SEFS Seminar Series: Week 2 Preview

Fernando Resende

Professor Fernando Resende

After a great presentation and terrific turnout for Mary Ruckelshaus of the Natural Capital Project in Week 1 of the SEFS Seminar Series, we’re excited to build on that energy this Tuesday with Professor Fernando Resende!

In his talk tomorrow (Oct. 8), “Thermochemical Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass into Fuels and Chemicals,” Resende will explain how we can make fuels and high-value products from wood, grass and agricultural residues—and how his work specifically uses high-temperature engineering processes.

The seminars are held on Tuesdays from 3:30-4:20 p.m. in Anderson 223, and all students, staff and faculty are encouraged to attend. Make sure to mark your calendars for the rest of the seminars this fall!

(A special thank you, as well, to the Dead Elk Society for their help organizing the reception after the seminar. The next reception is scheduled after Professor Stanley Asah’s talk on November 5.)

Photo © Fernando Resende.

SEFS Seminar Series: Fall Schedule Announced!

It’s been a long, quiet summer in Anderson Hall, but the start of Fall Quarter is just around the corner—which means the return of footsteps clomping through the hallways, rabid jostling for coffee in the kitchen, and a Forest Room revived from eerie dormancy. It also means the return of the SEFS Seminar Series beginning on Tuesday, October 1!

SEFS Seminar SeriesThe day and start time of the seminars is changing—they will now be held on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 4:20 p.m.—but you can still catch the action in Anderson 223 with 10 weeks of presentations from your colleagues and other experts in the field. (Graduate students and undergraduates can receive 2 credits: ESRM490F or SEFS550C).

This fall, the series includes four weeks devoted to aspects of alternative energy generation from forest products, including a three-week segment on forest residue-based biofuel research. Other topical areas include plant physiology, endophyte microbiology, fire ecology and human dimensions of fire management, and brown bear behavior along salmon-spawning streams in Alaska. In short, one heck of a line-up!

Kicking off the quarter will be Mary Ruckelshaus from Natural Capital Project with her talk, “Valuing Nature’s Benefits” (we’ll have more on her seminar next week). All students, staff and faculty are welcome to attend, so mark your calendars for the dates below and come out and spend an hour each week with your fellow colleagues and classmates!

Week 1: October 1
Mary Ruckelshaus, Natural Capital: “ Valuing Nature’s Benefits”

Week 2: October 8
Fernando Resende, SEFS: “Thermochemical Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass into Fuels and Chemicals”

Week 3: October 15
Don McKenzie, U.S. Forest Service: “Climate Change, Wildfires and Why We Need Ecologists”

Week 4: October 22
Soo-Hyung Kim, SEFS: “Is Increasing Leaf Albedo an Effective Crop Improvement Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation?”

Week 5: October 29
Aaron Wirsing, SEFS: “Noninvasive Exploration of Brown Bear Behavior Along Salmon-Spawning Streams in the Wood River Lakes System, Alaska.”

Week 6: November 5
Stanley Asah, SEFS: “Inciting Organizational Ambidexterity in the Forest Service: Community-Agency Interactions, Personality, and Perceived Organizational Obstruction in Fire Management.”

Week 7: November 12
Team-led by Renata Bura, SEFS: “Bioconversion of Forest Residuals to Biofuels – Technical, Economic, and Life-Cycle Assessments”

Week 8: November 19
Team-led by Sandor Toth, SEFS: “Optimization and Economic Impacts of a Washington State Biofuels Industry Using Forest Residuals”

Week 9: November 26
Team-led by Clare Ryan, SEFS: “Social and Policy Implications of a Washington State Biofuels Industry Using Forest Residuals.”

Week 10: December 3     
Sharon Doty, SEFS: “Increasing Crop Growth and Biomass Production Sustainably Using Natural Endosymbionts of Poplar”

SEFS Seminar Series: Week 10 Preview!

Like the last bite of birthday cake, or the day after Christmas, you knew the good times had to end. Beg and plead as you might, the SEFS Seminar Series for the Spring Quarter could not go on forever. But we do have one last hurrah, one final romp through the fields of discovery, this Wednesday, June 5, at 3:30 p.m., when Michelle Trudeau takes the stage!

Trudeau, director of Student and Academic Services, will be exploring the long-term patterns and trajectory of SEFS enrollment. Are we on a rollercoaster or climbing a mountain? Why do enrollment figures change so much, especially with our undergraduate numbers? How and why have our programs evolved into what we offer today, and how do these changes relate to our enrollment? For these answers and many more, come join Trudeau and get a glimpse of where we stand in comparison to our peer institutions around the nation.

What: “SEFS Student Enrollment: Past, Future and National Trends”
When: Wednesday, June 5, 3:30-4:20 p.m.
Where: Anderson Hall, Room 223
Who’s Invited: It’s open to the public, and all faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend!

