Summer Field Assistants Needed for Wolf-Deer-Plant Research

Looking for some hands-on field research experience this summer? Precisely the sort of the training that employers and graduate programs are eager to find on your resume?!

Well, SEFS doctoral student Apryle Craig is recruiting student volunteers to assist with installing deer exclosures as part of a research study investigating the impacts of recolonizing wolves on deer herbivory in northeast Washington. Volunteers may also have the opportunity to practice radio telemetry, install trail cameras, review camera footage, and more. Independent study credit may be available, as well.

Deer grazing cage.

Deer grazing cage.

Volunteers should be comfortable working long days, usually in teams of two, and will be moving rolls of fencing and cutting wire. You’ll be camping most nights of the week, working Monday through Friday, and then have weekends off (and you’re of course allowed to stay at the camp if you choose). Experience with plant identification is a plus but not required—and please indicate if you feel comfortable identifying plants of northeast Washington to species-level. Safety is a priority, too, so please also indicate if you have CPR and/or first aid training.

Volunteers should be willing to commit a minimum of two weeks, but you can also extend your stay from mid-June through mid-September (to coincide with the UW summer session).

Positions are open until filled, and you can contact Apryle at apryle@uw.edu for more details or to apply!

Photo © Apryle Craig.

Director’s Message: Spring 2015

While I was out running at 5 a.m. the other morning, I was thrilled to see the sky beginning to lighten on the horizon. Getting up and out the door at that hour is pretty brutal any time of year, but it’s particularly discouraging during the darkest, dampest months. So that faint glow offered a wonderful promise of lengthening days throughout April and into the summer.

We’re starting to see a similar horizon in our school, and it comes on the heels of an extended ‘winter’ of retirements. Each quarter, it seems, we’ve had to say goodbye to another round of great friends and colleagues, including some of our longest-tenured professors—from Dave Manuwal, Tom Hinckley and Bob Edmonds to Steve West, then David Ford and Kevin Hodgson, and now Frank Greulich, Bruce Bare and Gordon Bradley.

2015_04_Spring 2015These farewells have been sad and profound, and it’s hard to quantify just how much their absence will affect our community. The personality of a school or university, after all, is never static. It’s always shifting and evolving with the people who work here, and you can never exactly replace the experience—let alone the institutional memory and character—of one faculty member with another.

Yet these departures have also signaled a period of opportunity and new beginnings for the school. We’ve already added three new professors this year, and I’m excited to welcome their energy and ideas. Professor David Butman is a watershed biogeochemist who has joined us from Yale University as a joint appointment with Civil and Environmental Engineering. David studies carbon and nitrogen flux in whole watershed studies, and he provides our programs with an increasingly important perspective in freshwater ecosystems. Professor Patrick Tobin is our new disturbance ecologist who joined us from the U.S. Forest Service in Morgantown, W.Va. Patrick is an entomologist and forest health specialist who primarily focuses on large-scale insect infestations of forest ecosystems, and his work has broad applications for forest management. Through some internal shuffling, we were then able to hire Professor Peter Kahn in a half-time capacity. Peter is an eco-psychologist who works on evaluating the human relationship with nature, and he holds a joint appointment with the Department of Psychology.

As our new faculty members have gotten settled, we have also hosted several additional searches this winter and spring. We have now hired—or are in the process of hiring—three more professors, with the possibility of a fourth coming soon. On April 1, Dr. Bernard Bormann took over as the new director of our Olympic Natural Resources Center in Forks, Wash. Bernard joins us after 34 years with the Forest Service, and his research focuses on forest ecology and physiology. Dr. Anthony Dichiara is a chemical engineer who comes to us from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Anthony will join our bioresource science and engineering group this fall, providing new expertise in bioproducts. By then, we’ll also be welcoming at least one new quantitative wildlife ecologist, and it now looks like we’ll be able to hire two.

These faculty members bring a wealth of new strengths and capacities. They’ll greatly enhance our ability to address the complexities of land management, and the potential for new and dynamic products both here and abroad. And they give me hope for what we’ll be able to accomplish in the coming years—in the lab and in the classroom, and in all of the environments around us.

