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Seminar Series: Data-Driven Wildfire Research

Join us for a seminar series exploring how data science can help increase our understanding of wildfire. In recent years, wildfire has gone from an infrequent and distant news item to a centerstage isssue spanning many consecutive weeks for urban and suburban communities.

Frequent wildfires are changing everyday lives for California in numerous ways -- from public safety power shutoffs to hazardous air quality -- that seemed inconceivable as recently as 2015. Moreover, elevated wildfire risk in the western United States (and similar climates globally) is here to stay into the foreseeable future.

There is a plethora of problems that need solutions in the wildland fire arena; many of them are well suited to a data-driven approach. In this seminar series, co-sponsored by the Stanford Data Science Initiative and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment,  we will hear from a several Stanford researchers about how their areas of interest require a data-driven approach to find solutions to pressing wildfire problems. Each speaker will present a short 20-minute overview of a particular problem of interest, followed by a 30-minute Q&A session in hopes to create a dialog about data-driven wildland fire research.

Spring 2020-21

Mondays at 12:30pm – Seminars are held via Zoom. For log-in information contact Derek Fong at

April 5    | “Simultaneous management of fire risk, carbon storage, and human and ecosystem co-benefits”
                    Chris Field, Director, Woods Institute for the Environment, 
Stanford University

April 12  | “Zombie Forests: Fire Risk of the Standing Dead in the Sierra Nevada”
                     Avery Hill, PhD Candidate, Dept. of Biology, Stanford University

April 19 | “Data-Driven forest dryness monitoring”
                     Krishna Rao, PhD Candidate, Dept. of Earth System Science, Stanford University

April 26 | “Health Impacts of Smoke Exposure: What do we know?”
                      Mary Prunicki Sr. Research Scientist, Sean Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research, 
Stanford University

May 3     | “The Clean Air Act and wildfire smoke: What are the options?”
                    Michael Wara, Director, Climate and Energy Policy Program, 
Stanford University

May 10   | “Better measures of outdoor and indoor exposure to wildfire smoke”
Marshall Burke, Deputy Director, Center on Food Security and the Environment, Stanford University

May 17   |  “Trends in California Wildfire-related Legislature, 2001-2020”
                      Rebecca Miller, PhD Candidate, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, 
Stanford University

May 24   | “Using public records to study wildfires” 
                     Iris Hui, Senior Researcher, Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University

For seminar information, please contact Derek Fong at

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