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

Gawel-Jim UWT Associate Professor

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

Global Honors Students Shine at Honors Conference

Global Honors 1Global Honors 2

Four Global Honors students–Kellsey Bledsoe (Environmental Studies), Bronwyn Clarke (PP&E), Kate Drohman (Accounting) and Mason Pellegrini (Writing Studies), were accepted to present their 2015-16 Bamford Fellowship in Global Engagement (BFGE) research at the 2016 Western Regional Honors Council (WRHC) Conference, which was held in Riverside, CA this weekend.

Bronwyn and Kate presented their project, How to do Global Research: You don’t have to go to Haiti, in the conference’s ‘Innovative Education’ session (photo 1). This drew upon their recent experience conducting primary research in Los Angeles public schools. Kellsey and Mason presented their project, Environmental Activism Strategies and the Palm Oil Crisis, in the conference’s student poster session (photo 2). For their stellar efforts, they were awarded third prize in the highly competitive Humanities, Social Sciences and Fine Arts category.

Please join me in congratulating Kellsey, Bronwyn, Kate and Mason for representing UW Tacoma in such a prestigious setting, and for earning high recognition from our regional honors peers. They will also be presenting their research at the 2016 Global Honors Colloquium in William Philip Hall on Thursday, May 12 and Friday, May 13 – don’t miss out on the opportunity to catch them and other top-notch presenters in action!

Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) Conference

University of Washington Seattle hosted the annual Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) conference on Saturday February 27, 2016.  Per the College of Engineering at UW Seattle, the WISE conference is “a celebration of women in engineering academics and careers.”  It is a day of “educational and professional enrichment brings pre-college, undergraduate, and graduate students together with faculty, administrators, and professional women.”

Lots of great events were held at the WISE conference including a wonderful opening panel of 5 STEM women, several workshops, career resource fair, and a networking lunch.  A few volunteers from UW Tacoma Sciences and Mathematics (SAM) participated in and helped prep for this event: Aron Rigg, Lauren Wugalter and Meg Henderson.  Below are some pictures taken of Lauren and Meg during a demonstration at the conference:

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The next WISE conference will be held on February 18, 2017.  For more information about the WISE conference, please visit:


Costa Rica Field Studies: Ecology & Community

TESC 404 Costa Rica Field Studies: Ecology & Community

12 Credits

July 23rd – August 20th, 2016

Summer 2016 (B term)

Tropical Ecology and Sustainability

  • Field research studies and projects
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Coffee and cacao production
  • Hiking, wildlife and waterfalls
  • Indigenous cultural experience
  • Homestays with local families

Applications Due April 23, 2016

For more information: contact UW Tacoma Study Abroad


An exciting class is available this spring— Environmental Remote Sensing

Remote Sensing

!!!SPRING 2016 COURSE!!!


TTH 10:15-12:20

Faisal Hossain, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences,

University of Washington Tacoma


What is Remote Sensing?

Remote sensing deals with the acquisition of information using techniques that do not require actual contact with the object or area being observed.


How is Remote Sensing Useful for the Environment?

In an era of rising operating costs, declining networks and complex logistic hurdles to environmental monitoring remote sensing has a particular appeal for monitoring and managing environmental issues. Instruments flying high up in space, called satellites, and performing ‘remote sensing,’ can now a constant ‘eye’ to the state of our planet’s environment where change is constant. Remote sensing satellites are not affected by issues facing existing or planned traditional ground-based networks for monitoring our environment. In addition, they can cover a large area with fewer sensors. The best part, for most cases, is that the environmental data they monitor is FREE (for most parts) just like Google Earth.


What can I hope to learn from this course?

There are numerous satellite missions, sensors, data products on the environment that derive information on the basis of remote sensing. The situation however can be confusing to most practitioners and traditional researchers alike. For example, just for rainfall alone, there are a dozen different global products available in near-real-time that also provide fairly long record for water management, real-time operations or hydrologic design. A natural question that arises is ‘how can sieve through all numerous sensors, satellites, platforms and systems that are ‘out there’ to get to the ‘gist’ of environmental remote sensing? How do I find out the basics so that I can start applying remote sensing data for the environmental problems I am interested in?


If you are interested in seeking an answer to the above questions, then this course is for you. If you want to improve the current state of environmental management by leveraging best of both worlds (ground and satellite networks) and improve the professional practice on environment, then this course is for you.


Questions? Email Faisal Hossain – or visit WWW.SASWE.NET

UW Tacoma Faculty Member Dan Shugar Along With Colleagues Published a Paper in Science that Describes the Landslides Caused by the 2015 Nepal Earthquake

Before-and-after photographs of Nepal’s Langtang Valley showing the near-complete destruction of Langtang village due to a massive landslide caused by the 2015 Gorkha earthquake. Photos from 2012 (pre-quake) and 2015 (post-quake) by David Breahshears/GlacierWorks.

Before-and-after photographs of Nepal’s Langtang Valley showing the near-complete destruction of Langtang village due to a massive landslide caused by the 2015 Gorkha earthquake. Photos from 2012 (pre-quake) and 2015 (post-quake) by David Breahshears/GlacierWorks.

On April 25, 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal, eventually killing ~9,000 people and severely damaged a 550 x 200 km region in Nepal and neighbouring countries. A new study – published in Science – by IAS/SAM Assistant Professor Dan Shugar and colleagues describes the landslides that were caused by the earthquake and aftershocks, and evaluates their distribution in terms of geomorphic, tectonic and lithologic controls.  The day after the earthquake, a volunteer group of satellite analysts from a dozen countries was assembled by University of Arizona glacier hazards researcher Jeffrey Kargel, and coordinated by NASA. Shugar led a smaller group of volunteers in analysis of landslides and other induced geohazards in the Annapurna region of the Himalaya. In the end, the larger group mapped >4,300 landslides and found that their distribution was asymmetric about the epicenters of the main shock and largest aftershock(s). By comparing the landslides’ distribution with InSAR-generated ground displacement fields, the group noticed that the highest areal densities of landslides are developed on the downdropped northern tectonic block, which is likely explained by momentary reduction of the normal stress along planes of weakness during downward acceleration. Such a pattern has never before been observed for a large earthquake. The total number of landslides was also surprising, since far more landslides were expected for an earthquake of this magnitude. The paper was published in Science Express on Dec 16, and will appear in print in January 2016.


Kargel, Leonard, Shugar, et al., Geomorphic and Geologic Controls of Geohazards Induced by Nepal’s 2015 Gorkha Earthquake. Science.