UWB/CC Circ (and beyond) Pets!

After working behind the library for over a year now, I’ve become quite close to many of my lovely coworkers. In the process of getting to know so many people, I’ve noticed that many of us behind the front desk have pets.

Since everyone loves animals, I thought it would be fun to feature a few of the cuties we get to come home to every day!

Thank you to everyone who participated by featuring their pets and for patiently waiting for this post. Enjoy!


beau double

Photos provided by Heather

Species: Canis familiaris

Breed: Golden retriever mix (rescue pup)

Age: 12 years

Beau’s fave snack: Chicken

Beau’s fave things to do: Snore loudly while sleeping on the porch, walking and exploring new trails, and of course getting belly rubs!

Heather’s favorite things about Beau: His expressive eyes and looks!

Beau and Heather have been best friends since: Beau was 8 weeks old.

Fun/funny fact about Beau: Since a puppy, Beau will lay on the floor with his back paw in his mouth. After dinner and roughly 30 minutes of playing and rough-housing with his squeaky toys, he does this every night. He has, on several occasions, fallen asleep with his back paw in his mouth.


Ruby double

Photos provided by Tami

Species: Canis familiaris

Breed: Mutt ūüôā

Age: 6 ish years

Ruby’s fave snack: Cheese

Ruby’s fave thing to do: Sleep on/in Tami’s bed.

Tami’s favorite things about Ruby: Her goggles and her ability to sleep in.

Ruby and Tami have been best friends for: 5 ish years

Fun/funny fact about Ruby: She shows off for guests by repeatedly running to this large stand of trees in my back yard, and then peaks out. It’s like she’s playing hide and seek. And it’s really adorable.


Sausage the cat

Photo provided by Maya

Species: Felis catus

Breed: Ragdoll/Siamese

Age: 1 year and 5 months

Sausage’s fave snack:¬†Salmon bites

Sausage’s fave thing to do: Cuddle up on the sofa or stare out the window.

Maya’s favorite thing to do with Sausage is: Giving her soft belly a tickle.

Sausage and Maya have been best friends for: 1 year and 2 months.

Fun/funny fact about Sausage: Sausage loves key lime pie. I never let her eat it, but every time I do, I have to fight her off to keep her from taking a bite!


Puppy double

Photos provided by Bryce

Species: Felis catus

Breed: Siberian

Age: Unknown (about 10 years?)

Puppy’s fave snack: Fancy Feast Shredded Fare

Puppy’s fave thing to do: Sleep, cuddle, eat, watch birdies and squirrels, chase the laser dot.

Bryce’s favorite thing about Puppy: She is very affectionate and always wants cuddles. It makes us feel so loved. ^_^

Puppy and Bryce have been best friends for: About 6 years.

Fun/funny fact about Puppy: Puppy is very vocal and is always meowing about something. The funniest thing she does is meow when she runs across the room or down the hall in anticipation of getting food or cuddles. It causes her to do this stuttering meow that is absolutely hilarious. It makes me laugh every time!

Shiori (Shio)/Melissa

Melissa's white kitty

Photo provided by Melissa

Species: Felis catus

Breed: American Short Hair

Age: 2 years and 6 months

Shiori’s favorite snack: She doesn’t like treats, but always wants to be petted while eatting. That’s her special thing.

Shiori’s favorite thing to do: Sit on Erik’s lap.

Melissa’s favorite thing about Shiori: How much she loves my husband (Erik), and what a wonderful friend she is.

Shiori and Melissa have been best friends for: A little over two years.

Fun/funny facts about Shiori: She follows my husband around until he sits down, then climbs on his lap & purrs. She brings us little piece of plastic (her favorite toys) as presents the way some cats bring their owners dead mice.

Nefreya (The Nefs)/Melissa

The Nefs

Photo provided by Melissa

Species: Felis catus

Breed: American Long Hair

Age: 2 years and 6 months

Nefreya’s favorite snack: Cheddar & catnip treats.

Nefreya’s favorite thing to do: Attack toys, finger tips, ankles, spiders, bits of plastic, string, blankets, and shoes.

Melissa’s favorite thing about Nefreya: That she’s always communicating with me. She’s learned about 15 words, and several gestures (head bobs, slow blink, fanning her paws, rolling on her back). Since there’s so much she can communicate to me (and I to her), when something new comes up she’s ready to figure out how to talk about that, too.

Nefreya and Melissa have been best friends for: A little over two years.

Fun/funny fact about Nefreya: She pantomimes playing when she wants to play. For example, she’ll hop up along the wall that we shine her laser pointer on, and then look at us. Or she’ll bring us her toys. Even the big fishing poll ones. Up onto the bed. Not sure how she does it. But I’m touched that she’s willing to do her part to make play happen.¬†She always keeps me company when I’m in the bathroom, and she waits by the door for me at night until I get home.

Melissa's kitties

Shio (left) and The Nefs (right)

MoMo/Andrea B.

momo double.jog

Photo provided by Andrea B.

