School News


School welcomes new faculty

Ernesto Alvarado and Stanley Asah. Photo Credit: Mary Levin

Ernesto Alvarado, ’92, a longtime member of the U.S. Forest Service’s Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team in Seattle, is SFR’s new Research Associate Professor in Wildland Fire Science. Alvarado teaches courses on wildland fire management and fire ecology. His fire research spans the Americas, including Alaska, the western states, the Brazilian Amazon, Mexico,  and Bolivia. He also collaborates on firefighter training in the U.S. and Latin America.

Stanley Asah joined the faculty as Assistant Professor in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management. Asah received an MS and PhD. in water resource sciences from the University of Minnesota and has worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Science Policy Unit. His research spans a wide range of human-environment interactions.

Northwest Environmental forums

The Northwest Environmental Forum convened two sessions in Fall 2009, both focusing on forest health.  In the Forum “Eastside Forest Health: Challenges and Solutions,“ in Spokane, Washington on October 28-29, 2009, an invited group of 60 federal, state, tribal, and private forestland managers, in conjunction with government and conservation representatives, addressed an actionable strategy to restore and maintain the ecosystem services of Washington’s eastside dry forests.   Documents and video links from this session are available at:
In the Forum, “Sustaining and Restoring the Health of Washington’s Working Forestlands and Creating an Ecosystem Services Marketplace,” November 23, 2009,  at UW Botanic Gardens, participants discussed the results of the October Eastside Health Forum, how  best to advance forest restoration and wildfire threat reduction in eastern Washington, and  the opportunities that ecosystem services markets can create for Washington state. Documents and video links from this session are available at: SFR participants in the forums included Bruce Bare, Brian Boyle, Derek Churchill, Greg Ettl, Tom Hinckley, Sonja Lin, Bruce Lippke, Doug Marconi, Larry Mason, Ellen Matheny, Matt McLaughlin, Dave Peterson, Sergey Rabotyagov, Alicia Robbins, Luke Rogers, Liam Stacey, and Sandor Toth.  Alumni participants included Jamie Barbour (’83, ‘90), Harry Bell (‘74), Brent Davies (‘97), Richy Harrod (‘03), Becki Heath (‘80),  Roger Hoesterey (‘80), Gary Morishima (’69, ’79), Craig Partridge (’72, ’81), Phil Rigdon (‘96), Court Stanley (’83), Steve Stinson (‘00), and Mark Swanson ’99, 07).




Faculty Books  

Susan Bolton is co-author of Floodplain Management A New Approach for a New Era, published by Island Press. Other authors are Bob Freitag, Frank Westerlund, and J.L.S. Clark. The book outlines a new paradigm for flood management that emphasizes cost-effective, long-term success by integrating physical and biological systems with societal capabilities and suggests that a better solution is to work with a river's natural tendencies. Emeritus Professor Reinhard Stettler is author of a book published by the University of Washington Press, Cottonwood and the River of Time: On Trees, Evolution and Society.  The book looks at some of the approaches scientists have used to unravel the puzzles of the natural world, and with his lifetime of work in forestry and genetics to guide him, Stettler celebrates what has been learned and what still remains a mystery about cottonwoods and, more generally, trees, their evolution and their relationship to society.

conservation colloquium

SFR is a co-sponsor of an upcoming UW-wide Conservation Colloquium scheduled for March 3, 2010.  The Colloquium will showcase the breadth and depth of the UW’s explorations of conservation issues as societies around the world grapple with the implications of global warming and climate instability, loss of biodiversity and habitat, energy and resource depletion, and the allocation of global resources.  The colloquium hopes to highlight practical solutions that contribute to the conservation of healthy species and intact ecosystems through research, scholarship, practice, and teaching. Check the colloquium's websitefor updates on the agenda and participant list.

Graduate student Jorge Ramos Investigates amphibian occurrence in seasonally flooded wetlands in the Puget Sound region.


In faculty news, recent appointments, in addition to new faculty Ernesto Alvarado and Stanley Asah, included Affiliate Professors Don Hanley  (who retired as SFR/UW Professor and Extension Forester in 2009), Ya Tang, Charles Wurster, and Zongyong Zeng; Affiliate Assistant Professor Nathan Schumaker; and Research Associate John Withey. Bruce Lippke, who retired in November 2009 was appointed Emeritus Professor.  



Faculty awards included: the Association for Fire Ecology’s Harold Biswell Lifetime Achievement Award to Jim Agee (who was one of Biswell’s last graduate students at Berkeley); the Western Forest Disease Work Conference’s 2009 Outstanding Achievement to Bob Edmonds for his work in forest pathology; the Washington Policy Center’s 2009 Environmental Innovator Award to Bruce Lippke for his work with the Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM); and Sally Brown’s election as a fellow in the Soil Science Society of America.

Duane Emmons (’99),  forest operations manager for the Center for Sustainable Forestry at Pack Forest, has been awarded a Society of American Foresters Presidential Field Forester Award for his dedication and contribution to many ongoing forest management projects at Pack Forest.

UW Botanic Gardens hosted the launching party for about 300 members of the new College of the Environment (CoEnV) in a gathering at the Center for Urban Horticulture on September 16, 2009. CoEnv is designed to foster discovery and collaboration among those engaged in the study of earth's land, water, and atmosphere systems; engineering and technological advances; and policy and management. It includes SFR, the School of Marine Affairs, the Departments of Atmospheric Sciences and Earth and Space Sciences, and associated academic, research, and outreach units.

As an outcome of strategic planning, Interim Director Hinckley appointed an ad hoc committee to explore a name change for SFR. The committee, chaired by Emeritus Professor Jim Agee, conducted on-line surveys and will make a final report in January 2010.

The School's Visiting Committee welcomes new member John Johnston of Bancroft Buckley Johnston & Serres LLP, effective January 1, 2010.

SFR enrollment numbers continued on an upward trend in Autumn 2009; undergraduate enrollment was at a ten-year high at 266, undergraduate minors increased by 44.7 percent to 55, and graduate enrollment was at a five-year high at 180.

The Society of American Foresters National Convention, September 30-October 4, 2009, in Orlando, Florida, was attended by SFR faculty, staff, students, and alumni who were involved in presentations, posters, and roundtables.  Participants include Dave Briggs, Andrew Cooke, Jerry Franklin, Bruce Lippke, Larry Mason, Jim McCarter, Elaine Oneil, Luke Rogers, Clare Ryan, and many alumni.

Center for Sustainable Forestry at Pack Forest staff collaborated in a summer project with partners Nisqually Tribe Stream Stewards, Washington State University Native Plant Salvage, Tacoma Power and Stewardship Partners, LeMay, Inc., and Waste Connections, Inc. to install a 450-square foot rain garden at Macbride Hall. The rain garden is an important element of the Nisqually Watershed Stewardship Plan.

The School’s report, "Wood to Energy in Washington: Imperatives, opportunities, and obstacles to progress," was released in June 2009. The report, an investigation of the potential for use of wood for renewable energy in Washington, was comissioned by the State Legislature. 

Events and exhibits to celebrate the Washington Park Arboretum’s 2009 75th Anniversary included lectures on plant collecting for the Pacific Connections Garden by Dan Hinkley (’85), and on "The Once and Future Arboretum," by Brooklyn Botanic Garden CEO Scot Medbury ('87, '90); as well as history walking tours and exhibits.