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Student Profiles

Roger Rosenblatt

Roger Rosenblatt, new graduate student for Autumn 1999, began his path to graduate school in forestry when he was lured to the UW by a newly established medical education program called WAMI. Standing for the four states of Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho (WAMI), (now WWAMI, with the addition of Wyoming), this program emphasizes rural medicine, and Roger had the opportunity to do part of his family medicine training in eastern Washington. While involved in that training, he was entranced by the beautiful inland forests of that part of the state and ended up purchasing forest land in Okanogan County.

Roger says, "Since finishing my residency, my interest in rural issues has deepened. In 1985, I started the University’s federally-funded Rural Health Research Center, a multidisciplinary center located in the Department of Family Medicine, where I am Vice Chair. My research embraces not only traditional disease-related topics, but also topics with broad public health, cultural, and economic ramifications. Because so many rural communities in the Northwest have strong ties to forestry both economically and culturally—and because of my own experiences in trying to manage a privately owned working forest—I began taking courses at CFR. I have had the opportunity to apply this knowledge both in broadening the focus of rural research projects at the University, and in the very practical day-to-day work of trying to understand the role and function of the non-industrial forest owner in the increasingly global forest economies of the rural Northwest."

Roger will use his studies in CFR as the foundation for a book he is planning to write which will explore ways to improve the health—personal, economic, environmental, and cultural—of rural communities. He is also working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to enhance the wildlife habitat of his own forest, while continuing to manage it in an economically productive fashion. Working with Bob Gara, Don Hanley, and Chad Oliver, he intends to craft an academic program that will allow him to integrate his forestry studies within the broader context of his clinical, research, teaching, and administrative duties in the School of Medicine. He enjoys the intellectual ferment and synergy that occurs when people from diverse intellectual backgrounds work together, and feels that one of the great strengths of CFR is its willingness to accommodate working students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds.

Roger is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, author of over one hundred original articles, and the recipient of numerous research awards. His wife and four children are all actively involved in managing the family’s forest in Okanogan county—though they sometimes doubt the sanity of their physician-forester member! [An article entitled "Healing the Earth—One Woodlot at a Time," which describes this project, appears in the Spring 1997 issue of WSU’s Cooperative Extension publication Forest Stewardship Notes.]

Rita Unune

Rita Unune is a junior in the forest management program. She was born and raised in Seattle. Both of her parents were born in India.

Rita says, "My interest in forestry began during my studies at South Seattle Community College, where I majored in Environmental Science. A course that particularly caught my interest discussed the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. I believe that it is wrong to deplete the forest of its resources, since the rainforest is an important factor for all life on earth. A large percentage of plants active against cancer come from the rainforest. Fruits in our modern diets originated in the rainforest. Over half of the earth’s living species live in the rainforest. There are parts of the rainforest that have not yet been discovered by scientists; in fact, it is estimated that over 300,000 plant species have yet to be found. Other major topics I studied were the extinction of old growth forests in the Western region of the U.S. and clear-cutting in the Pacific Northwest. I determined I would continue to study these topics in the future."

Rita graduated from community college with an Associate of Arts degree in Environmental Science. During the summer she did research on forestry at the local library and on the Internet. She found lots of information on forests in the western U.S. and some on the eastern region. This inspired her to find out where to go to school to learn more about forestry, and led to her decision to apply to the UW College of Forest Resources. Because of her interest and research, she decided that forest management would be her major area of interest.

Rita says, "It became clear that, for me, forest management would be a good experience to learn how to take care of trees (in a way that does not hurt the environment) no matter where they are—whether in forest, park, or on private land. The last few classes I took at community college made me think of the impact of forests on the West Coast, how people rely on trees for oxygen and clean air, and how people are awed by the beauty of forests. I have been talking to people about their feelings about trees and forests. I think some people feel that forests are not really in danger of diminishing, and that there are plenty more to grow and cut in the long run. But I do believe that trees are being cut down at a faster rate than it takes for a seedling to reach its full age growth."

"I want to do my part to care for the planet as long as I can. It will be a challenge to learn all there is to know about forests—how to care for them and prevent them from being destroyed by fire, insects, and diseases."

Outside of her forestry studies, Rita enjoys reading about animals, trees, and the history of India. She loves to paint with acrylics, working on natural landscapes such as the sea, mountains, and waterfalls. She says "I am currently working on a painting of the Taj Mahal, it’s on a huge canvas, and is very time consuming!"

