College of Forest Resources :: Newsletter Fall 2009 :: Alumni Focus

Alumni Focus

Arboretum Anniversary Lecture

Scot Medbury, CEO, Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Scot Medbury (’90) conducted his thesis project on the origins and development of the woody plant collections in Washington Park Arboretum.  Now President and CEO of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Medbury’s engagement in the cultivation, curation, and interpretation of botanical collections includes a special interest in the challenges public gardens face in contributing to environmental education and understanding.  In October 2009, Medbury visited Seattle to present the Washington Park Arboretum’s 75th Anniversary Lecture. In "The Once and Future Arboretum," he spoke about the origins of the taxonomic model that guided the original arboretum’s design and described the new eco-geographic approach used in the installation of the Arboretum’s Pacific Connections Gardens. His student experiences, he said, helped him understand and speak to the ways that all urban gardens can better fulfill their roles as places of learning, beauty, and sanctuary. 

Before the lecture, an open house at the UW Botanic Gardens Center for Urban Horticulture provided an opportunity for the public to learn about student and faculty research and the facilities of the Elisabeth C. Miller Library, the Hyde Herbarium, and Miller Seed Vault.  Medbury’s lecture concluded the formal programming for the Arboretum’s 75th Anniversary year, but guided and self-guided tours, K-9 and adult education programs, teaching and research initiatives, and varied volunteer opportunities will continue to provide a welcoming public space for academic learning and public engagement for years to come. But, Medbury said, without stable support, the public garden’s mission cannot be fulfilled; giving examples of Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s efforts using innovative programs and partnerships to gain secure funding, he  stressed the critical importance of strategic fundraising at all levels.

Campaign for Students Inspires Alumni Philanthropy

In May 2005, the UW established a three-year initiative that enabled UW faculty, staff, and retirees to support students in an extraordinary way. A minimum gift or pledge of $5,000 toward student support created a named endowment matched by the UW 1:1, with a maximum match of $10,000.  Alumni Dale Cole (’55, ’63), Tom Hinckley (’71), DJ Miller (’95), Ken Raedeke (’79) and Edward Schreiner (‘71, ’82) were all inspired to enhance SFR’s education, research, and programs by pledging endowed student support.  The Dale and


Raelyn Cole Endowed Fund for Student Support assists graduate students focusing on complex ecological, economic, and social issues of global stewardship and restoration of natural and managed environments. Hinckley’s gift created the Yakama Tribal Natural Resources Endowed Scholarship to support SFR students from the Yakama Nation studying natural resource management. The Donald M. and Agnes T. Miller Endowed Student Support Fund in Forest Resources honors Miller’s parents and supports student participation in international conferences and research.  Raedeke’s gift provides annual awards, in honor of Emeritus Wildlife Science Professor Richard Taber, to SFR wildlife science students; and Schreiner’s gift adds additional funding to the Grant and Wenonah Sharpe Endowed Fellowship in Parks and Wildland Sustainability. These gifts join additional Campaign for Students endowments, including the Dean Rae Berg Endowed Student Support Fund established by alumni in memory of Dean Berg ('78, '90, '95) and gifts by staff member Carrie Cone and Emeritus Professor John Wott to support an endowed fund in plant collection and curatorship.

FRAA Annual Meeting and Reception

Professor David Ford and Ara Erickson ('04) reminisce at the FRAA Reception at UW Botanic Gardens. Photo: Ramona Hickey

The UW Forest Resources Alumni Association (UW-FRAA) held its annual meeting on November 7, 2009 at the UW Botanic Gardens Center for Urban Horticulture.  Creating an alternative to the formal sit-down banquet of previous years, the meeting was followed by an informal reception that gave participants an opportunity to interact and to learn about SFR through posters and displays that featured teaching, research, and outreach activities.  An open house at UW Botanic Gardens gave attendees a chance to visit labs, the Hyde Herbarium, and the Elisabeth C. Miller Library.  Outstanding food and a jazz band contributed to the lively atmosphere.  Reactions from alums included, "I thought the live jazz and the casual atmosphere made it feel much more like a celebratory event. Not to mention the great awardees and great presenters. Fantastic!"  and " was one of the best ever. Live music is always a winner. The food was great and the venue.... superb!!!! ... and I was in awe of the award winners. What champions!" Awards presented at the banquet included Honored Alumnus Award to Dr. Gary Hartshorn ('72);  Honorary Alumnus Award to Professor Gordon Bradley; Excellence in Teaching Award to Professor Darlene Zabowski (’81, ’83, ’88); and Distinguished Achievement Award to Toby Atterbury (’59).


Alumni News

Leonard Banos (‘72) is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Bain & Company, a global business consulting firm based in Boston, Massachusetts.

Owen Graham (’73) is Executive Director of the Alaska Forest Association in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Michael Carlson (‘74) is a research geneticist with the BC Ministry of Forests and Range Research Branch in Vernon, British Columbia.

John Weber (‘80) is a forest geneticist currently working with the World Agroforestry Centre in Bamako, Mali.

Susanne Brown (‘86) is a consulting forester in Bessemer, Michigan.

Jai-Chyi Pei (‘86) is Professor and Chair of National Pingtung University of Science and Technology’s Department of Wildlife Conservation in Pingtung, Taiwan. 

Marc Barnes (‘89) is a forestry and restoration ecology consultant in Philomath, Oregon.

Byung-wa Chun (‘90) is a research scientist for W.R. Grace’s performance chemicals division in Newton, Massachusetts.

Feng Sheng Hu (‘94) is Professor and Head of Plant Biology in the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Joshua Millspaugh (’99),  Associate Professor in the University of Missouri’s School of Natural Resources, received the 2009 Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.  

Hiroaki Ishii (’00), Associate Professor at Kobe University (Japan), received the 2008 Progress in Agriculture Award from the Society for Agriculture Science of Japan for his contributions in conifer tree photosynthesis and carbon sequestration of plantation forests.

Patrick Baker ('01) is a senior lecturer in forest dynamics at Monash University in Victoria, Australia, where his research focuses on ecology and dynamics of mixed species forests.

Barbara Christiansen (‘02) is Membership Associate and Systems Administrator for Conservation Northwest in Bellingham, Washington.

Grace Sparks (‘03)  teaches biology at Seattle Central Community College

Jon Honea ('05) is scientist in residence at Emerson College in Boston, MA.

Kyle Smith (‘05) is the Assistant Willapa Forester for The Nature Conservancy's Ellsworth Creek Preserve in Ilwaco, Washington.

Kay Caromile (‘06)  manages grants for the WA Recreation and Conservation Office’s salmon section in Olympia, Washington.

Simone Peleuke George (‘06) is a project coordinator with the League for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany (BUND)’s Wildcat Rescue Network.