Come out and join your colleagues, and then head over to the Forest Club Room afterward for a casual reception from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Undergraduate Enrollment Report

Undergraduate Enrollment Report, 1989 to present

SEFS Seminar Series: Week 8 Preview

SEFS Research Associate Van Kane studies ecology at large scales using airborne LiDAR (a portmanteau of “light” and “radar”). For this talk in Week 8 of the SEFS Seminar Series, he’ll describe his work looking at how fires are reshaping the structure of forests in Yosemite National Park with some unexpected results and implications for how forests should be restored!

What: “Landscape-scale effects of fire severity in Yosemite National Park from LiDAR and Landsat Data.”
When: Wednesday, May 22, 3:30-4:20 p.m.
Where: Anderson Hall, Room 223
Who’s Invited: It’s open to the public, and all faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend!

Come out and support your colleagues, and then head over to the Forest Club Room afterward for a casual reception from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Also, mark your calendars for the two remaining talks this spring!

LiDAR image © Van Kane.

SEFS Seminar Series: Week 6 Preview!

What is it that makes Pacific silver fir and western hemlock shade-tolerant trees? And how is it that they can both out-compete Douglas-fir in the ‘twilight’ of the Olympic Peninsula? In Week 6 of the SEFS Seminar Series this Wednesday, Professor David Ford will describe the particular properties of photosynthesis of these species and discuss some general implications for how we measure and model photosynthesis.

So whether you’re on Team Edward or Team Jacob, one thing will be perfectly clear: There’s more competition on the Olympic Peninsula than just between werewolves and vampires!

What: “The dynamics of photosynthesis and its significance for modeling plant growth.”
When: Wednesday, May 8, 3:30-4:20 p.m.
Where: Anderson Hall, Room 223
Who’s Invited: It’s open to the public, and all faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend!

Come out and support your colleagues, and then head over to the Forest Club Room afterward for a casual reception from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Also, mark your calendars for the remaining talks this spring!

Vampire clipart courtesy of David Ford.

SEFS Seminar Series: Week 5 Preview!

Forest HealthAs we turn a new leaf on the calendar this coming Wednesday, it’s fitting—or at least convenient as far this story is concerned—that we’ll also be turning your attention to the leaves (and roots, bark, branches, etc.) in our state’s forests for Week 5 of the SEFS Seminar Series!

For his talk, “Forest Health in Washington,” Professor Emeritus Bob Edmonds will explore concerns about the recent high rate of tree mortality and the potential impact on ecosystem services. Washington’s forests are impacted by insects, diseases, fire, animals, air pollution, drought, climate change and other factors. Introduced as well as native insect and disease problems are involved, and forest health is generally worse in eastern Washington than western Washington. Professor Edmonds’ talk, in turn, will cover the causes of forest health problems and what is being done to alleviate them.

When: Wednesday, May 1, 3:30-4:20 p.m.
Where: Anderson Hall, Room 223
Who’s Invited: It’s open to the public, and all faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend!

Come out and support your colleagues, and then head over to the Forest Club Room afterward for a casual reception from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Also, mark your calendars for the remaining talks this spring!

SEFS Seminar Series: Week 3 Preview

For Week 3 of the SEFS Seminar Series this Wednesday, we’re going to focus your curious gaze on a fascinating story of conservation and ecological restoration on Tiritiri Matangi, a small island on the other side of the world in New Zealand. Bringing his extensive expertise to our doorstep is Mel Galbraith of the Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand, and we hope you can join us for his talk, “Ecological Restoration of Tiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand!”

When: Wednesday, April 17, 3:30-4:20 p.m.
Where: Anderson Hall, Room 223
Who’s Invited: It’s open to the public, and all faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend!

After the seminar, join your colleagues over in the Forest Club Room for a casual reception from 4:30-5:30 p.m. We’ll have snacks, and this spring we’re offering selections from the Fremont Brewing Company (for those of age)!

Saddleback on Tiritiri Matangi Island

Once rare and endangered, the Saddleback, or Tieke, is now thriving on Tiritiri Matangi Island.

Background
Tiritiri Matangi Island, commonly known as “Tiri,” is a low-lying, 254-hectare scientific reserve located three kilometers from mainland New Zealand in the Hauraki Gulf north of Auckland. The island is administered by the Department of Conservation and is supported by a community group, the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi.

Originally inhabited by Maori, Tiri has a long history of degradation from human activities and habitation, starting with deforestation association with Polynesian colonization of New Zealand, and culminating with European farming practices from the 1850s to the 1970s. When stock was removed from the island, the remaining vegetation covered only 6 percent of the area, and much of that was a canopy with little regeneration underneath. Tiri has been free of all introduced mammals since the Pacific rat (kiore) was eradicated in 1983. A program of vegetation restoration started in 1984, with vegetated cover on the island increasing 60 percent through the planting of 280,000 trees during a 10-year period through 1984. Translocations of species to the island is an ongoing mechanism of restoration for the island itself—as well as providing refuge for species to be restored to other parts of New Zealand in the future.

To date, 15 fauna species have been introduced (12 native to the local ecological district; 6 being used, or having the potential to be used, to populate other restoration habitats), including some with naturally threatened status.

About the Speaker
Galbraith is a senior lecturer in the Department of Natural Sciences at Unitec Institute of Technology. He lectures in the Biodiversity Management major for the school’s Bachelor of Applied Science degree, specializing in biodiversity, ecology and biosecurity. He is active in the Ecological Society of New Zealand (President 2011-2013), Ornithological Society of New Zealand (Regional Representative, Auckland), the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi (Biodiversity subcommittee), and a past member of the Auckland Conservation Board (1998-2004). His area of interest has always been natural history, especially ornithology and herpetology, which he formalized through post-graduate study at the University of Auckland.

Photo © Duncan Wright.

SEFS Seminar Series: Week 2 Preview!

SEFS Seminar SeriesWant to know what snow in Oregon has to do with snakes in Costa Rica, HIV in Kenya, and green space in slums? Then come hear what a long strange road it’s been for Professor Susan Bolton as she talks about past, present and future in Week 2 of the SEFS Seminar Series, Wed., April 10!

Held on Wednesdays from 3:30-4:20 p.m. in Anderson 223, the seminars are open to the public, and all faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend.

After the seminar, join your colleagues over in the Forest Club Room for a casual reception from 4:30-5:30 p.m. We’ll have snacks, and this spring we’re offering selections from the Fremont Brewing Company (for those of age)!

Check out the rest of the spring schedule!

SEFS Seminar Series: Spring Quarter Schedule!

SEFS Seminar SeriesFeeling uninspired on Wednesday afternoons lately? Craving intellectual stimulation—that first shiver of excitement when a brave new idea courses through you? Well, crave idly no more, as the SEFS Seminar Series is back for the 2013 Spring Quarter!

Starting tomorrow, April 3, the series kicks off with a scorcher: “The Second Solution to Climate Change: Mobilizing Nature to Reach Target 350 ppm.” For this talk, we’re especially pleased to welcome Rhys Roth and Patrick Mazza from Climate Solutions, and Amanda Stanley from the Wilburforce Foundation.

Held on Wednesdays from 3:30-4:20 p.m. in Anderson 223, the seminars are open to the public, and all faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend! (Graduate Students will get 3 credits registering SEFS 550C).

After the seminar, join your colleagues over in the Forest Club Room for a casual reception from 4:30-6 p.m. We’ll have snacks, and this spring we’ll be offering selections from the Fremont Brewing Company (for those of age)!

Check out the rest of the spring schedule below:

April 10
“Connections Between Environmental Science and Health”
Professor Susan Bolton, SEFS

April 17
“Ecological Restoration of Tiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand”
Mel Galbraith, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand

April 24
“Connectivity for the 21st Century: Planning for Climate-Driven Shifts in Biota.”
Professor Josh Lawler, SEFS

May 1
“Forest Health in Washington”
Professor Emeritus Bob Edmonds, SEFS

May 8
“The Dynamics of Photosynthesis and its Significance for Modeling Plant Growth”
Professor David Ford, SEFS

May 15
“Conservation Biology of the Endangered Huon Tree Kangaroo in Papua New Guinea: A Community-based Approach”
Lisa Dabek, Woodland Park Zoo

May 22
“Landscape-scale Effects of Fire Severity in Yosemite National Park from LiDAR and Landsat Data”
Van Kane, SEFS

May 29
“Reconciliation—A Personal Journey of a Nez Perce Trying to Manage Nature”
Jaime Pinkham, Native Nations

June 5
“SEFS Student Enrollment: Past, Future and National Trends”
Michelle Trudeau, SEFS

SEFS Seminar Series: Week 9 Preview

SEFS Seminar SeriesDo you want to hear what it’s like to do research in some of the most beautiful and remote corners of the planet? Are you interested in conservation strategies for the Amur tiger or the Patagonian cypress? Or finding out why the blue whale is blue? Well, Professor Sándor Tóth says not to expect such treats from his presentation this Wednesday, March 13, in Week 9 of the SEFS Seminar Series, “Modeling Green-up Constraints in Spatial Forest Planning.”

“We will do math,” he says. “In particular, I will show you how conservation or resource management decisions can be optimized using simply mathematical expressions such as functions and inequalities. I will give you examples of why such highly abstract decision models can have a great impact on the ground. The coverage of the presentation will be much broader than what the title suggests.”

Professor Tóth often has tough questions for other presenters, so now’s your chance to return the favor! Plus, this Wednesday will be the final seminar for the Winter Quarter, so come out and send the series off in style.

The seminars are held in Anderson 223 on Wednesdays from 4 to 5 p.m., and are open to all faculty, staff and students. Stop by afterward for a reception in the Forest Room from 5 to 6:30 p.m.