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Workshops and Field Trips

Pre-Conference Workshops

All workshops will be held virtually the three Wednesdays prior to the conference, May 4, 11, 18. There is no cost to participate, however, you must register in advance. Some of the workshops have limited space, so conference registrants will have priority.  Click on the individual workshops below to register. 

Wednesday, May 4th

Wednesday, May 4, 1:00 – 3:00 pm PDT


  • Molly Hunter, Science Advisor, Joint Fire Science Program
  • Ed Brunson, Joint Fire Science Program,
  • Kevin, Hiers, U.S. Geological Survey,
  • Carolyn Enquist, Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center,

The impacts of climate change on fire regimes are currently being realized through lengthening wildfire seasons, more extreme fire events, and restricting opportunities for prescribed burning. Coupled with decades of fire exclusion, interacting disturbances, and expanding urban interface, changing fire regimes have profound implications for ecosystems and society. As the climate continues to change, land managers will be challenged in developing and adopting strategies that facilitate societal and ecosystem adaptation to changing fire regimes. These can include increasing the pace and scale of actions proven to increase ecosystem and societal resilience. These strategies must include diverse perspectives and empower Indigenous cultures to develop management strategies based on their traditional knowledge. Under extreme scenarios, climate change may reduce the relevance of historical conditions or past experience to current management plans, and novel approaches may be needed. However, adopting entirely new strategies is challenged by uncertainty in outcomes, societal expectations, and organizational culture. Several fire science organizations have partnered to explore the science, outreach, and policy needs to advance adaptation to changing fire regimes. In a recent workshop conducted by this partnership, several themes emerged that form the beginnings of a framework for advancing adaptation to changing fire regimes. These include use of models to explore a range of plausible scenarios, incorporating diverse perspectives to define desired conditions, empowering Indigenous led management, learning from management actions through long-term monitoring, and approaching changes in management and culture with humility, transparency, trust, and communication.

During this workshop we will:

  1. Present key themes and an emerging framework from a recent workshop on the nexus of fire and climate change
  2. Get feedback from workshop participants on science, outreach, partnership, policy, and other needs to be included in a collaborative, science-based framework for advancing adaption to changing fire regimes
Registration is now closed for this workshop.

Wednesday, May 11th

Wednesday, May 11 10:15 -12:00 pm PDT

PDF Flyer

Hosted by Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS), California Institute of Technology

Kendra McLauchlan, National Science Foundation
Sean Triplett, USFS/National Interagency Fire Center
Paul Steblein, Joint Fire Science Program
Genevieve Biggs, Moore Foundation
Jeff Rupert, Department of Interior Office of Wildland Fire
Ann Bartuska, Environmental Defense Fund
Rebecca Adler Miserendino, Lewis Burke
Matt Weiner, US MR

This workshop overviews efforts to coordinate fire research, management, policy, and technology development for coordinated action to reduce negative impacts from wildfire.

Want to be a part of the solution and learn how you plug into all these efforts? This workshop is for you! It builds on a workshop hosted by the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) in March 2021. Leading change agents in fire policy, technology, decision support, and science met to clearly define the roadblocks for real-time detection and tracking of the fires that matter. We define “the fires that matter” as megafires – or fires with great negative social impact.

We outlined problems, solutions, and next steps needed to improve coordination related to:

  1. interagency organization;
  2. data and observations;
  3. research and development; and
  4. financing and business.

These led to four specific recommendations on a need for:

  1. an interagency, national strategy;
  2. fire-specific technology for accessible data collections;
  3. focus shift towards building resilient communities; and
  4. funding models that leverage government and private sector strengths.

Since this workshop, many major national efforts have occurred including: national policies and funding, research agendas, agency coordination, and big technology investments. We will spend provide an overview of that workshop, updates from representatives of major efforts (e.g., review of congressional bills, NSF Innovation Lab to set the next decade research agenda, cross-agency coordination, and foundations/big tech investors), and a public Question and Answer session. The objective of this workshop is to bring together diverse communities that usually don’t talk to each other and discuss the cross-cutting advancements in each sector relevant to: academia, management, technology, society, and policy.

  • Agenda

    • 15 minute Overview and Motivation
    • 20 min Panel Summaries of their different initiatives
      • NSF (Kendra McLauchlan) – KnowInnovation Workshop to set a Decadal Fire Research Agenda
      • USGS/JFSP (Paul Steblein) – Fire Research Agenda
      • DOI Office of Wildland Fire (Jeff Rupert) – Federal Wildland Fire Interagency Coordination
      • Lewis Burke (Rebecca Adler Miserendino)  – Congressional Branch Activities
    • 5 minute break
    • 20-minute Panel 2 Summaries of their different initiatives
      • Interagency Management (Sean Tripplett): NIFC data coordination
      • Tech Investor (Genny Biggs): Moore Foundation
      • Tech Innovation (Ann Bartuska): EDF
      • Tech Policy (Matt Weiner): US Megafire Response
    • 30 minute Open Q&A
    • 15 minute Overview and Motivation

Wednesday, May 11, 1:00 – 2:30 pm PDT

Chris (Fern) Ferner, Wildland Fire GIS Specialist, Esri
Anthony Schultz, Director of Wildland Fire Solutions, Esri


ArcGIS StoryMaps is Esri’s premier storytelling platform and is the go-to place for fire professionals to share their work. StoryMaps serve as an authoring web-based application that allows you to share your spatial data in the context of narrative text and other multimedia content. Attendees will learn how to use StoryMaps to engage a variety of stakeholders with provided content. During this interactive workshop, attendees will:

  • View examples of a variety of StoryMaps.
  • Author a story with the Story Builder.