Species: Felis catus

Breed: Domestic shorthair (?)

Age: 1 year

MoMo’s favorite snack: Chicken giblets and yogurt

MoMo’s favorite things to do: Do things that annoy me and sleep on my face.

Andrea B.’s favorite thing about MoMo: He’s the best nap buddy and he drools when he’s happy.

MoMo and Andrea B. have been best friends since: he was 8 weeks old.

Fun/funny fact about MoMo: My cat knows how to turn off my electronic devices (tv, computer, xbox, etc.) in order for me to pay attention to him. He also likes to “talk” back to me when I tell him not to do something that he knows he shouldn’t be doing. (He’s such a little menace but I still love him so much).


Nicole's Cat

Photo provided by Nicole

Species: Felis catus

Breed: Tortoiseshell/tabby

Age: 8 years

Matilda’s favorite snack: BONITO FLAKES

Matilda’s favorite thing to do: Sleep and hate people who aren’t Nicole.

Nicole’s favorite thing about Matilda: She is soft and fat and she likes me but no one else.

Matilda and Nicole have been best friends for: 8 years.

Fun/funny fact about Matilda: She will lie on her back and **stare** at me if she wants attention. It’s creepy but also funny.


Nicole's Dog

Photo provided by Nicole

Species: Canis familiaris

Breed: Chihuahua/Boston Terrier mix

Age: 2 years

Toast’s favorite snack: Any treat, really

Toast’s favorite things to do: Cuddle with whoever is around and play with her stuffed squirrel.

Nicole’s favorite thing about Toast: She loves to snuggle and is just so darn cute.

Toast and Nicole have been best friends for: 2 months.

Fun/funny fact about Toast: Toast has crooked teeth and sometimes her smiles look really goofy because of this.

Rocky/Andrea P.

Rocky Double

Photo provided by Andrea P.

Species: Canis familiaris

Breed: Maltese/Shih Tzu

Age: 6 (ish) years

Rocky’s favorite snack: Chicken, Trader Joe’s Jerky Dog Treats, sweet potato and bison biscuits, rice and beans (both black and pinto).

Rocky’s favorite things to do: Alert for intruders and other passing doggos, run after his squeaky toys and curl up with his mom (Andrea P.) on her bed (even though he’s technically not allowed on the bed).

Andrea P.’s favorite thing about Rocky: How loving and playful he is. Rocky is also really well at picking up emotions and will be ready for supportive cuddling at any time. He’s always in the mood to play, even if he’s really sleepy he’ll wake right up and want to play if he sees any humans around.

Rocky and Andrea have been best friends for: 6 ish years.

Fun/funny fact about Rocky: Rocky is really good at standing on his back two legs. It’s really funny when he begs for treats because he knows we like it when he stands up like that, so he’ll stare up at you while he’s standing on his back two feet and try to follow you around like that.


Stella's Doggo

Photo provided by Stella

Species: Canis familiaris

Breed: Husky/Border Collie/German Shepard mix

Age: 6 months

Juniper’s favorite snack: carrots and turkey

Juniper’s favorite things to do: Go for walks, go swimming, and eat sticks.

Stella’s favorite thing about Juniper: She has tons of energy and always wants to play.

Juniper and Stella have been best friends for: 6 months.

Fun/funny fact about Juniper: Juniper is very agile and can jump on the counter top-she has eaten many treats (that she wasn’t supposed to) this way!


Silvy cropped

Photo provided by Zoe

Species: Felis catus

Breed: Domestic shorthair

Age: 1 year and 6 months

Sylvie’s favorite snack: Vanilla ice cream and catnip

Sylvie’s favorite things to do: Sylvie loves to hunt, both outdoors (with the real animals) and indoors (with her prey-like toys). When she’s not hunting, she’s either hiding or curling up next to us.

Zoe’s favorite thing about Sylvie: How sweet and loving she is. She goes wherever we do, even if it’s just across the room and all she’s doing is napping.

Sylvie and Zoe have been best friends since: July of 2016.

Fun/funny fact about Sylvie: Every time I make the bed, I can count on Sylvie to stop whatever she’s doing to hop on underneath the blankets being placed. It’s so cute, and she loves it! Sylvie is related to Max!


Max cropped

Photo provided by Zoe

Species: Felis catus

Breed: Domestic shorthair

Age: 1 year and 6 months

Max’s favorite snack: A bowl of milk and catnip

Max’s favorite things to do: Max also loves to hunt, but isn’t as good as Sylvie. He also really enjoys sleeping, eating, and bullying his sister.

Zoe’s favorite thing about Max: His playfulness! He’s always looking to play, and still acts just like a kitten. Max has extra toes on his front paws, which helps him grab on to his prey.

Max and Zoe have been best friends since: July of 2016

Fun/funny fact about Max: Max’s best friend is the house’s dog, and they love playing together! Sometimes he’ll even follow us on walks with the dog, trying to lead. ūüôā

Zoe's kitties together

Sylvie (top) and Max (bottom).


