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SAFE is the Student Section of the Association for Fire Ecology and 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.
Fall 2017 SAFE Newsletter
A Word from the National Officers 
Carrie A. Minerich, President
Carrie had an exciting summer developing and implementing a fuels monitoring program for the Nevada BLM. Carrie had the opportunity to detail with an Engine, a Helicopter crew, and a Wildland Fire Module during the active 2017 fire season. Carrie will be attending the NorCal TREX in October. Carrie is currently preparing her poster for the 7th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress and working to defend her Master's thesis in the Spring of 2018.
Peter Noble, Vice-President
This summer Peter enjoyed an abbreviated fire season with the Skyway WFM. Highlights included working on Firing Boss assignments, participating in an overnight medical extraction and witnessing some very active fire behavior in Montana. Now back at the University of Idaho, Peter is staying busy with classes and data collection for his Master's thesis project while enjoying a normal work schedule that allows time for hobbies such as backpacking, mountain biking and rock climbing. He is looking forward to the AFE Fire Congress in Orlando, and hopes to see many of you there!
Kayla Johnston, Training Officer
Kayla spent most of the summer with the handcrew in Burns, Oregon working on her engine operator, incident commander type 5, and firing boss taskbooks. September was spent doing field and lab work for her master's thesis on fire history and passive management in dry ponderosa pine forests outside of Sisters, Oregon. She ended her summer with a short study abroad trip to Italy for a program on managing forests as complex adaptive systems. Kayla had a great summer but is excited to be back at the bat for SAFE. This Fall she's taking a couple classes, completing lab work, and spending most of her time working on presentations and SAFE events for the AFE congress in Orlando. At the congress she'll be presenting a poster on her master's thesis work, giving an oral presentation as part of the 'Faces Within the Fire' special session, and participating in the post-congress Rx burning at Disney!
And Introducing...
Anjel Tomayko, Secretary/Treasurer
This summer Anjel spent time working on the timber sale preparation crew on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest in Idaho. She gained experience in another aspect of land management by working on timber sale layouts, as well as marking and cruising. She has returned to the University of Idaho where she is taking classes and working on final data collection and subsequent analysis for her Master's thesis project which,   she'll finish in Spring 2018. She is also preparing her poster and oral presentations for both the AFE Fire Congress and National SAF Convention in November. She's excited to return to the Orlando area for the AFE Fire Congress and partner again with The Nature Conservancy for prescribed burning at the Disney Wilderness Preserve. She is looking forward to meeting many of you in Orlando. Finally she is excited to take on the role of National SAFE Secretary/Treasurer for the remainder of this term.

Chapter Highlights
Clemson University SAFE
A new chapter of SAFE was formed at Clemson University in Clemson, SC. We just had our first official meeting and had an encouraging turnout of both undergrads and grad students. Looking forward to hosting speakers, installing Fire Learning Trails, and providing opportunities for fire ecology research, among many other ideas discussed. Thanks to the existing SAFE chapters who provided valuable insights into getting our club started. Looking forward to having more to share next time!

Humboldt State University SAFE
We have started off our year strong attending some TREX camps here in Northern California. Four members attended the Yurok TREX this past week (October 1st-7th), were we helped burn Yurok Reservation land. This week long event helped establish wildfire protection for some locals and it helped expose Hazel which is widely used among Yurok Tribe members. We also have two or three members attending the Klammath TREX at Happy Camp, CA. 
As for up and coming developments we are working on scheduling people for our speaker series in the spring, and we are planning a field trip to the Rattlesnake Fire Staff Ride. We have a few members trying to get to the Florida conference and our adviser Jeffrey Kane will be presenting there.
Northern Arizona University SAFE
Richard Lamont - Chapter President
Richard worked for Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management on a type 6 and a 3 engine for his second season.  He opened up his FFT1 taskbook and was able to go on four major fires over the course of the summer.  He also got to lead a hand crew on the Boundary fire in Flagstaff AZ, which he says was an amazing experience.  The summer concluded with a 3-week assignment in Montana on the Lodgepole complex and doing severity in Billings.
Max Klier - Chapter Vice President
Max got hired on as an assistant silviculturist for the Kaibab National Forest, AZ through the Forest Service Pathways program. He also takes personal time to teach elementary school children about fire ecology by showing them our rebar forest, which simulates fires in overgrown and thinned circumstances, along with other educational materials.
Rudy Marrufo - Chapter Secretary
Rudy was also hired through the Forest Service Pathways program as a Forestry Technician in the White Mountain National Forest, NH where he did timber inventories and checked local stands for evidence of the emerald ash borer. He is currently finishing his summer internship here in the Coconino National Forest, AZ while he attends school.
Michael Daugherty - Chapter Treasurer
Michael worked for the Forest Service Mogollon Rim ranger district on Crew 9 Fire & Fuels. He took park in two managed wildfires, the Snake Ridge and Bear fires, totaling over 16,000 acres and prepped burn blocks in WUI areas near Blue Ridge ranger station. He was part of the initial attack on the Highline fire in the Coconino/Tonto National Forests, AZ and in burning operations on the Clear fire in the Klamath National Forest, CA.
Our chapter concentrates on hosting an in-person S-130/190 fire class each year, open to all students. Along with this we use campus experts to critique student resumes and help them navigate the USAJOBS hiring process. We also have members teach environmental education to local youth, help Flagstaff residents to remove fuel build up around at risk homes, and work with local agencies to build a burn crew so our members can take part in prescribed fires. We have also been participating in the TREX program in Nebraska every spring.

Oregon State University SAFE
Oregon State University chapter of SAFE is gearing up for fall term meetings. Many of our members had busy summers conducting field work, running analyses, writing, and firefighting. Julia Olszewski, Christy Johnson, Will Downing, and Kayla Johnston tackled field work for studies examining post-fire ecology as well as landscapes that need fire to maintain forest ecology throughout Oregon. Anna Talucci worked on analysis and write up of beetle and fire interactions in British Columbia, Canada. Kayla Johnston spent most of the summer fighting fire. We have transitioned to a new office team saying goodbye to a hand full of graduates, congratulations, and seeing our former president, Kayla Johnston, transition to serve as the National SAFE Training & Education Officer. Our new officers are taking over the reins and tending our weekly fiery discussions, Anna Talucci - President, Christy Johnson - Vice President, Gabe Kohler - Secretary, and Julia Olszewski - Treasurer. We are excited that a few of our members will be presenting at the AFE conference this coming November. Watch for oral presentations by Kayla Johnston and Anna Talucci, as well as poster presentations by Kayla Johnston and Will Downing.

University of Missouri SAFE
This summer the Student Association for Fire Ecology at the University of Missouri had five students attend the Missouri Prescribed Fire Council Meeting at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO. The meeting was accompanied by a field tour showcasing the nature reserve's use of prescribed fire in managing and promoting ecological diversity in native prairie, woodland, and glade ecosystems. Students had the opportunity to meet with prescribed burn association members from
across the state, as well as state employees who apply prescribed fire as part of their management plans.
We also had one graduate student serve on a fire crew at the Lolo Peak Fire in Montana this summer. This was Julia Guyton Kamps' first wildfire detail, and she was there for two weeks. She went on the detail with a local wildland fire contractor and worked on an engine. She says that SAFE was a big part in her being able to have this experience, because it was through SAFE that she was able to keep her certifications up to date in graduate school and make the connection with the contractor. She feels that she would not have had this opportunity without SAFE.

