Category Archives: defense

Pre-Health Course & Major Planning workshop Thursday 2/7

Pre-Health Course & Major Planning workshop

Thursday, February 7, 2019
2:30pm – 3pm
Career & Internship Center [134 Mary Gates Hall], Lobby, Seattle, Washington, United States

Co-hosted with UW Undergraduate Advising, this workshop will explore how students can coordinate their coursework needed for their major with the pre-requisites needed for application to health professional schools.

Students can RSVP here.

Attached is a calendar of all of our workshops, small group coaching sessions and Application Labs for winter. Stay tuned for more of the same in the spring!

Pre-Health Support Winter 2019.pdf


Comments Off on Pre-Health Course & Major Planning workshop Thursday 2/7

Filed under defense, Workshop

2016 Graduate Student Symposium: Submit Your Abstracts!

The 2016 Graduate Student Symposium (GSS) is coming up on Friday, March 4, and the abstract submission period is now open! Students will be able to submit an abstract, via the online form, from Friday, January 29, through Friday, February 12, at 5 p.m. As always, there are a limited number of presentation spots available, so submit your abstract ASAP!

This year’s GSS, which will be held in the Forest Club Room (AND 207), is built around the theme, “The Interface Between Scientific Research and Management.” Many SEFS students seek to build careers in land management or other applied fields, yet we receive most of our formal training in an academic setting. Is our research responding to on-the-ground priorities? How can we improve the dialogue between science, management and other stakeholders? How can we best communicate our results—including variability and uncertainty? A stellar panel of experts will kick off the day to help us grapple with these questions.

Open to the public and everyone in the SEFS community, GSS is a friendly gathering to share your work and hone your presentation skills. You can present a preliminary proposal, your results from a completed project, or anything in between. Presentations last 10 minutes and are followed by 2-3 minutes of Q&A. Undergraduate capstone students will be showing off their research during poster sessions throughout the day. As is tradition, the symposium will be followed by a Dead Elk party—the perfect opportunity to discuss the presentations and posters over food and drinks.

Again, don’t forget to get your abstract submissions in as soon as possible during the next two weeks. And if you have any questions, please email

Comments Off on 2016 Graduate Student Symposium: Submit Your Abstracts!

Filed under capstone/research, defense, event, grad

Upcoming Events

1) Rising from the ashes: Long term effects of wildfire on stream ecosystem management
Emily Davis MS Thesis Defense
March 2, 9:00 AM
FISH 203

2) Complexity and Connectivity in Nature: Toward a Spatial Ecology of River-Riparian Ecosystems
Dr. Colden Baxter, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Stream Ecology Center at Idaho State University
Monday, March 2nd, 4:30 pm in FSH 102

Research conducted in the Stream Ecology Center focuses on rivers and streams, but more generally on the ecological linkages between water and land. Reciprocal connections such as those between streams, floodplains, and riparian forests are critical to watershed ecosystems, and they couple land and water in their vulnerability to the agents of global environmental change. Research led by Dr. Baxter is aimed at improving our understanding of the basic nature of such connections and the consequences of their disruption by human activities, but also contributing to better-informed conservation and stewardship.

Comments Off on Upcoming Events

Filed under defense, event

Michelle Fischer MEH final presentation, Aug 19, 3pm @ CUH

My presentation is Tuesday, August 19th at 3:00pm in the Isaacson Room at the Center for Environmental Horticulture.

Committee: Kern Ewing and Jim Fridley

Title: Survival Rates of South Sound Prairie Plants within Whittaker Plots at Fort Lewis, WA.

Abstract: Prescribed burnings on Northwest prairies have long been used for ecological rejuvenation of the lands, having been used for cultural, economic and medicinal purposes. This research project focused on Johnson and Upper Weir prairies, two large south sound prairies at Fort Lewis, Washington. Whittaker plots were used to evaluate plant height, percent cover, and number of plants within the 1m2 center of nine control and burn plots. Six most frequently found and used on south sound prairie plants were examined. The plants were Festuca idahoensis, Lomatium utriculatum, Lupinus lepidus, Danthonia californica Camassia quamash, and Plantago lanceolata. Fire treatments at both of these prairies had occurred between 2009 and 2014.

Comments Off on Michelle Fischer MEH final presentation, Aug 19, 3pm @ CUH

Filed under defense, grad

QERM MS Defense: Kelsey Vitense, Thurs., Aug. 14th at noon: “Theoretical Impacts of Habitat Loss and Generalist Predation on Predator-Prey Cycles”

QERM M.S. Final Examination

Kelsey Vitense​

"Theoretical Impacts of Habitat Loss and Generalist Predation

on Predator-Prey Cycles"

Thursday, August 14th

12:00 p.m.

Fishery Sciences Building (FSH) 203

Comments Off on QERM MS Defense: Kelsey Vitense, Thurs., Aug. 14th at noon: “Theoretical Impacts of Habitat Loss and Generalist Predation on Predator-Prey Cycles”

Filed under defense, grad

Luke McGuff MEH defense, Aug 14 3pm, Douglas 103

Date: Thursday, August 14

Time: 3 p.m.

Location: Douglas Classroom 103, Douglas Hall, Center for Urban Horticulture

Title: Restoration Management Plan for North Beach Park.

North Beach Park is a nine-acre ravine park and natural area in Northwest Seattle. It was purchased in small parcels by the city starting in 1970. The last parcel was purchased in the mid-90s. It was a heron rookery in 2003, but was neglected until restoration began in 2011. North Beach Park contains a mixture of wetlands and slopes, is surrounded by private property, and has multiple stakeholder issues. The “Restoration Management Plan for North Beach Park” looks at the individual habitat management units of the park and the state of the restoration effort in them. It lays out plans for continuing restoration, delineating whether volunteers, forest stewards, Parks Department Natural Area Crew, or privately-contracted crews can do the work. The management plan will suggest a number of techniques, depending on the level of invasiveness and the geography of the habitat management unit. We will also look at the history of the park and the history of the restoration.

Committee: Kern Ewing(chair), Sarah Reichard, and Jim Fridley

Comments Off on Luke McGuff MEH defense, Aug 14 3pm, Douglas 103

Filed under defense, grad

Christina Restaino Dissertation Defense August 7, Forest Club Room, 10:30am

Christina Restaino is scheduled to defend her dissertation on Thursday, August 7 at 10:30 am in the Forest Club Room in Anderson Hall.

DISSERTATION TITLE: Climate drivers of Douglas-fir growth in the western United States

COMMITTEE: Dave Peterson, Greg Ettl, Don McKenzie, Soo-Hyung Kim, and Janneke Hille ris Lambers

ABSTRACT: Douglas-fir (Psuedotsuga menziesii) spans the entire mountain system of the western United States, successfully occupying many different climatic and ecological niches. Its occupation of many different growth environments, and its temporal persistence on the landscape, make this species an ideal representative of forest-climate interactions in western mountain ecosystems. To quantify climate-growth relationships in Douglas-fir, I developed a comprehensive network of chronologies collected across the “climate space” of the species. By sampling throughout climate space at the continental scale, I account for a large percentage of variability in growing environments for Douglas-fir. Data are summarized across six regions – Pacific Northwest, Northern Rockies, Central Rockies, Southern Rockies, California, and Southwest. Tree growth data were combined with data from the Variable Infiltration Capacity Hydrologic Model, which includes typical climate variables as well as “plant relevant” variables. Climate data include precipitation, temperature, potential evapotranspiration, actual evapotranspiration, and vapor pressure deficit. Climatic water deficit was calculated as actual evapotranspiration minus potential evapotranspiration. The relationship between tree growth and climate was analyzed at four spatial scales (plot, watershed, region, and continent) and three temporal scales (monthly, interannual, interdecadal).

Results suggest that variability in growth is tightly coupled to both interannual and decadal climatic variability, with evident linkages to the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Temperature exerts a top-down control on tree growth, regardless of the magnitude of precipitation. As air temperature increases, evaporative demand also increases, causing increased vapor pressure deficit and climatic water deficit (potential evapotranspiration minus actual evapotranspiration), altering the dynamics of water availability in forest ecosystems. Additional analyses focus on how large-scale climate teleconnections modify regional climate patterns that ultimately limit tree growth. Proximity to the dipole dictates the relative effect of ENSO events from region to region, and the strength and location of the dipole change when ENSO and PDO are in phase. ENSO- and PDO-related changes in regional climate result in increased variability and extremes in tree growth. Changes in tree growth occur in phase with ENSO across all regions, but the strongest response is at the extreme ends of the dipole. The complex relationship between tree growth and climate documented in this study can provide parameters for growth models, inform climate-change adaptation plans, and project future growth in Douglas-fir forests.

Comments Off on Christina Restaino Dissertation Defense August 7, Forest Club Room, 10:30am

Filed under defense, grad

Xincai Cai MEH defense July 24th Douglas Classroom 10:30am

Name: Xincai Cai

Location: CUH Douglas Research classroom

Time: July 24, 10:30AM

Committee: Kern Ewing, Darlene Zabowski and Jim Fridley

Title: Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Practices

Coal is a very valuable energy source around the world. Most electrical energy comes from coal burning. Since the 1880s, coal production accelerated dramatically. Surface coal mining and underground coal mining are the most common methods to extract coal. In the United States and Australia, surface coal mining is more prevalent than underground coal mining. In China, underground coal mining is more prevalent than surface coal mining. Surface mining is used for extraction when the coal seams are very close to the earth’s surface. All the vegetation, soil and rocks are removed and the coal is extracted from the ground.

The demand for coal has taken priority over environmental concerns. In the past, coal mining operators and governments had little consideration for reclamation after coal mining and coal operators did not have a long –term commitment to the land or incentive to reclaim the land. As a result of that, the environment was heavily impacted by surface coal mining. High-walls were left exposed; topsoil was washed away; landslides formed on unstable hillsides; streams and rivers were polluted by acid mine drainage and large areas were eroded. The huge negative environmental impacts from surface coal mining led to increasing concerns about better coal industry management and policy. Each country has specific regulations about coal mining industry and reclamation practices.


Comments Off on Xincai Cai MEH defense July 24th Douglas Classroom 10:30am

Filed under defense, grad

Dylan McCalmont thesis defense, July 18th 11:30am AND 22

Thesis title: Diversity of ammonia-oxidizing archaea in soils under managed and native conditions

When and Where: July 18th 11:30am, Anderson 22

Committee: Dr. Sally Brown (chair), Dr. David Stahl, and Dr. Steven Fransen


Ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA) contribute to a significant portion of ammonia oxidation in soil. These organisms have significant impacts on plant proliferation, as well as production of fugitive gases. AOA community distribution patterns are influenced by multiple factors, of which, biogeography has emerged as an important variable. Developing an understanding of community differences in AOA amid differing land management types may provide tools to understand differences in N use efficiency and other, broader impacts of AOA on soil and atmospheric biogeochemistry. The goal of this study was to assess whether agriculturally managed soils displayed shifts in AOA community diversity in contrast to non-managed soils located in close proximity. Soil was collected from two sites in eastern Washington with similar climate and precipitation patterns. At both sites soil was collected from the surface horizon (0-15 cm) of the adjacent native shrub-steppe (dominated by bunchgrass) and from switchgrass cultivated fields. AOA communities were evaluated by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) targeting subunit A of the Archaeal ammonia monooxygenase and analyzed using multivariate statistical approaches. At both the slightly alkalkine and slightly acidic agricultural sites, significant differences in AOA community diversity were observed based on the contribution of differing terminal restriction fragments (TRFs) to managed and native soils based on analysis of similarity (ANOSIM, R value greater than 0.6 p<0.05). In contrast, native soils displayed higher similarity to one-another, despite significant spatial separation, than either agriculturally influenced site. In native soils located adjacent to a slightly acidic switchgrass cultivated site, TRFs affiliated with members of the genus Nitrososphaera were abundant. The same genus were found in significantly lower abundance in cultivated sites. In contrast, TRFs attributed to the genus Nitrosotalea were dominant in the switchgrass cultivated site, but were detected in substantially lower abundance in the cultivated site. In addition, a higher number of TRFs were observed in the non-managed areas, indicative of a more diverse AOA community. At the slightly alkaline site, similar differences between native and cultivated AOA communities were also observed. However, the most abundant TRFs in the native soils were non-detectable in the cultivated areas, suggesting a complete replacement of native ecotypes. Preliminary TRF identification suggests different phylogentically distinct members of the genus Nitrosophaera are responsible for the observed shifts between native and cultivated soils. Taken together, our results suggest that agricultural land-management significantly alters AOA community diversity patterns for the soils examined. These results can inform future reseatch to assess whether these soils are also attributed with differing rates of nitrogen usage and production of fugitive gases, parameters that would be useful for modeling the impacts of switchgrass cultivation on nitrogen cycling soil ecosystems.

Comments Off on Dylan McCalmont thesis defense, July 18th 11:30am AND 22

Filed under defense, grad

Anna Simpson’s General Exam – Monday July 21st at 1PM

When: Monday July 21st at 1PM

Where: Anderson 22

Title: Nitrogen Cycling and Response to Increased Nitrogen Deposition in Alpine Soils of the Pacific Northwest

Committee: Darlene Zabowski (Chair), Bob Edmonds, Gina Rochefort, Tom DeLuca, David Stahl

Abstract: Until relatively recently high elevation ecosystems in western National Parks were not subject to elevated levels of nitrogen deposition (Wolfe et al. 2001) compared with the eastern United States. However, nitrogen deposition has now become of special concern to National Parks in the mountainous western United States because it is increasing. In addition, high-elevation ecosystems are particularly sensitive to climate change. It is likely that climate change will result in higher temperatures, more precipitation in the form of rain, higher snowlines, and earlier snowmelt (Beniston et al. 1997, Mote et al. 2005); in combination, these effects might very well increase alpine soil acidity, soil formation, and leaching of nitrates into surface waters even without increasing nitrogen deposition. A recent review of the effects of nitrogen deposition warns that although critical loads for particular areas are generally set at the point where the community begins to shift, individual species may experience changes at any level of nitrogen deposition above background (Payne et al. 2013). Thus the protection and evaluation of pristine environments should be among the highest priorities for the study of nitrogen deposition.

I propose to address critical loads for nitrogen deposition in alpine meadows at Mount Rainier (MORA), North Cascades (NOCA), and Olympic (OLYM) National Parks, through a fertilization study (begun in 2012), simulating increasing nitrogen deposition in a randomized block design at alpine sites at these three parks using three different levels of 15N-labeled ammonium nitrate, monitoring plant growth and diversity, and sampling plant and soil tissues for nitrogen retention and microbial abundance and diversity.

I will also investigate nitrogen storage and microbial communities in barren high-elevation soils through soil sampling up to 2,734 m (9,000 feet) at Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks. Increasing nitrogen deposition in the Pacific Northwest combined with higher temperatures will most likely push snowlines to higher elevations and accelerate soil formation and nitrogen accumulation. Thus, examining these sites will provide fundamental information about extreme ecosystems microbiomes and nitrogen use.

Comments Off on Anna Simpson’s General Exam – Monday July 21st at 1PM

Filed under defense, grad

Keala Hagmann Dissertation Defense July 24th AND 22, 10 am

Please join us at my dissertation defense in Anderson 22 on Thursday, July 24 at 10 am.

Dissertation Title: Historical forest conditions in frequent-fire forests on the eastern slopes of the Oregon Cascade Range

Committee: Jerry Franklin (chair), Jonathan Bakker, Stevan Harrell, Thomas Hinckley, Norm Johnson, Kristiina Vogt, and Daniel Schwartz (GSR)

Abstract: Records from a 1914-25 timber inventory reveal historical variability at the landscape-level in fire-prone forests in the eastern Cascade Range in Oregon. Live conifers >15 cm dbh (diameter at breast height) were tallied by species and size class in a 20% sample of over 180,000 hectares (ha). Forests were predominantly low density relative to current conditions (roughly a third to a quarter of current mean density). Total stand density, large tree (>53 cm dbh) density, and ponderosa pine density were relatively stable across a wide moisture gradient (40-180 cm annual precipitation). Large trees, primarily large ponderosa pine and secondarily Douglas-fir, dominated total basal area (>70% of total mean basal area) and were widely distributed across the landscape (present on 97% of transects). Currently ponderosa pine and large trees no longer dominate total basal area and large trees are not as uniformly distributed across the landscape as they were historically. Higher-density values (>120 tph, 95th percentile), although rare, were widely distributed across the mixed-conifer habitat while treeless transects (no trees >15 cm dbh) were almost entirely restricted to documented burned areas at higher elevations in colder, wetter habitat types and in association with an 80,000 ha fire that burned in 1918 in ponderosa pine and lodgepole pine habitat. Historical forest conditions in frequent-fire forests may be increasingly useful in guiding contemporary forest management given 1) projections for increased drought; 2) increases in vertical and horizontal connectivity of forest canopies related to changes in land use; and 3) documented resilience and resistance of historical forest conditions to fire and drought-related stressors in fire-prone forests. This systematic sample of a large landscape provides information about variability in species composition, densities, and structures at multiple spatial scales, which are highly relevant to management activities to restore and conserve desired ecosystem functions.

Comments Off on Keala Hagmann Dissertation Defense July 24th AND 22, 10 am

Filed under defense, grad

Lisa Miller MEH defense June 11th 2pm – Isaacson Classroom

"Changes towards environmentally responsible behaviors with an increased knowledge of local systems:

An urban case study in Seattle, WA"

Lisa Miller

Wednesday June 11th, at 2pm

Center for Urban Horticulture- Isaacson Classroom

Committee: Kern Ewing, Jim Fridley, Stanley Asah


Providing easy to understand information may help get people involved in their local environment. Presenting information in a casual and interactive setting as well as tailoring it to personal interests and lifestyles may offer a unique learning experience outside the traditional classroom.

Come see how a short series of workshops were developed and presented to encourage personal engagement in Seattle’s urban nature.

Thank you,


Comments Off on Lisa Miller MEH defense June 11th 2pm – Isaacson Classroom

Filed under defense, grad

Alina Cansler’s PhD Proposal Presentation – Friday June 6th 12:00 pm, Anderson 22

Members of the SEFS community and the general public are invited to attend the oral portion of Alina Cansler’s general exam, on Friday, June 6 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm in Anderson Hall, room 22, during which Alina will present her proposed PhD research: “Influence of Fire and Post-fire Succession in Alpine Treeline Ecotones in the northwestern USA" Refreshments and light snacks will be provided.

What: Alina Cansler’s PhD proposal defense (General Exam)

Time: Friday, June 6, 2014, 12:00 pm

Location: Anderson Hall, room 22

Title: Influence of Fire and Post-fire Succession in Alpine Treeline Ecotones in the northwestern USA


Across the western U.S., climate change presents perhaps the biggest challenge to both the idea and the conservation of protected areas, particularly in the context of dynamic and rapidly changing disturbance regimes. This project will examine the effects of a shift in the fire regime of an ecosystem that is very sensitive to climate change: the ecotone from closed forest to open alpine tundra, hereafter the alpine treeline ecotone (ATE). Increased tree establishment in subalpine parkland and an upward movement of treeline are expected in a warming climate, but changes in other factors, particularly disturbance regimes, have received less attention. The same climate warming has been linked to increased area burned by wildfires across the West; indeed the same factors associated with increased tree establishment in some areas—decreased snowpack and longer growing seasons—will also encourage wildfire in subalpine parkland.

