Alumni Focus


Professor Bob Edmonds,'68, '71, and Ara Erickson, '04.

Professor Bob Edmonds, '68, '71, and Ara Ericson, ’04, gave spirited addresses to the SEFS graduating class of 2012. The overflow crowd in UW's Kane Hall appreciated the two alums' "words of wisdom," which were imparted with humor and thoughtfulness.

Edmonds, who is retiring from the SEFS faculty in September, began his UW forestry faculty career in 1973 as a Research Assistant Professor. In 1976 he became an Assistant Professor, received tenure in 1979, and was promoted to Professor in 1982. His teaching and research have covered many areas including forest pathology, soil microbiology, nutrient cycling, aerobiology and air pollution effects, precipitation and stream chemistry, and forest and riparian ecology. He has also held administrative positions, serving as Division Chair of Ecosystem Sciences and Conservation, Associate Dean for Research. and Acting Director of both Pack Forest and The Water Center. He has also been active in outreach, including organizing the Denman Forestry Issues Series for the past 10 years.

In his keynote remarks, Edmonds talked about his longstanding engagment with SEFS and its consitutents, and his hopes and concerns for future faculty, students, and staff of the School in meeting the challenges of a sustainable future.

Ara Erickson, '04, Weyerhaeuser Company's Sustainability Manager, gave the alumni address, relaying how her experience as a graduate student and as a researcher at SEFS provided her with the tools for career success. In her current position she is helping Weyerhaeuser implement sustainable economic, social, and environmental strategies. Her first job after leaving SEFS was as the Green Cities Director for Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy), working to restore and manage forested lands in our region’s cities and suburban areas.

Erickson said her UW education has given her tools to promote the sustainability of our region’s natural resources and environmental services, providing a balance of technical skills related to urban forestry and managing natural resources and the ability to approach complex environmental and social challenges. Erickson stays in touch with SEFS through her membership in the School's Alumni Association, for which she currently serves as Executive Committee Chair.

ENDOWment honors david briggs, '80

The David Briggs Endowed Student Support Fund in Forest Management has been fully invested by the UW and will be available for SEFS use in January 2013. The fund honors the career of Professor Emeritus and alumnus, David
Briggs, '80. The fund's primary donors are members of the Stand Management
Cooperative (SMC) who wished to honor Dave's 15 years as SMC Director, a position he assumed in 1996. As director, he was a leader and advocate for the planning and evaluation of pioneering stand management strategies, applied technology like remote sensing, and for bringing these strategies and tools to bear on sustainable decision-making for the forestry sector. One of Dave's priorities was to atract, train, and graduate students who will become future leaders in their fields.  To honor his belief that "turning out top-level students is the best form of technology transfer," the endowment will assist undergraduates and graduates students in forest management with tuition and other costs, with a preference for students involved with the SMC.

Professor Emeritus David Briggs, '80

Alumni News

Eldridge Gockerell , '51, who worked for the Washington Department of Natural Resources for 33 years managing the Olympic Peninsula region in Forks, Washington, was a World War II aviator who recently received his wings "67 years late!"

Richard Merritt, '57, is a retired U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, who served 20 years active duty stateside and in the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, and the Republic of China. He is currently a ski instructor in Aspen, Colorado.

Richard Pharis, '58, is a professor in the University of Calgary’s Department of Biological Sciences in Calgary, Alberta.

Daniel Elllinger, Jr. , '67, is a civil engineer with the City of Seattle Department of Public Utilities.

David Bingaman, '74, is the natural resources director for the Quinault Indian Nation in Taholah, Washington.

Cory Winnie, 81, is a fire management officer for the USDI Bureau of Indian Affairs in Portland, Oregon.


Alumni News

Craig Buhler, '84, '87, is director and first tenor sax for Sequim, Washington's Stardust Big Band. He also offers private instruction in clarinet, saxophone, flute, ear training, and improvisation.

Gretchen Nicholas, '83, leads the Resource
Monitoring and Assessment Program at the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station in Portland, Oregon. It is one of four programs across the country that collectively make up the national Forest Inventory and Analysis Program.

David Seesholtz, '85, is a research liaison with the USDA Forest Service in Boise, ID, and lead on the "NEPA for the 21st Century at USDA Forest Service" initiative.

Megan Moynihan , '89, is a district ranger for the USDA Forest Service’s Ouichita National Forest in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Jay Singh, '01, heads the USAID office in the U.S. embassy in Tokyo, Japan that focuses on donor coordination and engagement. He was previously a conflict specialist for USAID's Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation, serving in Kenya, Djibouti, Afghanistan, and, most recently, South Sudan.

Thomas Smarr , '01, is a horticulturalist/educator for The Garden Concierge, a residential landscape company in Boston, Massachusetts. He previously was superintendent of horticulture for Boston's Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.

Kerri Tuttle, '01, is a consultant specializing in environmental compliance in Joshua Tree, California.  She is also co-founder and -owner of Casa Wabi Sabi, an art and design studio that incorporates found, salvaged, and recycled materials into works of art.

iN Memoriam

Frank Lewis, ‘49
Donald Hautala, ‘52
Donald Truax, ‘53
Charles Pike, ‘54
Jack Radnich, ‘54
Theodore Smith, ‘56
Harvey Olson, '57
Robert Geimer, '58, '63
Leroy Rodewald, '58
Graham Brister, ‘72

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