Research & Projects

SERI Fire: Research Initiative Seeks Innovation
through Collaboration
Professors Sarah Anderson, Andrew Plantinga, and Naomi Tague lead an inderdisciplinary team in pursuit of new strategies for managing wildfire under conditions of climate change


Read more about SERI Fire in the latest issue of Bren News.

Wildfires have been increasing in the western U.S. and elsewhere, a trend that is expected to continue with climate change. And while fire plays a vital role in maintaining the health of many ecosystems, it can also be a destructive force that puts human communities at risk.

Call for PapersSummer Conference: "The Politics and Economics of Wildfire Policy"

In the past few decades, evolving wildfire science has led to a shift away from employing "fire suppression" as a one-size-fits-all fire-management strategy, and recent ecological research has also highlighted how changes in climate and land-management practices can affect fire regimes and their impacts. Still, selecting the “right” fire management strategy when multiple variables are at play is a complex process requiring the integration of new fire science and new environmental considerations. While the ecology of fire in the western U.S. has been studied extensively, there is a dearth of information about how humans, particularly those residing at the wildland-urban interface, influence and respond to wildfire, and how institutional barriers may hinder effective fire management.

SERI Fire Speakers
As part of SERI Fire, experts on various aspects of wildfire will be featured this year at Bren School Community Colloquia. Meet the speakers.

Fire is Topic for 2014 UCSB Reads
The book for the eighth annual UCSB Reads is The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America (Mariner Books, 2010) by Timothy Egan. Read more.

The greatest fire-management challenges lie in addressing simultaneously the threat to human well-being posed by fires, particularly at the wildland-urban interface; the uncertainties associated with various fire-related land-management practices, such as thinning and controlled burns; and the complicating factor of climate change.

This first Bren School Environmental Research Initiative — SERI Fire — will facilitate collaboration among natural and social scientists, with the intention of filling this knowledge gap and developing new management strategies to prepare for and respond to wildfires in a changing climate.




A fire threatens a Southern California community at the wildland-urban interface.