Introduction to Fire Ecology of the Sierra Nevada
August 2 – 5, 2018
Instructor: Hugh Safford
Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL)
California has been referred to as the “pyrostate.” In California’s Mediterranean-type climate, summers are warm and dry and natural or human ignitions in the presence of flammable biomass often lead to wildfires. In the Sierra Nevada, many ecosystems have close ecological and evolutionary associations with fire; the nature of these relationships varies substantially, depending on factors like the species involved, climate, history, and geography. Participants in this 4-day workshop will delve into the fire ecology of major vegetation types in the Sierra Nevada. Topics will include fire as a physical process; fire effects on ecosystems and vegetation; fire as an evolutionary force; fire history and fire regimes (including an introduction to fire scar dendrochronology); fire geography; fire management and policy; and climate change and fire. The curriculum will include 2-3 field trips to eastern Sierra Nevada sites exemplifying the fire ecology of yellow pine and mixed conifer forest, sagebrush, and subalpine forest. Fire management and ecological consequences of current and projected future trend in wildfire will also be major focus areas of the field trips. The workshop will be held at the excellent facilities of the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL) just south of Mammoth Lakes, in the beautiful eastern Sierra Nevada.
Accommodations: Share dormitories with the option to tent camp
Meals: Kitchen available for preparing individual meals
Transportation: Personal vehicles with 4WD recommended but not required
Hiking: Moderate to occasionally strenuous with the possibility of hiking off-trail
Start/End: Thursday, 8:00 am – Sunday, 1:00 pm. Check-in is on Wednesday evening, August 1, in order to start promptly on Thursday morning.
Course Fee: $400/$430