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The history of DEMO: An experiment in regeneration harvest of northwestern forest ecosystems. Northwest Science 73:3-11.



 A Joint Meeting of the

Northwest Scientific Association


Pacific Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science


Northwest Lichenologists

Reconnecting Regionally

March 21-24, 2023


Western Washington University, Bellingham

Plenary and oral sessions hybrid—in person, with remotely presented talks possible

Full meeting program, including abstracts

 Student support offered from Northwest Lichenologists.  Also, poster awards to be offered from AAAS-PD.

Program at a glance

Tuesday – March 21

Wednesday – March 22

  • Morning and afternoon plenary speakers and special sessions
  • Workshops, concurrent contributed/invited oral sessions
  • Social and poster session with poetry competition

Thursday – March 23

  • Morning and afternoon plenary speakers and special sessions
  • Workshops, concurrent contributed/Invited oral sessions
  • NWSA business meeting and lunch – all invited and lunch included with registration
  • Social and poster session with awards

Friday – March 24

  • Field trips

Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Meeting location: Academic Instruction Building, WWU

Plenary speakers

Frank Lawrence IIIDeputy Director of the Lummi Natural Resources Department: Welcome to the lands of the Lhag’temish, the Lummi people

Michèle Koppes, University of British Columbia: Braiding knowledges of braided rivers: embracing place-based, local and indigenous knowledges, and lived experience in the science of landscapes 

The societal and environmental crises of today require a holistic, critical and systems understanding of our relationship to and with the Earth. We now live in an era where all components of the Earth surface, from glaciers to rivers to forests to oceans to hillsides, are responding to the cascading effects of anthropogenic climate change. The climate emergency is defined, on the one hand, by state failures, pandemics, increasingly widespread wildfires, catastrophic floods and other critical natural hazards. On the other, it is simply an intensification of ongoing, inequitable environmental change imposed on Indigenous peoples by colonialism. We hence need to be more critical of how our observations and predictions of climate and landscape change, derived using data collected from sensors in the sky or probes in the ground, exclude the lived experiences, perspectives and histories of the people inhabiting these landscapes. We need to examine how using a singular, objective standpoint in the scientific process privileges determinism over other ways of seeing and being. 

To reorient the geosciences towards a more ethical and societally-relevant role, the scientific community in particular needs to embrace indigenous, local and place-based knowledges of the land and our role in shaping it, particularly as the communities most affected by the climate crisis are the least involved in guiding our scientific efforts and outcomes.

Using examples from around the Pacific Northwest, I invite the community to imagine how we might revisit how we understand landscapes from more than one perspective in time and space, frame new research questions that require integrating new (and old) ways of seeing landscape change, and embrace the multiplicity of worldviews possible - and necessary - for achieving more holistic and just approaches to climate adaptation.

John Clague, Simon Fraser University: Giant ice-age floods – an example from British Columbia 

At the end of the Pleistocene, a glacier-dammed lake in central British Columbia suddenly drained, causing a megaflood along the Fraser River valley. Floodwater travelled 330 km down the valley to Hope, British Columbia, and from there to the west into the Salish Sea near Vancouver. The flood was caused by the failure of a glacier dam that blocked the Fraser Valley on the British Columbia Interior Plateau, impounding a lake that was over 250 m deep at the dam and contained about 500 km3 of water. The rapid escape of this water through the breach deeply incised a thick Pleistocene sediment fill in the Fraser Valley to the south and transported much of this sediment into the Salish Sea west of Vancouver and Bellingham. The rapid draining of the lake was immediately followed by rapid aggradation of sediment on the lake floor. This fill was subsequently and rapidly incised, leaving paraglacial gravel terraces on the lake floor up to 100 m above the present channel of Fraser River. Terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide and radiocarbon ages indicate that the megaflood happened about 11,500 years ago, at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition.
In this presentation, I describe and discuss how geomorphologists and geologists sleuth ancient megaflood events. The evidence for the floodws includes boulder-strewn bars and streamlined ‘whaleback’ ridges, gravel dune fields, terraces sloping opposite present-day stream channels, sheets of massive to poorly sorted gravel containing large boulders and rip-up clasts , and backwater flood sediments. I provide examples of these landforms and sediments from my own work and the work of other researchers who have documented even larger megafloods from glacial Lake Missoula and a lake in the Russian Altai Mountains.

Nathan Kuwada, Central Washington University: Dynamic mechanisms responsible for structure and organization in bacterial cells

Despite its diminutive size, the bacterial cell exhibits precise and dynamic cellular-scale structure and organization throughout its life cycle. Here we will describe biophysical approaches to uncover the mechanisms that allow bacteria to measure cellular-scale lengths using a molecular-scale toolkit.

Jozef StecMarshall B. Ketchum University; President, AAAS-Pacific Division: Ancient and modern infectious diseases: An overview of their impacts on global health, economy, and security

The presentation is aimed at providing participants with a broader overview of various types of infectious diseases that plagued humankind through millennia whereas some other infections emerged just recently. Additionally, the socioeconomic impact and related implications of pathogen-caused diseases will be briefly discussed.

Special Sessions

  • The science of making change: occupying the political space — Sam Gutierrez, Washington State Senate

Join us for a (mostly) virtual discussion regarding data driven approaches at different levels of government.  With: Senator John Lovick, Senator Patty Kuderer, Senator Lisa Wellman, and others.

  • Climate impacts and adaptations —Upekala Wijayratne, USFS; Nicole DeCrappeo, USGS Climate Adaptation Center; Jessica Halofsky, USDA Climate Hub; and Carol MacIlroy, Skagit Climate Science Consortium
Climate change and impacts to natural resources have been predicted for the past few decades. As those predictions have begun to manifest, there is a growing body of research into climate adaptation strategies and management. We invite speakers working in the Pacific Northwest to discuss applied research and land management in the age of climate change.
  • Tribal sovereignty and climate impacts (Panel discussion) — Stevan Harrell, University of Washington
    • Cecelia Gobin, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission: Tribal Treaty Rights: A Higher Duty in the Face of Climate Change and Environmental Justice
    • Meade B. Krosby, Senior Scientist, Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington: The Tribal Coastal Resilience Project: Lessons in Ethical and Effective Collaboration Among Tribal and Academic Partners
    • George Swanaset Jr: Cultural Resource Director at Nooksack Indian Tribe


How to use low-stakes writing in science classes to promote scientific thinking — Sarah Perrault, Director Writing Intensive Curriculum Program Oregon State University and Veronica Galva, Department of Psychology, University of San Diego.

Research shows that low-stakes writing helps students learn course material and learn how to think in disciplinary ways, but faculty are often unsure about how to teach writing, or worried about increased grading loads. This workshop will cover effective and low-stress ways to incorporate writing into science classes to support students’ understanding and retention of concepts, and to help students develop scientific ways of thinking. You are welcome to bring an assignment you will get feedback on during the workshop, or to simply show up with some ideas that you want to develop further.

Lichen workshop

Wed 22 March 1:30 PM Forest Service lichen indicator plot training and certification at location to be decided. A plot will be set up and those who are interested can come test themselves, or be certified for plot sampling. This is a typical FIA plot of about an acre where you collect as many epiphytic macrolichens as you can find and assign abundance ratings. Amanda Hardman will be the certifier, contact her if you are interested at Space is limited.

Field trips

Estuaries: Science and Resource Management

This field trip will tour the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Skagit Delta to learn how research informs natural and cultural resource management. The Reserve encompasses 12,000 acres of estuarine and upland habitat and hosts a wide range of research across the marine-terrestrial boundary. The trip will also stop at two field sites and the Reserve lab and visitor center to hear from scientists, educators, and resource managers about research applied to address coastal ecology, geomorphology, climate change impacts, tidal and upland habitat restoration, invasive species management, coastal infrastructure resilience, land-use practices, and more.

  • There is no trip fee. There is limited space in a van, otherwise please provide your transportation.
  • Trip leaders: Eric Grossman (USGS) and Roger Fuller (PBNERR).

Lichens and Bryophytes

Organized by Northwest Lichenologists.

  • Fees to be determined.

Skagit River History and Hydropower (canceled)

The upper Skagit River watershed is home to three dams that make up the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project operated by Seattle City Light.  On this bus tour, you will learn about the Skagit River’s geologic and natural history, how these dams were built, how they are currently operated, and how they are managed in an ecosystem approach to support water management, fish and wildlife, cultural resources, and recreation.

  • Trip leaders: Ronda Strauch (SCL) and Michael Aronowitz (SCL).

Program chairs: Jon Reidel (NPS, retired), Leo Bodensteiner (WWU), and Bob Hickey (CWU)

Program committee: Brian Atwater, Robin Lesher, Daniel Gavin, Upekala Wijayratne

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