Saving Forest Ecosystems: A Century Plus of Research and Education at the University of Washington


Christina Bjarvin

MS candidate, CINTRAFOR Lab

School of Environmental and Forest Sciences

University of Washington


Rating 4.5/5


I enjoyed reading this book. It was well written, well researched and had a good flow. The book was useful in showing me the rich and complex history of SEFS, most of which was new to me. I imagine that the Washington state forest ecosystem descriptions would be very useful for out-of-state students. Even as a local Washingtonian, I learned so much about the history of this area and how different natural features were named.


I especially enjoyed the parts about the college memorabilia over the years, the section detailing the 6 influential foresters (I’ve heard of some of them but learned something new about each one), the section about the terms of previous Deans and the work they accomplished. My favorite section was about the Arboretum, since that’s the topic I knew least about and learned the most about from this book.


There weren’t any topics I think this book was lacking, but I felt that the research areas section was interesting but a bit too long for my tastes, and perhaps that’s because I’m somewhat well aware of the research areas our current faculty are involved in already. I personally found the following section on research centers and cooperatives more interesting. However, I would imagine that undergrads who are interested in doing undergrad research or continuing on to a Master’s or PhD would be more interested in the faculty research areas, since it could help them gain a better idea of who they should talk to about mentoring them. Another note I have is that while I liked that final chapter included a call to action about climate change and the future direction of SEFS, the way it ended felt very sudden. Rather than finishing with a paragraph about diversity and inclusion (which is very important, of course), I think it would have flowed better to have one final summarizing paragraph.


I think this book would be useful and interesting to both undergrads and grad students in SEFS- the book has enough detail to provide benefit to a range of different students. The stories of undergrad alums would be particularly insightful to students who are uncertain about the direction of their future career by providing ideas of some of the possibilities available to them, and the overall history of SEFS faculty, buildings, etc. would be interesting to grad students wanting to learn more about the school. I would gladly recommend it to anyone in SEFS.


Nov. 5, 2021