Category Archives: Faculty

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

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:

Congratulations to SAM Associate Professor Jim Gawel for Earning the 2016 Community Engagement Award

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Congratulations to Dr. Jim Gawel!  “Dr. Gawel has devoted himself to creating connections and building pathways to science careers for students in local communities. He creates partnerships with K-12 and community colleges, launched the South Sound Sustainability Expo, employs Tacoma high school students in his scientific research, and builds middle school students’ interest in science and scientific inquiry.”

For more information on Dr. Gawel’s award and other awards given, please visit

Faculty Spotlight: Jennifer Quinn


UW Tacoma SIAS Faculty Member and Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Jennifer Quinn, has committed to walking 10,000 steps a day!

Dr. Quinn got a FitBit two years ago and it has drastically changed her lifestyle.  She went from walking 2,000 steps a day to a goal of walking 10,000 steps a day.  Dr. Quinn also  promotes her healthier lifestyle by her outlook on math and how it can be utilized.  She is currently illistrating a young adult novel that “integrates that beauty [beauty in people] with the functionality of math”.

To read more about Dr. Quinn’s healthy lifestyle and her current book project, please visit The Whole U for the full article “Faculty Friday: Jennifer Quinn