Dr. Crystal Kolden
The Rise of Wildfire Disasters in the 21st Century: What Have We Learned?
Dr. Kolden is a pyrogeographer who conducts research on causes of consequences of increasing wildfire disasters, and how we can live with wildfire. She began her career as a wildland firefighter for the US Forest Service near Lake Tahoe, California, and earned a doctorate in Geography from Clark University. She was a landscape ecologist with USGS in Alaska and a professor of fire science at the University of Idaho for over a decade before moving back to California to join the faculty at UC Merced. She has conducted research with colleagues across the globe, from Australia to Chile and Alaska to England, seeking to understand how climate change is altering our wildfire reality and what we can do to adapt. When she isn’t working with communities to develop Community Wildfire Protection Plans and other mitigation strategies, Dr. Kolden is either prescribed burning on her property in the Sierra foothills or enjoying the outdoors with her husband and twin boys.