Huxley College is establishing an endowment to fund students with a Research Stipend. The intent is to assist students interested and involved in research and community activism. Once the fund reaches $20,000, the fund will provide a stipend award each year in perpetuity (currently estimated to be about $1,000).
Thomas (Tommy) M. Gaines passed on in July 2004 and Huxley College would like to honor Tommy by establishing an Endowment for Huxley students to conduct and apply research in the Canyon Lake Creek and Kenney Creek watersheds in Whatcom County, Washington. This article marks the beginning of fund-raising efforts for the stipend. Please consider making a donation.
Tommy was instrumental in the protection of this watershed (as well as others) and without his efforts, the Canyon Lake Creek Community Forest (owned by Western Washington University and Whatcom County) would not exist. In addition to helping protect Canyon Lake Creek, Tommy also inspired others to be effective community activists.
Tommy Gaines graduated from Huxley College with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science in the Fall of 1993. His thesis was titled "The Role of Unstable Landforms as Wildlife Habitat in the Managed Forest" and focused on the upper basin of the Canyon Lake Creek Watershed. His focus at Huxley College was landscape ecology, natural resource policy and regulation, and Geographical Information Systems.
Tommy enrolled at Huxley to learn more about environmental science and also to apply that knowledge on-the-ground. He was successful. Tommy lived in the Canyon Lake Creek Watershed, was there when Canyon Lake Creek made national television in 1983, and was involved in an appeal of a proposed forest harvest in the watershed when he started at Huxley College in the winter of 1990. Huxley provided many mechanisms for Tommy to gain the requisite knowledge and credibility to more effectively engage land use management processes. He applied what he learned while at Huxley and afterwards to protect the Canyon Lake Creek Watershed.
Tommy’s activities to educate others about the uniqueness and importance of the remaining virgin forest in Canyon Lake Creek and his opposition to their harvest convey an important message of hope to people facing lonely, against-all-odds efforts. Tommy’s role as a catalyst was crucial to the significant and generous contributions of many other people and organizations to create the Community Forest, which included a study that documented the presence of an 800-year old forest. The 800-year old forest and much of the watershed is now designated as the Canyon Lake Creek Community Forest, and is preserved for research, instruction, and recreation. The stipend honors Tommy’s contributions and continues the research and education efforts that he started.
If you would like further information, please contact:
you are interested in donating money to the endowment fund, please send
Bellingham, WA 98225-9034
Please note that all contributions are tax deductible. Checks should be made payable to the WWU Foundation with “Tommy Gaines Research Stipend” written on the memo line.
You can also make a gift online at http://www.foundation.wwu.edu/and follow the link to "make a gift now." Information about other payment options is also available on the Foundation website. Angie Vandenhaak, Western Foundation, can also accept gifts or payments by phone at (360) 650-7647.