April 10-April 14, 2023 ~ Keynote Speakers

Fire, Risk, and Expectations in a Changing Climate

Chris Swanston is the Forest Service Climate Advisor and Director for the Office of Sustainability and Climate. Chris spent 10+ years leading the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, a partnership designed to provide climate adaptation services to all land managers. He also served as director of the USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub and led the Climate, Fire, and Carbon Cycle Sciences research group. Chris serves as the Adaptation section Editor-in-Chief for ‘Climate’.

Chris will delve into how fire exclusion, an expanding urban interface, and climate change have significantly altered the biophysical conditions contributing to fire risk, and how professional and public perceptions of this risk are not necessarily in alignment with each other or climate trends. This presentation will address some of these challenges and consider adaptive responses.


Accelerating Adaptation to Wildfires

Dr. Kimiko Barrett is the lead wildfire research and policy analyst at Headwaters Economics, a non-partisan independent research organization based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also the Program Director for Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire (CPAW), working with more than 80 communities across the country to devise community-driven solutions to reduce wildfire risk and increase community resilience. Kimi was recently selected as a member of the Biden-Harris Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission, providing key federal policy recommendations.

Increasing wildfire risks require expanding the traditional toolbox of management strategies to better consider the diverse impacts, mitigation options, and unique needs of communities. We must understand where populations are at risk to wildfires, who is most likely affected, and how to best direct resources and mitigation efforts.