The Pyrogeography of the 2020 US Fire Season

Michael Medler

Professor, Huxley College

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The last decade has presented a nearly constant stream of superlatives and new records in wildland fire in the US. Then again this last 2020 wildland fire season has set numerous records and perhaps given us a preview of coming fire seasons with changes associated with ongoing climate change. However, this last year may be something a little more than just another big year. There were some profound shifts in the way the west burned this last summer. Dr. Medler will take us through some of the salient facts and issues exposed by the past season’s burning patterns.

Michael Medler

Dr. Michael Medler is a professor with Huxley college. He is also past President of the Association of Fire Ecology and was the founding editor of the journal Fire Ecology. His research and teaching interests center on pyrogeography and using spatial technologies to inform both wildland fire science and the policy arena. He has testified about wildland fire before both US House and Senate committees. Earlier in his career he worked on wildland fire crews.

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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.

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Presentations are held each Thursday at 4:30pm On-campus and ONLINE.


Due to the pandemic, the in-person presentations are not open to the public. However, the talks will be live-streamed ONLINE for the off-campus audience.


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