Hancock Forest Management Hosting Lunch Info Session for Students

Hancock Forest Management, the property management subsidiary of Hancock Timber Resource Group, is hosting an informational session with lunch for students from noon to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5 in Anderson room 207. Students are invited to learn about internship programs and career opportunities during this time.

Hancock Forest Management provides land management in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Brazil. The organization employs foresters, engineers and wildlife biologists to provide the day-to-day, on-the-ground timberland management. In the Pacific Northwest, Hancock manages lands in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Northern California.

Prugh contributes to paper that used NASA data to study wildlife, climate change

University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences associate professor Laura R. Prugh is a co-author of a paper that used NASA satellite data to study the movement of wildlife.

The paper, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, looks at the issue of poor snow data in the Arctic and asks government agencies and other scientists to help make improvements so wildlife and its management can be better studied

The data used in the study was collected from NASA satellite tools, which helped the authors determine that Dall sheep prefer areas with low snow cover. But more specific information is needed to help wildlife scientists study animal behavior and how species are adapting to climate change.

Read more about the study on the University of Maryland’s website.

Harvey publishes paper on burn severity in Ecosphere

Courtesy of ESA
The cover of the Ecosphere journal that features Harvey’s article.

Brian Harvey, assistant professor with the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, is one of three authors of a new article recently published in the Ecological Society of America‘s journal Ecosphere.

The article, titled “Incorporating Biophysical Gradients and Uncertainty into Burn Severity Maps in a Temperate Fire-Prone Forested Region,” discusses how satellite data and regression models can by improved by using biophysical information when tracking the changing patterns of burn severity that causes ecological changes.

The article is accessible to all and can be read here.

View From The Top: A SEFS Grad Student’s Work in the Canopy

Russell Kramer, SEFS graduate student, in his element at the canopy.

“If you haven’t been to see the old trees, then nothing I can write will prepare you for their sheer size,” reads a passage from a recent blog post on the Canopy Watch International blog.

It goes on, “Douglas-fir, Sitka spruce, and redwood trees can be 300 feet tall (100 meters, or as tall as a football field is long) and are in fact the tallest living things on the planet. Despite all being giants among trees, these three species have different strategies for growing so large. That is what makes them unique, and it’s the topic of this blog. Scientists like Russell Kramer, Steve Sillett, and Bob Van Pelt are the ones unlocking the mysteries of the trees, and it’s their work I’ll summarize for you, especially Russell Kramer’s.”

Russell Kramer is a graduate student with the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, who does majority of his research work at the top of the tallest trees in the Pacific Northwest. His work in the canopy and the Franklin Lab at SEFS was featured in the blog post for Canopy Watch International. Read about it here.

SEFS’ Precision Forestry Coop co-leading symposium in Chile

A group photo from the SSAFR 2017 held in Suquamish, Washington

In collaboration with the University of Chile’s Institute of Complex System’s Engineering and the SuFoRun Consortium, the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences’ Precision Forestry Coop is co-organizing the 18th Symposium on Systems Analysis in Forest Resources (SSAFR) for the second time. This year’s Symposium will be held in Chile’s Lake District in Puerto Varas on March 3-7.

“The Symposium has served as a premier international forum for systems analysts, operations researchers and management scientists who study forestry, natural resource management and environmental problems since 1975.” says Sandor Tóth, associate professor at the School and executive director of SSAFR.

This biannual event was last held in Suquamish, Washington in 2017. The Symposium itself will feature discussions and presentations on forest harvest scheduling, optimal reserve site selection, wildfire management, forest transportation and supply chain optimization, bioenergy logistics, invasive species and wildlife management, forest decision support systems, forest economics and other related areas.

Those interested in attending this symposium can learn more at the Symposium website or by emailing Sandor Tóth.

Study says Arctic lakes producing less carbon than expected

Northeast Alaska’s Yukon Flats region, seen with fall colors. David Butman/University of Washington

New research conducted by students and an associate professor from the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences has found that Arctic lakes are giving off less carbon than expected.

The study, published online Feb. 11 in the journal Nature Geoscience, from the University of Washington and U.S. Geological Survey suggests many Arctic-region lakes pose little threat to global carbon levels, at least for now. In the Arctic’s flat, arid regions dotted with thousands of lakes, many of these bodies of water are functioning like self-contained units, not releasing much carbon dioxide.

This is an important finding because the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. One consequence of that trend is the thawing of permafrost, a layer of earth that has remained frozen for thousands of years in some areas. This frozen soil and vegetation currently holds more than twice the carbon found in the atmosphere.

As permafrost across northern Alaska, Canada, Siberia and other high-latitude regions thaws, microbes in the soil consume organic materials, releasing carbon dioxide or methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas, into lakes and the atmosphere.

Read the full story on UW News!

Harvey awarded funds to track post-fire recovery

Congratulations to the University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences assistant professor Brian Harvey who was awarded funds from the UW’s Royalty Research Fund (RRF) to study post-fire recovery in an area recently burned near Mount Rainier.

With this grant, Harvey and his team will install a series of long-term, post-fire monitoring plots at which they will be able to study how post-fire dynamics are affected by fire severity, the interval since the last fire and local climate conditions.

There are relatively few fires west of the Cascades in Washington since the early 1900s, which makes the Norse Peak Fire uncommon. The fire burned more than 24,000 acres of land near Mount Rainier National Park in 2017. This grant will provide Harvey and other researchers a key opportunity to gain real-time insight into post-fire recovery in a way that has been impossible until now.

The Seattle Times wrote about the effects of this fire in September 2018 after a reporter traveled with Harvey to the field. Read that story here.