2017 UW Climate Change Video Awards: Meet the Judges!

Submissions have been rolling in during the past week, and today is the deadline for the 2017 UW Climate Change Video Contest. After we collect all the videos, we’ll turn them over to our panel of four judges to determine the finalists, which we’ll screen at the UW Climate Change Video Awards on Friday, June 2, 7 to 9 p.m. at Town Hall Seattle!

For the contest this year, we challenged high school students across the state of Washington to create a two-minute ad that will convince a climate change skeptic to take action—with a top prize of $5,000, $1,000 for second and $500 for third. We can’t wait to see how students tackled this prompt, and we’re excited to introduce the distinguished judges who’ll determine the winning videos!

Laura Jean Cronin

Laura Jean Cronin
Laura Jean Cronin has written, directed and produced an array of award-winning short films that played in festivals worldwide, including John Gill, 2000, Block Party, Leave It, Free Parking, Arthur and One Night. Laura Jean also works as a freelance 1st assistant director in the local Indie film and television industry and teaches video production skills to kids and teens at Reel Grrls, an after-school program that gives youth the tools to succeed as leaders through media production. She has recently wrapped Season Six of the Emmy Award-winning PBS show Biz Kid$, where she served as line producer. Currently, Laura Jean is a producer and director at B47 Studios in Seattle.

Melanie HarrisonDr. Melanie Harrison Okoro
Melanie is a water quality specialist and the aquatic invasive species coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, West Coast Region. She earned her doctorate in environmental science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and her research focuses on water quality impacts to federally listed threatened and endangered species. Her passions include mentoring youth as a Big Sister in the San Francisco Bay Big Brothers Big Sister Program, and being an advocate for increasing diversity in STEM fields through her involvement with the American Association of University Women in Davis, Calif.

Cody PermenterCody Permenter
Cody is the social media manager at Seattle-based Grist.org, a nonprofit environmental news organization for people who want “a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck.” Before joining Grist, Cody helped lead the social media efforts at viral news site Cheezburger.com and has been published in publications like Thrillist, The Daily Dot and USA Today. He has served on the nominating board for the Shorty Awards for the past three years, an awards program honoring the best of social media in the entertainment industry, and he studied multimedia journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

Ethan SteinmanEthan Steinman
Ethan is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and owner of the Seattle-based media production company, Daltonic Films. As a producer and director, he has worked over the past two decades on programming for a wide range of media outlets, including NBC, FOX, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel and A&E. During the past several years, he has produced original content for Al Jazeera English, FOX Sports, CNN, Adidas and Major League Soccer, and he directed two award-winning feature-length documentaries, including Glacial Balance, which explores the effects of climate change on Andean glaciers and the people who depend on them for survival.

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The award show and screening is free and open to the public, and we hope you’ll join us to celebrate these talented students!

Ashley Ahearn to Emcee UW Climate Change Video Awards

We are excited to announce that Ashley Ahearn, award-winning environment reporter with KUOW, will be the emcee for our 2017 UW Climate Video Awards show on Friday, June 2, at Town Hall Seattle! This is our third year hosting the UW Climate Change Video Contest, and this year’s award show and screening will feature high school students across the state of Washington who created two-minute ads addressing the prompt, “How do you convince a climate change skeptic to take action?”

In addition to her role as a reporter, Ashley is the host of a new national podcast called Terrestrial, which focuses on the choices we make in a world we have changed (the podcast launched on May 2). Or, as Ashley refers to it, it’s the “we’re f#@ked, now what?” podcast. “We, as a generation, have grown up with some level of awareness and understanding of climate change and what our emissions are doing to the planet,” says Ashley. “And we’re going to be the generation that has to figure out what to do about that—and how to live and adapt in a changed world. That’s why we’re making this podcast.”

Ashley says she’s honored to emcee the award show, and that the way she approaches an episode of the podcast might not be very different from the way these young filmmakers unpack the issue of climate change for audiences, visually.

