UW School of Forest Resources E-news
April 2010  |  Return to issue home

In the Media...

  • The Washington Department of Natural Resources is moving ahead with pilot projects on biomass energy—burning wood waste for power. The new version of burning wood could be an economic and climate winner. See Crosscut article “Is burning wood the green way to healthier state forests?, quoting Brian Boyle, leader of the Northwest Environmental Forum.

  • A barren pit on Vashon Island, Wash., is turning into an experiment in restoring the landscape, while getting greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. Ph.D. student Kate Kurtz is working on an experiment to see what happens if you take a place with no topsoil, and enrich it with compost. See Seattle Times story, “A forest and a 'carbon sink' grow on Vashon.”

  • Five species of butterflies thought to have been native to prairies on Whidbey Island, Wash., are being introduced as part of a restoration ecology project led by Ph.D. student and Nature Conservancy project manager Eric Delvin. While the project's purpose is to reintroduce these lost species, it also aims to answer questions about habitat rehabilitation, such as determining the best techniques for restoring native prairie. See Whidbey Examiner story, “Prairie burns aim to bring back butterflies.”

  • Studies during the last 40 years on humans and landscapes generally find that people of all ages and cultural backgrounds prefer natural views to built settings and that urban spaces with trees receive higher ratings for visual quality. See ”Trees mean business: City trees and the retail streetscape,” for an article by research scientist Kathleen Wolf.

  • John Marzluff, professor and expert on birds in the corvid family, can attest to the pleasure of dining on crow. See “Another way to enjoy the creatures you study: In a tasty sauce.” And for more “crow stories,” watch a video of  Marzluff’s lecture, “In the Company of Crows and Ravens,” given at the University of British Columbia’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum.

  • Carbon stored in the trees and soils of the moist national forests in Washington, Oregon and southeast Alaska totals about 9.8 billion metric tons. See Tacoma News Tribune story, “Top 10 gas-storing national parks are in Northwest, study says,” quoting Professor Jerry Franklin.

  • Some in Congress and the administration are trying to find a way for the government to be paid for the use federal forests play in pulling heat-trapping gasses like carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. See Oregonian article, “Federal forests could be tasked with fighting global warming,” quoting Research Associate Elaine Oneil, ’03, ’06, and U.S. Forest Service Deputy Chief and SFR alumnus Joel Holtrop, ‘82.

  • Wildfires within California's world famous Yosemite National Park could become more frequent and severe due to climate change, say scientistsSee BBC Earth News article on study by Research Associate Jim Lutz, ’05, ’08, “Warming 'big threat' to Yosemite.”

  • Researchers have discovered that some of the most fundamental assumptions about how water moves through soil in a seasonally dry climate such as the Pacific Northwest are incorrect. The Science Daily story, “Water hits and sticks: Findings challenge a century of assumptions about soil hydrology,” quotes plant physiologist Renee Brooks, ’87, ’93, who was the senior author on a paper that appeared in Nature GeoSciences. Holly Barnard, “96, was a co-author.

  • See You Tube videos in the series “UW Insight: Climate Change,” which feature interviews with Research Associate Elaine Oneil, ’03, ’06, talking about mountain pine beetle infestations in eastern Washington, and Associate Professor Sarah Reichard, talking about plants’ response to climate change.

April 2010  |  Return to issue home