Stories can include maps, narrative text, lists, images, videos, embedded items, and other media.

  • Author an ArcGIS StoryMapCollection to compile items of similar topics together.
  • Publish and share stories. Learn how to share stories with your desired audience.
  • Gain access to Esri staff and have questions answered by technical experts.

The intended audience for this workshop is those with no experience working in ArcGIS StoryMaps or in the ArcGIS Online environment.


Wednesday, May 18th

Wednesday, May 18 9:00 – 12:00 PDT Instructors:
  • Susan Conard, Co-Editor, International Journal of Wildland Fire; and Affiliate Faculty, Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science George Mason University
  • Stefan Doerr, Professor, Department of Geography, Swansea University
While many aspects of the publication world are under flux these days, some basic principles and guidelines make the publication process easier and more positive for all involved. We will discuss a range of topics, including research design and presentation of results, selecting appropriate outlets for research publications, preparing manuscripts for submission, working with co-authors, the editorial process, responding to review comments, ethical issues involved in publication, and some examples of common problems with English-language usage. The workshop will include ample time for questions and discussion as well as providing references to additional online resources and courses on scientific writing and publishing. The workshop is intended help attendees understand and better navigate the research publication process.  Careful preparation of manuscripts and thorough, thoughtful responses to review comments are often key to getting your paper accepted for publication. In this session we will attempt to demystify the publication process, offer advice based on our experience, and provide an opportunity for exchange of ideas. The goal is to provide information, examples, and training on preparing and revising papers for publication, and on the editorial process for peer-reviewed journals. While the workshop is aimed primarily at early-career scientists, mid and late career scientists are welcome and may have considerable experience to add to the discussion.

Wednesday, May 18 9:00-11:00 am PDT

Sponsoring organization: University of Michigan, School for Environment & Sustainability, Western Forest and Fire Initiative


  • Paige Fischer, School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan 
  • Heidi Huber-Stearns, School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan 
  • Sue Anne Bell, School of Nursing, University of Michigan 
  • Nancy French, Michigan Technological University, 
  • Michael Craig, School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan 
  • Steven Yaffee, School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan

Strategies for communities to adapt to a more flammable future remain limited due to the emerging and complex nature of the global wildfire problem. Despite widespread efforts to manage fuels and suppress fires, communities are continuing to experience loss of life and property damage, health impacts from smoke and stress, and disruption of essential services such as power and housing. At the same time, the effort to mitigate fire impacts on people needs to be done in coordination with the development of healthy ecosystems – ecosystems that rely on fire. The Western Forests and Fire Initiative (WFFI) at the University of Michigan is investigating the complex social and ecological relationships between fire, forests, communities, and climate that make wildfire a seemingly intractable problem. With help from practitioners, we are identifying critical research needs that would benefit from our interdisciplinary approach.

In this workshop, we will engage in shared learning with participants about knowledge gaps that are hindering progress regarding how communities can adapt to a more flammable future, including:

  1. How can vulnerable groups protect themselves from unhealthy smoke that will inevitably come from more wildfire, prescribed burning and managed wildfire?
  2. How can communities help reduce the chance of destructive wildfires and become more resilient to wildfire-related power disruptions through distributed energy systems?
  3. How can individuals and households better anticipate future wildfire risk and change their habitation and land use behaviors accordingly, and how can public policies be crafted to create incentives to build resilience and reduce risk?

The potential audience for this workshop includes: practitioners, managers, decision makers and researchers interested in connecting on-the-ground applied research needs with an interdisciplinary research team focused on community adaptation to wildfire.

During this workshop we will:

  1. Share what our team has learned so far about critical needs for interdisciplinary research and action, around the three key questions (listed above).
  2. Engage in shared learning with workshop participants about critical and actionable research needs that can inform strategies and policy interventions for community adaptation to wildfire.


