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April 1, 2010

Finalists in College of the Environment dean search visit campus starting Thursday

News and Information

Faculty members from Oregon State University and University of Arizona and a lead scientist for the Nature Conservancy are finalists for dean of the College of the Environment and will visit campus this week and next.

Each of the finalists will give a lecture that is open to the public and conduct informal Q&A sessions that are meant for UW students, faculty and staff. The advisory search committee, led by Matt O’Donnell, dean of the College of Engineering, has established a Catalyst site for those who’d like to provide comments on the finalists,.

The finalists visit just weeks after the School of Oceanography and School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences joined the nine-month-old college (http://coenv.washington.edu/). The college is now comprised of seven degree-granting units and more than half dozen other centers, institutes and programs. The other unit expected to become part of the college this year is Washington Sea Grant, scheduled to join July 1.

Dean finalists and their speaking schedules are:

Mark Abbott

Dean and professor, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University

Curriculum vitae


  • Public seminar: 10:30 a.m.-noon, Friday, April 2, Henry Art Gallery
  • Campus Q&As: 2:30-3:30 p.m., Thursday, April 1, 203 Fisheries Science Building;  9-10 a.m., Friday, April 2, Forest Club Room, 207 Anderson


Sanjayan Muttulingam

Lead scientist, Nature Conservancy

Curriculum vitae


  • Public seminar: 9-10:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 6, Henry Art Gallery
  • Campus Q&As: 10:30-11:30 a.m., Monday, April 5, 203 Fisheries Science Building; 2:30-3:30 p.m., Monday, April 5, Forest Club Room, 207 Anderson


Lisa Graumlich

Professor and director, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona

Curriculum vitae

Biographical sketch


  • Public seminar: 9-10:30 a.m., Friday, April 9, Henry Art Gallery
  • Campus Q&As: 10:30-11:30 a.m., Thursday, April 8, 203 Fisheries Science Building; 2-3 p.m., Friday, April 9, Forest Club Room, 207 Anderson


The two schools joining the college last month have more than 80 teaching and research faculty and 170 administrative and research staff members.

The School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, led by Professor David Armstrong, conducts research on such things as sustainable fisheries, conservation, resource management and ecosystem health. Along with laboratory work, students have opportunities to conduct research at UW field sites that span the Northeast Pacific from Washington to Alaska, Hawaii, the Russian Far East and beyond, for examples click here.

The School of Oceanography, led by Professor Russ McDuff, receives more than $16 million a year in outside grants and contracts for research that ranges from learning about life in extreme environments like blistering-hot hydrothermal vents to understanding ongoing changes in Puget Sound. The school, the only one in the U.S. to offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees in oceanography, uses some of the grant money for undergraduates to conduct research on the school’s vessels, such as the expedition to Canada’s Barkley Sound that concluded last weekend; learn about each student’s project by clicking on their images here.

Washington Sea Grant, directed by Penny Dalton, manages marine research about such things as the environmental effects of geoduck farming and how ocean acidification may impact Puget Sound shellfish (see recently funded projects, here. Sea Grant specialists then translate findings into practical information and decision-making tools for managers, officials and citizens. During a recent five-year period, Sea Grant staff cooperated with 22 cities, 15 port districts, 15 coastal counties, almost all Washington tribes, 45 federal and 13 state agencies and scores of school districts, businesses and non-profit organizations.

“The addition of the School of Oceanography, the School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences and Washington Sea Grant gives the college a world-leading research, teaching and outreach effort in marine and aquatic science,” says Dennis Hartmann, interim dean. “I am very happy the University’s leadership in aquatic science will continue as part of the new college. This complements the other strengths of the college and will enable important interdisciplinary synergies to develop.”

Units already in the College of Environment are the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Environmental Institute, School of Forest Resources, Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, School of Marine Affairs, Program on Climate Change, Program on the Environment, Quaternary Research Center and Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium.

The two most recently added schools and Washington Sea Grant were previously part of the College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences. That college has gone through the UW’s formal process for “reorganization, consolidation and elimination of programs” and will close July 1.