John Tuxill

You’re seeing more fallen trees, branches in Whatcom. It wasn’t the windstorm

John Tuxill, an ethnobotanist and associate professor at Western Washington University’s Fairhaven College, said local trees struggled to survive the early summer heatwave that sent temperatures soaring above 100 degrees. “Part of what we’re seeing now is the aftermath of that heat dome at the end of June,” Tuxill told The Herald. “It’s the first time that I recall a big dieback in the Pacific Northwest relative to a specific event.”

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - 1:02pm

Western faculty to lead study abroad program in Cuba this winter

Western’s Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies will offer a 15-credit educational travel program, “The Cuban Experience: Socio-Politico/ Agro Environmental Issues,” this winter. This course is designed to acquaint students with historical and contemporary issues impacting the Cuban state, and will entail both a seven-week on-campus instruction period and a three-week faculty-led segment in the Republic of Cuba from Feb. 11 to March 1.

The course will reflect upon the Cuban political relationship with the United States over the past two centuries as well as an examination of U.S/Cuban contemporary political relations during the “Special Period” and the Obama era. The course will further emphasize the strategies and gains that Cuban co-operative farmers have made in the areas of agronomy, organic farming and sustainability.

Students will discover how racial and cultural identities are complicated by questions on gender, class, religion and sexuality both in Cuba and among Cuban populations residing within the U.S. Participants will also have an opportunity to learn a specialized Spanish language which focuses on Cuban-Spanish phraseology and idioms.

While on the island, students will learn about sustainable agriculture, organic farming, and community food security by the Cuban people. In addition, this travel program allows students to explore local destinations such as Old Havana, Pinar Del Rio, Playa Del Este, Varadero, Valle Del Viñuales and Cojimar.

The course may satisfy certain college, departmental and program requirements.

The program is open to a limited number of participants, and prompt registration is encouraged to reserve space. The priority application deadline is Nov. 1.

Details are on the Web at

For more information, contact Fairhaven professor Larry J. Estrada, at, or (360) 650-3016, or Fairhaven professor John Tuxill, at, or (360) 650- 4435.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 9:38am

Plants invade arboretum: Interns needed to map the intruders

Invasive plant species have been a problem in the Sehome Arboretum for several years and a summer student internship is being proposed to survey and map the invasive plant population.

In the Sehome Arboretum invasive plants including English Holly, Ivy and Vinca take over several native plants, such as ferns, by crowding them out of their native area and killing them.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 9:42am

Tuxill studies Mayan farming systems in Mexico

John Tuxill, an assistant professor at Western Washington University's Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, traveled in July to Yucatan, Mexico, for research.

Fairhaven students hit the field in search of learning

John Tuxill, an assistant professor in Western Washington University's Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, is teaching a class spring quarter called "Advanced Seminar in Agroecology." Tuxill took his students to Growing Garden farm in Lynden recently, and WWU alumnus Michael Long, who manages the field operations at the farm, talked to the students about raising sheep and chickens in a rotational grazing system. Growing Gardens also grows herbs and vegetable starts for sale at the Bellingham Food Co-Op and other local spots.

Human ecology conference is big success at WWU

From Sept. 10 to 13, Western hosted the 16th International Conference of the Society for Human Ecology. The event took place in the Viking Union and was attended by roughly 160 participants, including many from abroad. Among the countries represented were Brazil, Australia, Japan, Germany, Sweden, Canada and Mexico.

Environmental Studies associate professor Gene Myers organized and co-chaired the conference. Noting Western’s and Huxley’s historical roles in human ecology, environmental studies and sustainability, Myers delivered an opening address as current president of SHE, focusing on the conference theme of “Integrative Thinking for Complex Futures: Creating Resilience in Human-Nature Systems” and calling attendees to come away more informed, inspired, and networked for the next steps in their work.

President Bruce Shepard addressed the gathering at the locally sourced conference banquet dinner. Lummi Nation elders James and Lutie Hillaire and eight members of their extended family also welcomed those at the feast with word, song, and dance.

Many from WWU went ‘beyond the call’ to help in various essential capacities, many of which also helped lower the conference ecological footprint: Diana Bakkom and Karen Henrikson of Conference Services; Seth Vidana, Office of Sustainability; Carol Berry and Wendy Crandall, Transportation Services; Tim Bartunek, Dining Services/Catering; Nancy Grayum and Gary Malick; Classroom Services / Academic Technology; Dave Ruble, University Housing; Ronni Olson, Parking; Diane Knutson, Dept. Env. Studies; and other faculty, staff, students, spouses and friends who provided ideas and support for planning and carrying out the event.

Many faculty members also donated conference bags for re-use.

Dedicated student volunteer helpers included Stacia Dreyer, Anna Gay, Riley Grant, Bryant Hammond, Jim Harmon, Ken Jussaume, Ben Packard and Cynthia Park. Financial support for the event was provided by Huxley College and by the Environmental Education WWU Foundation fund.

Western was well represented, and a number of faculty members presented papers at the conference.

Among the faculty papers presented:

  • Troy Abel, Huxley College, Participatory Ecological Monitoring: Service-learning and Study Abroad in Costa Rica
  • Andy Bach, Huxley College, Dam Removal for Ecosystem Restoration and Treaty Obligations: The Elwha River, USA
  • Gigi Berardi-Allaway, Huxley College, Fair Trade Olive Oil and Community Resiliency in the Mediterranean
  • Randall Burtz, PEHR, Multiple Methods Toward Understanding: A Triangulated Approach to OHV Research and The Application of Integrative Complexity Theory to the Study of Natural Resource Issues
  • John Korsmo, Human Services, Promoting Prosperity to Address Poverty
  • James Loucky, Anthropology, Social Well-Being Through Ecocultural Principles
  • Scott Miles, Huxley College, Resilience and the Politics of Place
  • Gene Myers, participant on panels discussing Teaching Conservation Psychology, and New Directions in Interdisciplinary and International Education
  • John Tuxill, Fairhaven College, Natural Disasters and Small Farmer Responses in Yucatan, Mexico: Implications for Crop Biodiversity and Rural Food Security

Student participants:

  • M.Ed. Candidate Stacia Dreyer (Huxley College), on Conceptions and Values Regarding Low Impact Environmental Principles: How Environmental Education Students Generalize Across Different Setting.
  • Huxley undergraduate Ken Jussaume took part in a roundtable discussion on New Directions in Interdisciplinary and International Education, to which Anna Gaye and Shannon Roberts also contributed, as well as producing a special Bellingham dining guide for the attendees.

Among WWU faculty who assisted by organizing and moderating paper sessions were:

  • Troy Abel, Huxley College, Structural Human Ecology (Moderator) and Cognition, Choice and Ecological Action (Moderator)
  • Andy Bach, Huxley College, Human Ecology of Water Management (Moderator)
  • Gigi Berardi-Allaway, Huxley College, Community Food Security and Revaluing Agriculture: Towards a Resilient Culture of Food (Organizer), and Communities on Coasts: Tracking Socio-Ecological Resilience (Moderator)
  • Randall Burtz, PEHR, Issues and Advances in Human Ecology Theory (Moderator) and Regulation and Socio-Ecological System Response (Moderator)
  • Rebekah Green, Huxley College, Disasters and Resilience Communities (Organizer & Discussant), and Resource Dependency and Socio-ecological Resilience: Forest and Biodiversity Cases (Moderator)
  • James Loucky, Anthropology, Ethics and Justice (Organizer). Many of those mentioned above also served on the local organizing committee.
Thursday, October 2, 2008 - 3:16pm
Subscribe to John Tuxill