Training & Network Specialist Lara Thomas joins Fire Adapted Colorado in August 2023, bringing with her over a decade of experience in formal and informal science education and a deep passion for community collaboration. Throughout her career, she has dedicated her efforts to bridging the gap between scientific knowledge and its practical application within communities. Growing up as the daughter of two PhD scientists, she recognizes that addressing pressing topics like fire mitigation and forest health demands more than just scientific expertise. Lara emphasizes the significance of the ‘human factor’ in this work – everything from psychology, economic and political trends, place-based history, and how we work together, as essential ingredients for innovative thinking that will effectively move this work forward.
Lara holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Earth Science Education, a B.A. in Geoscience and Environmental Studies, and has published and presented on her climate science curriculum through the University of Colorado Boulder. Lara holds and is continuing to build on her NWCG qualifications, including an active Red Card, S-212, and Certified Burner. Lara is proud to volunteer with the Lake George Fire Department and NoFloCo Fire Mitigation Posse – both organizations have inspired her to continue pursuing a career in this field. Prior to this role, Lara served as the Fire Mitigation Program Manager for CUSP (Coalition for the Upper South Platte). This experience was instrumental in deepening her understanding of wildfire mitigation best practices and the vital importance of effective stakeholder coordination.
Lara spends her free time maintaining her home, land, and greenhouse in Florissant, CO, and enjoys any and all outdoor adventures in Colorado. Lara is a big animal lover, and she has a very cute but very needy St. Bernard/Aussie Mix named Pickles and two very sweet cats named Flower and Luna.