Molly's other adorable puppo

Photo provided by Molly

Species: Canis familiaris

Breed: Maltese/Pekingese

Age: 6 years

Rozy’s favorite snack: Any soft meaty treat!

Rozy’s favorite thing to do: Going on drives, looking out the window and barking at children, and begging for food!

Molly’s favorite thing about Rozy: Very expressive and playful dog!

Rozy and Molly have been best friends for: 5 years.

Fun/funny fact about Rozy: Whenever we bring Rozy to my brother and sister-in-law’s house, the first thing she does it run all throughout the house to try to find their cats. They have a cat door that leads to their cage in the garage and sometimes Rozy would go in that door to check if they are there. Also, we have caught Rozy eating cat food a couple times (don’t worry she’s okay!). Rozy is from Vietnam!


Molly's puppo

Photo provided by Molly

Species: Canis familiaris

Breed: Phu Quoc Ridgeback

Age: 6 years

Kiki’s favorite snack: Bananas

Kiki’s favorite things to do: Going on runs, sleep, playing with her banana toy, and begging for food!

Molly’s favorite things about Kiki: Sweet and kind. She actually listens when I call her name haha!

Kiki and Molly have been best friends for: 5 years.

Fun/funny fact about Kiki: Whenever I grab a banana, Kiki would go absolutely insane (or absolutely bananas haha!). She would start jumping and follow me until I fed her a piece. Funny thing is, the banana has to be in the correct ripeness phase (not too green or too yellow/spotted) for her too eat it.

Molly's adorable puppo's

Rozy (left) and Kiki (right).


Kamy double

Photos provided by Nick

Species: Canis familiaris

Breed: Siberian Husky

Age: 5 years 6 months

Kamy’s favorite snacks: Dairy Queen, Rawhides (the bigger the better), French Fries, Bacon, Homemade Dog Treats

Kamy’s favorite things to do: Walks / Hikes, play in the snow, go in water / rivers

Nick’s favorite thing about Kamy: Those soft ears.

Kamy and Nick have been best friends for: 5 years 1/4.

Fun/funny fact about Kamy: Like to licks lotion off legs, sleeps upside down / on her back. She loves all people!!! As for other dogs (except Siberian Huskies) not so much.


Leo Double

Photos provided by Khabir

Species: Canis familiaris

Breed: Maltese

Age: 9 months

Leo’s favorite snack: Anything! He loves everything!

Leo’s favorite thing to do: Go to the dog park and get chased after.

Khabir’s favorite thing about Leo: Everything!

Leo and Khabir have been best friends for: 7 months.

Fun/funny fact about Leo: Leo doesn’t like to get out of bed in the morning, he plays dead (lol).




Programming Resources

Computer Science is quickly becoming one of the most popular areas of study as technology is more prominent than ever. Being able to code is an incredibly useful skill to have, whether you strive to be a game developer or an author that can build their own website! Here is a list of resources that I have used and highly recommend to anyone interested in coding.



On Campus


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UW Bothell

The Quantitative Skills Center (QSC) on campus offers free in-person and online tutoring to students at UWB, currently covering most of the core CSS classes. Take a look at the time schedule to find out when to stop by!

There are 4 CSS (Computer) Labs available to both CSSE majors and those currently enrolled in a CSS class. These seem like great places for group and solo study.

Cascadia College

Much like the QSC, Cascadia offers their students free in-person tutoring at the Learning Center. As of Fall Quarter 2017, there is one tutor covering BIT classes available Monday through Thursday.

Cascadia also has options for online eTutoring. There’s a wide range of subjects available to students, including Computer Science (Java, C++) and Web Development (xHTML, CSS, and Adobe Dreamweaver).

The Campus Library

The Campus Library website has compiled a Research Guide for CSS, containing information on research and our Computer Science and Engineering Librarian.



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Online forums are a great way to ask questions and engage with people outside of your community. I find them especially useful for understanding coding concepts and finding example code to challenging assignments.

Interactive Websites

Whether you’ve never coded before or just want to improve your skills, I recommend checking out these sites out, as they all have a lot of offered content for free.

  • Codecademy (my favorite, where I learned to code!)
  • Khan Academy
    • Topics: Computer Programming, Computer Science, Computer Animation, Hour of Code.
  • Lynda¬†is a subscription-based website that offers hundreds of great extensive courses in Software Development, Web Development, and other topics.
    • 30 day free-trial, $20-$30/month after.
    • Members of the Seattle Public Library can access Lynda for free. Visit this site for more information.
  • Udacity offers an abundance of courses that contain timelines.
    • What’s special about this site is they offer “Nanodegrees”, with actual certificates for completing those courses.
    • They offer a mix of paid and free classes.
  • Instructor Craig Duckett from Cascadia College compiled a list of resources here.


