Winter quarter is well underway!  For those of you who are PoE alumni, recall that this was when you may have been deep into your capstone project, or looking forward to taking some exciting outdoor field-based courses in the spring.  Many of you made gifts last year to support the PoE Scholarship and Program funds, and I want to thank you again for your continued investment in our students. You know better than most the role that PoE plays in preparing its students to be well trained and respected environmental professionals and leaders.   

We have recently revamped the PoE website, you can see the improvements to content and design at

This quarter, with the leadership of Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow Tim Billo, PoE has launched an informal weekly brown bag seminar. To date we have heard fascinating talks on the Tar Sands project in Canada, tramping in Argentina, and an “upcycling” company called Metamorphic Gear founded by PoE alum Lindsay Lawrence. Please come and join us on Thursdays at 12:30 -1:30 in the PoE Commons. No registration is needed….just bring your lunch, we provide dessert!

Coming in spring, PoE and the Burke Museum will present a weekly seminar series called “Plastics Unwrapped: The good, the bad, the debate” from April 3 – May 22, 2013. This seminar offers an opportunity to further explore Plastics Unwrapped exhibit topics and related social, economic, and environmental impacts of the use and fate of plastics.  The series kicks off with a talk by award-winning science writer Susan Freinkel, author of the book Plastic: A Toxic Love Story on April 3 at 7pm in Kane Hall on the UW campus. 

Finally, graduate students in our Environmental Management Certificate will be presenting their final reports on their two-quarter Keystone Projects on Friday March 15, at 4:30 pm in Alder Hall. Projects include the UW Smart Residence Halls; Assessing Washington’s Working Coast; and Emerging Environmental Risks from Tar Sands.  Again, we welcome you to participate in this exciting symposium. 

Best wishes for the New Year!

Clare M. Ryan

Director, Program on the Environment
Ben Rabinowitz Professor of Human Dimensions of the Environment