UW News

February 9, 2006

Lecture series explores forest ecosystems Feb. 9-March 9

Like the Ents — the tree guardians from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings — the world’s forests have extremely long memories. From things long past to events we remember ourselves, the tales the forest tells can teach us what may happen in the future — and what we can do to preserve our forested ecosystems. The College of Forest Resources and the UW Alumni Association are offering three lectures in February and March to inform attendees about what it takes to decipher the clues the forest leaves us and what we can learn from our roots.

Feb. 9A Warmer Pacific Northwest: Lessons from the Past. From devastating hurricanes to subtle changes in insect and plant populations — global climate change affects all aspects of life on Earth. Linda Brubaker, professor of dendrochronology, will show how climate and dendrochronological research helps us reconstruct prior climate conditions and advance our knowledge of the effects of global climate change on forests in our Northwest world and across the globe.

Feb. 23Of Insects and Ecosystems. Understanding the cause and effect of interactions between insects and their host-trees is key to our developing awareness of the integral role that insects play in maintaining the biodiversity and resilience of Pacific Northwestern forests. Robert I. Gara, professor of forest entomology, will discuss insects’ role in sustaining vigorous forests and effective techniques for managing insect outbreaks. Protecting forest biodiversity and resilience while effectively managing such outbreaks is a future challenge for the entomological profession.

March 935 years of Climbing, Research and Teaching: Accidents, Adventures, Change and Joy. Thomas Hinckley, professor of forest resources, will use examples from his 35 years of experience as a teacher and researcher to illustrate how we can meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century. From encounters with eco-terrorists, to study at the tops of old growth trees 65 meters tall, to field trips for innovative undergraduate learning, Hinckley’s experiences will reveal how dedication to teaching and research help to sustain the natural resources of our world.

The lectures will be at 7 p.m. in 110 Kane, followed by an open reception with refreshments. All lectures in the series are free and open to the public but because of space limitations, those who’d like to attend should register by visiting https://ealumni.washington.edu/events/EventView.asp?ID=221&Private=N. The three-part lecture series is sponsored by the UW College of Forest Resources and the UW Alumni Association.