School News

sustaining our nw world lecture

Although he grew up a long way from mountains, Dave Peterson says they have been an ongoing source of inspiration in his life and career. "Mountains were in short supply in the Chicago area where I grew up," says Peterson, "but the time I spent in Midwestern forests and a family trip to the Rockies helped create a lifelong love of the study of nature."  Peterson, Research Biologist in the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station and School of Forest Resources Professor, will give the UW’s Winter 2010 Sustaining our Northwest World lecture, "Climate, Forests, and Future: A View from Treeline," on March 11th,  7 p.m., in Kane Hall 120.*

Sponsored by the School of Forest Resources, the College of the Environment, and the UW Alumni Association, the lecture will focus on climate change effects in Northwest forests, including forest composition and biodiversity, rampant insect attacks, and longer fire seasons, and the interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists and land managers needed to predict and adapt to these challenges.

Peterson holds a PhD from the University of Illinois where his dissertation research was on biogeochemical cycling in hardwood forests. He began his federal career in 1981 with the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station, leading studies on fire effects modeling, postfire tree mortality, and the effects of tropospheric ozone on tree growth in the western U.S. In 1989, he moved to a position with the National Park Service Cooperative Park Studies Unit in Seattle and became a member of the UW College of Forest Resources faculty, establishing a research program on climate change effects in mountain ecosystems. He subsequently worked with the National Biological Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey before joining the Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station in 2001, where he directs the Fire and Environmental Research Applications team.

Peterson has conducted research on fire ecology and climate change in mountain ecosystems throughout the western U.S., and has published 200 scientific articles and three books. He is a principal investigator for the Western Mountain Initiative and as a contributing author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. 

Says Peterson, “I’m currently working on hazardous fuel treatment issues and on adaptation options for managing natural resources in a warmer climate — both very pressing issues for forest and natural resources managers in our region and beyond.”

Water Center ANnual Review

The Water Center's Annual Review of Research on February 17, 2010, attended by over 300 individuals, included posters and presentations on a wide range of topics including water resource planning, salmon habitat, research on the health of Puget Sound, riparian ecology, and climate change effects. Faculty and graduate students from SFR participated in the review, including Sally Brown, Jeremy Cram, Erin Donley, Bob Edmonds, Demetrius Fletcher, Jerry Franklin, Monika Moskal, Katherine Murray, Matt Weintraub, and Amy Yahnke.

The Water Center was formed in 2001 out of two UW centers focused on water-related issues — the Center for Streamside Studies and the Center for Urban Water Resources Management. Their combination reflects the belief that a wide variety of students, faculty, and off-campus collaborators can enhance the value of scientific research and educational outreach on water-resource issues and environmental health.

The Center is composed of an advisory board of outside professionals, a director, and staff. Affiliated faculty and graduate students participate from units across the UW, including the School of Oceanography, the School of Aquatic and
Fisheries Sciences, the Evans School, the Department of Urban Design and Planning, and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Financial support is provided by the School of Forest Resources, local government agencies, and by individual reserach grants.

The Water Center is currently holding meetings with its multiple constituents and stakeholders to determine a strategic course of action for funding the center and for planning its research directions.

Bare Endowed professorship

Gordon Bradley is the recipient of SFR's new B. Bruce Bare Endowed Professorship in Forest Resources, Interim Director Tom Hinckley has announced. “Gordon has been instrumental in helping us to use strategic planning in our decision-making,” said Hinckley. “This process has helped Forest Resources navigate responsibly the changes in our curriculum and organizational structure and our broadened research focus over the last 12 years.  Gordon’s research, which responds to challenges along the urban to wildland gradient, is integral to our interdisciplinary vision and our emphasis on sustainability in natural and managed environments.”

Bradley’s research and teaching interests include environmental policy and planning, urban ecology, and urban forest landscapes.  His research focuses on human response to land use change along the urban to wildland gradient, and the relationship between forestlands and the built environment.

The professorship allows he School to recruit, retain, and reward distinguished faculty whose research and teaching contributing to the development of the science of sustainability as it pertains to natural resource management with an emphasis on the integration of human and natural elements. The endowment was a gift of the Corkery family, longtime UW and Forest Resources supporters, in which Jack ('39) and Vada May Corkery, through the direction of an estate gift from the late George Corkery, Jr. (’41), joined an initial gift by Katherine Reinleitner to fully fund the professorship. 


In faculty news, recent appointments included Affiliate Assistant Professor Evan Girvetz (The Nature Conservancy), Afiliate Associate Professor Todd Pearsons (Grant County Public Utility District); Adjunct Associate Professor John Banks (UW Tacoma), and Research Associates Diane Styers (working with Monika Moskal ) and John Withey (working with John Marzluff). Faculty awards include an award to retired faculty member Don Hanley (now Affiliate Professor) who will receive the Career Leadership Award from the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals at the association's June 2010 Annual Conference in Alaska.

The Pacific NW Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit welcomed two new partners, Central Washington University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The UW Board of Regents confirmed the Architectural Commission recommendation for the firm Mahlum as the architect for the Anderson Hall renovation project, due to begin construction in 2013. The project is now in the predesign phase.

Harry Hayward, UW's Director of Electronic Media, produced a series of Climate Change videos linked from the UW home page, featuring interviews with Research Associate Elaine Oneil and Associate Professor Sarah Reichard

SFR co-sponsored the UW’s Environmental Opportunities and Career Fair on January 27, 2010. This free event is open to any UW student who is interested in learning more about the environmental community, including awareness of community resources, education, internships, seasonal work, or part or full-time positions.

The Center for Sustainable Forestry at Pack Forest hosted the 2010 Pacific NW Society of American Foresters Forestry Leadership Conference on January 29-30, 2010.

SFR’s 7th Annual Graduate Student Symposium was held on February 19, 2010 in Anderson Hall.

In memoriam

Emeritus Professor Bjorn Hrutfiord (1932-2010) passed away on February 16, 2010. He joined the Forest Resources pulp and paper faculty in 1965, following a postdoctoral research associate appointment with Professor Joe McCarthy, and served until 1998. He will be remembered as an outstanding chemist, an excellent teacher, and for his dedication to and care for students and young faculty members. He was a tireless advocate and leader for high quality education at the UW and was constantly seeking better and more effective ways to provide the best educational experience for students in SFR's Paper Science and Engineering program.