Craig D. Allen is a research ecologist and station leader for the U.S. Geological Survey at the New Mexico Field Station. He has worked as a place-based field ecologist for the U.S. Department of the Interior since 1986, co-located with land managers at Bandelier National Monument in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico—a landscape that has been subject to multiple significant wildfires since 1996. Dr. Allen conducts research on the ecology and environmental history of southwestern U.S. landscapes and the responses of western mountain ecosystems and forests globally to climate. He also provides technical support in the areas of ecosystem management and restoration to diverse land management agencies in the region. Recent and ongoing research activities, involving diverse collaborations, include: determination of global patterns, trends, and drivers of climate-induced tree mortality and forest die-off; ecological restoration of southwestern forests and woodlands; and developing long-term ecological monitoring networks in New Mexico.
Jennifer K. Balch is Director of Earth Lab and an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Dr. Balch’s research aims to understand the patterns and processes that underlie disturbance and ecosystem recovery, particularly how people are shifting fire regimes and the consequences. Her work spans from temperate regions to the tropics exploring how fire alters rainforests, encourages nonnative grass invasion, and affects the global climate. Prior to coming to the University of Colorado, she was on the faculty at the Pennsylvania State University. She was a postdoctoral associate at the U.S.-based National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and received her Ph.D. from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She has conducted research in the field of fire ecology for over a decade and has lit a few experimental burns to understand the consequences of altered fire regimes.
Patricia Champ is a research economist with the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station in Fort Collins, Colorado. She has been with the research station since she completed graduate school 23 years ago. Dr. Champ has developed a research program that
focuses on three aspects of wildfire: the economic costs of exposure to wildfire smoke, the effects of wildfire risk on home sales prices, and wildland–urban interface homeowners’ perceptions of risk and risk-mitigating behaviors. Her most recent work examines how behavioral economic techniques can be used to encourage homeowners to mitigate wildfire risk.
Mark A. Finney is a research forester with the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory. His research has addressed landscape fuel management and fire behavior, fire growth modeling, wildfire risk analysis, and ignition by firearms and explosives. He and his team are now discovering physical explanations for wildland fire behavior using laboratory and field-scale experiments. In 1991 he was awarded his Ph.D. in wildland fire science from the University of California, Berkeley. He also holds an M.S. in fire ecology from the University of Washington and a B.S. in forestry from Colorado State University.
J. Kevin Hiers is a wildland fire scientist at Tall Timbers Research Station in Tallahassee, Florida. Hiers has a 20-year background in wildland fire management with particular expertise in prescribed fire. In his current role he is responsible for creating a research program that focuses on management application of prescribed fire science. Prior to joining Tall Timbers, Hiers worked as director of environmental stewardship at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, as acting chief of the Air Force Wildland Fire Center, and as Eglin Air Force Base fire program manager.
Meg A. Krawchuk is an assistant professor in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. Dr. Krawchuk leads the Landscape Fire and Conservation Science Research Group, with research and teaching focused on landscape and fire ecology, pyrogeography, and conservation science. Recent investigations include: predictability, form, and function of fire refugia within burn mosaics of the western North American forest ecosystem; ecological implications of overlapping short-interval disturbances such as insect outbreaks, forest harvest, and wildfire; spatially varying constraints over modern patterns of burning at regional and global scales; and theory and tools necessary for science-based conservation planning in boreal forest ecosystems of Canada and the United States. Dr. Krawchuk was awarded her Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Canada, completed postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley, and was a faculty member at Simon Fraser University, Canada, prior to joining the faculty at Oregon State University.
Travis Paveglio is an assistant professor of natural resource sociology in the Department of Natural Resources and Society at the University of Idaho. His research focuses on the human and policy dimensions of wildfire management (e.g., evacuation policies, fuel reduction planning, homeowner mitigation actions, suppression actions, identification of values-at-risk, and recovery aid), with an overarching emphasis on the ways that diverse populations adapt to changing wildfire risk and develop relationships with the landscape. Dr. Paveglio has spent more than a decade conducting qualitative and quantitative case studies of collaborative wildfire risk management, response, and recovery in dozens of communities across the western United States. He received training in natural resource sociology, communication, and ecology.
