Thoughts & Doings

The Congressman Al Swift Scholarship Endowment

By Daneet Steffens, WWU Alumni Association

The Congressman Al Swift Scholarship Endowment, available to students of Huxley College, was established in 1994 by a legislative colleague in recognition of Swift’s 16 years of positive environmental policy leadership, and also honors the former congressman’s commitment to education and the environment. It’s an endowment that Swift has been supporting for many years, partly spurred on by his own memories of putting himself through college.

“I was a truck driver’s son so I know from personal experience the problem of financing an education,” he says. “I’m extremely enthusiastic about providing support for a program that provides financial help to students, and I think it’s important to support them whatever their area of interest, whether that’s the environment, drama, literature, marine science–... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 5/12: Robyn Angliss on Unmanned Aerial Systems

As part of the 2015-16 Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series, Dr. Robyn Angliss from NOAA Fisheries will discuss using pilotless aircraft to study marine mammal populations at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 12 in Communications Facility 110 on the Western Washington University campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Manned aerial surveys are routinely used to collect key information on marine mammals, such as abundance and distribution. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) could augment or replace manned aerial surveys for some applications. In her Speaker Series talk titled “Using Unmanned Aerial Systems to Study Marine Mammal Populations,” Dr. Angliss will present case studies from recent projects to highlight successes as well as needs for operational and research improvements.

Robyn Angliss is the Deputy Director of the Marine Mammal Laboratory, Alaska... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 5/5: WWU Alumna Roberta Riley on Climate Change

As part of the 2015-16 Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series, WWU alumna Roberta Riley of CoolMom will discuss taking action on climate change at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 5 in Communications Facility 110 on the Western Washington University campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Out of a love for storytelling, Riley regularly ventures off to all corners of Washington State to meet people who are feeling the effects of climate change and coming up with ways to solve the problem. In her Speakers Series talk titled, "Climate Adventures Show and Tell," Riley, a 1982 Huxley College grad, will share a few videos of these stories, ask for feedback, and encourage audience members to share their own climate change stories.

Riley manages the Climate Adventures Program for CoolMom, a Seattle based nonprofit that unites families to take action on climate change through education... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 4/28: Larry Campbell on Indigenous Health Indicators

As part of the 2015-16 Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series, Larry Campbell, Tribal Historical Preservation Officer for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, will discuss the development of Indigenous health indicators at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 28 in Communications Facility 110 on the Western Washington University campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

In his Speaker Series talk titled “Why Developing Indigenous-specific Indicators of Health Matters,” Campbell will discuss the community health work he has long collaborated on with Dr. Jamie Donatuto, Environmental Community Health Analyst for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. Over the past 15 years, Campbell and Donatuto have worked together to develop and pilot-test health indicators that are responsive to Indigenous health. Campbell’s talk will describe the evolution of this work, including methods, initial results, and current iterations. He will... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 4/21: Rebekah Paci-Green on Earthquake Risk Reduction

As part of the 2015-16 Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series, Dr. Rebekah Paci-Green will discuss earthquake risk reduction in Nepal at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 21 in Communications Facility 110 on the Western Washington University campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Nepalese communities live on top of the world’s most active seismic zone. For the last two decades, organizations have attempted to reduce the impacts of these events by strengthening Nepalese public schools using a variety low-cost retrofitting and community development strategies. The April 2015 Gorkha earthquake, a massive magnitude M9.0 event, damaged over 90 percent of the schools in the effected region and put these school retrofitting projects to the ultimate test.

Three months after the earthquake, Dr. Paci-Green and colleague Dr. Bishnu Pandey assessed these... Continue reading

Career Workshop - How to Get a Job in Sustainability

Kevin Wilhelm, CEO of Sustainable Business Consulting, will do a fast paced, roll up your sleeves workshop to help students understand "The Keys to Sustainable Jobs." Kevin has worked with over 500 professionals, CSR leaders, and students in helping them find their dream job in sustainability.

This workshop will take place Thursday, April 21, from 2-3 in CF 227. Any major can attend. Free to all WWU students, staff, faculty and alumni.

ESCI's Brooke Love Receives WWU's 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award

Brooke Love from Huxley College's Department of Environmental Sciences has been selected to receive one of two prestigious WWU faculty teaching awards made possible by the Western Foundation. Love, who was chosen to receive the 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award for faculty from the colleges of Business and Economics, Fairhaven, Fine and Performing Arts, Huxley, and Woodring, will receive a check for $1000 and be recognized at a reception hosted by the Provost and Faculty Senate at the end of April.

For more information on faculty awards and recognition at Western, please visit the Office of the Provost's Awards page.

Huxley Speaker Series 4/14: Kevin Schneider on the Electricity Infrastructure

As part of the 2015-16 Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series, Dr. Kevin Schneider from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will discuss Electricity Infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 14 in Communications Facility 110 on the Western Washington University campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

In the 130 years since electricity came to Washington State, the region’s electricity infrastructure has continually grown and evolved to meet the demands of customers. While early changes focused on the best voltage to use and which companies should supply which regions, recent issues have focused on what is the best mix of generation assets and how to best incorporate emerging smart grid technologies.

Some of the issues facing the industry today include high penetration levels of wind generation, aging infrastructure, privacy concerns with customer information, and cyber-security. In... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 4/7: WWU's David Wallin on Cascades Mountain Goat Populations

As part of the 2015-16 Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series, Dr. David Wallin will discuss mountain goat populations in the Washington Cascades at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 7 in Communications Facility 110 on the Western Washington University campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Mountain goats inhabit remote, mountainous terrain from Alaska to the western territories of Canada and south to Washington, Idaho and Montana, where they play an important role in shaping alpine plant communities and as prey for large predators. Mountain goat populations in Washington state have declined by 70% or more since the 1950s, probably as a result of overhunting. Although alpine habitat throughout most of the Washington Cascades and southern BC is largely intact, the intervening low elevation habitat has undergone varying degrees of anthropogenic alterations.

In his Speaker Series talk titled... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 3/10: Sam Cushman on Landscape Genetics

As part of the 2015-16 Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series, Sam Cushman from the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station will discuss landscape genetics in carnivore conservation at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 10 in Communications Facility 110 on the Western Washington University campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Landscape genetics is an interdisciplinary field that integrates approaches from landscape ecology and population genetics to explore how geographical and environmental features structure genetic variation in both individuals and populations. The current focus of the field is on assessing how landscapes facilitate the movement of organisms, a concept known as landscape connectivity.

In his Speaker Series talk titled “Applications of Landscape Genetics, Connectivity Modeling, and Carnivore Conservation,” Cushman will present applications of... Continue reading

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