It is presently unclear how the subalpine ecotone will respond to the combination of the direct effects of climate and the indirect effects of changing fire regimes. This proposed project will examine burn severity and post-fire regeneration in the subalpine ecotone along elevational and maritime-continental gradients. Geospatial data, aerial photography, and field data will used to understand the relative influences of climate, fire, and endogenous factors (local topography, soils, and biological legacies), thereby enabling inferences about the future of the subalpine parkland in fire-prone ecosystems. This research project addresses our current lack of knowledge about the extent to which recent increases in area burned have impacted the ATE, and how fire changes the location, pattern, and species diversity in the ATE. Because the combined effects of fire occurrence in the ATE, and post-fire pattern and species shifts may have long-term impacts on ecosystem functions such as wildlife habitat use, hydrology, nutrient cycling, and carbon sequestration, research on the drivers and the effects of fire in the ATE is needed.

Comments Off on Alina Cansler’s PhD Proposal Presentation – Friday June 6th 12:00 pm, Anderson 22

Filed under defense, grad

Martha Moritz MEH defense, June 10th DRC noon

Martha Moritz, MEH defense: June 10th from 12-1:00 in the Douglas Research Classroom (DRC) at the Center for Urban Horticulture.

“Kincaid Ravine Restoration and Management Plan”

Committee: Kern Ewing and Jim Fridley


The Kincaid Ravine restoration project is located in an undeveloped section of the northeastern corner on the University of Washington Seattle campus. The project site is an approximately four acre forested area, with a native deciduous tree dominated canopy. The forest contains a mixed understory of both native and non-native species. Two wetlands and an unnamed stream channel are present within the project boundaries. This portion of campus is a designated natural area, which means it will remain undeveloped in the future.

The dominating presence of non-native, invasive species in the understory and the groundlayer of the site, historic clearing of the site, and impacts from construction that has taken place in the surrounding matrix has resulted in an overall decline in health and function of this urban forest over the last several decades. At this stage of typical forest succession, a mixed tree canopy containing both conifer and deciduous tree species should be present. The overwhelming growth of English ivy (Hedera helix) on the forest floor has eliminated the necessary light levels to foster the germination of native conifer species. Other invasive species growing in the site, including Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus), English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), and old man’s beard (Clematis vitalba) have reduced the diversity of the native plant assemblage that should exist in a Puget Sound lowland forest. In addition to the declines in ecosystem function, the dense growth of non-native species has led to the site being used for illegal encampments. These encampments pose a risk to public safety and have increased negative perception of the site.

Funds to begin the restoration work needed within the Kincaid Ravine were secured through the Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF) during the 2012-2013 academic year. A partnership between UW Grounds Management, CSF, Earthcorps, and the UW-chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration was formed in order to complete the restoration work. Work within the project area began in January 2014. The primary tasks during the first year of the restoration project were to clean up garbage and debris from the work area, remove non-native species, and install a variety of native trees and shrubs. At this time, restoration tasks have been initiated in roughly half of the total project area.

Along with the restoration work, a site management plan was developed in order to create a framework that will allow restoration efforts to continue in the Kincaid Ravine. The long-term goals of the project are to: improve the overall ecosystem functioning of the urban forest, increase public safety, and create a space that allows students to participate in the restoration work and promotes the use of the site for further academic research.