She earned a master’s in science journalism from the University of Southern California and has completed reporting fellowships with MIT, Vermont Law School, the Metcalf Institute at the University of Rhode Island, and the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources. She has covered numerous multimedia stories around Washington and the Pacific Northwest, from the Elwha River recovery to an interview with our own Carol Bogezi. In her spare time you’ll find her riding her motorcycle or hiking and snowboarding in the Olympic and Cascade mountains.

Submissions for the 2017 Climate Change Video Contest are due by April 30, and we’ll soon have more details to share about the award show, four judges and opening speaker!

Photo of Ashley Ahearn © Melanie Moore.

Ashley Ahearn at the Duwamish

Xi Sigma Pi Research Grants: Apply by May 1!

This spring, the Xi Sigma Pi Forestry Honor Society will award two grants of up to $1,000 each to support graduate and undergraduate research for students currently enrolled at SEFS. These grants are based on merit and financial need and will be applicable for research activities and/or equipment that is otherwise unattainable by the student.

The deadline to apply for these grants is Monday, May 1, by 11 p.m., so learn more about the application process below and get your packets together!

To apply, please include the following items in the grant application packet:

  1. A resume no longer than 2 pages, single-spaced. It should include the following information:
    1. Education history
    2. Work history
    3. Achievements
    4. Volunteer work
  2. Letter of recommendation from an advisor, committee member or influential faculty member. The author must email this document separately to xsp@uw.edu before May 1, 2017, at 11 p.m.
  3. Current transcript (unofficial or official).
  4. Proposal for Research Grant that does not exceed 3 pages, double-spaced (excluding works cited)
    1. Title
    2. PI and Co-PI with contact information
    3. Project description:
      1. Objectives and significance of project
      2. Methods to be employed
      3. Anticipated outcome and effect of project fulfillment
      4. Broader impacts associated with the project
      5. Timeline of the project completion and deliverables
      6. Works cited
    4. Statement of financial need with budget of the specific proposed project

Include in the budget ONLY the expenses for your project, which are to be funded by the XSP grant, including but not limited to: equipment, travel, lodging, material, supplies and/or any other pertinent research activities. If you have received any scholarship or funding to fund the rest of your research, make sure to mention it here. You may want to include a brief narrative of expenses along with a table of individual cost components.

This year the grants are worth up to $1,000 dollars each, and the application process will run until May 1, 2017 (11 p.m).

The complete grant application packet can be dropped off in person to David Campbell or Lisa Nordlund in Anderson Hall rooms 116/130, OR uploaded directly onto catalyst by the due date.

If you have any questions about the grant process, email xsp@uw.edu!

SEFS Year-End Celebration: Tuesday, May 23!

We’re excited to announce the date for our annual SEFS Year-End Celebration is set for Tuesday, May 23, from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Anderson Hall courtyard!

For those who haven’t been before, the Year-End Celebration is a high-spirited occasion to recognize students and colleagues—including retiring faculty—who have made exemplary contributions to the school and academic community. After the short awards portion up front, though, we dive into the catered snacks, an expansive wine tasting, a silent auction to raise money for the SEFS student scholarship fund (more on that to come!), and general merriment. This year, as well, we’re planning to make the party more of a spring picnic in the Anderson courtyard, so cross your fingers for a sunny afternoon (assuming such a vision still survives in your memory).

Remember this guy last year? SEFS doctoral student Matthew Aghai went home the big winner in the Silent Auction—to us, anyway—when he bid on this greater kudu head, donated by Professor Laura Prugh.

Awards
We always kick off the fun with the awards, and we’ll be presenting a range of student, staff and faculty honors. For students, the awards include the John A. Wott Fellowship in Plant Collection and Curatorship, and the Richard D. Taber Outstanding Wildlife Conservation Student Award. We will also present two Director’s Awards, one each for staff and faculty service.