Student News

Stephen Brueggerhoff, MFR student in Urban Horticulture received a full-time internship from Bellevue Botanical Garden for Summer 1999. His duties included administrative work and garden maintenance, as well as helping develop a survey sent to peer botanical gardens along the western seaboard. The survey is intended to coalesce organizational information from peer gardens and arboreta, and is to be used as a quick reference to participating institutions. Stephen also assisted the garden’s manager in researching taxonomic and cultural information on selected flora for the garden’s plant of the month program.

Marianne Elliott, a master’s degree student in ecosystems and Seshu Vaddey, master’s student in paper science and engineering, are the new Tech TAs for Autumn Quarter 1999. Stop by Anderson 107B and say hello.

Jim McCarter led a College-sponsored working group, "Ecosystem Management, Structure-Based Management," at the annual SAF Convention in Portland, OR on September 15, 1999. Steve Stinson won second place in the convention’s poster competition.

Student Reports

Kerri Mikkelsen, graduate student in Forest Ecosystem Analysis working under Bob Edmonds, reports on two weeks as a camp counselor at the Northwest Center for Research on Women (NWCROW) Rural Girls in Science Camp during Summer Quarter 1999.

Kerri reports, "We spent a week at Pack Forest and a week at the UW, giving campers a chance to participate in ecology, biology, medicine, astronomy, geology, hydrology, forestry, technology, chemistry—in other words, anything they could think of that related to science, these kids got to try! The campers did a different activity every day for fifteen days. They hiked Pack Forest, visited Northwest Trek and monitored wildlife, studied Mount Rainier geology, and learned Powerpoint, Excel, and how to design their own Web pages. They also visited the Museum of Flight and simulated a lunar landing, visited the UW planetarium, isolated DNA, learned about marine biology at Alki beach, made comets, and visited Microsoft. A different specialist accompanied the campers on each trip."

The camp offers girls an all-expense-paid chance to experience what scientists do, while at the same time fostering a sense of creativity and confidence. The camp doesn’t get funded every year; so it’s always a special occasion when it happens. This summer, thirty girls and one boy between the ages of fourteen and eighteen attended, some timidly at first. But they left with confidence and with a new set of goals for their future. Participants came from Brewster, Bridgeport, Entiat, Glenwood, Highland, Inchelium, Lake Roosevelt, Manson, Neah Bay, North Beach, Prosser, Toppenish, and White Swan High Schools. Some had to travel five or more hours to reach Pack Forest, and longer to reach the UW.

"The best part of the camp?" says Kerri —"Hearing the girls talk about their newfound interests. For example, one girl decided she wanted to be a mycologist, another decided she wanted to learn Web page design, and a third renewed her lifelong dream of becoming a pediatrician. I was excited to lend my knowledge on many of the field trips. I am a scientist today because of a summer camp I attended in the Chesapeake Bay when I was thirteen, so I wanted to ‘give something back’ ... and I think I did!"

Adam Rynd, senior with a double major in Forest Management and Business Administration and student member of the UW Annual Fund Committee makes the following appeal as part of the UW’s Autumn Quarter Annual Fund campaign:

Do you know a poor student in the College of Forest Resources? Paying for an education at the UW is not cheap, nor is getting funding for needed programs in CFR easy. As the State Legislature supports the UW less, individual contributions for scholarships and other programs can help make up the slack.

You may have recently gotten a letter from the Annual Fund which raises money to directly benefit students. The strength of the Annual Fund is that students, faculty, staff, alumni, and anyone else can contribute and direct their gift to a specific college, department, or program. When you donate to the Annual Fund, you choose how your gift is used.

Responding to this letter with a donation is a great way to help support our College as a whole, or for example, scholarship funds in particular. All alumni, faculty, and staff of CFR (and even students) can support the Annual Fund because there is no minimum gift—every dollar counts! Alumni have traditionally been called upon to support CFR but many others now have the opportunity to help. Students can help by giving to the Annual Fund even before they frame their diplomas. CFR faculty and staff can also donate to the College. Consider giving to the UW Annual Fund with gifts to CFR and help strengthen our College for everyone’s benefit!"


Summer Scholarships Awarded

Undergraduates Amy Howells and Carolina Manriquez received scholarship support for Summer 1999. Amy received the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs scholarship and Carolina received the Frank and Ardis Grunow Forest Resources Scholarship and the William E. Sankela Memorial Scholarship. Graduates students Kim Brown and Zuo Shen both received the Agnes H. Anderson Fellowship and the David R. M. Scott Scholarship.

Scholarships for 1998-99 Academic Year:

Nineteen graduate students and 76 undergraduates received fellow-ship and scholarship support from the College’s generous donors during the 1998-99 academic year.