These are browser games that prove coding can be fun, and are totally beginner friendly!

  • CodinGame¬†contains many individual, animated puzzles
    • C#, C++, Java, Python, JavaScript, Ruby, and many other languages
  • CodeCombat is an RPG, with each level covering new topics
    • Python, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and JQuery
  • RubyWarrior¬†describes itself as “a triumphant quest of adventure, love & destiny all within a few lines of code”.



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Absolute Java

The textbook for CSS 142 and 143 at UW Bothell. The college I transferred from did not teach in Java, so this book has been my lifesaver in 143.





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Java For Dummies (eBook)

This book is a great resource for anybody interested in Java, but is more geared towards beginners. They define and describe the basics of Java, and later introduce well-known techniques.

To access this eBook, log in with UW net-ID.




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HTML & CSS: design and build websites

Describes and teaches the basics of HTML and CSS, and is geared towards anyone wanting to learn or brush up on skills.





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JavaScript and JQuery (eBook)

If you have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS, then you’ll easily be able to learn JavaScript and JQuery! The languages can really help make websites look more attractive.

To access this eBook, log in with UW net-ID.




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Python Crash Course (eBook)

This book is packed full of content, but is presented in a way that is not boring. It teaches through examples, and will have you view solutions and solve problems. Python Crash Course is the perfect book for anyone wanting to learn Python fast!

To access this eBook, log in with UW net-ID.



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Cracking the Coding Interview: 189 programming questions and solutions

I’ve noticed that this item is frequently circulated, more-so towards the end of the school year. It makes sense, because Cracking the Coding Interview is the perfect resource for interview prep.





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Introduction to Algorithms (ebook)

This book covers a large number of algorithms in depth, describing how to implement it and when the algorithm is useful. Instead of being written in a specific language like Java or C#, Intro to Algorithms goes over everything in Pseudocode.

To access this eBook, log in with UW net-ID.



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C# 2010 for Programmers (ebook)

The textbook for BIT 142 and 143 at Cascadia College. It is a great resource for learning C#, and will definitely help with your studies.

To access this eBook, log in with UW net-ID.



Events / Groups


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Learn to Code Seattle

This is a public group where anyone interested in coding is welcome to join. They offer introductory sessions (like HTML, JavaScript, GitHub, etc), as well as workshops, panels, and conferences. They currently have almost 4000 members in Seattle.

Black Girls Code

Black Girls Code is an organization dedicated to teaching young girls of color programming and other technical skills. They have many outreach programs and events, consisting of EXPOs, Hackathons, and workshops on various topics – the Bay Area Chapter recently hosted a 3-D Printing Workshop!

There is currently not a Seattle Chapter of Black Girls Code, but interested parties can apply for scholarships to attend any of the events in other cities.

Women Who Code Seattle Chapter

This is a large international organization who “envision a world where women are proportionally represented as technical leaders, executives, founders, VCs, board members, and software engineers”. They have a wide arrange of events posted, as well as local jobs. The Seattle chapter alone has over 3000 members.

Girl Develop It Seattle Chapter

This is a nonprofit organization that hosts events for adult women interested in programming. Most of the recent events have been public study groups, but they also have occasional courses. Just this past Fall was an Intro to JavaScript, four-day course.

CodeBuddies (online)

Through this website, programmers can arrange virtual study groups and hangouts. Anyone from anywhere in the world can join, regardless of experience with code.


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I truly believe that everyone is capable of learning to code, and there are so many resources out there to help get started – these are just a few that I know and love. I began learning to code from a JavaScript course on Codecademy while I was still in middle school! Now, I’m pursuing a degree in Computer Science at UW Bothell, and I don’t know where I would be without that one website that helped me fall in love with code.

Staying Cozy in the Winter

Snowflakes-snowflake-clipartWhen the average temperature in Washington drops to the 30’s, and the perpetual cloud of rain and fog settles over the Pacific Northwest it can feel as if even your bones shiver with the cold. However don’t let the temperature limit your activities! Whether you are skiing in the mountains or taking a walk¬† in Seattle there are many options to keep yourself toasty. As a lifelong resident of our wet and cold state here are some tips and recommendations that I have learned to keep the chill at bay.

Image Credit: https://www.clker.com/cliparts/f/5/S/Y/H/Y/snowflake-black-and-white.svg

Wear a hat

Keeping your head warm is one of the fastest ways to retain heat. One way that I like to keep myself occupied in addition to making something useful is by knitting hats. Although this may sound complicated knitting yields beautiful results and never fails to be an enjoyable and rewarding pastime.

Instructions for how to knit– A set of basic, yet explanatory, instructions that highlight the steps of how to get started and mittenssome further resources that you can use when you have mastered the essential stitch.

Video for how to knit For more visual learners here is a YouTube video that I found to be thorough and concise regarding techniques and approaches for learning how to knit.

