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Faculty Profile Sally Brown

Sally, on left, looking at contaminated tailings with colleague Jan Christner.

Sally Brown, Research Assistant Professor in the Ecosystems Sciences Division, first came to CFR as a Research Associate in 1998. Sally was born and raised in New York City. She says, "During high school, I had absolutely no idea that I would end up working as a soil scientist—I didn't even know that one could be a soil scientist! A true New Yorker, I had a hard time believing that a driver's license was important and took great pride in having traveled on every one of the city's subway lines. However, after a short time at Williams College in Williamstown, MA, where I majored in political science and history of ideas, I started to realize that a driver's license might come in handy. The soils part hadn't kicked in yet.

After college I wanted to learn how to `do' something and became a chef. I worked in Manhattan, New Orleans, and Puerto Rico and really loved it. While working in Manhattan, I realized that using locally grown produce in season would benefit both the people eating the food as well as the farmers. I started a wholesale produce company that sold produce to restaurants and supermarkets in the New York metropolitan area. I introduced arugula to Fred Terry, a local farmer, and he introduced me to agriculture. After running the business for several years, I decided to go to graduate school to learn about municipal biosolids. In my mind, this was a way to integrate the rural and urban sectors. (This was before I understood things like Class A vs. Class B materials and odor concerns!)"

Sally began graduate work at the University of Maryland, working for Rufus Chaney at the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, MD. Dr. Chaney had done much of the original research on the behavior of metals in biosolids and in ecosystems in general. Her master's thesis was on hyperaccumulator plants (plants that can take up and tolerate foliar concentrations of metals that are often several orders of magnitude higher than those that are toxic to other species) to remediate Zinc- and Cadmium-contaminated soils. Sally says, "This was very exciting research and I was lucky to be in on its early stages. However, attempting to grow the plants needed for this research convinced me that future work would involve gene transfer, and I knew this was not my field. I completed my Ph.D., working on the long-term implications of biosolids use on agricultural land. My research suggested, as had other's, that the behavior of metals in biosolids was different than the behavior of metals added to soils in a salt matrix and that biosolids could be used to reduce metal availability in contaminated soils."

Sally's Ph.D. work led to a post-doc at the USDA. With funding provided by the U.S. EPA Environmental Response Team, a division of the Superfund program, she began using biosolids and other soil amendments to reduce lead availability in situ. Here, human health was the immediate endpoint, so she had to diversify beyond plants and soils. "Gastric systems, weanling rats, and juvenile swine are a giant step away from the youngest emerged blade on a wheat plant," says Sally. "Through contacts in the Superfund program, Rufus Chaney and I were asked to work with Region 10 EPA to test the potential for biosolids and other residuals to restore a plant cover to the smelter-impacted hillsides at the Bunker Hill Superfund Site in Kellogg, ID. Rufus suggested that I contact Chuck Henry at CFR to cooperate on this project. Chuck and I began working together and during this project I became familiar with the Northwest Biosolids Management Association and biosolids work at CFR. I came to the College as a result of this project.
Sally at Leadville, CO field site with Bob Brobst (EPA) and Dr. Bernie Smith (landowner on horse) and Denver Metro biosolids truck.

In addition to the work at the Bunker Hill hillsides, we currently have projects that are restoring functional ecosystems on metal-contaminated soils in a wetland at Bunker Hill, along the Arkansas River south of Leadville, CO, and in Jasper County, MT. All of these sites have been listed within the EPA's Superfund program on the National Priorities List. I am also cooperating with scientists on a project funded by the International Lead Zinc Research Organization to assess the ability of different soil amendments to restore functionality to metal-contaminated soils. As it becomes clear that the use of biosolids and other residuals can effectively restore a plant cover to these materials, questions arise as to the permanence of the remedy, the soil chemical mechanisms responsible for the observed success, and appropriate means to test the functionality of the new ecosystem. As these questions get more complex, the tools to answer them also have grown in scope and breadth. I increasingly find myself asking for help from microbiologists, environmental toxicologists, and x-ray adsorption spectroscopists. Now, instead of simply analyzing plants to see what their elemental concentration is, I find my work more centered on attempting to define and quantify changes in the bioavailability of metals for a range of ecological receptors. In addition to this type of work, much of what I do involves contract management—making sure appropriate rates of amendments are applied and negotiating with trucking companies and municipalities. Luckily, this still involves some plant analysis!"

Sally's main "non-research" pleasures come from her son Max, who turns six this month. She says, "Max is making his way through kindergarten and likes pluses and minuses much better than letters and likes playing soccer best of all. I also enjoy swimming, and swim with a group at the UW's Intramural Activities Building at lunch time—my one sure-fire way of keeping sane!"

 

Faculty News

Jim Agee was cited in an April 8, 2001 Seattle Times article entitled, "Wildfire worries: Sweating in our dry state. See Web archives at http://archives.seattletimes. nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis/web/vortex/display? slug=wildfire08m& date=20010408&query= Wildfire.

Graham Allen was the topic of a March 27, 2001 UW Daily article about "Creativity and Innovation," a class that Graham has been teaching for 20 years.

Bruce Bare was appointed Acting Dean of CFR, effective May 29, 2001.

Susan Bolton, Linda Chalker-Scott, Kern Ewing, Sarah Reichard, and Clare Ryan attended the Society for Ecological Restoration Northwest Chapter's Regional Conference on April 2-6, 2001, held in Bellevue, WA. The conference was en-titled "Restoration and Recovery: Beyond Good Intentions."