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Our SAFE members participated in a wide variety of fire science related activities this past summer. A large portion of our students worked on Initial Attack Hand Crews, Engine Crews, and Fuels Crews throughout much of the western half of the country. A few of our members were involved in fire research and fire data analysis in Wisconsin. These students worked in many ecosystems ranging from remote conifer forests of Montana, to the rangelands of Nevada, to the boreal forests of Minnesota.  
This fall, our chapter will be offering educational opportunities for our students that include a variety of certification fire classes (S-219, S-212, FI-210), fire research opportunity, and prescribed burning. One ongoing research project conducted by chapter members is looking at fire return intervals in an oak savanna ecosystem.  
This November, we have one student presenting a research project at the Fire Congress in Orlando that is studying fire return intervals in a forest ecosystem in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. We hope to send a few additional chapter members to the congress to experience the educational and networking opportunities.
Upcoming Fire Congress  
We want YOU to REGISTER for the 7th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress held November 28-December 2, 2017 in Orlando, Florida.
Don't forget SAFE members pay $360 until 10/31. Student Volunteers pay only $250 for the entire conference (limited availability for student volunteer rate so hurry up and register). Check out the tentative schedule of congress events here.
This year, student events include:
  • National SAFE lunch meeting (Lunch provided)
  • Evening social at the Disney Wilderness Preserve (Dinner provided plus awesome giveaways)
  • Interactive Fire Circle Panel JUST FOR STUDENTS
  • Inaugural SPARKS (Special Programs for Advancing the Research and Knowledge of Students): 2-day prescribed burning event at the Disney Wilderness Preserve (currently waitlist only)
Why Attend?
  • Network with fire professionals and students from around the world
  • Discover the latest research on fire ecology and management
  • Present your current or prospectus research
  • Make lifelong friends and colleagues
But I'm a will I afford to attend?
TREE Grants are being accepted until October 20 to fund graduate students who are presenting at the conference. We are also providing assistance to match roommates to reduce lodging fees. See the info in this newsletter and keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates. If you have any questions about student opportunities at the conference, email Carrie at

TREE Grants 
Get a Roommate!
Are you looking for someone to help you defray the costs of lodging at the FireVision 20/20 - The 7th AFE International Fire Congress in Orlando? We know as students, conferences can be expensive so this year the program committee is providing a place to connect with other students for room sharing.
Fill out the form (link above) to be find a potential roommate. Or browse the list and contact someone. Once you've found a roommate or made accommodations, please remove your name from this list. The list is only open to student participants. This space is designated as a meeting ground for you to get in contact with potential roommates; however, it is your responsibility to set up arrangements. AFE is not responsible for any liability or financial obligation that may arise from voluntary matching made via this space.

Start a SAFE Chapter!
Do you know a school interested in starting a SAFE chapter but they don't know how? Contact Carrie Minerich,, to receive the new chapter startup packet.

SAFE Constitution: Revised and Needs YOUR Vote
Calling All SAFE Active Chapters: Please vote on the revised SAFE constitution. We need a majority vote from our active chapters to ratify.
The two notable changes are:
  • Student membership dues are no longer returned to chapters. Moving forward, student membership will go toward chapter grants and to support student attendance and activities at the annual conference.
  • We added a National Officer Position: Training and Education Officer. We combined the Secretary and Treasurer positions.
  Click here to vote. P lease respond by November 15th

Chapter Grants! 
All active chapters should have received the chapter grant application. If you did not receive one, please email Carrie,

What does the chapter grant application entail?
1. Demonstrate need for funding
2. Provide deliverables for your student organization (e.g., acres treated, conferences, training)
3. Provide positive outcomes grant funding will support
4. Demonstrate stability and longevity of your student organization
5. Provide a budget outline on how the money will be used
Get your chapter application in by November 1st to Peter Noble,

National Officer Elections Are Coming Up Soon! 
Keep a look out in early 2018 for announcement on officer elections. All current SAFE members are eligible to run for office, including: undergraduate, graduate, U.S., and international students.
Why be a National Officer?
- Build SAFE's presence as a student resource
- Be a part of the AFE Board of Directors
- Help connect SAFE chapters and expand our network
- Network with other students and professionals
Abbreviated Position Descriptions:
- Responsible for the overall conduct of business within SAFE
- Ensure SAFE representation at AFE events and conferences
Vice President:
- Assist the President in performing the roles and duties of that office
- Function as interim Chair of the At-large chapters of SAFE
- Maintain minutes and an updated list of SAFE chapter contact info
- Maintain SAFE's presence on social media sites,such as Facebook
- Maintain SAFE's financial assets
Training and Education Officer:
- Coordinate outreach for, and facilitate, fire related training and educational opportunities for SAFE members and chapters.
All positions are 1 year term to start in the spring of 2018.

Stay Connected!
Join the SAFE Facebook group for the latest updates on other chapter happenings, conferences, funding and job opportunities!