Image Credit: https://www.misskatecuttables.com/products/winter/freebie-of-the-day-winter-mittens.php

Hot Drinks

Make your own hot chocolate! Here is chocolate-clipart-hot-chocolate-clipart-1one recipe that never disappoints and also includes tips on how to spice up your drink, with additions like cinnamon or Cayenne pepper. Putting this hot coco mix in a cute container also makes an excellent gift that can be enjoyed year round.

Hot Cocoa Mix

Image Credit: http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/download-hot-chocolate-clipart-65117100

Dress warmly

Nothing dampens any activity like being dressed inadequately for the weather. In the wintertime, keep warm by swapping out your summer favorites for cold weather items instead. Rather then cotton socks try thick woolen ones, or instead of a sweatshirt try putting a vest or scarf with it. One essential item in my closet during the Pacific Northwest winter is always a rain jacket. Keeping a small umbrella in your bag could also keep you all the dryer. Just think next time you are cold-pull on a hat that you made!

Find activities that you can enjoy no matter the weather

It just doesn’t seem as appealing to venture outdoors when you’ll be drenched within a minute and freezing before then here are some other options that I find allow for the same options.

  • Visit the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC). Cascadia and UWB’s ARC is filled with activities that are available to students from both schools. In addition to having a full gy15e4cd36da04ea6124625d2efe204fea--winter-clipart-thermometerm, there are also fitness classes such as yoga and spin available to all students for free. More information about the ARC can be found here.
  • Visit your local library! The UWB/Cascadia library is always warm and welcome. Stop by for a place to study or read to stay out of the chill.
  • Join a club at Cascadia or UWB. There is a wide range of clubs and organizations that are found on campus and are open to all students. Furthermore the process of creating a club is simple so if you don’t find one that interests you- make one!

Image Credit: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/15/e4/cd/15e4cd36da04ea6124625d2efe204fea–winter-clipart-thermometer.jpg

Bake winter treats

Nothing heats up the house quite like a warm oven filled with holiday cookies. Here are my recommendations for great holiday cookie recipes, as well as a link to another staff member’s blog post about this topic!xmasstamps

Image Credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=45971&picture=gingerbread-man-clipart

Curl up with your favorite book

All library enthusiasts, and readers alike can testify the joy and comfort of finishing a long day with a good book. During the winter I find this feeling to be especially perceived when temperatures dip outdoors and you can lose yourself in a different world. Whether the books that you find to read are holiday focused or merely enjoyable, here are several lists that contain books that are guaranteed to keep you free from winter’s chill.book-pile-clipart-book-clip-art

Best books to read when snow is falling

Winter children’s books

Best Holiday books

Image Credit: https://content.mycutegraphics.com/graphics/book/book-pile-clipart-book-clip-art.png



Image Credit: http://clipartix.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Snowflakes-snowflake-clipart.jpg

Saving Money Using Your Husky Card

When entering college, it sometimes becomes less easier to enjoy the finer things in life, especially when you’re paying $3k+ for your tuition, buying books that cost anywhere from $50 to $300,¬† and somehow figuring out how to scavenge enough coins to get yourself a snack. I don’t know about you, but CoinStar has been my best friend lately.

If you’re anything like me, you may be feeling something like this, especially when something involving spending money comes along…


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Unfortunately, the only real way to save money is to budget and there’s a way you can use your very own Husky Card to do so.

Did you know you could get discounts at a number of places using your Husky Card? Well, it’s true!

In Bothell alone, you could get the following:

Restaurants and Drinks:

Clothing Stores and Accessories:

Gifts, Entertainment and More:

Online Deals Only:

Find more information about these here.

In Seattle, you can get the following:

Restaurants and Drinks:

Gifts, Entertainment, and More:

Find more information about these here.

University Village is a big place, but that just means all the more deals:

Restaurants and Drinks:

Clothing and Accessories:

Gifts, Entertainment, and More:

Find more information about these here.

In Tacoma, you can get the following.

Find more information about these here.

All of these deals are easily attainable, just type in the promo code or show your Husky ID!


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Crows on Campus

Before I came to work at the UW Bothell & Cascadia College library, I had heard about the “6 o’clock crows”. But it didn’t prepare me at all for the first time I saw 10,000+ crows flying into the wetlands at dusk. I had never seen so many birds in my life. At the time, it seemed so magical, to be standing under them. I was amazed that none of them pooped on me (and briefly held the misconception that they wouldn’t out of respect). This immediately got me thinking about how they interacted with the campus, and how they saw humans. Were they trying to be neighborly? Were they afraid of us, and trying to maintain diplomatic relations? Why were there so many?

These crows are like a neighbor that we see every day, but haven’t spoken to yet. We share this space with them, but there’s so much we don’t know or notice. I wanted to take a deeper look at the campus crow population, so I asked a Andrea Bilotta – a student at UWB who is doing undergraduate research¬†on crows – to help me pull some information together.

By the way, I now know better, and wear a rain jacket when I go out to watch the evening crows.