Martha Moritz

Masters in Environmental Horticulture, Candidate
UW Botanic Gardens, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
Integrated Pest Management and Sustainability Coordinator, Grounds Management
Plant Operations – Annex 4
Box 352166
Seattle, WA 98195

Comments Off on Martha Moritz MEH defense, June 10th DRC noon

Filed under defense, grad

Oliver Jan’s Thesis defense June 5th 1pm BLD 292

Oliver Jan, M.S. Thesis Defense

Committee: Prof. Fernando Resende (Chair), Prof. Renata Bura, Prof. Richard Gustafon

Thursday, June 5th at 1PM

Bloedel 292

"Hydropyrolysis of Lignin using Pd/HZSM-5"

Comments Off on Oliver Jan’s Thesis defense June 5th 1pm BLD 292

Filed under defense, grad

Johnny Bruce PCMI Master’s Project Defense Thu June 5th 11:15am AND 22

"A Case Study of Cooking Practices in Paraguay"

Thursday, June 5th, 11:15am Anderson 22

My committee members are Ivan Eastin (chair) and Bruce Bare

Johnny Bruce

Comments Off on Johnny Bruce PCMI Master’s Project Defense Thu June 5th 11:15am AND 22

Filed under defense, grad

Jon Diemer MEH Defense, Tue May 27th @ 2pm, Isaacson Classroom, Center for Urban Horticulture

Jon Diemer MEH Defense, Tuesday May 27th @ 2pm, Isaacson Classroom, Center for Urban Horticulture
“Centennial Woods Restoration and Management Plan”

Committee: Kern Ewing (chair), Jim Fridley, Darlene Zabowski

Restoration was performed on a site originally planted in 2007 at the University of Washington’s Union Bay Natural Area. Improper planting techniques and timing, extreme weather, and inadequate maintenance resulted in approximately 90% mortality. This project utilized a more systematic approach and best practices, as well as continuous maintenance over a two-year period, which included invasive species control and watering during the summer droughts. Tree species native to the Puget Sound lowlands were planted, as well as some from warmer climate zones. The latter were included in order to assess their long-term survival and growth compared with native species, in relation to how climate change might affect temperature and precipitation over time. To increase diversity even further, several native understory species were planted. Because there are still areas with little shade, the understory species that were selected are those able to survive in full sun, but which will do even better as the canopy develops. A wood chip trail was constructed through the site to facilitate access during the restoration, as well as provide future public access. Finally, a Management Plan was developed, which presents suggestions on how to ensure the long-term success of the site as the trees and understory vegetation mature. Recommendations include soliciting community involvement in continued maintenance activities and adding interpretive signage along the trail to educate the public regarding ecological restoration in general, site and project history, and information about the species that were planted.

Comments Off on Jon Diemer MEH Defense, Tue May 27th @ 2pm, Isaacson Classroom, Center for Urban Horticulture

Filed under defense, grad

Stephan Gmur Final Exam Friday May 30th 10:30am AND 207

My exam is scheduled for Friday May 30th at 10:30 in the Forest Club Room (Anderson 207).

Title: Exploring tropical ecosystem drivers of productivity using GIS, remote sensing and meta-analysis

Committee: Daniel Vogt (chair), Kristiina Vogt, Jerry Franklin, Asep Suntanta, Peter Lape

Abstract: Many research studies have characterized the primary productivity of tropical forests and contributed to highlighting the complexity of underlying drivers of the ecological system. However, few studies have explored how productivity changes across multiple scales and how the drivers controlling productivity might differ depending on climatic and edaphic factors. Most know that modeling of the earth’s surface using remote sensing within a geospatial format is limited by the spatial resolution of the technology and also the relative small temporal resolution of forestry inventory information. However even when we construct our models from this information knowing errors have probably been incorporated, we have a tendency to overlook those limitations because we generally don’t have access to information containing fewer errors. This is especially critical to remember and understand when trying to model a system which is not completely understood or where robust information may not exist. Therefore it is helpful to be able to identify any critical thresholds of productivity so that one can determine when tipping points may occur in complex ecosystems. Determining the critical thresholds and tipping points for productivity would therefore allow us to then recognize the empirical indicators that may trigger a system or its components to shift from one state to another. This would then allow us to better understand the heterogeneity that exits in productivities at the local scales.

To search for potential thresholds and tipping points for productivity across scales, a study was designed to search for any relationships between empirical productivity data from tropical forest studies and other parameters such as climatic and edaphic variables. This study used the tools provided by meta-analysis, spatial modeling and quantification of human impacts at the local level to identify which combination of variables might reveal potential thresholds of the productivity. The performance of these variables was then used within a modeling environment to understand the underlying assumptions and how forest cover at the local scale is impacted by anthropogenic activities in relation to policy implementations. At the global level those variables that best explain the spatial heterogeneity of total productivities at plot scales was based on using a meta-analysis of aggregated field data from 96 natural forests from the American, Asian and African tropics.
These data suggested that 73% of the variance in total net primary productivity (NPPt) could be explained by different combinations of four
variables: soil-order, soil-texture, precipitation group and mean air temperature. If variations in NPPt by soil order, soil texture, precipitation group, and mean air temperature are not factored into modeling activities, regional estimates could over- or under-estimates total productivity potentials.

At the regional level, underlying assumptions about a modeling environment were tested to determine how 20, 15, 10, five and one-km sampling resolutions using different occupancy selection criteria altered the distribution and importance of input variables as well as which variables were significant within the prediction model. Variances explained by predictive models were similar across cell sizes although relative importance of variables differed by sampling resolution.
Partial dependence plots were used to search for potential thresholds or tipping points of NPP change as affected by an independent variable such as minimum daytime temperature. Applying different cell occupancy selection rules significantly changed the overall distribution of NPP values. Finally, policy additionality was measured by investigating anthropogenic activities within the Mount Halimun Salak National Park in reducing deforestation by implementing spatially explicit use zones.
Results showed that for the period 2003 – 2013, strict conservation areas had a 6.2% lower rate of deforestation relative to all other use zones combined. The relative rate of deforestation was higher in the Special Research & Training zone, which is a designated area for local communities to acquire livelihood resources. Deforestation was lowest in the Rehabilitation zone which are forests designated as areas to restore lands characterized as degraded and deforested.


Comments Off on Stephan Gmur Final Exam Friday May 30th 10:30am AND 207

Filed under defense, grad

Cynthia Harbison PCMI Master’s Defense 10am May 20th AND 22

What: Cynthia Harbison Peace Corps Master’s International Defense

Title: Coping With Resource Constraints: Two Case Studies in Cameroon

When: 10 am Tuesday May 20th, 2014

Where: Anderson 22

Committee: Dr. Ivan Eastin (Chair), Dr. Clare Ryan, Dr. Stanley Asah

Abstract: Cameroon is an extraordinarily diverse country and is home to heavily forested tropical, savannah, and sahelian ecosystems. The incredible diversity of the country leads to a corresponding diversity of development issues. While the country has a large portion of its population living in subsistence states in the rural country, the constraints on these villages vary vastly based on the geographic and environmental locations of the villages. The two sites faced very different resource constraints: one site was located in a lush rain forest, and faced very little natural resource constraints but was very isolated from markets, while the other was located in the dry Sahel and was primarily faced with water and soil fertility issues. The different constraints call for site specific interventions and illustrate how geography affects appropriate poverty alleviation interventions.

Comments Off on Cynthia Harbison PCMI Master’s Defense 10am May 20th AND 22

Filed under defense, grad

Seth Wing Thesis Defense, Wed May 28th 2pm AND 22

Seth Wing

M.S. Thesis Defense

Committee Members: Darlene Zabowski (chair), Rob Harrison, Dan Vogt

Wednesday, May 28th at 2pm

Anderson 22

"Reservoir Sediment Carbon along the Elwha River after Dam Removal"

Seth Wing
M.S. Candidate
University of Washington
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences

Comments Off on Seth Wing Thesis Defense, Wed May 28th 2pm AND 22

Filed under defense, grad