Biochar: Coral Reef of the Soil

Photo: Justin Roberts

For students at the University of Washington, discovering their academic and career passions is a journey of exploration, opportunity and learning. Justin Roberts knows this well. Justin is a third-year master of Landscape Architecture student. He spent a quarter abroad in Sweden as part of the  Valle Scholarship & Scandinavian Exchange Program, which funds student exchanges between the UW and Nordic countries. He is also the author of his new book, “Metabolic Matters: An Urban Designer’s Guide to Biochar,” where he explores how biochar, an incredibly sustainable material that can be made from any organic substance, can be used to tackle some of the most difficult challenges facing humans and ecosystems across the globe. This book was inspired by the many journeys Justin has taken in his life as a student, emerging landscape architect and passionate proponent of adopting more holistically sustainable practices into landscape design.

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Two CBE students named to 2022 Husky 100

The University of Washington recognized two students from the College of Built Environments for the 2022 Husky 100. Congratulations to Talia Kertsman and Andrew Hengstler!


Talia Kertsman, Community, Environment, and Planning major

“I came to the UW seeking a depth of understanding around questions keeping me up at night – questions about the future of cities and how to sustain belonging in all spaces. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to grow in Seattle and learn from those working to preserve spaces of cultural value. I hope to work at the intersection of equitable community development and education, thinking about how students and educators can co-create spaces of learning, inside and outside the classroom.”


Andrew Hengstler, Construction Management major 

Blonde boy in dark clothing smiling in front of a dark brown door“Strong communities promote positive progress. I have focused my years at the UW working to foster this sense of community, empowering others to rally and grow together. Within my career, I seek to develop built environments that encourage community collaboration, where people are not separated by class or culture. By creating environmentally and socially sustainable habitats, we can both protect nature and preserve our vital sense of community.”


The Husky 100 recognizes 100 UW undergraduate and graduate students who are making the most of their time at the UW. Those named include undergraduates and graduate students who have founded start-ups, conducted research, and advocated for social justice.