Photo by Author

Our Crows on Campus

  • The evening migration is beautiful. Most local news articles I found immediately compared our crows to the movie, The Birds (an Alfred Hitchcock classic horror movie where birds attack humans). But that isn’t what they look like to me. Watching them arrive in the evenings, is a little bit like being under water, watching the surface. They ripple along the evening sky, far above me. If you watch them for a while, it becomes clear that they fly in small groupings which are likely family units. You can also spot them greeting other crows they know, and playing, as they fly in. Most of this takes place far above. Although as they arrive, they also land in the sports fields, and on rooftops. In my experience, they don’t congregate as much in places where people commonly walk, like the campus sidewalks and bus stop.
  • You can spot crows around campus all year, but the most dramatic sighting is at dusk, in Fall to late Spring, when crows from all over the area fly into the wetlands to sleep for the night. We don’t see nearly as many at dusk in the Summer, because crows are leave the main community to raise their young. Parents only bring them to the main group once they are old enough (and well enough behaved) to join the main group. So when you see crows in the Summer, they are usually teenagers – old enough to be on their own, but don’t yet have their own children.
  • Our population of crows is big. It’s even bigger than our student population: 10,000, up to some think 15,000 or more crows roost in the campus wetlands.
  • Crows have been roosting in the campus wetlands¬†since around 2006. Generally,¬†crows roost¬†in large groups near urban areas for safety, to find mates, and regular food sources. Our crows mostly likely roost in the campus wetlands specifically because it’s a safe area with little traffic – most of the wetlands have restricted access to humans, due to ongoing restoration efforts.
  • There are about 40 species for crows, and they can be found all over the world. The crows you see on Campus are American crows. American crows grow to be about 16-21 inches long, with a wingspan of 33-39 inches and weigh about .7 – 1.3 pounds. They typically live 7-8 years in the wild, but in captivity can live 20-59 years!
  • Local resources:
    • Campus research around Crow communication by faculty member¬†Dr. Douglas Wacker¬†is ongoing. He typically works with a few undergraduate students, to conduct his research.
    • On the UW Seattle campus,¬†John Marzluff is a faculty member researching how urbanization effects birds (mainly crows). He’s written three books about crows, most famously¬†In the Company of Crows and Ravens.
    • On the UW Bothell website, Stacey Schultz writes about¬†campus crow life.

How We See Crows: Fact & Fiction

Fiction: Crows are scary. Crows and their calls are featured in many horror movies to create ominous scenes, or jump scares. In folklore crows are often seen as a sign of death, or bad luck, have been feared throughout history, and can always be found around death and violence.

Fact: Crows have a long, complicated – but not entirely bad – history with humans

  • Many cultures have myths around crows and ravens- often as symbols of death, or bad luck. But not always. In Serbia, the Raven god Kutkh was a creation god. In North american indigenous cultures, crows are often seen as tricksters – more of a chaotic neutral. In the Hindu Story of Bhusunda, a very old sage is depicted as a crow.
  • Crows are associated with death because they are all black (a color sometimes associated with death), their vocalizations are distinct, and they are scavengers – they eat dead animals, and plants that they find.
    • It’s true that not many animals are all black. But, black¬†is not always seen as the color of death. It’s also been a symbol for water, cavalry, the origin of the universe, nightfall, the color that auspicious government agents wear, and many, many, sports teams, etc….
    • Crows scavenge for only a small part of the diet. It’s true that you may see a crow eating dead animals or plants. But they mainly eat grains, berries, and trash. When they do scavenge, they often help to clean up road kill. Among animals that scavenge, crows are not the only or even main animal you’ll find scavenging – many animals scavenge from large carnivores like bears and lions, to small insects like beetles and ants. All kinds of dogs and wolves scavenge, but that is usually not what people think of first when they come across a puppy.
  • It’s hard to argue with bad omens and luck and superstitions with logic, but let me just say that crows can bring lots of things.

Fiction: Crows are pests. They’re seen as dirty, troublesome, useless, and unwanted.¬†

Facts: Crows use their intelligence for their survival. While some behaviors may cause problems for humans, or we may develop bad relationships with crows, they also have many helpful behaviors, and we can create positive relationships with them. 

  • Crows help and interact with humans in many positive ways, including giving gifts, killing insects, and cleaning up road kill. Crows are not physically affectionate with humans, but can develop friendship-like¬†relationships with us.
  • Crows do not spread disease. There are no health concerns associated with crows.
  • Whether you like crows or not – they are¬†protected¬†under Title 232 WAC and¬†The Migratory Bird Act of 1918. It’s illegal to harm a crow, destroy a nest, or keep crows as pets. To hunt them you must have a license, and you cannot kill them only because they seem like pests. They have to display a threat to crops or human health.