So while it would be easy to dwell on all we’re losing, I’ll also hold onto the feeling of that sunrise, and the promise of new beginnings.

Tom DeLuca
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences

Taking Flight: Lisa Hannon Heads South for Research Trip to Costa Rica, Argentina

This past February and March, SEFS doctoral student Lisa Hannon took advantage of a rare opportunity to combine a research visit to Costa Rica with an intensive field course in Argentina studying hymenopterans, the third largest order of insects, including wasps, bees and ants.

Hannon, left, with with fellow HYM Course students from Alaska and Taiwan.

Hannon, left, with with fellow HYM Course students from Alaska and Taiwan.

An NSF Graduate Fellow, Hannon works with SEFS Professor Sharon Doty in the Plant Microbiology Lab, and some of her research involves studying agriculturally important microbes associated with sustainable Coffea arabica production. She also is researching how landscape and farmer practices in coffee plantations impact parasitoid wasp communities, which is important for integrated pest management.

Improving the sustainability of coffee production is a huge research area—whether through reducing the reliance on chemical inputs (e.g. fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides or pesticides), or by maintaining natural areas to provide habitat for native pollinators or parasitoid wasps. Globally, more than 100 million people depend on coffee production for subsistence; in Mexico and Central America alone, the production and processing of coffee employs approximately 8.5 million people.

So for the first leg of her trip in Costa Rica, Hannon spent a week meeting with research collaborators and visiting her coffee plantation field sites. “Usually, I am in the Tarrazú Valley during the rainy season, when there is greater biodiversity of bees and wasps,” says Hannon. “My field sites are located in the cloud forests on Costa Rica’s Pacific slope, so we typically receive three meters of rain while I’m there sampling. So traveling this year during the dry season to see the coffee harvest was a nice change of pace for me.”

Argentine micro-hymenoptera (4 mm)

Argentine micro-hymenoptera (4 mm)

For the second leg, Hannon then continued south to the highlands of northwest Argentina to participate in a professional hymenopteran course, known as HYM Course, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution. She joined a group of 20 researchers selected to attend; most were from North, Central and South America, but some traveled from as far away as Australia and Angola. Course participants included other graduate students, university professors, laboratory technicians and even two curators from the American Natural History Museum in New York. They received highly specialized training in identifying parasitic and predatory wasps, sawflies, wood wasps, bees and ants—all in a novel and unfamiliar location—and they learned taxonomic identification, advanced field collection methods and specialized preservation techniques.

“This course was a wonderful opportunity not only to receive individualized instruction from expert researchers, but also to meet potential collaborators for future projects,” says Hannon. “I feel very fortunate for being selected to attend.”

Photos © Lisa Hannon.

Hannon sampling in the Sierra Velasco mountains at the former Argentine president’s private hunting lodge.

Hannon sampling in the Sierra Velasco mountains at the former Argentine president’s private hunting lodge.

 

Xi Sigma Pi Research Grants: Apply Now!

This spring, the Xi Sigma Pi forestry honor society is offering two $1,000 research grant awards for SEFS undergraduate and graduate students!

Xi Sigma Pi Research Grants $2,000All students currently enrolled in SEFS are eligible to apply, and the grants will be awarded based on merit and financial need for research activities and equipment. It’s a great way to boost your research program, and also to gain experience with the proposal process!

All applications are due by 5 p.m. on May 8, and grant recipients will be notified later that month. You can upload your application online via catalyst or drop off a completed packet to David Campbell or Lisa Nordlund in Anderson 116/130.

Email xsp@uw.edu if you have any questions, and good luck!

