Thursday, October 10, 2019
For over 30 years, Paul Hessburg, research ecologist with Pacific Northwest Research Station, U.S. Forest Service, has worked to understand why highly destructive megafires throughout the Western United States have been on an alarming rise. While ecology and forest management play a crucial role, he believes that megafires are fundamentally a human problem and necessitate a social solution. In a concerted effort to save celebrated lands from catastrophic destruction, this multi-media presentation blends science and storytelling to propose and coordinate effective outreach, response, and policy.
Paul Hessburg, Ph.D., is a research ecologist with Pacific Northwest Research Station, U.S. Forest Service. He has studied historical and modern era forests of the Inland West for the last 32 years and has published extensively in leading national and international journals. His work documents large changes in forest conditions and how these changes, along with climate change, have set the stage for large and severe wildfires.
Hessburg was the recipient of the USFS 2017 R&D Deputy Chief's Distinguished Science Award for his significant contribution to fire and landscape ecology. His most recent book, Making Transparent Environmental Management Decisions, offers compelling new insights into using modern-day decision support systems to plan for forest restoration.