Stephen J. Pyne is a professor in the School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University. In his youth he spent 15 seasons with the North Rim Longshots at Grand Canyon National
Park and three seasons writing fire plans for Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone National Parks. His books on the American fire scene include Fire in America: A Cultural History of Wildland and Rural Fire (1982), Year of the Fires (2001), and most recently Between Two Fires: A Fire History of Contemporary America (2015) and To the Last Smoke, a suite of regional fire surveys. Other fire books include histories for Australia, Canada, Europe (including Russia), and the Earth, along with a popular survey, Fire: Nature and Culture (2012), and a textbook, Introduction to Wildland Fire (1984, 1996). Among his other works are Grove Karl Gilbert (1980); How the Canyon Became Grand (1998); The Ice: A Journey to Antarctica (1986); Voyager: Exploration, Space, and the Third Great Age of Discovery (2010); The Last Lost World (co-written with Lydia V. Pyne, 2012); and Voice and Vision: A Guide to Writing History and Other Serious Nonfiction (2009). He teaches courses on fire, the history of exploration, environmental history, and nonfiction writing.
Carlos Rodriguez-Franco is Deputy Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. He is responsible for providing national leadership to comprehensive scientific programs, many of which have worldwide impact on providing fundamental and applied knowledge to important environmental, conservation, and utilization problems. His specific responsibilities cover an exceptionally broad and complex array of research spanning multidisciplinary components that must be successfully integrated to solve vegetation management and protection knowledge and technology gaps. Before joining the Forest Service, Dr. Rodriguez-Franco worked in the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service where he was based in the Office of International Research Programs. Dr. Rodriguez-Franco received his Ph.D. in forestry from Yale University and has more than 30 years’ experience in research, academic, and administrative forestry positions.
Diane M. Smith is in her final year as a postdoctoral research historian at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, part of the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station. While at the Fire Lab, Dr. Smith has written about the origins of wildland fire research, the reintroduction of fire into wilderness areas in the early 1970s (the White Cap Wilderness Fire Study), and the 1988 fires in Yellowstone National Park. In addition to her work with the Fire Lab, Dr. Smith has written numerous national reports and four books, including Sustainability and Wildland Fire (Forest Service, 2017) on the origins of wildland fire research in the Forest Service and Yellowstone and the Smithsonian (Kansas, 2017) about the history of wildlife conservation in Yellowstone National Park and the Smithsonian Institution.
Toddi A. Steelman is Executive Director and Professor, School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada. Her broad research agenda focuses on improving the governance of environmental and natural resources, with emphasis on the role of the public and community in science, policy, and decision-making interactions. She has a 15-year history working on the human dimensions of wildfire and has conducted research on community aspects of wildfire management in Canada and the United States. Her research agenda has focused on understanding community responses to wildfire and how communities and agencies interact for more effective wildfire management. Dr. Steelman is also co-director, with Dr. Branda Nowell, of the Firechasers Research Program at North Carolina State University (www.firechasers.ncsu.edu), which focuses on advancing the science of adaptive capacity toward more disaster resilient communities.
Scott Stephens is a professor of fire science and chair of the Division of Ecosystem Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the director of the university’s Center for
Fire Research and Outreach and co-director of the Center for Forestry. He is the leader of the California Fire Science Consortium, which works to more effectively deliver fire science information to natural resource managers. Dr. Stephens’ areas of expertise focus on interactions of wildland fire and ecosystems. This includes how prehistoric fires once interacted with ecosystems, how current wildland fires are affecting ecosystems, and how management and climate change may change this interaction. He is also interested in wildland fire policy and how it can be improved to meet the challenges of the next decades.
Thomas L. Tidwell is Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. He has contributed more than 40 years of public service as a natural resources management professional of the Forest Service. He has served in a variety of positions at all levels of the agency, including district ranger, forest supervisor, and legislative affairs specialist in the Washington Office. As deputy regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region, Tidwell facilitated collaborative approaches to wildland fire management and myriad forest management issues to maintain support for forests and grasslands across a broad spectrum of citizens. As regional forester for the Northern Region, Tidwell strongly supported community-based collaboration in the region, finding solutions based on mutual goals; thereby reducing the number of appeals and lawsuits, while increasing work on the ground. In 2009, after being named Chief, Tidwell set about implementing a vision that met the goals for the agency’s mission. Under his leadership, the Forest Service has accelerated treatments on the landscape to improve the health and resiliency of forests and grasslands so they can sustain all the benefits Americans get from their wildlands. This also includes job production, stability of rural communities, and support for tourism-based economies.