Congratulations to Brian Hite on his new role as Staff Water Resources Engineer with Aspect!

Congratulations to Brian Hite on his new role as Staff Water Resources Engineer with Aspect!

Brian graduated from UW Tacoma in June 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science.  Brian is one of the recent additions to Aspect’s stormwater team in Seattle, Washington.  Below are some questions asked of Brian to get to know him better (pic and text taken from

1.    Where are you from? If you’re not from the Pacific Northwest, what brought you here? 
I was born, raised and still live in the small town of Puyallup, Washington, an hour south of Seattle. I love this area. It is near my family and friends, and I plan to retire here one day. I have decided to stay here because of the small-town feel and its proximity to the big cities.

2.    What inspired you to pursue water resources? What made you curious about it?
I decided to pursue a career in water resources later in my life. I was injured in my previous construction career and was free to pursue any job out there. I was drawn to water resources and the stormwater field because I could see the effects of massive non-point pollution and I didn’t see a good solution on the horizon. I joined the fight against water pollution to ensure my kids and future generations will be able to enjoy clean surface water.

3.    What do you like best about your area of expertise? What excites you and keeps you motivated? 
I love this field of work because it gives me the opportunity to help our neighborhood in a meaningful way. This work is also a lot of fun, allowing me to both work outside and in a nice office with great people.

4.    What do you like to do when you aren’t working? 
When I’m not at work, I am a family man who enjoys spending time at home. I am dangerous at video games like Madden, but I also like many outdoor activities. I love to bike, swim, and go camping with my family. Next year, my 10-year-old and I plan on attempting a Seattle-to-Portland bike ride.

5.    Where in the world would you like to travel next? 
For me, I would love to travel to New Orleans. I love the food and I am intrigued by the culture. The music from the area is one of a kind. The idea of spending my morning exploring the mouth of the Mississippi, jambalaya for lunch, and dinner spent on a ghost tour would be great.

SAM Assistant Professor Dan Shugar Published Article in Nature Geoscience

Congratulations to SIAS Sciences and Mathematics Assistant Professor, Dan Shugar for his recent publication on his research “River piracy and drainage basin reorganization led by climate-driven glacier retreat” in Nature Geoscience!

“So far, a lot of the scientific work surrounding glaciers and climate change has been focused on sea-level rise,” Shugar said. “Our study shows there may be other underappreciated, unanticipated effects of glacial retreat.”

You can read the online article here:…/jo…/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2932.html

SAM Alumni, Anna Park, Admitted to NY University College of Dentistry!

Congratulations to one of our very own SAM alumni, Anna Park.  Anna was recently admitted to New York College of Dentistry and will start fall 2017.

With dental school in her near future, Anna is looking forward to making friendships and working with fellow dental students and faculty who share the same passion for dentistry.  When we asked Anna what aided her the most at UW Tacoma in her journey towards dental school, she replied “I used to regret missing out on the typical college lifestyle and experience most students get at a larger institution, but the smaller class sizes and student to faculty ratio at UW Tacoma have played a significant role in my success. Many of my friends who attended large universities have told me that they feel like just another number or another face in their classes and they don’t feel a close connection to their instructors. AT UW Tacoma, I felt that my instructors genuinely cared about me and always took the time to reach out to me to make sure I succeed in my classes.”

Congratulations Anna and good luck on your new and exciting journey ahead!

Senior Lecturer, Linda Dawson, Publishes Book: The Politics and Perils of Space Exploration

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Congratulations to UW Tacoma Senior Lecturer, Linda Dawson for the upcoming release of her new book “The Politics and Perils of Space Exploration” to be released at the end of the month by Springer.

The book is written by a graduate from NASA Langley Research Center, this book offers a complete overview of all of NASA’s next steps in space, including how future space exploration is to be funded and how space tourism is to be regulated.  Dawson’s book summarized future space exploration plans in development both in the US an abroad, including the increased shift to space privatization as changes in NASA’s mission bring it into partnership with commercial space companies.  The book considered the US political climate regarding its tolerance for risk in space travel and whether the US will continue to invest in the space arena, as the SpaceShip Two crash illustrates why mistakes become deadly.

In order to tell this story, it is important to understand the politics of space as well as the dangers, why it is so difficult to explore and utilize the resources of space.  Some past and reent triumphs and failures will be discussed, pointing the way to a successful space policy that includes taking risks but also learning to to mitigate them.

For more information please click HERE.



The Peace Community Center has been funded to provide before, during, and after-school enrichment programs for the K-12 students of Tacoma. They’ve work with these kids from Kindergarten all the way up to college, and many of the attendees come back as college students to intern with them and work with future generations of K-12 kids!

McCarver Elementary is one of the places that these enrichment programs are held (the elementary enrichments specifically), which is where my students and I were every Monday in November from 4-5pm. We did different chemistry (and general science) demos and activities with the kids each week (I have everything written down in terms of activities/demos with the schedule), and I will be partnering with them in the future for more enrichment programs!

Originally I intended to have faculty volunteer to help out, but because of busy schedules I ended up having some of my TESC141 students volunteer (no incentives needed, it was amazing!!), and they worked with the kids and had an absolute blast!!

Lauren Wugalter

How Art Helps Us Understand Invertebrates & How Invertebrates Make Great Art



Dr. Bonnie Becker (Associate Professor in Sciences and Mathematics of SIAS is working with the Museum of Glass as the science curator for “Into the Deep”, an exhibit of glass about the ocean.

Discover the connection between art and zoology with University of Washington, Tacoma, professor Bonnie Becker. There is a little known, but long-standing, relationship between art and invertebrate zoology. Probably the most famous artistic representation of an invertebrate is Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, although humans have been creating images of marine invertebrates for thousands of years. When studying organisms like marine invertebrates, scientists need to have an eye for detail, an ability to describe complex structures, and a recognition of the relationship between form and function. Because of this, there are many examples of zoologists who dabble in art and artists who dabble in zoology. This talk will take a closer look at the science and art of animals without backbones.

Free with admission.


Z Boat Shipped to SAM Assistant Professor Dan Shugar!

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Sciences and Mathematics (SAM) Assistant Professor, Dan Shugar, has received his shipment from Teledyne Oceansciences of a custom remote operated Z Boat! Dan will be heading out on two remote locations this summer to Alaska and Canada to do bathymetric mapping of fjord and a glacial river in Alaska and Yukon to develop more accurate tsunami models and to improve understanding of river geomorphology.
For more information on Dan’s boat and research, please visit: