Letter of Intent
Project Size: 
Small, <$1,000
Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: 
$1,000
Letter of Intent: 

Define the campus environmental problem that you are attempting to solve:
We are attempting to expand diversity on campus through the implementation of barn owl boxes around campus. Many urban sites have lost species such as barn owls due to loss of habitat and construction. Today we see a strong push for habitat to be brought back to these urban areas. At the University of Washington we have many acceptable areas for barn owls to nest and forage. This project was developed in Justin Hellier's class and would be a fantastic example of sustainability projects extending past the classroom and into action.

Describe your proposed solution to this problem:
We propose the incorporation of several owl nesting boxes on conifer trees located near Denny Field, William H. Gates Law Library, and the Union Bay Natural Area. Through a physical survey of campus, we found specific trees in these areas that meet the necessary criteria for barn owl habitat. The boxes will be anchored to the trees using rings that will wrap around the circumference of the trunk, and can be loosened periodically to accommodate the growth of the tree. It is our hope that within two years, one or more barn owls will encounter these boxes and take up residence on campus. We chose barn owls because they are commonly found in the Pacific Northwest, provide natural pest control, can easily live in human-modified environments, and they are a dynamic “charismatic mega-fauna” that will add complexity to biodiversity at UW.
 
What form and amount of student leadership will your project involve?
Because the owl boxes require maintenance, the majority of student leadership will come from the students involved in executing the project. We will require knowledgeable student volunteers to aid in the construction and placement of the boxes. We will also be coordinating with the Burke Natural History Museum student committee to arrange for the required annual cleaning of each box.
 
What type and amount of outreach and education will your project involve?
We believe this project has the potential to provide numerous educational opportunities to the UW community. With involvement through the Burke Museum Student Committee, and outreach to multiple classes we would like to think that UW students will become involved. Making the boxes known will include an article in the UW Daily, and by contacting environmental RSOs on campus to tell their members about the project. This project was also conceived in Sustainability Studio, an upper level environmental class that focuses on making our campus more sustainable. It would be a fantastic opportunity for the class to have a real life project come out of it.
 
What amount of funds do you anticipate your project will require from the CSF?
We anticipate that this project will be fairly inexpensive relative to the benefits it will provide to the University of Washington. We are asking for an initial grant of $2,000 for the construction and placement of three-four boxes, including the first two years of upkeep and cleaning. We plan on keeping track of the boxes throughout the rest of our time at college, and will work hard to pass the project on before we go.

 

Contact Information
Primary Contact First & Last Name: 
Jessica Kang
E-mail: 
tsmaniac@uw.edu
Full Proposal

This will display after the CSF committee has reviewed and approved your LOI, and after you have received the link to edit your application.

Executive Summary: 

Our goal is to incorporate several owl nesting boxes on conifer trees located near Denny Field, William H. Gates Law Library, and the Union Bay Natural Area. Through a physical survey of campus, we found specific trees in these areas that meet the necessary criteria for barn owl habitat. The boxes will be anchored to the trees using rings that will wrap around the circumference of the trunk, and can be loosened periodically to accommodate the growth of the tree. It is our hope that within two years, one or more barn owls will encounter these boxes and take up residence on campus. We chose barn owls because they are commonly found in the Pacific Northwest, provide natural pest control, can easily live in human-modified environments, and they are a dynamic “charismatic mega-fauna” that will add complexity to biodiversity at UW. According to our panel of experts Kristine Kenny of the UW Landscape and Architecture, Heather Swift of Cohabitats, and Charles Easterberg of the UW Sanitarian, we would have a better chance of attracting an owl if we put up more than just four boxes. To get a head
start and increase our chances, we would like to put up ten boxes.

Total amount requested from the CSF: 
$1 000
This funding request is a: 
Grant
Budget: 
ItemCost per ItemQuantityTotal Cost
Equipment & Construction
Owl Boxes$2005$1000
CSF Grand Total$1000.00
Project Completion Total: 
$1 000
Sustainability Impact: 
Living Systems and Biodiversity
Sustainability Challenge: 

Our campus is lush with green spaces full of native vegetation and wildlife. This is not a problem, but rather a condition that we should continuously strive to improve, not only for its intrinsic value, but also for the numerous scholarly and personal benefits provided to the UW community. Because there is a vast amount of suitable habitat and food sources for wildlife on our 643 acres, unwanted species such as rats are often attracted to live and breed here. According to campus sanitarian Charles Easterberg, the UW spends thousands of dollars each year on pest control. Often times this money is spent on pesticides that contain chemicals that can be dangerous for non-target species. Our project would not only increase overall biodiversity on campus by attracting aesthetically pleasing owls, but would provide free rat control. This project has the potential to save the University money in the long run, and could ideally be sustained in perpetuity.

Education & Outreach: 

We hope to publicize our project by going to ENVIR 100 or 480 classes to get the word out to Program on the Environment majors. We would also like to talk to people from The Daily and ask if we could get mentioned in an article as well.

Student Involvement: 

The majority of our project involves students. We are hoping to team up with people from the UW architecture and ask them to help build our boxes. If this doesn’t seem possible, our next plan is to buy the boxes. Our project targets all students, but we would like to focus on students from PoE (Program on
the Environment).

 

Timeline: 
TaskTimeframeEstimated Completion Date
Project Start Date3/28/2011
Register to become a RSO 2 weeks4/20/2011
Lookup boxes on the web for best deals1 week4/27/2011
Purchase boxes and wait for delivery 2 weeks5/04/2011
Put up boxes on campus 1 week5/11/2011
Write project report2 weeks 5/25/2011
Project Completed 5/25/2011
Year Tag: 
Amount Awarded: 
$1,000
Project status: 
Completed