Hot Topics in Alaska Wildfire

Please join us on Tuesday, March 17, 5-6pm (AKDT), for our Friends March membership meeting with featured guest speaker and fire ecologist Lisa Saperstein.

This was a virtual meeting; watch a recording of Lisa’s presentation below.

How will wildfire affect refuges in a changing climate?  Wildfire was always a major driver of habitat change in much of Alaska but last summer was one for the record books​ in terms of the number of people impacted by smoke, road closings, activity cancellations and fear for life and property.  Scientists and managers are scrambling to understand what Alaska will look like in the future with predicted increases in fire occurrence and to figure out how to manage fire with a changing climate.  Lisa will give an overview on fire in Alaska from fire history and habitat changes to current research topics and refuge projects to reduce risks. 

Lisa’s current work focuses on post-fire effects on wildlife and vegetation, burn severity and fuel treatment planning and monitoring.  She is a collaborator on research on climate change and fire in boreal forest and tundra and on modeling fire behavior during wildfires.  After working on the Selawik, Koyukuk/Nowitna, Yukon Delta and Kanuti refuges, she was hired in her current position as fire ecologist for all Alaska refuges in 2010.  Lisa began her Alaska career as a Master’s student at UAF in 1989 investigating the effects of tundra fire on caribou winter range.

Missed this meeting?  Watch a recording of Lisa’s presentation: