IFSA to Host Canadian-American Regional Meeting

Starting this Saturday, February 18, and running through Sunday, February 26, our UW Local Committee of the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA) will be hosting the 2017 Canadian-American Regional Meeting (CARM). Organized entirely by our IFSA students, this international gathering will welcome around 40 students from universities across the United States and Canada to learn about sustainable forestry practices in Washington.

Throughout their visit, CARM attendees will enjoy a full slate of activities, from tours of the Washington Park Arboretum and Union Bay Natural Area, to an overnight field trip to Pack Forest and the Olympic Natural Resources Center in Forks, Wash. Other events include a Faculty Welcome Dinner and informal networking night on Wednesday, February 22, and one of IFSA’s annual Pecha Kucha nights on Thursday, February 23, at 5 p.m. in the Forest Club Room, where students will give lightning talks on a variety environmental topics (with a potluck dinner afterward). Then, at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 24, IFSA is throwing the Forester’s Ball in the Forest Club Room. The cost is $10 at the door or $8 in advance, which includes two drinks (for those of age with ID), and other snacks and beverages will be provided (tickets can be purchased starting this Thursday, February 16, in Anderson 116 or 107B). For more information, check out the event page on Facebook, and you can email IFSA with any questions.

IFSA heartily invites all faculty, staff and students to attend all of these events. Hosting CARM is a huge undertaking—from housing the many out-of-state guests, to pulling together a full slate of activities throughout the week—and they are eager to show off the incredible programs and community we have here at SEFS. So take a look at the schedule for this week-long event, and we hope you’ll join in as many events as you can!

Director’s Message: Winter 2016

While I was biking into work this past Monday, the air was incredibly cool and crisp, and the sky was actually somewhat blue for a change. I remember thinking, “What a perfect way to start another work week in January.” Then, as I walked into Anderson Hall I heard the sound of someone playing piano up in the Forest Club Room. Those notes reinforced my optimistic feeling for the week and made me think of our wonderful community at SEFS—and, in many ways, how much of it revolves around that room.

The 26-foot noble fir, brought up from Pack Forest for the SEFS Holiday Party this year, soars toward the ceiling of the Forest Club Room.
The 26-foot noble fir, brought up from Pack Forest for the SEFS Holiday Party this year, soars toward the ceiling of the Forest Club Room.

When Agnes Anderson donated the financial support to build Anderson Hall in the early 1920s, she stipulated that the large room on the second floor was to be known as the Forest Club Room, and that it would forever be dedicated to students within our School. Her intent was to create a reading room and a common space where students could gather, discuss, study, invent, reflect, forecast and celebrate. The room also happens to be visually impressive, as it has a vaulted gabled ceiling with chandelier lights, a balcony, a large fireplace that we use at annual events, and tall multi-paneled windows that create a cozy, naturally lit atmosphere. It has picked up a few other more eclectic features over the years—such as the elk head mounted on the balcony railing—yet is has remained a warm and inviting space.

For us, as well, it means so much more. Since coming to the University of Washington in 2012, I have emphasized the importance of community within the School, and the Forest Club Room plays a key role in uniting us as friends and colleagues. Sure, the couches are a bit tattered and the tables wobbly—and the carpet seems to attract a remarkable assortment of crumbs—but the room represents so much that is great about our programs, our history, our integrity, our enthusiasm and dedication to our science. It’s the staging ground for scores of meetings and social events, and a catalyst for interdisciplinary activities. Just in the past few months, the room has hosted receptions after SEFS graduate seminars; it was the site of the SEFS Holiday party, a Pecha Kucha night with the International Forestry Students’ Association, and a couple Dead Elk parties that echoed laughter through Anderson Hall late into the evening. In the next few months, the room will be home to a Natural Resources Career Fair, the Graduate Student Symposium and prospective graduate student weekend, a Capstone Poster Session to showcase undergraduate research, thesis and dissertation defenses, and so many other solo and group work sessions. The secret is out, too, as just last year the UW Daily ranked the room as one of the best study spots on campus.

Even as we plan for Anderson Hall to get a major refurbishment in the next several years, we will make sure the Forest Club Room remains almost exactly as it is today, just with updated lighting, insulation and windows. After all, the room is like so much of what we offer in our School—unpretentious, welcoming and enriching. On chilly and rainy winter days, especially, it is both a place of retreat and the platform for an advance. It is part of the very fabric that makes us such a special and cohesive program. So, as the piano softly plays in the Forest Club Room, I welcome you as students, colleagues, alumni and friends to come and enjoy this warm and wonderful space during the cold, dark months of winter—and any other time you find yourself in these halls.

Tom DeLuca
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences

Next Wednesday (1/6): Pecha Kucha Night!

Coming up after the SEFS Seminar and reception next Wednesday, January 6, the UW Local Committee of the International Forestry Students’ Association will be hosting its second-annual Pecha Kucha Night in the Forest Club Room at 5 p.m.!

Pecha Kucha 2016Developed in Japan, Pecha Kucha is a rapid style of presentation designed to elegantly yet efficiently introduce people to new research or discussion topics. Typically, presentations are well practiced and on par with the quality of a TED talk, and you can expect to see about six mini-talks on Wednesday highlighting a diverse range of research interests from undergraduate and graduate students at SEFS. Twenty slides, 20 seconds each—that’s a lot of tightly packed brilliance!

All students, staff, faculty and friends are welcome, and you can contact Rachel Yonemura for more information.

See you there!