EoPS panel discussion video now available


For those of you who couldn't make it to the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound kickoff last week, you can view a video of the panel discussion, or read the transcript. You can also check out photos of the event on our Facebook page.

For those of you who couldn't make it to the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound kickoff last week, you can view a video of the panel discussion, or read the transcript. You can also check out photos of the event on our Facebook page. Thanks to our all-star group of panelists—Tracy Barbaro, Jen Davison, Rob Fatland, Michael Pidwirny and Mary Ruckelshaus— and to panel moderator Lisa Graumlich, dean of the UW College of the Environment (view all bios below). We were joined by an enthusiastic crowd of close to 150 people that filled up the SAFS auditorium, and the event was a big step forward. Thanks to everyone for helping us build what we hope will be the go-to place to find the best-available science about the Puget Sound ecosystem.

Panelist and organization bios

Mary Ruckelshaus

Mary Ruckelshaus is the Managing Director of the Natural Capital Project. Based in Seattle, Washington, she has led the Ecosystem Science Program at NOAA’s Fisheries Science Center and taught biological sciences at Florida State University. Her research is focused on developing ecological models of environmental services in marine systems. Ruckelshaus is a trustee on the Washington board of The Nature Conservancy, and previously chaired the Science Advisory Board at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. She has a bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University, and a master’s in fisheries and doctorate in botany from the University of Washington. She previously served as Chief Scientist for the Puget Sound Partnership.

Natural Capital Project: The Natural Capital Project, a partnership between the Nature Conservancy, Stanford University, and the World Wildlife Fund, began in the fall of 2006. The goal is to model success at incorporating economic valuation of ecosystem services into policy decisions, such that natural capital approaches become standard practice for governments and businesses. They are currently building and testing tools for valuing natural capital, and have projects in China, Belize, Canada, Ecuador, Indonesia, Tanzania, Uganda, and the United States.  Co-founder Gretchen Daily recently received the 2012 Volvo Environment Prize.

Michael Pidwirny

Michael Pidwirny is an Associate Professor of Physical Geography at the University of British Columbia, Okanogan. He received his PhD from Simon Fraser University, in British Columbia, and also studied at the University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba. His research interests include climate change, use of technology in education, and the impact of land-use change on biodiversity. He maintains a popular educational web portal about physical geography ( and is working on a second site ( He is a board member for the Encyclopedia of Earth.

Encyclopedia of Earth: The Encyclopedia of Earth (EoE) is a free online resource for content about the planet, the sciences, and the interaction of natural environments with human society. Over 1,400 scholars, professionals, educators and experts contribute and review content. The EoE is a nonprofit organization governed by the Environmental Information Coalition (EIC), and is committed to providing programs, services, and content for public benefit.

Tracy Barbaro

Tracy Barbaro received her M.S. in Education from the University of New Haven and a B.A. in Political Science from Bates College. She has worked for the Boston Public School system, the Student Conservation Association, AmeriCorps, and the National Park Service, and is currently the Project Coordinator for the Encyclopedia of Life.

Encyclopedia of Life: The Encyclopedia of Life is an online portal that began in 2007 with the goal of providing a webpage for every species on Earth. Funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur and Alfred P. Sloan foundations, the EOL has expanded from five original institutions (the Field Museum, Harvard University, the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Marine Biology Laboratory , and the Smithsonian Institution) to a global community of contributors. The EOL administers the Rubenstein Fellows Program, which provides partial funding for up to a year to scientists to translate biodiversity research and data into online resources.

Jennifer Davison

Jennifer Davison is a research scientist in the College of the Environment at the University of Washington where she works to accelerate the communication of science, both within the College and from the College to its surrounding communities. Jen develops and facilitates collaborative initiatives and new media platforms to communicate the process and outcomes of the College’s scientific research, of which ScienceOnlineSeattle is one example.  She also does her own research, focused on the effects of climate change on large landscapes. Before joining the College of the Environment, Jen studied landscape and community dynamics and their responses to environmental change at the University of Arizona. She also spent many summers as a river guide, exploring and sharing the history, ecology and unique features of desert Southwest ecosystems. It was in these interactions that Jen found her passion for science communication. Her technophilia derives from her background in geospatial data analysis and visualization, and her previous life as a software developer.

ScienceOnlineSeattle: ScienceOnlineSeattle is a local event series that facilitates discussions of science, communication, and technology, through monthly gatherings and online interactions. The Seattle chapter belongs to the larger ScienceOnline organization, a non-profit that has been hosting an annual conference since 2007, with the goal of building community and collaborations between scientists, educators, journalists, bloggers, students, and anyone interested in how the Web is changing science communication.

Lisa Graumlich

Lisa Graumlich, known for her research on climate and ecosystems, received her doctorate in Forest Resources from the University of Washington in 1985. She has previously worked as director for the Institute for Study of the Planet Earth at the University of Arizona and director of the Big Sky Institute at Montana State University. In July of 2010, Graumlich began her tenure as Dean of the College of the Environment at the University of Washington. A paleoecologist, she investigates adaptation to climate change in ecosystems and human societies, with a focus on severe drought. In spring of 2010, she testified before the U.S. House of Representative Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

Rob Fatland

Rob Fatland works at Microsoft Research on applications of technology to information challenges in environmental science. His career has included research in glacier dynamics and seismically-driven surface deformation based on data from synthetic aperture radar satellites. He has also worked on embedded systems technology, developing wireless sensor networks for harsh environments. At MSR he works to release research tools such as Layerscape (a collaboration/visualization system) and SciScope (a search engine for hydrology data) for adoption and use by both academic and operational geoscience communities.