Recognition Event: Honorees and Auction Results!

Yesterday afternoon—Monday, May 19—a great crowd of students, staff and faculty gathered in the Forest Club Room for the annual SEFS Recognition Event. It was a high-spirited celebration of our school and community, including the presentation of a number of awards, recognition of retiring faculty (David Ford and Frank Greulich), fantastic catered snacks and enough wine to keep a cruise ship afloat.

Silent Auction

Browsing some terrific options for the Silent Auction.

It also looks like we eclipsed our total from the Silent Auction last year and should raise more than $3,100 for the SEFS Student Scholarship Fund. Nice work, everyone!

In case you missed the fun, below are the honorees for this year’s awards. Congratulations to all of you, and to the many other tremendous nominees!

Staff Member of the Year: Amanda Davis*
Faculty Member of the Year: Sharon Doty*
Graduate Student of the Year: Hyungmin “Tony” Rho*
Undergraduate Student of the Year: Alison Sienkiewicz*

Director’s Award for Faculty Service: Sarah Reichard
Director’s Award for Staff Service: Theresa Santman

The John A. Wott Fellowship in Plant Collection and Curatorship: Eve Rickenbaker
The Richard D. Taber Outstanding Wildlife Conservation Student Award: Kyla Caddey

* Each of these honorees will have his/ her name engraved on a permanent plaque display in Anderson Hall, to be unveiled later this summer.

A HUGE thanks, as well, to everyone who helped pull this event together. Contributions were many and much appreciated, including: Greg Ettl for serving as Master of Ceremonies; Vince Gallucci and Ettl for commemorating departing faculty; Nevada Smith for arranging the catering and door prizes; Abraham Ngu and Amanda Davis for helping set up the room in advance; Michelle Trudeau for impressively folding every single program; Steve West for organizing another spectacular wine tasting; the awards committee for reviewing an exceptionally large and competitive candidate pool; and everyone who donated—and bid on—the wonderful prizes and experiences for the Silent Auction. I know I’m forgetting some important contributors, but know that I appreciated every nudge of help and support. Thank you!

Photos © SEFS.

Silent Auction

SEFS Grad Student Hyungmin Rho Presents Research at Conference in Florida

Hyungmin “Tony” Rho, a second-year doctoral student at the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS), recently presented some of his research at the 2013 ASA, CSSA and SSSA International Annual Meetings in Tampa, Fla., November 3-6. A joint meeting of three different societies—the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America—this year’s conference focused on the theme, “Water, Food, Energy & Innovation for a Sustainable World.”

Tony Rho

Tony Rho with rice plants in the Douglas Conservatory at the Center for Urban Horticulture.

Rho, who works with Professor Soo-Hyung Kim in the Plant Ecophysiology Lab, presented his poster, “Bacterial Endophytes Living in Intercellular Spaces of Leaves Lower Leaf Water Potential of Rice (Oryza sativa) Plants,” during the “Crop Physiology and Metabolism” session. His research is funded by USDA-NIFA and is the collaborative work of three labs, including Professors Kim and Sharon Doty at SEFS, both of whom were coauthors for his oral presentation. Other SEFS grad students involved in this research include Evan Henrich and Shyam Kandel.

“I believe these beneficial bacteria could be one of the potential bio-fertilizers in the future that can mitigate the climate change impacts derived from the current agricultural practice of using extensive amounts of nitrogen fertilizers,” says  Rho. “My presentation gave a good glimpse of our novel approach to mitigate climate change impacts, and I got positive feedback from the audience.”

In addition to giving a presentation, Rho attended other sessions about current research trends and got to meet with a wide range of scientists and grad students. “I think it was a perfect opportunity for me to make social and professional connections throughout the conference,” he says, “as well as to introduce myself and my research.”

To assist with the cost of travel and attending the meetings, Rho received financial support from Director’s Student Travel funds at SEFS, and also from the Graduate School Fund for Excellence and Innovation (GSFEI).

Photo of Tony Rho © Tony Rho.

Thesis Defense: Mahsa Khorasani!

Masha KhorasaniThis Friday, May 24, at 11:30 a.m. in Anderson 22, Mahsa Khorasani will be defending her Master’s Thesis: “Cylindrocarpon species in Pacific Northwest Douglas-fir Nurseries: Phylogeny and Effects of Temperature and Fungicides on Mycelial Growth.”

Douglas-fir nurseries play an important economic role in the Pacific Northwest timber industry. However, there are various types of fungi that cause the early death of seedlings and influence regeneration success. One of the destructive fungus root rot pathogens, Cylindrocarpon, causes the loss of seedlings in early stages of their growth.  The objectives of this study were to: (1) identify the species of Cylindrocarpon occurring in three different nurseries in the Pacific Northwest, (2) investigate the effect of temperature on the growth rate of the mycelia of these fungus pathogens in vitro, and (3) determine the influence of some major fungicides on the control these pathogens.

Khorasani’s results have implications for nursery pathology in the identification and control of seedling root rot of Douglas-fir, so come out and learn what she discovered!

Her committee chair is Professor Emeritus Bob Edmonds, and other committee members include Professor Sharon Doty, along with Joseph Ammirati, Willis Littke and Rusty Rodriguez.

Xi Sigma Pi Announces Research Grant Winners for 2013

Xi Sigma PiXi Sigma Pi, the Forestry Honor Society founded at the University of Washington in 1908, is proud to announce the recipients of this year’s research grant funding. After long and hard deliberation, and the careful review of many highly competitive proposals, the following winners were selected:

Two First Place Winners of $500 each:
Oliver Jan, “A mechanistic approach towards lignin char reduction and valorization in catalytic fast pyrolysis through bifunctional Pd/ZSM-5 catalysts” (Faculty Advisor: Fernando Resende)

Luyi Li, “The effects of soil parent material and fertilization treatment on the wood quality of Douglas fir in the Pacific Northwest” (Faculty Advisor: Eric Turnblom)

Second Place Winner of $250:
Sebastian Tramon, “The mystery of conservation outcomes: Looked through institutional lenses” (Faculty Advisor: Clare Ryan)

Undergraduate Research Winner of $250:
Raymond Yap, “Colonization, degradation of Trichloroethylene and comparison of phytotoxicity in plants inoculated with endophyte PDN3″ (Faculty Advisor: Sharon Doty)

Congratulations to all of the grant recipients, and Xi Sigma Pi extends a big thank you to the grant review committee!