If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place. -Margaret Mead


The School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS) is a part of the College of the Environment at the University of Washington (UW). The UW is an institution committed to promoting respect for the rights and privileges of all, understanding and appreciation of human differences, and the constructive expression of ideas, and is currently working on a Race & Equity Initiative. Read more about this initiative in the report, "Focusing on Race & Advancing Equity," from November 2015.

At SEFS, we are committed to promoting diversity in our faculty, staff and students, and we strongly believe it makes us a better school—very much echoing a New York Times article on December 9, 2015, “Diversity Makes You Brighter.” In the story, authors Sheen Levine and David Stark write, "Diversity improves the way people think. By disrupting conformity, racial and ethnic diversity prompts people to scrutinize facts, think more deeply and develop their own opinions. Our findings show that such diversity actually benefits everyone, minorities and majority alike.”

Our diversity efforts at SEFS are closely aligned and collaborative with others at UW, and we have identified the following tasks and goals for our diversity team:

  • Track diversity efforts within the School
  • Find new ways of recruiting diverse, especially underrepresented minority faculty, staff and students
  • Seek to find and remove barriers to diversity at the School
  • Create partnerships with and learn best practices from other diversity efforts, both on and off campus
  • Involve diverse members of the School in leadership and mentorship

With broad input and endorsement by all SEFS faculty, we annually develop a graduate program diversity plan to increase the diversity of the graduate student population. Our plan for the next academic year is posted each January following a faculty vote.

The SEFS Diversity Team encourages you to contact us directly:

Staff Representative: Michelle Trudeau, Director, Student and Academic Services, 206-616-1533, michtru@uw.edu
Faculty Representative: Ernesto Alvarado, Research Associate Professor, 206-616-6920, alvarado@uw.edu

Diversity Committee Members:

Name Chair Title
Michelle Trudeau Chair Director of Academic and Student Services
Josh Lawler
Indroneil Ganguly
Research Assistant Professor
Ernesto Alvarado
Research Associate Professor
Brian Harvey
Assistant Professor
Fernando Resende
Assistant Professor
Renata Bura
Associate Professor

Also, we encourage you to explore the following links to resources and efforts:

College of the Environment Diversity Resources for Faculty and Staff
Provides a list of resources including funding opportunities, hiring guidelines, and links to other resources.

UW Diversity Page
Provides a general UW diversity portal to the programs and efforts on and off campus, as well as resources for students, faculty and staff.

UW Tribal Relations
This UW Diversity web page centralizes Native American resources on the Seattle campus. There are pages for the Intellectual House and Tribal Leadership Summit. The Summit includes a Memorandum of Understanding between the Intertribal Timber Council and SEFS, which helps to provide scholarship support for qualified Tribal students.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Program strives to increase the participation of women in academic science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers with funding opportunities for individuals and organizations to help pursue these goals.

Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center
The ECC has a wealth of resources and opportunities available to students including student advising, organizational development, personal growth and referrals to different departments and programs.

Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP)
As a unit of the UW Graduate School, GO-MAP is committed to serving the needs of students of color and students from other underrepresented groups, while simultaneously fostering an educational and social environment in which all students can learn and develop through experiences rich in cultural, ethnic and racial diversity.

UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity
The mission of the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity is to ensure the access and academic success of diverse populations through the advancement of knowledge, academic excellence, diversity and the promotion of values, principles and a climate that enriches the campus experience for all.

Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences
MANRRS provides networks to support professional development of minorities.

Intertribal Timber Council
Established in 1976, the ITC is a nonprofit nation-wide consortium of Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Corporations and individuals dedicated to improving the management of natural resources of importance to Native American communities. Also provides student scholarships.

SEEDS is an education program of the Ecological Society of America. Its mission is to diversify and advance the ecology profession through opportunities that stimulate and nurture the interest of underrepresented students to not only participate in ecology, but to lead.

Discussing Diversity in Film (from the New York Times)
25 Mini-Films for Exploring Race, Bias and Identity With Students.

Seattle Milk Fund
Seattle Milk Fund empowers parents toward higher education opportunities by funding child care grants and providing family support.