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Sierra Speaker Series: Rethinking and Mitigating Wildfire Risk in a Warming World
August 19, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
The monthly Sierra Speaker Series connects folks to the rich cultural and natural history of the area. Join Sierra State Parks Foundation at Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center to learn and engage! Doors open at 5 pm, and the presentation is to follow at 5:30 pm. Admission is a suggested $5 donation. Light refreshments will be available. Parking is free after 5 pm. No registration required.
Over the last few decades, we have witnessed how climate change and historical fire suppression have transformed wildfire behavior—but how are these drivers playing out in the landscapes where we reside? This talk will dive into the changing nature of wildfires and their consequences for our ecosystems and watersheds. The talk will focus on 3 important topics. (1) Understanding fire changes: How have climate change and human activities influenced wildfire activity in the West? (2) Ecological and hydrological effects: How do changes in wildfire behavior influence processes like nutrient cycling, streamflow, and drinking water security? (3) Future perspectives: What does the future hold as fire regimes continue to change; how can research help guide decision-making and planning efforts?
Dr. Erin Hanan leads the Fire and Dryland Ecosystems Lab at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her team ventures into coniferous forests in the Sierra Nevada, Rocky Mountains, Idaho Batholith, and the Cascade Range to examine how climate change and land management practices contribute to fire hazards. Equally important, they strive to understand how wildfires influence ecosystems and watersheds. Their research employs various tools and techniques, from examining microbial processes in individual soil cores to modeling entire ecoregions. Through this research, they aim to develop cross-scale, integrative approaches for understanding and responding to emerging challenges in fire science.