, where have a booth set up with information for people,” says Jake.

Face-to-face conversations are a huge component of the internship, and Jake says he’s gotten tremendous experience speaking with all sorts of people—some who are interested in recycling and composting, and plenty who aren’t, especially in communities outside of Seattle. “Talking to a lot of people who don’t really care can be frustrating,” he says, “but it’s really nice when you do talk to someone who cares.”

Jake has about one week left in the internship, and then he’ll begin his senior year at SEFS. Good luck with the rest of the summer, and we’ll see you in the fall!

***

Though Waste Management provides comprehensive waste and environmental services across North America, the Recycle Corps program is only held in the Seattle area. So if you’re looking for a great internship in sustainability and environmental outreach next summer, keep your eye out next spring for the application deadline (this year it was April 1)!

Jake and his fellow interns touring the Cascade Recycling Center.

Register Now: 17th Symposium on Systems Analysis of Forest Resources, Aug. 27-30!

In two weeks, from August 27 to 31, Professor Sándor Tóth is organizing the 17th Symposium on Systems Analysis in Forest Resources (SSAFR), an international gathering that has been held every couple years since 1975. So far, the symposium has 112 registrants from 23 countries, representing every continent (except the forest-deprived Antarctica)!

Co-sponsored by the Precision Forestry Cooperative, the 2017 SSAFR will be unique in that it will bring together two traditionally disconnected disciplines both working on forest decision support systems: the remote sensing/geospatial informatics community, and operations researchers. The former group is concerned with how to best collect and process data on forests and other resources, whereas the latter tries to optimize resource management given whatever data is available. Despite the obvious feedback and connections between the two groups, so far they have generally operated separately from each other. Working together in this symposium, the two groups will seek to study such questions as how to streamline data collection protocols of competing forest management objectives.

The symposium will be held at the Clearwater Resort in Suquamish, Wash., about an hour outside of Seattle. It’s not too late to register if you’d like to join this impressive international gathering, so learn more and get involved!

A Bird’s-Eye View of Air Pollution

Olivia Sanderfoot, an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and incoming SEFS doctoral student with Professor Beth Gardner’s research group, is the lead author on a paper just published today in Environmental Research Letters, “Air pollution impacts on avian species via inhalation exposure and associated outcomes.” Reviewing nearly 70 years of the scientific literature, the study explores how much we know about the direct and indirect effects of air pollution on the health, well-being, reproductive success and diversity of birds.

Olivia with a stuffed great gray owl (named Wilson) that she uses in her All About Owls lesson at the Madison Audubon Society.

According to Olivia and the paper’s co-author, Professor Tracey Holloway the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin, few studies have examined the health and ecological well-being of wild bird populations in the United States—only two since 1950, in fact. In their paper, they identify gaps in research to date on the impacts of air pollution on birds, including air pollution’s effects on the avian respiratory system, reproductive success, population density and species diversity.

“There is a lot of work to be done in this area,” says Olivia, who has been transitioning this summer from her projects at the University of Wisconsin. “Air quality is an ever-changing problem across the globe. There’s a need to look at different types of air pollution and different species all over the world. We have a huge lack of understanding of the levels of pollution birds are even exposed to.”

Learn more about the paper in the official release from the University of Wisconsin, as well as a video abstract Olivia put together for the research. You’ll get to talk to her in person when she arrives in Seattle this coming Thursday, August 18, after wrapping up her summer job as an educator with the Madison Audubon Society. We look forward to welcoming her to our school and community and learning more about her research!

Photo © Olivia Sanderfoot.

Alumni Update: Jorge Tomasevic

Two days ago, we were very excited to hear an update from SEFS alumnus Jorge Tomasevic (’17, Ph.D.), who moved back to his home country of Chile earlier this spring. Jorge, who worked with Professor John Marzluff for his doctoral research, has taken on a position as science coordinator for Centro de Humedales Río Cruces (Cruces River Wetland Center, or CEHUM), a research and conservation center dedicated to produce knowledge, restore ecosystems, raise environmental awareness and promote sustainable wetland management.

“Moving abroad is very challenging,” writes Jorge, “and moving abroad with a whole family is even more challenging. But we are in a very nice place now. We found a nice house to rent. And by nice, I mean small, WARM and cute! It has a backyard, and it’s placed on a very nice area of the city of Valdivia, southern Chile. It’s winter here and it rains a lot. Way more than in Seattle. So, having a wood stove to heat the house is much appreciated. My daughter, Matilda, is loving her school, and Vania is loving this new life. We are all finding our places on this new routine.”

Jorge’s organization was established in 2015 as one of six mitigation measures mandated by court after a trial stemming from the Rio Cruces ecological disaster of 2004. At that time, the company ARAUCO S.A. had polluted the river waters with residues of a pulp mill located upstream of the Rio Cruces Natural Sanctuary. Damaging impacts included massive mortality and emigration of black-necked swans, as well as a series of other effects on the local ecosystems and surrounding communities and their local economies.

“My job is interesting and challenging, and I’m learning a lot. Very soon we will be opening a call for research proposals, and I will be overseeing the development and results that those projects generate. The main goal is to improve the sustainability of a Ramsar Sanctuary Wetland, right next to Valdivia. I am attaching a photo of the wonderful team that I work with: Ignacio Rodriguez (middle) is the executive director of the Rio Cruces Wetland Center, and Patricia Möller (right) is the environmental education coordinator. In the back is the wonderful wetland we are working to protect: Rio Cruces Natural Sanctuary.”

Great to hear from you, Jorge, and stay in touch!

Photo © Jorge Tomasevic.