Research & Projects

SERI Fire Speakers

Ray FordRay Ford is the author of numerous books and maps on Santa Barbara area trails, including Santa Barbara Day Hikes, Santa Barbara Mountain Biking, A Hiker's Guide to the Front Country, and, of particular relevance, Santa Barbara Wildfires. He is also a staff reporter for the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper, where he handles coverage of all local wildfires. He has been involved in trail management issues for more than twenty years, he manages the Los Padres Forest Association trail volunteer program, and he is the trail chair for the Santa Barbara Trails Council. As leader of the LPFA Trail Crew, Ray has overseen most of the paid trail work done on the front country trails over the past five years. He will speak at the UCSB Library on Feb. 26.

John LoomisDr. John Loomis is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University specializing in land management and economics. He [pursues research in the economic valuation of non-marketed natural resources, such as rivers, recreational fisheries, public lands, endangered species, water quality, and forest fire management. He has undertaken research projects for state and federal agencies throughout the U.S. and has worked with colleagues in Chile, China, Spain. and Vietnam. He will speak on January 23.

Sarah McCaffreyDr. Sarah McCaffrey has been a research social scientist with the Northern Research Station of the USDA Forest Service since 2002, where she specializes in the social dynamics around fire management.  She has developed an integrated research program of both individual and team research that is grounded in manager and policy-maker needs. Areas of programmatic influence include projects sponsored by the National Fire Plan and Joint Fire Science examining the characteristics of effective communication programs and the social acceptability of prescribed fire, thinning, and defensible space. More recently, Dr. McCaffrey has begun work on the social issues that occur during fires including alternatives to evacuation and community-agency interactions during fires.

Tom SwetnamDr. Tom Swetnam, professor at the University of Arizona, studies natural and cultural disturbances of forest ecosystems across a broad range of temporal and spatial scales. A leading wildfire ecologist, his primary tool is dendrochronology — the use of tree rings to reconstruct and evaluate variations in past and present environments. He uses tree-ring records in combination with other natural archives and documentary sources to reconstruct the histories of fire, insect outbreaks, human land uses, and climate. His research is aimed at improving basic understanding of the history and dynamics of forests and woodlands, particularly for applications in present-day ecosystem management. Dr. Swetnam will be in residence at the Bren School as a Zurich Financial Services Distinguished Visitor on Climate Change during winter quarter 2014. See Professor Swetnam's home page.