Wednesday, May 18 1:00 – 5:00 PDT Hosted by American Red Cross Instructors:
  • Sharie Lewis, Disaster State Relations Direction Volunteer Partner – Pacific Division
  • Luke Beckman, State Relations Direction – Pacific Division, Red Cross Advanced Instructor
The immensely interactive workshop will cover all three phases of the disaster cycle, including Preparedness Phase, Response phase, and Recovery Phase. Participants will be divided in to groups for hands-on small work groups.  The workshop will conclude with all groups coming together to have a discussion on the entire disaster cycle detailed during the workshops Preparedness Phase:  Groups will read preparedness and “blue sky”-focused scenario questions and will come together to debrief and learn about factual data points. Response Phase: Groups will read injects depicting the approach of Red Flag conditions, fire ignition and fire spread towards the community and read response-focused scenario questions. They’ll learn about mass care operational planning assumptions and decision-making criteria. All will be given evacuation and mass care data points that they will use for the next part of the scenario to plan mass care operations and will read response-focused sheltering scenario questions, and they’ll come together to debrief. Recovery Phase: Groups will read injects depicting the post-fire landscape, structure loss, debris removal processes, and will focus recovery-focused scenario questions, and they’ll come together to debrief.
Wednesday, May 18, 1:00 – 2:30 pm PDT Instructors:
  • Chris (Fern) Ferner, Wildland Fire GIS Specialist, Esri
  • Anthony Schultz, Director of Wildland Fire Solutions, Esri
ArcGIS Instant Applications are the next generation of web mapping apps available in ArcGIS Online. Use Instant Apps to quickly transform your geospatial content. Create applications for your audience that provide an intuitive experience to interact with maps and data. Within minutes you can select a template, choose configuration options, and share a product that addresses your audience’s needs. Confidently use Instant Apps knowing that it’s built to support accessibility across audiences and devices. During this interactive workshop, attendees will:
  • View examples of a variety of existing applications.
  • Author a web map using fire and climate data layers from ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World
  • Author a Media Instant App as a simple display
  • Create a Portfolio Instant App to showcase different types of content such as maps, files, and media
  • Gain exposure to additional Instant App templates
The intended audience for this course is those who wish to learn about Esri’s ArcGIS Instant Application and for those looking to explore creating web maps with ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World content.

Field Trip

Angeles National Forest and Griffith Observatory Field Trip

Friday, May 27th 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Cost: $100, includes transportation, snacks, and lunch.
Fire & Climate Conference attendees are invited to a field tour of the Angeles National Forest and the iconic Griffith Observatory.
If you're interested in joining us on a Field Trip, please sign up when you register for the conference.
The Angeles National Forest

The Angeles National Forest (ANF) of the U.S. Forest Service is located in the San Gabriel Mountains and Sierra Pelona Mountains, primarily within Los Angeles County in southern California. The ANF manages a majority of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. The national forest was established in 1908, incorporating the first San Bernardino National Forest and parts of the former Santa Barbara and San Gabriel National Forests. Angeles National Forest headquarters are located in Arcadia, California. The Angeles National Forest covers over 650,000 acres and is the backyard playground to the huge metropolitan area of Los Angeles. The Angeles National Forest manages the watersheds within its boundaries to provide valuable water to southern California and to protect surrounding communities from catastrophic floods.

The Angeles National Forest is also located within one of the driest, most fire-prone areas in the United States – where human-caused wildland fires are becoming larger and more frequent – significantly damaging natural resources as well as the important human infrastructure on these invaluable public lands. (National Forest Foundation) Not all areas and resources impacted by these fires will recover naturally, so forest managers and partners have launched a number of restoration efforts intended to produce ecosystems that are able to adapt and thrive over time. Projects located within the areas burned by the Copper Fire (2002), Ranch Fire (2007), and Sayre Fire (2008) focus on forest or upland vegetation and stream or riparian ecosystem restoration, sensitive wildlife species management, infrastructure improvements, and other beneficial projects. (USDA Forest Service)

The Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory is an observatory in Los Angeles, California on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park. It commands a view of the Los Angeles Basin including Downtown Los Angeles to the southeast, Hollywood to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. The observatory is a popular tourist attraction with a close view of the Hollywood Sign and an extensive array of space and science-related displays. It is named after its benefactor, Griffith J. Griffith. Admission has been free since the observatory’s opening in 1935, in accordance with the benefactor’s will.

Over 7 million people have been able to view through the 12-inch (30.5 cm) Zeiss refractor since the observatory’s 1935 opening; this is the most people to have viewed through any telescope.

Since the doors opened in 1935, Griffith Observatory has become the most-visited public observatory in the world. The Observatory’s history starts with the vision of one man and reflects the invention, innovation, and inspiration that also characterize Los Angeles.

The History of Griffith Observatory (Observatory History – Griffith Observatory – Southern California’s gateway to the cosmos!) The inspiration for the Observatory and for Griffith Park came from Griffith J. Griffith who was the benefactor for both. The idea of a “public observatory” was a very new one at the turn of the 20th century, but Griffith developed very precise specifications regarding what should be included in the building. From 1935-2002, the Observatory provided southern Californians and visitors from around the world with chances to observe, to learn, and to be inspired. Griffith’s vision for the building was updated and enhanced when the Observatory was renovated and expanded from 2002-2006. Since reopening after renovation, the Observatory has reached increasingly larger audiences, both in-person, online, and through media and film. In 2020, the Observatory celebrated its 85th anniversary. (Observatory History – Griffith Observatory – Southern California’s gateway to the cosmos!)