School News

Faculty administrative news

In recent administrative news, Associate Professor Greg Ettl will assume the directorships of the Stand Management and Precision Forestry Cooperatives upon Professor David Briggs' retirement in January 2012. Ettl will also continue to direct the Center for Sustainable Forestry at Pack Forest. Professor Clare Ryan has been appointed for a five-year term as Director of the Program on the Environment in the College of the Environment, beginning July 16, 2011.


A search commitee has been appointed by College of the Environment Dean Lisa Graumlich to continue the search for a permanent director for the School. Information about the search, includ-ing the charge letter, commitee membership and contact information, the UW job announcement, and a position description are available at The search committee invites nominations from all members of the SFR community. Send nominations to or to any search committee member.

FACULTY publicationsions

Recent faculty publications in scientific journals have included "Productivity Is a Poor Predictor of Plant Species Richness," in Science, co-authored by Assistant Professor Jon Bakker; "Societal Challenges in Understanding and Responding to Regime Shifts in Forest Landscapes," in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science), co-authored by Professor Jerry Franklin; and "A Comparison of Shark and Wolf Research Reveals Similar Behavioral Responses by Prey, " in Frontiers in Ecology, co-authored by Assistant Professor Aaron Wirsing.




A conference on "Conserving Plant Biodiversity in a Changing World: A View from Northwest North America," is scheduled for March 13-14, 2012 at the UW Botanic Gardens.  The conference will feature papers, both invited and contributed, on climate change effects on plants and plant communities and adaptation strategies, disturbance ecology, plant conservation, reintroduction of rare species, and strategies for implementing conservation, among other topics. Keynote speakers will be Peter Raven, President Emeritus, Missouri Botanical Garden, and SFR's Associate Professor Josh Lawler.  The call for abstracts is open until October 28, 2011.  An art exhibit and contest will be held in conjunction with the conference, in which botanical Illustrations and photographs of native flora from Northwest North America will be on display in the Elisabeth C. Miller Library from March 1-3, 2012.


In 2010, a combined effort of many donors, led by Professor Emeritus John Wott, funded anoral history project, administered by the UW Botanic
Gardens' Elisabeth C. Miller Library. The project focused on people with long term associations with the Washington Park Arboretum, the Arboretum Foundation, or the Center for Urban Horticulture. A public presentation of the project on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 from 5–7 p.m. in the Elisabeth C. Miller Library, will showcase the interview collection, which will remain on exhibit in the library through November 23, 2011.


In faculty appointment news, Professor Clare Ryan was appointed Director of the Program on the Environment, effective July 16, 2011; Assistant Professor Sandor Toth was appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor in the UW Department of Industrial Engineering, effective September 16, 2011; and Professor Doug Sprugel was elected to fill a two-year term as the College of the Environment representative on the UW Graduate School’s Faculty Council. 



Associate Professor Josh Lawler, graduate student Michael Case, and affiliate faculty member Evan Girvetz are members of a team awarded a USDI 2011 Partners in Conservation Award by the Secretary of the Interior for co-authoring "Scanning the Conservation Horizon: A guide to climate change vulnerability assessment."

Recent UW Royalty Research Fund awards demonstrated the breadth of SFR's programs and its commitment to investigating the multiple bases of natural resource and environmental sustainability.  Receiving awards were: Stanley Asah (social sciences), "Family Forest Owners and Bioenergy: Anticipating the diffusion and adoption of sustainable biofuels production"; John Marzluff (biological sciences), "Neuroecology of American crow recognition of people"; and L. Monika Moskal (physical sciences), "Geospatial relationships of urban forest conditions, stewardship activity, and environmental equity."

SFR students, faculty, and staff partcipated in the June 13-16, 2011 Intertribal Timber Council's 35th Annual National Indian Timber Symposium, "Integrating Traditional Knowledge with Modern Management, " in Carlton, Minnesota. Attendees included Ernesto Alvarado, Brandon Ambrose, Chris Beatty, Laurel James, and Michelle Trudeau. Alumni participation included Nancy (Allison) Eldridge, '94, '01; Colin Hardy , '83; Faline Haven, '95, Larry Mason, '97, 99 (during the symposium, Mason, a retired SFR Research Scientist, received the Council's Earle R. Wilcox
Individual Achievement Award (Wilcox was a '38 alum)); Don Motanic, '78; Stephanie Peterson-Martin, 06; and Phil Rigdon,'96.

SFR's Annual Strategic Planning Meeting took place on September 27, 2011. Seventy faculty, staff, and students met to consider transition issues arising from new UW budget and organizational changes and developedstrategic tasksfor the coming year.

The School’s annual “Welcome Back Salmon Barbecue was held on October 5, 2011 with faculty, student, staff, and alumni enjoying a rainy Seattle afternoon with barbecued salmon and assorted potluck dishes provided by all.

The 2011Bioblitz at the Arboretum was held on October 21-22, 2011 at the Washington Park Arboretum. Students, community members, and professionals participated in teams with a goal of cataloging every living thing. Each team was assigned a 2- to 3-hour shift, location, taxa group, and specialist. A bioblitz is a biological scavenger hunt that aims to inventory all the various organisms living in a given area—the “blitz” signifies that this inventory is taken within a short period of time.