After that, we depend on all of you to determine the final four awards, which are based entirely on nominations: Faculty Member of the Year, Staff Member of the Year, Graduate Student of the Year, and Undergraduate Student of the Year. We launched these awards three years ago to recognize the highest honor for a year of achievement and service, and they are open to nominations from all faculty, staff and students. Honorees will have their names engraved on the plaques in the Anderson Hall display case.

Submitting a Nomination
Nomination letters do not need to be long—a good paragraph or two will suffice—but they should be specific and clearly demonstrate the qualities your candidate exemplifies. Nominations can call out a wide range of qualities and accomplishments, whether in one area or across many, in one instance or sustained throughout the year. You may nominate more than one individual for each category, and all nominations will be reviewed by a panel of students, staff and faculty. You are not expected to know grant totals or grades or precise figures, though the selection committee may use these metrics as part of the selection process. Most important, all nominations must be emailed to Sarah Thomas no later than Friday, May 5!

Below are some criteria and characteristics to consider:

1. Faculty Member of the Year
Exemplary attributes can include, but are not limited to: Quality of teaching, advising and mentoring; student success in the field; new research grants and programs; recent publications, books, patents and invited lectures; contributions to the SEFS community and administration; preeminence in his/her field of study; etc. (Previous winners include Professors Sharon Doty, Jon Bakker and Patrick Tobin.)

2. Staff Member of the Year
Exemplary attributes can include, but are not limited to: Outstanding commitment to the school and supporting students, faculty and other staff; contributing to the positive spirit and cohesiveness of the school; outstanding, creative and/or innovative performance of duties; community participation and outreach; commitment to professional growth and development; etc. (Previous winners include Amanda Davis, Sarah Geurkink and David Campbell.)

3. Graduate Student of the Year
Exemplary attributes can include, but are not limited to: Academic excellence and accolades; quality of teaching; outstanding thesis/dissertation research and progress; extracurricular projects, collaborations and activities; conference presentations and other professional engagements; community participation and outreach; outstanding promise in his/her field of study; etc. (Previous winners include Hyungmin “Tony” Rho, Samantha Zwicker and Allison Rossman)

4. Undergraduate Student of the Year
Exemplary attributes can include, but are not limited to: Academic excellence and accolades; outstanding research projects; conference presentations and other professional engagements; extracurricular projects, collaborations and activities; community participation, leadership and outreach; outstanding promise in his/her field of study; etc. (Previous winners include Alison Sienkiewicz, Sophia Winkler-Schor and Stephen Calkins.)

Remember, nominations are due by Friday, May 5, so send them to Sarah as soon as possible!

Join the Pack Forest and ONRC Summer Crews!

Every summer, a hardy crew of SEFS student interns 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, and this year there’s an exciting twist: We’re creating a second crew that will based out at the Olympic Natural Resources Center (ONRC) in Forks, Wash.!

Specifically, we are looking for five to six 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 participate in sustainable forest management. Also, for the first time we are looking for up to five ONRC interns to support forest and riparian research on remote watersheds in the Olympic Experimental State Forest.

All internships run throughout the summer quarter, from June 19 to August 18. Four ESRM credits are available, and all students receive a $200 weekly stipend along with free housing.

To apply, send your resume and cover letter—by Sunday, April 9—describing how the internship will fit into your program to Professor Greg Ettl.

2017 Sustaining Our World Lecture: Anthony Sinclair

Coming up on Tuesday, April 4, from 6 to 7 p.m. in Anderson Hall – Room 223, we are very pleased to welcome Professor Emeritus Anthony R.E. Sinclair from the University of British Columbia to give the annual Sustaining Our World Lecture, “The future of conservation: Lessons from the past and the need for rewilding of ecosystems.”

The talk is free and open to the public, but please register in advance to make sure we have enough seating. (Anderson Hall is one of the older buildings on campus and has no elevators to the second floor or ramp access at any entrance; our sincere apologies for any difficulty in accessing the room.)

Register today!

