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Learn about the hot topic of wildfire in the Fire Ecology of the Eastern Sierra field seminar

August 27th, 2018 by Eric, Mono Lake Intern
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If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the role of fire in California, our upcoming field seminar, Fire Ecology of the Eastern Sierra, is the place to jump in. After a summer when wildfires have made news all over California and the western US, spend September 15–16, 2018 in the field with fire expert Malcolm North to learn about this powerful force. Sign up here.

The Marina Fire burns on the west side of Mono Lake in June 2016. The site of the Marina Fire will be one of the stops in this seminar. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

It has been a hot summer for wildfires in California, and while fires are vital to maintaining healthy forests in much of the western US, many modern fires burn differently than the fires forests evolved with. What is the current wildfire situation and what is it doing to forest ecosystems? Are there ways of getting the “right kind” of fire back into the forest? How can we better control the smoke they produce? How does climate change and drought affect fire, forests, and their large stores of carbon? Although there have been no fires in the Mono Basin this year, fires in past years have set a perfect setting to observe the recovery process of a forest in the years after a fire.

Instructor Malcolm North is a research scientist in the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station and a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. He has studied Sierra Nevada forests for more than 20 years, authored or co-authored over 150 papers, and worked extensively with forest managers to apply research findings. He has a master’s degree (Yale University) and a PhD (University of Washington) in forest ecology and will show fire effects on forest ecosystems and discuss the good, bad, and ugly of current fire management and policy.

Although no fires burned in the Mono Basin this year, smoke from the Ferguson Fire was present for much of July and August. Photo by Eric Bergdoll.

This seminar will take place September 15–16, 2018. Space is limited to 15 participants. You can see more information about the seminar, including a detailed itinerary, here. Sign up here to reserve your spot!