Understanding Crows

So I didn’t really answer all of the questions I started with. If anything, I have new questions. And I was surprised by some of the things researchers haven’t unraveled yet. We don’t know for sure if crows migrate or not.¬†They migrate locally to their roosts at nightfall, and occasionally leave their roosts to join new ones in other states. We don’t understand when or why they leave. We don’t know to what extent they can smell, or use their sense of smell. We don’t know if their family relationships come with love, or solidarity.

But I enjoyed my foray into the world of crows, and I hope you did too!



Photo by Author

This blog post is written by guest contributor, Melissa Logan, who is a Circulation Lead at the Campus Library.



Holiday Recipes to Try Out!


Tis the season to be hungry!

As the holidays are coming our way, now is the perfect time to bake goodies for your friends and family as homemade gifts, or for yourself as a treat to enjoy after working hard in your Fall Quarter classes! I tested out 3 holiday based recipes (Gingerbread Whoopie Pies, Pumpkin Pie, and Peppermint Kiss Thumbprint Cookies) to see how I would do and share some overall commentary and tips for each recipe I made!

Overall Tips on Baking

Plan ahead of time to see when you are able to bake with no distractions or no plans!
– Whenever you plan on baking something, be sure to read the whole recipe to see what ingredients you have already at home and get all of the necessary ingredients that you need a day or two days before baking.
– Always take your time! There is no such thing as rapid baking so patience is key to bake successfully! Otherwise, your goodies will not turn out the way you would like them to. Trust me, I have learned that the hard way.
– After planning and preparing your ingredients, remember to have fun with your recipe! Even if you are trying to follow the recipe as accurately as you possibly can, you are able to enhance the recipe in your own ways!
Optional: If you are a cautious baker like me, you understand my struggling feelings when following the exact temperature and bake time for recipes; I get scared of following them because every time I do, I end up getting my goodies burnt! So my personal tip is to lower the baking temperature a little bit (i.e 425 degrees to 400 degrees). You can never be too careful!

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies Recipe

– If you are planning to bake multiple recipes (including this one), I suggest you prepare the dough for this recipe before any other recipe because the gingerbread dough has to be refrigerated for about 3 hours before baking.
– Although it is titled “Lemony Gingerbread Whoopie Pies Recipe,” I did not use the recipe given for the lemon flavored filling because I forgot to buy lemon extract BUT I did use a similar recipe for the filling.
– After 3 hours of refrigeration, the recipe states that you are supposed to shape the dough into one inch balls and roll them in sugar. I chose NOT to roll them in sugar due to the fact that I did not want to make the pies too sweet. So I kept them how there were and put them on my cookie sheets (which I sprayed cooking spray, even if the recipe said to use “ungreased” baking sheets).
– A trick I always use whenever I am working with dough is that I keep a bowl of flour next to me and flour my hands so that I am able to shape the dough without getting it sticking on my hands. I also decided to flour the glass cup that I used to flatten the balls with.
– I changed the temperature and lowered it from 350 degrees to 325 degrees.
– If you are not a person who likes to eat things with filling in them, fear not! The gingerbread by itself is just as good! So if you would like to save some time or choose to not make the filling, do not worry!

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

pie and kiss flip

First attempt of making a pumpkin pie! Image by Author

– You have to be careful with baking when it comes to pumpkin pies and pre-made pie crusts because the pie itself may look great but the crust itself might have a burnt problem! What’s on the inside matters as much as the outside!
– Because this is my first time making a pumpkin pie, I thought it was way too simple to make! However, I did misread the recipe and the pie crust of my first pumpkin pie attempt was very burnt!
– There are two different temperatures that you have to use in order to bake this pumpkin pie successfully! Do not make the mistake I did and stuck with one temperature! I changed the first temperature from 425 degrees to 400 degrees and the second temperature from 350 degrees to 325 degrees for my second attempt of baking a pumpkin pie.
– Remember that after 15 minutes, the initial temperature of the pie gets lower and stays in the oven for about 30 more minutes!

Peppermint Kiss Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

kiss cookies flip

Cookies and pies ready to go! Image by Author

– Out of all three recipes, so many people that I asked to try my baked goods out have chosen this one as their favorite!
– Remember to slowly combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients because if you do it quickly, the dough itself will not be as smooth as when you put it in slowly. Slow and steady wins the race (and gives delicious cookies)!
– After having the cookies cool down for a couple of minutes, be sure to immediately put in the melted chocolate in the center of each cookie and top it with a peppermint kiss! Otherwise, the melted chocolate will dry and you will not be able to top the cookie with a kiss!

I hope you will have as much fun as I did when I baked all of these recipes! Happy baking!


Why You Should Partake in Undergraduate Research and How to Get Started

I’m sure that most of you by now have heard of at least one undergraduate research project being on done campus, or maybe you’ve seen mention of it on the University of Washington Bothell’s website. At first, the word “research” may seem a little intimidating; it reminds you of long, painful, fifteen page essays that consist of many, many hours of staring blankly at a computer screen and chugging coffee until 2am. But I am (a fellow undergrad researcher studying the behaviors and vocalizations of our campus crows) here to tell you the truth about partaking in undergraduate research here on the UWB campus and bring to light all of the possibilities and benefits that can go along with it!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard.