About the Talk
Three themes emerge from long-term research around the globe. First, the diversity of species is important in maintaining stability in the system. So if we lose species, as in agriculture, we create instability. Second, due to continuously changing environments, ecosystems are always changing. That means that static boundaries around Protected Areas will not be sufficient for long-term conservation. Third, disturbances in ecosystems (fire, floods, agriculture) can cause a rapid change in state from one species community to another. Consequently, Protected Areas are necessary but not sufficient for the conservation of biota. Restoration of human-disturbed landscapes must now become a priority. I present the rationale and a method for predicting the success of rewilding to a pre-determined state using a rewilding index. This approach tells us when rewilding has been achieved and whether the envisioned community of species and their interactions can be restored. The method can be used to guide restoration of both the type and number of species, and the rate of change of ecosystem processes.

About the Speaker
Anthony is currently professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Previously, he served as director of the Centre for Biodiversity Research, University of British Columbia, and was a professor at the Department of Zoology for 34 years. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada. Anthony was a Killam Senior Fellow in 2004-2006 and was awarded the Aldo Leopold medal from The Wildlife Society in 2013.

He has conducted ecological research on the role of biodiversity in the functioning of many ecosystems around the world, including Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. He has worked with many different types of organisms to put together the food webs and their dynamics that cover several decades. This work included the regulation of mammal populations, food supply, nutrition, predation and disease. Anthony has examined the causes of migration and its consequences on ecosystem processes, and he has documented multiple states in the Serengeti savannah and grassland communities for almost 50 years. He has expanded these interests to include bird, insect and reptile faunas as part of the long-term dynamics of ecosystems; these studies have been synthesized in four books. He has worked in Canada on boreal forest ecosystems, in particular on cycles of snowshoe hares for 20 years. He has also worked on endangered marsupial mammal populations and predation by exotic carnivores in Australia and similar systems in New Zealand.

Garden Lovers’ Book Sale: April 7 and 8

Coming up on April 7 and 8 at the Center for Urban Horticulture, you’ll have a chance to shop a selection of thousands of used gardening, horticulture, botany and landscape design books at the 12th annual Elisabeth C. Miller Library Garden Lovers’ Book Sale!

Be among the first to browse the books at a party with silent auction on Friday, April 7, from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets to the party are $25 in advance or $30 at the door, and your purchase directly funds the Miller Library book budget. Enjoy a glass of wine, mingle with other gardening enthusiasts, and bid on specially selected books in the silent auction. To purchase tickets to the party, contact the library at 206.543.0415.

Then, on Saturday, April 8, the book sale will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free, and shoppers will find a wide range of topics on all things horticultural—and at great prices.

All proceeds from the book sale will be used to purchase the best new horticultural books and journals for the library. Original artwork from the Pacific Northwest Botanical Artists will also be on exhibit and for sale for the entire month of April.

How Do You Convince a Climate Change Skeptic?

We are very excited to announce the launch of our third annual UW Climate Change Video Contest! Our first two contests inspired some incredibly thoughtful and creative videos, and this year we’re challenging high school students throughout Washington with a new prompt: Create a two-minute ad that will convince a climate change skeptic to take action.

2017_02_2017 FlyerYour ad can be targeted at anyone—the general public, voters, a friend, family member, local politician or world leader. What matters most is the power and effectiveness of your message, from your ability to engage viewers with opposing viewpoints, to the strength of your scientific reasoning. Your video can take on any format imaginable, and we encourage you to get creative (fake news satire, Claymation, sci-fi, music video, film noir mystery, ballet, stand-up comedy routine, rock opera, personal monologue, documentary…and everything else in between).

A top prize of $5,000 awaits the winner, $1,000 for second and $500 for third, and we’ll screen and celebrate the finalists at the UW Climate Change Video Awards at Town Hall Seattle this spring.

The deadline to submit a video is Sunday, April 30, 2017, and we can’t wait to see how students tackle this challenge. So learn more about the contest, and help us spread the word to as many high schools as possible across the state!

2017_02_Blog Announcement