Gordon Bradley and John Marzluff were cited in an April 22, 2001 Seattle Times article entitled "Scientists track how animals cope with human pressure." The article discusses a project studying diminished or "compromised" wildlife habitats in suburban neighborhoods. See Web archives at http://archives.seattletimes. nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis/web/vortex/display?slug=critter22m& date=20010422.

Ivan Eastin spoke at the West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau's annual meeting in Portland, OR during Spring Quarter. Ivan is also working on development of a master's degree in international forestry in which students would complete their research projects at CFR while doing fieldwork with the Peace Corps.

Jerry Franklin received a Leadership in Action Award from the U.S. Chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology. Jerry also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC.

Kevin Hodgson was promoted to Professor, effective July 1, 2001.

Bruce Lippke, along with Kevin Zobrist, attended the Global Forestry Conference in Atlanta, GA, March 24-26, 2001, where they presented posters on RTI, LMS, and on the impacts of the new Forest and Fish Regulations on non-industrial private forestland owners. Bruce was recently selected to serve on the Cooperative Monitoring Evaluation and Research (CMER) Committee, which provides oversight for research teams reporting to the Timber, Fish, and
Wildlife Policy Committee developing consensus regulatory approaches for the Washington Forest Practices Board. Bruce also attended a Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM) meeting in Knoxville, TN. Bruce is currently serving as president of CORRIM.

John Perez-Garcia attended the World Forestry Center International Perspective Conference held in Portland, OR on May 4, 2001. He also attended the May 8-9, 2001 Western Forest Economist Meeting in Welches, OR, where he presented an economic analysis of the Softwood Lumber Agreement. In May, John presented a paper at the Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Conference in Victoria, BC, on the effects on the Pacific Northwest forest sector of tariff liberalization.

Sarah Reichard was appointed Assistant Professor in the Ecosystems Sciences Division, effective July 1, 2001.

Al Wagar, along with Kathy Wolf, was part of a collaborative team authoring, "A City among the Trees: A Strategic Plan for Seattle's Urban Forest." The project included workshops with city staff and stakeholders, a survey of city residents, and an assessment of the city's tree canopy character and health. The planning effort was based on a model of urban forest sustainability developed by Jim Clark, CFR Affiliate Professor.

Kathy Wolf is the subject of a profile in the Treelink newsletter Wood Notes Quarterly. See http://treelink.org/woodnotes/article1.html. TreeLink is a Web site created to provide information, research, and networking for people working in urban and community forestry.

John Wott spent April 25-May 15, 2001 in New Zealand with the Board of Directors of the International Plant Propagators Society (IPPS). He also attended the New Zealand regional IPPS conference where he gave a paper and served as a moderator.

 

Faculty Reports

Gordon Bradley reports on two recent projects in CFR:

PNW-Cooperative Ecosystems Study Unit. Management and stewardship of the nation's public lands and waters require skillful public service supported by sound science and responsive technical assistance. Complex issues that transcend boundaries make it essential for agencies to work together. Universities have an important role in providing information for science-
based decision making. As part of the 1998 National Parks Omnibus Act, Congress authorized and directed the Secretary of the Interior "...to enter into cooperative agreements with colleges and universities, ...in partnership with other federal and state agencies, to establish cooperative study units to conduct multidisciplinary research and develop integrated information products."

Eight CESUs have been established throughout the U.S., including the PNW Ecosystem Studies Unit hosted by the UW College of Forest Resources. Federal agencies involved include the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, United States Geological Survey, and the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife. Other agencies who will likely join include the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Reclamation, and the Department of Defense. University partners include the Universities of Oregon, Alaska (Anchorage and Juneau), Idaho, British Columbia, and Vermont, along with Washington State, Western Washington, Oregon State, and Tuskegee Universities, and Heritage College.

All partners in the CESU met for a day-long strategic planning meeting held at the Center for Urban Horticulture on April 30, 2001 to develop specific direction for the PNW-CESU. The mission statement agreed upon provides that "The PNW Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit is a partnership for research, technical assistance, and education to enhance understanding and management of natural and cultural resources."

Although the PNW-CESU is only six months old, it has already facilitated the development of about 15 grants between partner organizations.

NSF IGERT Grant. A group of CFR and other UW faculty have been awarded an Integrated Graduate Education, Research, and Training Program (IGERT) grant from the National Science Foundation. Gordon says, "For the past four years we have been meeting to discuss ways to make improvements to graduate education, with writing proposals, teaching, and sharing research ideas in the area of urban ecology as the focus of much of our efforts. Recently our efforts have been rewarded with a $2.7 million IGERT grant from NSF.

The grant, which is funded for five years, will create a graduate program that educates interdisciplinary scholars capable of addressing problems in urban ecology by simultaneously integrating many traditional disciplinary perspectives. The program will support team building, mutual learning, and collaborative planning and decision making in a variety of substantive, integrated problem areas.

The key research and teaching themes include, (1) drivers of urban development, (2) patterns of urban development, (3) relating urban patterns to ecology of birds, streams, lakes, and salmon habitat, (4) effects of urban patterns on human behavior, and (5) urban ecology policy research.

While there are about 20 UW faculty involved in the project, the core faculty responsible for the proposal are Marina Alberti (Environmental Planning), Gordon Bradley (Forest Planning), Kristina Hill (Landscape Architecture) John Marzluff (Forest Wildlife), Clare Ryan (Forest Policy), and Craig ZumBrunnen (Geography).

In order to succeed in this competitive grant program, the UW administration and administrators from supporting colleges and departments provided funding, infrastructure, and equipment support to demonstrate to NSF that the urban ecology program was a promising and viable UW enterprise."


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