The following Oregon State University faculty members have expertise related to wildfire issues and are willing to speak with journalists. Their specific expertise, and contact information, is listed below. For help with other OSU faculty experts, contact Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787, [email protected].

    John Bailey, 541-737-1497, [email protected]

    Bailey studies the role of forest management in accomplishing landowner objectives, including fire resilience, habitat and restoration. His areas of expertise include:

    • Fuels management for fire risk reduction
    • Wildland fire ecology
    • Prescribed fire

    David Blunck, 541-737-7095, [email protected]

    Embers are wildfire’s emissaries. By understanding how embers form and travel through the air, scientists can more accurately predict how fire will spread. Blunck, an associate professor in the College of Engineering is studying the process of ember formation in wind tunnel experiments. He can discuss:

    • How moisture and wood species affect the development of embers
    • How far embers can travel and set spot fires
    • The physics of ember transport

    Erica Fleishman, 805-291-6258, [email protected]

    Fleishman is director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute and a professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. Her research focuses on ecological responses to variability and changes in climate and land use in the western United States.  She can discuss:

    • Interactions among fire dynamics and natural and human environmental change
    • Challenges and opportunities that fire presents to resource management
    • Ecological adaptations to fire

    Meg Krawchuk, 541-737-1483, [email protected]

    Krawchuk studies fire ecology and fire patterns using data from satellites, maps, management and field collections to understand drivers of where fires occur, the fingerprints they leave behind and the ecological outcomes of burning. She can discuss:

    • How and why historical and modern fire patterns vary across environmental gradients and in different geographies
    • Ecological and social wins and losses associated with fire
    • Fire as an ecosystem process, pros and cons of fire for conservation of biodiversity

    Chris Dunn, 541-737-1194, [email protected]

    Dunn studies large fire management and wildfire risk science to improve the safety and effectiveness across fire-prone landscapes. He focuses on science to support structured decision making to mitigate wildfire risk to multiple values placed upon ecosystems. He also researches post-fire landscapes to inform upstream decisions regarding wildfires managed for resource objectives as a mitigation tool. His areas of expertise include:

    • Wildfire risk management
    • Analytics and decision support
    • Large fire management
    • Fire ecology

    Erica Fischer, 541-737-0093, [email protected]

    The wildland urban interface (WUI) is the fastest growing land use in the contiguous United States; however, our civil infrastructure is not designed to withstand the demands from wildland urban interface fires. Erica Fischer is an assistant professor in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering in the College of Engineering. She studies fire in the wildland urban interface environment to improve civil infrastructure resilience. She can discuss:

    • How building systems and materials behave in fire
    • How critical infrastructure (water, hospitals, schools) can be designed for fires in wildland urban interface communities
    • Interconnections in impacts and recovery of institutions within a community (e.g. housing and education)

    Beverly Law, 541-737-6111, [email protected]

    Law is a professor of global change biology & terrestrial systems science in the OSU Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society. Her research is on drought-related mortality in forests, and the interactive effects of fire, climate, and management on forest carbon and water processes at the ecosystem, state and regional scales. She can comment on:

    • The role of forests in climate change mitigation, including carbon sequestration
    • Carbon emissions from fires, thinning, and bioenergy
    • Drought tolerance of different species
    • Vulnerability of forests to mortality; resilience, and sustainability of forests in the future 

    Perry Hystad, 541-737-4829, [email protected]

    Hystad is an environmental epidemiologist who studies the health effects associated with exposure to air pollution, including cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and cancer. He’s currently leading a global study of cardiopulmonary health impacts from outdoor and household air pollution. His areas of expertise include:

    • Health impacts of air pollution from wildfire smoke
    • Differences between smoke and other types of pollution
    • Ways to lessen health impacts of wildfire smoke

    Carrie Berger, 541-737-7524, [email protected]

    Berger is the program manager for the OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Fire Program, which facilitates partnerships that work to create healthy and resilient communities and landscapes across Oregon by minimizing risk of catastrophic wildfire and providing education and outreach for all Oregonians. Her areas of expertise include:

    • Fire preparedness and prevention
    • Partnership development
    • Facilitation
    • Project management

    Amy Jo Detweiler, 541-548-6088, [email protected]

    Detweiler is a faculty member in the OSU Extension Service and a co-author of a publication, “Fire-Resistant Plants for Home Landscapes.” She can discuss the following topics:

    • Types of shrubs and trees that are less likely to burn
    • Maintenance tips for fire-resistant plantings
    • Fuel reduction around homes

    Lisa Ellsworth, 541-737-1959, [email protected]

    Oregon’s largest wildfires have occurred not in forests but in rangelands where wind-driven grass fires can spread with devastating speed. Lisa Ellsworth, assistant professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, studies the long-term consequences of fire, invasive plants and other factors in forests and the sagebrush country of central and eastern Oregon. She can discuss:

    • How rangeland ecosystems respond to fire
    • The role of fire in creating the habitat and vegetation of western forests and rangelands
    • How invasive plants such as cheat grass and change the rangeland fire regime 

    Jeff Hatten, 541-737-8720, [email protected] 

    Hatten, an associate professor of forest soils, studies the impact of prescribed and wild land fire on soils, soil organic matter, forest nutrition, and the erosion of soil carbon from burned watersheds. He can comment on:

    • Fire effects on soil nutrients, moisture and temperature
    • Role of fire in soil organic matter stabilization and destabilization 
    • Response of tree productivity to fire
    • Role of fire in eroding and transporting carbon from watershed

    Kevin Bladon, 541-737-5482, [email protected]

    Bladon, an assistant professor in the OSU College of Forestry, studies the impacts of wildfire and post-fire land management on forest hydrology, water quality and aquatic ecosystem health. His areas of expertise include:

    • Effects of fire on streamflow
    • Effects of fire on water quality, including stream temperature, sediment and nutrients
    • Wildfire threats to community drinking water supply

    Daniel Leavell, 541-883-7131 x8504, [email protected]

    Leavell is an Extension state fire specialist for the OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Fire Program. He can address media questions related to these topics:

    • Fire science
    • Fire ecology
    • Fire management
    • Fire prevention

    Rachel Houtman, 541-737-4294, [email protected]

    Houtman is a research assistant in the Department of Forest Engineering, Resources, and Management at OSU studying the long-term implications of forest management actions and wildfire at the level of landscapes. She can comment on:

    • How actions today may shape our landscapes tomorrow, leading to resilient landscapes
    • The effect of fuel treatments and harvests on wildfire
    • Trade-offs between fire suppression costs and losses from fire

    Dr. Erica McKenzie, 541-737-4809, [email protected]

    Dr. McKenzie is a professor of large animal medicine who studies exercise-related diseases and disorders in horses and dogs when not caring for a wide range of large animal species with medical problems in OSU’s veterinary teaching hospital. Her areas of expertise include:

    • Adverse effects of smoke and ash on animals including ruminants, horses, pigs and camelids
    • What owners can do to protect and care for their animals during wildfires