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Fall 2013 SAFE Newsletter
Become a SAFE Member
Becoming a member in SAFE is easy and affordable.  All SAFE members are also AFE members and enjoy all the membership benefits at a discounted rate of  only $20/year.
Upcoming Dates & Deadlines

December 1, 2013-Deadline to apply for SAFE chapter reimbursements (see article below)


December 1, 2013-Deadline to submit a TREE grant for early decision for the Large Wildland Fires Conference (see article below)



December 6, 2013-Deadline for SAFE Chapter Grants (see article below).



What is SAFE?

SAFE is the Student Section of the Association for Fire Ecology (AFE). SAFE was established in 2000 by graduate students at UC Davis from a variety of academic disciplines, who shared a strong interest in fire ecology and related issues. SAFE now consists of a network of campus chapters from across the US.  SAFE aims to provide students from diverse backgrounds with an open forum on fire ecology through which research can be shared, networks formed, and funding and information resources can be accessed. 

Check out SAFE online!
The AFE website has a lot of great information on our SAFE page, including info on how to get chapter reimbursements, a listing of current SAFE chapters, details on SAFE student awards and previous winners, a guidebook on how to start your own SAFE chapter, the SAFE constitution, and other information such as national officers, upcoming events and deadlines, and training opportunities.  And you can join SAFE's facebook page to get updated info on jobs, internships, other opportunities
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SAFE Reimbursement for Membership Fees--Due December 1, 2013

AFE will redistribute dues from SAFE members back to local chapters upon request from the chapter coordinator.  Coordinators will organize new members to join their chapter at the beginning of the school year.  Students registered in SAFE chapters through their AFE membership as of the date the form is submitted will qualify to have their membership dues sent back to their local chapter.  Chapters must have faculty advisors to qualify to receive this reimbursement.  The completed form must be returned to AFE by December 1 to receive the funds.  Simply download the Safe Funds Reimbursement Form on our website, complete it, and send as an email it back.  

TREE Student Travel Grant Opportunity--Early Decision Deadline December 1, 2013

The TREE Grant Program by the Association for Fire Ecology (AFE) and the Joint Fire Sciences Program (JFSP) is designed to help students travel to attend conferences, symposia, workshops, and laboratories dealing with wildland fire science and management.  All registered graduate and undergraduate students in good academic standing in a field related to wildland fire science, ecology, or management will be eligible to apply for grants of $250-$1,500.


We are offering an "Early Decision" deadline of December 1 for the upcoming Large Wildland Fires: Social, Political and Ecological Effects Conference in Missoula, Montana, May 19-23, 2014. Applicants who submit a funding request by this deadline will be notified of the results by January 1.

After this deadline, we will continue to accept TREE grant applications for this conference, however we won't be announcing the award amounts for the next round of applications until closer to the event.


To request a grant application, or for more information, contact:  AFE at:

2014 SAFE Grants for Chapter Activities--Due December 6, 2013

SAFE chapters that are recognized through AFE are eligible for grants of up to $1,000.

Application Deadline: Dec 6th 2013, Midnight Pacific Standard Time

Grant Criteria

(1) Demonstrate need for funding

(2) Provide deliverables from your student organization. (i.e. acres treated, conferences, training)

(3) Provide positive outcomes grant funding will support.

(4) Demonstrate stability and longevity of your student organization  


To apply, complete our online Grant Application.  You will be notified by email when the grant decisions have been made.

2013 SAFE Grants and Nomex Pants Distribution

Nine SAFE university chapters applied for funding grants in the spring of 2013. After an application and review process all nine SAFE chapters received grant money totaling 5,000 dollars. The grant money was given to the national SAFE organization from AFE.  Deadline for this year is fast approaching (see article above).


Nomex pants were donated to the national SAFE organization from (Mike Tiller) totaling 52 pairs. The 52 pairs were divided amongst the seven SAFE chapters that applied for them.   

Chapter Spotlights

Colorado State University


CSU SAFE graduate students Doug Bailey (left) and Andrew Spencer (right) at the 2013 FLN Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX) in Niobrara Nebraska. (photo by Megan Metonis)







University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point   


Dr. Ron Masters and Jack Waymire of the Oklahoma department of Wildlife Conservation showing UWSP Fire Crew members plots they helped burn during the Spring Break Burn Trip to Oklahoma.




Univeristy of Montana


University of Montana students participate in a winter session experiential prescribed fire course, coordinated between the Georgia Nature Conservancy and the UM National Center for Landscape Fire Analysis.  Students learn about the fire ecology of longleaf pine ecosystems (which is new to many westerners), participate in restoration-focused burns, and have the chance to plan and lead firing operations. 



University of Missouri


Mizzou SAFE members assisted multiple agencies with reintroducing fire to a virgin shortleaf pine stand in Shannon County, Missouri. (photo credit: Neal Humke)




Stephen F. Austin State University 


Stephen F. Austin State University's S.A.F.E chapter assisting the U.S. Forest Service with a 2,200 acre prescribed burn on the Davey Crockett National Forest. The burn prescription was focused on the reduction of understory plant strata in a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) stand with a primary goal of improving red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) clusters.   

SAFE Chapter Update:  UC Berkeley 2012-13 Activities, by Kate Wilkin, Chapter President


1)   Fire scientist and management outreach

a)    All members attended the 2012 AFE International Congress. Some members gave presentations.

i)   Impacts of landscape fuel treatment design on hazardous fire potential: A comparison of an actual fuel treatment network to a theoretical design by Chris Dow

ii)   What LiDAR metrics are most important for explaining the occurrence of severe wildfire? by Anu Kramer

iii)  Social relationships affect wildland fire outcomes  by Kate Wilkin

iv)   We also took a field trip to Ecola State Park to enjoy coastal Oregon and explore fire regimes and the timber industry outside of California. Here the forests burn every 400+ years with stand replacing fire. Some of this region burned in the early 1800s and had an even age stand. These even age stands also resulted from large clear cuts.

b)    Chris Dow attended the California Licensed Forester's Association and submitted Forest product infrastructure and forest fuel reduction to the conference proceedings.

c)     Kate Wilkin attended The 2013 George Wright Society Conference on Parks and Protected Areas and California's Landscape Conservation Cooperative's Southern Sierra Climate Change Workshop where she presented a poster - Protecting forest biodiversity: Understanding climate change refugia for management.

d)    Kate Wilkin and collaborators lead a research site tour, Natural and social tradeoffs of chaparral fire risk reduction, at Northern California Prescribed Fire Council spring meeting in Hopland, CA.

i)     Abstract: Fire managers are caught in the middle of a difficult dilemma: how to preserve natural shrublands while simultaneously protecting humans from wildfire. In 1999 The Stephens Lab began a long term experiment to assist managers; the goal was to determine the effects of two fuel reduction types (prescribed fire and mastication) and three different seasons of treatment (fall, winter and spring) on shrub cover, height, fuel loads, non-native plant density, and bird diversity. We will discuss 3-year post treatment vegetation & bird response; discuss the interactions of birds, mastication, and Lyme disease; and tour 10+ years post treatment experimental areas at Hopland UC Reserve.

2)    Youth outreach

a)    Continued wildland fire education program for 4th graders through Bay Area Scientists in Schools (BASIS), with 9 visits so far.

b)    We met with 8th grade students exploring careers in fire ecology and discussed fire ecology, behavior, and climate change. They toured the lab and examined many of our tools and samples. The highlight was a demonstration of extreme fire behavior --- the fire vortex. This event was featured on the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project Green Blog (

3)    Departmental outreach:

a)    Sponsored departmental happy hour (see HappyHour photos)

i)     Our menu was true to our fiery studies: Flaming Cookie Monster shots, Muddled jalapeno margaritas, Triptych of Fire succession cakes (see Happy Hour photos), Chili with an arsenal of hot sauces, Tree ring cookies, Beer and Wine, and for other budding fire ecologist, we had a grill-your-own-station with veggie kebobs and marshmallows. For their safety, we let them borrow our Nomex and hard hats. Dr. Scott Stephens kept people warm & entertained with a demonstration of extreme fire behavior --- fire devils. This event was featured in California's Joint Fire Science Consortium web-site (

b)    Sponsored department coffee klatch

c)     Fire movie nights (Nova's Fire Wars and Firestorm), beer, pizza, and research preparation. We made solar radiation shields for Wilkin's climate sensor network for downscaling.

4)    Training

a)    Prescribed fire at UC's Blodgett Experimental Forest with SAFE members and ten undergraduate students.

b)    Anu Kramer attended The Nature Conservancy's prescribed fire training in Nebraska (see Nebraska photo), American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) National Conference: Imaging and Geospatial Technologies and Summer 2012 Technical Session: Remote Sensing of Fire and Ecosystem Impacts, Silvilaser Conference, LiDAR Workshop for Fire Related Studies sponsored by the National Park Service, and 2012 fall Northern California Prescribed Fire Council meeting.




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