Caren Crandell

Caren Crandell


B.A., Biology, Colby College
Washington State Teaching Certificate, Seattle University
M..S, School of Environmental & Forest Sciences, University of Washington
Ph.D., School of Environmental & Forest Sciences, University of Washington

Email: carenjc@uw.edu


My areas of teaching are Pacific Northwest ecology, wetland ecology and restoration, Native American culture, and scientific and interdisciplinary research and writing.

My goals are to help students see the natural world with new eyes, engage with current environmental issues as community members, and develop their skills as independent thinkers.  Students who take my courses may become scientists, policy-makers, media professionals, entrepreneurs, or teachers; they may draw on the natural world for inspiration as artists, pursue social justice rooted in the environment, or simply enjoy the outdoors as hikers.  Whatever the path, all can appreciate the beauty and challenges of the Bothell campus, North Creek watershed, and Pacific Northwest.  I enjoy helping students build a foundation in relevant scientific knowledge and apply it to their immediate surroundings and active participation in the campus and broader community.  In ecology courses, students develop field skills via field trips, individual projects, and community engagement opportunities.  In research courses, I emphasize contextual learning that enables students to develop skills while conducting independent research.  In this way, students ultimately understand research and writing as processes and strengthen their identities as scholars. 

Recent Courses Taught

B CORE 116 - Discovery Core II: Weaving Rights: Culture & Ecology of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest
BIS 241 - Nature in the Northwest
BES 301 - Science Methods & Practices
BIS 397 - Topics in Environmental Studies:  Weaving Diversity:  Cultural & Ecological Diversity of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest
BIS 397 - Topics in Environmental Studies:  Wetlands & Our Watershed
BES 488 - Wetland Ecology
BES 490 - Native Pacific Northwest Plants in Restoration & Conservation


My research areas include wetland ecology, especially plant ecology; restoration ecology, especially of wetlands and aquatic ecosystems; ecophysiology of plants in stressed environments; and the connection between culture and ecology of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest, especially as revealed through woven works.

My current research focuses on the ecology and ethnobotany of the intertidal bulrush Schoenoplectus pungens (formerly known in the Pacific Northwest as Scirpus americanus).  I have conducted field work in estuarine marshes throughout Western Washington but focus most intensively on those of Grays Harbor.

On the Bothell campus, I work with students on the plant collection in the UWB Herbarium and on an amphibian inventory of the wetlands, both of which grew out of students’ independent study projects for which I was the faculty advisor.  

Selected Publications

Crandell, C.  2016.  WetlandEncyclopaedia Britannica.  Encyclopaedia Britannica Online.  Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., Chicago.

Shebitz, D., and C. Crandell.  2012.  Weaving cultural and ecological diversity:  beargrass and sweetgrass.  Pages 156-169 in Wray, J. (ed.).  From the Hands of a Weaver:  Olympic Peninsula Basketry through Time.  Oklahoma University Press, Norman.

Simenstad, C., C. Tanner, C. Crandell, J. White, and J. Cordell.  2005.  Challenges of habitat restoration in a heavily urbanized estuary:  evaluating the investment.  Journal of Coastal Research SI 40: 6-23.