Proposal Instructions
Please include the following items in the grant application packet:

  1. A resume no longer than 2 pages, single-spaced, and which includes the following information:
    a. Education history
    b. Work history
    c. Achievements
    d. Volunteer work
    e. Do not include references
  2. Letter of recommendation from advisor, committee member or influential faculty member. The author must email this document separately to xsp@uw.edu before 5 p.m. on May 8.
  3. Current transcript (unofficial or official).
  4. Proposal for Research Grant that does not exceed 3 pages, double-spaced (excluding works cited)
    a. Title
    b. PI and Co-PI with contact information
    c. Project description:
    i. Objectives and significance of project
    ii. Methods to be employed
    iii. Anticipated outcome and effect of project fulfillment
    iv. Timeline of the project completion and deliverables
    d. Statement of financial need with budget of the specific proposed project
    e. Other funding sources or scholarships received
    f. Works cited

Special Lecture (5/26): Linda Steg from The Netherlands

Coming up on Tuesday, May 26, the University of Washington will be hosting a special lecture with Professor Linda Steg, an environmental psychologist from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. The talk, “How to inspire people to engage in pro-environmental actions,” will be held in the Alder Hall Auditorium at 6 p.m., and it is free and open to the public.

About the Talk
Pro-environmental behavior is often believed to be less attractive (e.g. more expensive, time consuming, effort), which may inhibit pro-environmental choices. Despite this, many people do engage in sustainable actions. Why are they willing to do so? Dr. Steg will argue that values are a key motivating factor. In this lecture, she will elaborate on which values are likely to promote or inhibit sustainable actions, and discuss factors that activate or deactivate values, thereby affecting the likelihood of pro-environmental choices.

Linda Steg

Free Networking Skills Workshop and Social for SEFS Students

Planning to attend a conference or professional meeting this year? Want to learn the basics of networking and make the most of attending professional social functions? Then sign up for a special networking skills workshop and networking social coming up on Earth Day next Wednesday, April 22!

Students will learn the basic skills to be confident and professional in conference settings, and then have a chance to practice those new skills with SEFS alumni and industry professionals at a real networking social afterwards. Don’t miss this chance for a fun event and great experience!

Networking Skills Workshop:
4:30-5:30 p.m., Anderson 223 (immediately following the SEFS Seminar)

Networking Social for Students w/ SEFS Alumni & Industry Professionals
5:30 p.m., Anderson 207 (Forest Club Room)
Snacks and beverages will be served

The event is being organized by the SEFS local committee of the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA) in partnership with the SEFS chapter of the Society of American Foresters and the SEFS Alumni Group—along with some help from a guest speaker from the UW Career Center.

All students are welcome, and please email Miku Lenentine to RSVP for the event (and specify workshop and/or social)!

2015_04_Networking Event and Social

Today (4/8): ‘Sewage Sludge in Our Food? … Let’s Talk!’

This afternoon, you are invited to join a presentation by Darlene Schanfald from the Olympic Environmental Council. Her talk will focus on sewage sludge from wastewater treatment plants and industry that is allowed to be spread on farmlands, in forests and sold as compost/fertilizer. The program will include excerpts from the film Sludge Diet, and the audience will learn about current standards approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Sludge TalkWhen: Wednesday, April 8, 1 to 3 p.m.
Where: Research Commons at Allen Library – Green Room A (the first room on the left as you enter from the breezeway between Suzallo and Allen libraries).
Why: Community right-to-know is a key component of scientific information sharing for wellness, health and science resources.
Who: Anyone interested!

Students are encouraged to join, to share and to learn, and organic snacks will be provided. Email kfrevert@uw.edu if you have any questions about the talk.

New Faculty Intro: Bernard Bormann

We are extremely pleased to welcome Dr. Bernard Bormann as the new director of the Olympic Natural Resources Center (ONRC) in Forks, Wash., and as a professor of forest ecology and physiology for SEFS! His first official day in the office was April 1, and we hope you’ll join us in welcoming him to our community.

Bernard BormannProfessor Bormann spent most of his childhood in New England, including Hanover, N.H., and near New Haven, Conn., and he joins ONRC after a 34-year career as a scientist with the U.S. Forest Service. Since 1989, he has led the Long-Term Ecosystem Productivity Program for the Pacific Northwest Research Station, and he brings a strong interest in adaptive management. He is looking forward to upholding the original intent of ONRC to serve as a hub of collaborative research—a neutral forum that unites researchers, students, professionals and the public to solve critical issues in forestry and marine management throughout the Olympic Peninsula. He is also excited to develop and study multiple creative, win-win solutions that can reverse declines in both ecological resilience and rural community well-being across the region.

