Evening Talks at ONRC: Melissa Pingree!

Coming up on Saturday, October 18, from 7 to 8 p.m., SEFS graduate student Melissa Pingree will be presenting the next installment in the Evening Talks at ONRC speaker series: “The unseen legacy of fire: Charcoal and its role in carbon and nutrient cycling in forest soils of the Olympic Peninsula.” Held out at the Olympic Natural Resources Center in Forks, Wash., the talk is open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.

Melissa Pingree

Pingree at Mount Rainier National Park.

Pingree, a second-year doctoral student working with SEFS Director Tom DeLuca, earned a bachelor’s in forestry from the University of Montana, where she worked in the DeLuca Biogeochemistry Lab and explored the fundamentals of soil science and forest ecology. After graduating, she worked for the forestry department at Fort Lewis Army Base (now Joint Base Lewis-McChord) and gained wildland firefighter certification. The following summer, she worked as a handcrew member with Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie Initial Attack, and later on the Wenatchee River crew with the U.S. Forest Service.

Her experiences in wildland fire sparked an interest in fire ecology, which Pingree combined with her knowledge of soils to earn a master’s in environmental science at Western Washington University. From working with Professor Peter Homan and studying the 2002 Biscuit Fire of southwest Oregon, she then diversified her fire experiences by working on a fuels module at North Cascades National Park, where she strengthened her skills in the field and traveled to various national parks in response to wildland fires, prescribed fires and fuel-reduction projects.

Working with Professor DeLuca once again, Pingree is studying the role of charcoal in nutrient and carbon cycling in natural forest ecosystems. This legacy of wildfires has the potential to alter short-term and long-term forest soil characteristics and plant-soil relationships, and you can learn a whole lot more from her talk next week! (Also, in case you can make the journey out to Forks, we hear Pingree knows some killer fishing spots out there, so bring your tackle along! No promises, though, because she says she’s about as likely to divulge those secrets as she is to call “soils” “dirt.”)

About the Speaker Series
Evening Talks at ONRC is supported by the Rosmond Forestry Education Fund, an endowment that honors the contributions of Fred Rosmond and his family to forestry and the Forks community. In addition to bringing speakers and interesting research out to ONRC, the series provides a great opportunity for graduate students to gain experience presenting their research to the public, and to a generally non-scientific—though thoroughly engaged—audience. For participating University of Washington graduate student speakers, ONRC will cover travel expenses and provide lodging for the night, as well as a stipend of $200.

So far, we’ve had fantastic talks from Laurel Peelle, Jorge Tomasevic, Meghan Halabisky and Rachel Roberts. If you’re interested in giving a talk or know someone who would be a great fit for this series, email Karl Wirsing or Frank Hanson!

Photos © Melissa Pingree.

Melissa Pingree

Evening Talks at ONRC: Tom Rosmond

This coming Friday, January 17, at 6:30 p.m., the Olympic Natural Resources Center in Forks, Wash., will be hosting the fourth installment of its new speaker series, Evening Talks at ONRC.

Evening Talks at ONRC

The ONRC campus just outside of Forks, Wash.

This month, ONRC is pleased to welcome Tom Rosmond, a consultant for the Naval Research Laboratory, Marine Meteorology Division. In his talk, “An Introduction to Modern Weather Prediction: Is it going to rain or maybe snow?” Rosmond will discuss how modern weather prediction tries to answer this age-old question, and he’ll show some of the science and technology used to support weather predictions. He’ll also discuss the accuracy of today’s weather predictions and suggest ways it could be enhanced and improved.

Rosmond grew up in Forks and graduated from Forks High School. During school breaks, he worked in his family-owned business, Rosmond Brothers Lumber Company, a prolific lumber mill for 38 years that operated on the current site of the 101 Business Park. He later attended the University of Washington, graduating with a bachelor’s and master’s in Oceanography, and a doctoral degree Atmospheric Sciences.

The talk is open to the public, and you are welcome to bring a favorite snack to share—or just eat up the presentation this Friday at 6:30 p.m.!

Evening Talks at ONRC is supported by the Rosmond Forestry Education Fund, an endowment that honors the contributions of Fred Rosmond and his family to forestry and the Forks community. For more information about ONRC or the speaker series, contact Ellen Matheny.

Pileated Woodpeckers in Suburban Seattle?

This Friday, October 18, the Olympic Natural Resources Center (ONRC) in Forks, Wash., will be hosting the second presentation as part of its new monthly speaker series, “Evening Talks at ONRC.”

Jorge Tomasevic

Jorge Tomasevic

Each month, a graduate student or other regional expert will give a public talk to engage members of the Forks and surrounding communities in exciting research projects throughout the state. SEFS graduate student Laurel Peelle kicked off the speaker series on Saturday, September 21, to great success—and an enthusiastic round of questions afterward!

This next event, which will begin at the ONRC campus at 7 p.m., features Jorge Tomasevic for his talk, “A New Neighbor on the Block: Pileated Woodpeckers in Seattle’s Suburban Areas.”

Part of the Wildlife Science Group at SEFS—and currently working toward his Ph.D.—Tomasevic originally came to the United States as a Fulbright Fellow from Chile. From the cold forests of Patagonia to the arid desert of Atacama, from the native forests and struggling exotic pine plantations to the heights of an island in the Pacific Ocean or up high in the Andes, Tomasevic has participated in several research projects dealing with the ecology and conservation of forest birds and endangered species in Chile—and now in the Pacific Northwest.

“Most of us think of the Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) as a mature or even old-growth forest species, right?” says Tomasevic. “That’s why we use them as indicators of forest health. However, they are also using suburban areas in the Greater Seattle region. Why is this? How are they doing? Are they successful, or it is just the remains of a past population that are using what is left of the forest not taken over by housing development?”

Come out this Friday to learn more about what this woodpecker is doing in such an unusual environment!

“Evening Talks at ONRC” is open to the public and is supported by the Rosmond Forestry Education Fund endowment. For more information about the program, contact Ellen Matheny at ematheny@uw.edu or 360.374.4556.

About the Speaker Series
In addition to bringing speakers and interesting research out to ONRC, the speaker series also provides a great opportunity for graduate students to gain experience presenting their research to the public, and to a generally non-scientific audience. For participating speakers, ONRC will cover travel expenses and provide lodging for the night, as well as a stipend of $200. The specific days of the events are flexible, and there will be openings coming up for January, March and May. If you are interested in giving a talk or know someone who would be a great fit for this series, please contact Karl Wirsing!

Photo © Ross Furbush.