Before I get to how amazingly rewarding research can be, I’ll cover the hard facts first. Yes, you will have to put in effort. Yes, you will have to give up some of your precious and seemingly sparse free time. Yes, there will be deadlines and expectations for you to meet. Just like any other college related thing, you’re going to have put in the time and effort. Research isn’t a free ride to a few extra credits and a resume booster (though it does look AMAZING on job apps and really gives you a leg up against all of the competition out there); it’s much much more than that. It’s an opportunity for you to get real world experience under your belt and discover if your chosen field is really what you want to be doing for the rest of your life. Now, the research you do doesn’t necessarily have to be exactly what you want to do as a career. Research is pretty open-ended and gives you a lot of room to pick your own study, so doing research can at least give you some insight on what it might be like, or give you ideas on what you might want to do.

Getting started really isn’t all that scary…or difficult.

For those of you who don’t know, getting into a research team might seem a little intimidating or confusing. Every undergraduate research project is ran by a faculty member and if you start research in your first or second year on campus like I did, you may not know a ton of professors in your chosen degree program yet. That’s why it’s a great idea to contact and schedule an appointment with the Undergraduate Research Advisers at the Student Success Center located on the first floor of UW1.¬† These advisers can put you into contact with faculty on campus who would be a good fit for the type of research that you want to do.

But what if you’re not sure about what you want to research? Well, that’s what the Undergraduate Research Fair and the Undergraduate Research Symposium are for. If you can’t make it to those events, then you can check out the research teams and proposals in the online booklets. Once you find a project that sounds like a good fit for you, you can contact the faculty member in charge of the research (their name will be listed in the abstract). More than likely, they will want to have a meeting with you to go over if there’s room on their team, why you want to be involved, what’s entailed, etc. Now, if you really want to impress this instructor, I would recommend asking them as many questions as you can about their research. Not just the nitty gritty of what you will be doing, but what their research is actually accomplishing and the progress that has been made thus far.

I also suggest going to the UWB home page and looking up the professor you are interested in working with by typing their name in the search bar at the top right corner. By doing so, you will find the specific instructor’s page detailing their current/previous projects so you can get a better idea on why they chose to research a certain topic and what they hope to work on in the future. Faculty members take a lot of pride in their projects, so showing as much interest as possible in the work they’ve done will really boost your chances of getting in.

You will get to do some pretty amazing things.

Picture a day in the life of your dream job. Are you a child psychologist sitting in a classroom, clipboard in hand, documenting the behaviors and interactions of toddlers? Or are you a computer programmer, working on an augmented reality software for promoting a large corporation? Whatever it may be, you could be doing it right now even without a degree. Undergraduate research is completely hands on; you will be out in the field, in the lab, or attending a conference to conduct and further your projects. For the research I am partaking in I am almost always outside, setting up and recording play back studies on our campus crows. But when I am inside, I’m analyzing videos and sound recordings in the lab. It’s an experience like no other, being able to do what I have dreamed of doing my whole life and getting to do it before I have even graduated from college.

Scholarships (aka free money)/extra upper-level credits.

Yet another perk of becoming an undergraduate researcher is that you will have access to hundreds of additional scholarships such as the Mary Gates and Founder’s Fellow awards that are only granted to students participating in research. These scholarships are to provide student researchers more time to dedicate to their projects and less time on worrying about paying for college tuition or rent. These awards look amazing on resumes and come with an award banquet, interviews by school organizations and local papers, recipient breakfasts, and special recognition at graduation. Let’s just say that these awards are quite prestigious and will really make all of your hard work worth the effort. You can find out more information about the UW scholarships available for undergraduate researchers here, or by going to the Student Success Center and making an appointment with an undergrad research advisor or scholarship advisor.

Besides the scholarships, you will also receive upper 400 level credits each quarter for your research. Most degrees on this campus require that you get lots of 300 and 400 level class credit in order to graduate, so research is a great way to meet those requirements. This of course varies depending on how long you participate in research, the time you put into it each quarter, etc. etc. You and the faculty member you are working with, will go over the details to ensure that you are receiving the appropriate amount of credits for the work you put in.

The drive to do your best.

Undergraduate research has really shown me what it is like to work out in the field and get a taste of what my future career will look like. It has motivated me to push through college and put my best effort into class so that I may reach the goal of making it into my dream job and be able to continue on with wildlife research. Just taking classes alone can sometimes feel tedious and almost pointless at times, but when you’re doing research with an actual purpose and meaning – aside from getting a good grade – it can really give you that extra incentive to reach your goals. So I heavily encourage you all to do a little research of your own to find out about and get involved with an undergrad project on campus. It is worth the time and effort, and I guarantee that you won’t regret it!