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Congressional Wildfire Boot Camp

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About the Program

For two decades, the Woods Institute for the Environment has served as Stanford’s hub for interdisciplinary research focused on critical environmental issues. Now a cornerstone of the recently launched Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, the Institute is expanding its offerings for Congressional staff with new educational opportunities offered by leading experts working at the nexus of research and public policy.

The increasing frequency and severity of wildfires in recent years have necessitated that Congress and the federal government focus on identifying effective policies to reduce the risk of wildland fire and its threat to humans and infrastructure. The task is daunting, given the complexities and evolving understanding of wildfire’s causes and potential solutions. The Woods Institute hopes to serve newcomers to the issue as well as knowledgable policy veterans with a new Congressional Wildfire Boot Camp. Led by Stanford researchers and other distinguished California fire experts, the bootcamp will offer seminars on the mechanisms and contributing factors that produce mega fires, as well as conditions required to maintain resilient, healthy forests. The agenda also includes meetings and site visits in communities that are working to prepare for and recover from fire events.  

This inaugural program will convene a select group of Congressional staff at Stanford University’s campus in Palo Alto, California for a full-day of programming, complemented by an additional day of engagement in neighboring communities and wildfire burn sites. These site visits will include meetings and discussions with academic and policy experts and community members.

The Boot Camp is scheduled to take place Tuesday, August 13 - Thursday, August 15.

What’s Included?

Participants’ round-trip airfare and ground transportation costs to Stanford University from the Washington, DC area, lodging on Stanford’s campus, and all meals in the program schedule. All programming and reimbursable expenses will be strictly in compliance with Congressional ethics rules governing these types of events.

What You’ll Learn

Congressional fellows are encouraged to discuss and debate key issues related to wildfire with some of the nation’s leading thinkers and practitioners. Participants may be asked to prepare in advance of the seminars by reading relevant course materials supplied by Stanford scholars.

Who Should Apply

Mid- to senior-level congressional staff with an interest in wildfire, conservation, healthy forests and related issues are encouraged to apply. We currently do not accept applications from congressional fellows, as this program is designed for permanent congressional staff. Please note this program is only open to accepted congressional staff.

Submitting Interest

To submit interest, please include a personal statement expressing your specific interest in participating in the Congressional Fellowship Program (500 words max). In addition, please include the following information:

  • Name (Last, First Middle)
  • Current Position and Office
  • Cell Phone
  • Email Address

Applications for the 2024 Congressional Wildfire Bootcamp are open through Monday, May 20, 2024.

Apply for the Congressional Wildfire Boot Camp