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Integrating Public Health into Forest and Fire Management

November 17, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Increasing wildfire size and severity across the western United States has created an environmental and social crisis that must be approached from a transdisciplinary perspective. Climate change and more than a century of fire exclusion and wildfire suppression have led to contemporary wildfires with more severe environmental impacts and human smoke exposure. Wildfires increase smoke exposure for broad swaths of the US population, though outdoor workers and socially disadvantaged groups with limited adaptive capacity can be disproportionally exposed. Scientists, planners, foresters and fire managers, fire safety, air quality, and public health practitioners must collaboratively work together to protect both human and forest health.

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Dr. Savannah D’Evelyn is an environmental health scientist and bio-social scientist with expertise in environmental toxicology, community-based participatory research (CBPR), air pollution exposure, and implementation science. Her work centers on understanding the impacts of climate change on communities through the research themes of community action, air pollution exposure, and climate adaptation. Dr. D’Evelyn’s work on wildfire smoke at the University of Washington utilizes interdisciplinary collaborative approaches to work across forestry, climate, air quality, and health disciplines to move toward both fire- and smoke-ready communities. In her role as an environmental consultant for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, Dr. D’Evelyn is working to improve access to air quality data by expanding monitoring networks across Colorado schools.

The International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF), the Pau Costa Foundation (PCF), and the Association for Fire Ecology (AFE) organize the Partner Webinar Series, a monthly series of webinars to bring together diverse voices from the global wildland fire community. If you would like to suggest a topic or speaker for this series, please contact us.