Forest fires in western Cascadia

It's easy to think of forest fires in the Northwest as a phenomenon that occurs on the east side of the cascades in dry, inland forests. However, fires play a key role in shaping the wet forests west of the Cascade Crest - in the past, present, and future. In this talk, I will discuss our ongoing research projects examining forest fires in western Washington and northwestern Oregon ("Western Cascadia"). This work is being co-produced with state, Tribal, local, and Federal partners, where we are looking at what drives fires in western Cascadia, what are the characteristics of these fires and their spatial patterns, and what are their effects for post-fire vegetation trajectories and future disturbance probability.

Burnt trees on a hillslope

About the Speaker

professional headshot of Brian Harvey
Dr. Brian Harvey
Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences in the College of the Environment at the University of Washington

Dr. Brian J. Harvey is the Jack Corkery and George Corkery Jr. Endowed Professor in Forest Sciences and Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences in the College of the Environment at the University of Washington. His research focuses on understanding the nature of forest disturbances (e.g., fires and insect outbreaks) – and how forest structure and function is shaped by disturbances, interactions among disturbances, and climate. Dr. Harvey’s work emphasizes field studies that are integrated with large spatial datasets and analyses, drawing on insights from landscape ecology and community ecology. Over the last 10 years, he has conducted research on the disturbance ecology of forests in coastal California, the US Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Northwest. From 2015 to 2017, Dr. Harvey was a David H. Smith Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Colorado-Boulder. In 2015, he completed his PhD in the Department of Integrative Biology (formerly Zoology) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to that, he completed his Masters degree in the Department of Geography at San Francisco State University in 2010, and in 2003 earned Bachelors degrees (double major) in the Departments of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of California – Santa Barbara. Prior to pursuing a career in research, Dr. Harvey worked in the private sector as an environmental consultant and project manager. In addition to his research at UW, he teaches graduate- and undergraduate-level courses in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.

Environmental Speaker Series

The Environmental Speaker Series is hosted by the College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public. Talks are held each Thursday at 4:30 pm in Academic Instructional Center West room 204 - AW-204. Talks will also be streamed via zoom. Register with the Alumni Association for the zoom link. Paid parking is available in lot C.

Learn more about the Environmental Speaker Series
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