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Faculty Profile — Kern Ewing

Kern Ewing is an Associate Professor in the College’s Ecosystem Sciences Division. Kern was born and grew up in south Texas near the Rio Grande River. His family farmed and did heavy equipment contracting. He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Texas Tech and became a licensed P.E. working in soils and municipal engineering. Developing an interest in planning, he eventually became the Director of Environmental Planning for the Texas General Land Office (like our Washington State DNR). Kern received his Ph.D. in Botany from the UW in 1982 and subsequently did post-docs at McMaster University (working on James Bay salt marshes) and Utah State (analyzing Great Basin shrub die-back). After a stint as research professor at the Wetland Biogeochemistry Institute at LSU (investigating sub-lethal stress in Spartina patens), he came to the UW’s Center for Urban Horticulture in 1990. Kern has worked on stresses in wetland plants used for restoration and has investigated restoration techniques in wetlands, prairies, and thornscrub.

In 1998 he took a sabbatical to measure restoration success in thornscrub communities along the lower Rio Grande River. Kern says, "I had an interesting year living at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, during which the temperatures were above 100 degrees for 56 consecutive days, a student and I were attacked by Africanized bees, and the wearing of snake chaps was obligatory every time I ventured out into the brush to measure tree growth (some of the fast growing woody legumes reached a height and canopy width of eight meters within five years of being planted)."

Kern teaches wetland and restoration ecology and data analysis in the College; his restoration class UHF 473 has been dismantling the dime lot (parking lot E5) adjacent to the Union Bay Natural Area and recreating a mounded prairie ecosystem at the site.

Kern was recently appointed Adjunct Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture.

Faculty News

Jim Agee was the featured banquet speaker at the 1999 annual meeting of the Northwest Scientific Association, March 24-27, held in Tacoma, WA.

Professor Emeritus Dale Cole was quoted in the UW Alumni magazine Columns March 1999 issue in an article entitled "Blooms in Doom: As the Quad cherries die, the UW faces the challenge of preserving a ‘magic space.’" Dale currently heads the UW Landscape Advisory Committee.

Ivan Eastin taught an international marketing class this winter at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, B.C., and has been developing cooperative research projects with UBC faculty.

Rick Edwards was quoted in a March 14, 1999 Seattle Times feature section entitled, "Puget Sound Salmon on the Brink."

Kern Ewing returned Winter Quarter 1999 from a sabbatical leave in Texas (see Faculty Profile).

Clem Hamilton was appointed Adjunct Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, effective September 16, 1998.

John Lehmkuhl, was appointed Affiliate Associate Professor in the Ecosystem Sciences Division, effective February 1, 1999.

Presentations given by Bruce Lippke during Winter 1999 included a talk at the "Winds of Change" Conference in Ketchikan, AK, March 5, devoted to identifying ways the University of Alaska can help Alaska’s forest sector, and a presentation at the Contract Loggers’ annual meeting in Spokane, WA on March 6. Bruce also testified on the status of the forest sector for the WA House Committee on Economic Development, Housing, and Trade.

Dorothy Paun represented the College at a meeting of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation in Washington, D.C. in March.

John Perez Garcia made a presentation on the impacts of the Asian economic crisis at the Oregon Associated Loggers conference in Eugene, OR on January 22, 1999.

Dave L. Peterson reports that the Field Station for Protected Area Research’s proposal to the USGS Global Change Research Program was successful. Dave says, "We were awarded $435K per year for the next five years, encompassing a set of integrated studies across Olympic, North Cascades, and Glacier National Parks."

Sarah Reichard traveled to Australia in February to be a keynote speaker at the First International Weed Risk Assessment Workshop in Adelaide. While in Australia, she also addressed the Nursery Industry Association on efforts of the U.S. nursery industry to reduce the introduction of invasive plants through horticulture. Sarah also gave presentations during Winter Quarter at a Chicago, IL symposium on plant exploration and at the Weed Society of America annual meeting in San Diego, CA. Sarah also reports that she has been participating in a study by the National Plant Board (commissioned by the United States Department of Agriculture) to see if the USDA’s Plant Protection and Quarantine Division’s policies and procedures are sufficient to safeguard America’s plant resources.

Gerard Schreuder and Bruce Lippke led two workshops on Washington Forest Inventory Analysis on December 5, 1998 and January 5, 1999. The workshops were developed for consortia of user groups interested in improving the quality of assessments made possible by the FIA, available from the U.S. Forest Service in 2000.

Kathy Wolf was appointed Adjunct Research Professor of Landscape Architecture, effective September 16, 1998.

Articles by John Wott during Winter Quarter included: "The Walter Diagrams—A Key to Understanding Climate" and "A Handful of Hebes" both in Balls and Burlap; and "Winter Ground Covers in My Home Garden" and "In the Washington Park Arboretum," both in the Arboretum Foundation Bulletin.

Faculty Reports

Bruce Bare reports on a February 5, 1999, meeting of the Forest Management Advisory Board. Board members are drawn from the forest industry and federal and state government agencies, and represent major employers of forest management curriculum graduates. The Board’s charge is to:

The meeting began with a review of the goal and objectives of the forest management curriculum. Its goal is to educate undergraduate students to be able to perform as professional forest managers in the public and private sectors. Specific objectives include:

The group reviewed recommendations for curriculum changes as developed by faculty and students associated with the curriculum:

Some factors motivating these proposed revisions were discussed:

Bruce reports that the Board members were asked to give their views on the adequacy of the revised curriculum in light of the stated objectives. He says, "Board members commented that the proposed curriculum represented a balanced approach to meeting the stated goal and objectives, although it was obvious that tradeoffs were needed to accomplish the objectives within the constraint of a four year program. While it is critical to include social science course work, at least one Board member felt that more technical skills related to timber harvest systems would be an improvement. It was also pointed out that we must distinguish a four-year graduate from a two-year forestry technician."

"The Board was also asked to comment on the importance and performance of recent forest management graduates vis-a-vis skills and levels of technical competency. Comments included:

Board members indicated that forest management graduates will face a tight job market in the future in both the public and private sector; internships, temporary, and permanent jobs will be available but in modest numbers."

Bob Lee reports that the Multiple World Views Project held its first of three forums on March 22, 1999, at the Center for Urban Horticulture. The forums are designed to help the College of Forest Resources prepare its graduates for working in a world with widely diverging and often conflicting views about the environment. This two-year project was funded by the University’s Office of Undergraduate Education to address two objectives: (1) to enhance student appreciation of the importance of cultural and ethnic diversity in the natural resources field, and (2) to explore the use of new methods for increasing the University’s capacity to adopt outcome-based education.

The project involves undergraduates as researchers and teaches them project management and facilitation skills. Three undergraduates are involved this year: Allison Cocke and Amy Howells, both seniors in Conservation of Wildland Resources and Veronica Mansuri, a senior in Biology. Two other CFR undergraduates, Roberta Armstrong, senior in Paper Science and Engineering and Tim Brown, senior in Forest Engineering, have also participated in the project. Jason Niebler, a CFR master’s student studying agroforestry, serves as a graduate assistant and is being trained as a facilitator.

Bob says, "Participants in the forums use the Develop-a-Curriculum (DACUM) process, a systematic procedure for identifying desired outcomes from learning processes. It is an innovative tool for incorporating outcome-based education in curriculum planning. Forum participants are asked to focus on identifying competencies, skills, and learning activities that would be most appropriate for developing skills associated with each competency."

"In the March 22 forum, participants identified six basic competencies, including ‘problem-solving.’ For problem-solving alone, participants listed seven elementary skills (actions such as identifying key stakeholders) students should be prepared to perform as professionals graduating from college. They also listed several advanced skills that natural resource-related professionals should learn to become proficient in solving problems arising from people with divergent views on the environment."

"The forums involve diverse participants from the community at large. The six competencies, over fifty skills, and fifteen learning activities identified at the first forum will be edited and blended with results from the next two forums to provide a final draft for review by all participants. A final project report, Web site, and brochure will be prepared by October 1999."

Charlie Halpern reports that he and four other College faculty members—Susan Bolton, Jerry Franklin, David Manuwal, and Steve West—presented talks in Sandy, OR at a February 25-26, 1999 workshop entitled "Green-tree Retention: Interdisciplinary Information for Forest Managers." The workshop provided a forum for scientists involved in the Demonstration of Ecosystem Management Options (DEMO) study to discuss with National Forest and BLM managers the goals, approaches, and early results of their studies of green-tree retention harvests in western Oregon and Washington. The DEMO experiment is a large-scale, interdisciplinary study that represents a long-term collaboration among University researchers, federal and state land managers, and the Pacific Northwest Research Station. A Special Issue of Northwest Science devoted to the DEMO study has just been published (Vol. 73, 1999); copies are available from the PNW Research Station, Portland, OR.

Chuck Henry reports that the College was selected to receive the King County Department of Natural Resources "Green Globe Award" for outstanding achievement in environmental stewardship. The College was one of ten winners selected from among thousands of businesses, organizations, and individuals actively protecting King County’s environment. Chuck says, "The award was made for two different, but related achievements in biosolids recycling—the pioneering concept of applying biosolids to forest lands; and the development of the sustainable resource sciences program." The winners will be publicly announced at a ceremony on April 22, 1999.

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