Professor Bormann has a long history in the Puget Sound region. He received his B.S. in plant ecology from Evergreen State College in 1976, his M.S. in plant ecology from the University of Washington in 1978, and then his Ph.D. in forest physiology from Oregon State University in 1981.

You can reach him at his ONRC office at 206.685.9477 and by email at bormann@uw.edu.

Welcome, Bernard!

Photo © Bernard Bormann.

Wildlife Science Seminar: Spring 2015

This spring, Professor Christian Grue of the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences is leading the long-running Wildlife Science Seminar (ESRM 455 & 554). The weekly talks will be held on Mondays from 3:30 to 4:50 p.m. in Kane Hall 120, and topics range widely—and intriguingly—from albatross conservation to amphibian genetics to animal welfare at a major research university.

The public is welcome, so come out for some animal edification!

Wildlife Science SeminarWeek 1: March 30
“The Trouble with Murrelets: Discovering and Recovering and Imperiled Seabird”
Maria Mudd Ruth
Author, Rare Bird: Pursing the Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet

Week 2: April 6
“Black-tailed Deer Movements and Reproduction in Managed Forests”
Clifford Rice
Research Scientist, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Week 3: April 13
“Is Being a Force of Nature Right for You?”
Michael Cenci
Deputy Chief, Enforcement, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Week 4: April 20
“The Bear Facts in Washington State”
Richard Beausoleil
Bear and Cougar Specialist, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Week 5: April 27
“Albatross Conservation in Commercial Fisheries”
Ed Melvin
Senior Scientist, Washington Sea Grant

Week 6: May 4
“Advancing Science and Animal Welfare at a Major Research University”
Sally Thompson-Iritani
Director, Office of Animal Welfare, UW

Week 7: May 11
“Challenges in Managing Washington’s Wildlife Resources”
Jim Unsworth
Director, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Week 8: May 18
“Seabirds: Beautiful Alive, Useful When Found Dead”
Julia Parrish
Associate Dean, College of the Environment and Professor, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, UW

Week 9: May 25
Memorial Day (no seminar)

Week 10: June 1
“Genetic Insights into Amphibian Population Ecology”
Caren Goldberg
Assistant Professor, School of the Environment, WSU

Water Seminar: Spring 2015

Professor David Butman is leading the Water Seminar (ESRM 429) this spring, and you can catch the action on Tuesday mornings from 8:30 to 9:20 a.m. in Anderson 223. We apologize for sharing this schedule too late for you to see Professor Butman’s introduction, but there are plenty of great talks and speakers lined up for the rest of the quarter!

Week 1: March 31
“Overview: Land-use and riverine biogeochemistry from a carbon perspective”
Professor David Butman, SEFS and Civil and Environmental Engineering

Week 2: April 7
“What stable isotopes can tell us about inputs to freshwater ecosystems”
Professor Michael Brett, UW Civil and Environmental Engineering

Week 3: April 14
“Biological N2 fixation explains ancient sustained use of subarctic alluvial meadows”
SEFS Director Tom DeLuca

Week 4: April 21
“Does shoreline development impact herring in Puget Sound?”
Tessa Francis, lead ecosystem ecologist
Puget Sound Institute, UW Tacoma

Week 5: April 28
“Effects of land use on the predictability of land-atmosphere fluxes and moisture transport in the North American monsoon region”
Dr. Ted Bohn, School of Earth and Space Exploration
Arizona State University

Week 6: May 5
“Carbon storage in terrestrial systems inferred from riverine chemistry”
Dr. Erin Martin, The Evergreen State College

Week 7: May 12
“Global watershed management tools”
Professor Jeff Richey, UW School of Oceanography
Adjunct Professor, Quaternary Research Center, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Week 8: May 19
“Sediment and chemical loading from the Green River watershed to the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund site”
Kathleen Conn, hydrologist, USGS

Week 9: May 26
“Hama Hama Seafood Co.: What resource management and conservation means for a sustainable seafood business in Puget Sound”
Lissa James Monberg, Hama Hama Seafood Co.

Week 10: June 2
“Lake Washington Ship Canal and current water management operations”
Kenneth Brettmann, senior water manager, Western Washington
Water Management Section, Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District