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Fall 2012 SAFE Newsletter
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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

September 2012

15th - TREE grants due

21st - IAWF Conference Abstract due

25th - Extension for Fire Trek & Poster abstract submission, see article below

October 2012 

1st Last day to submit photos to AFE's Calendar Photo Contest 

15th - Nominations for AFE Student Excellence Awards due

18th - IAWF Webinar - Introduction to the Interagency Fuels Tx Decision

31st - Last day for AFE Fire Congress regular registration rates

December 2012

1st - SAFE Memberbership fees refund request due

3rd-7th - AFE's Fire Ecology and Management Congress, Portland, OR

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 us out online!
The AFE website has a lot of great information about SAFE, including info on how to get funds redistributed back to the chapters from SAFE membership fees, 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 important information such as national officers, upcoming events and deadlines, and training opportunities.

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Chapter Spotlights
SAFE sun

CSU Spring Break Burning

In early March 2012, five members of the Colorado State University Student Association for Fire Ecology (SAFE) set out on an unusual spring break trip to a small town in northern Nebraska to learn about prescribed fire through hands-on experience.  The Fire Learning Network training exchange program, sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, attracted a variety of groups including local landowners, land managers, college students and professional firefighters. The groups worked together to burn 2455 acres in one week while meeting with landowners and learning about the realities of using prescribed fire as a land management tool.

Colorado State students quickly became familiar with the intricacies of a prescribed burning operation.  Students saw how fire behavior changes with fuels and winds - principles they had studied in class but may not have previously experienced first-hand. They learned about using ignition patterns to meet burn objectives while staying safely contained within the desired perimeter. They also operated fire management tools including drip torches, hoses and pumps, hand tools and engines. The sharing of leadership and expertise between experienced prescribed fire practitioners and inexperienced trainees was key to meeting landowner objectives safely.  Collaborative training efforts such as this one are essential if we wish to restore the process of fire to fire-dependent ecosystems that make up the majority of the American West. This unique opportunity allowed students to get invaluable real world experience in prescribed burning, putting into action concepts learned from many hours in the classroom. The CSU Student Association for Fire Ecology plans to make this training exchange an annual event, training tomorrow's leaders in the prescribed fire and land management community.


SAFE b&w  Mixers in Montana

A new SAFE chapter was established in 2011 at the University of Montana when a group of students decided to revive the lapsed "Fire Club" and formally affiliate with AFE.  Chapter activities included prescribed burning with the Lolo National Forest, a visit to the Missoula Fire Sciences Lab and member participation in the University's winter session Prescribed Fire Practicum, held in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy of GA.  However, one of the most successful activities was also the most informal - the occasional mixers held at a local watering hole that drew together students, researchers, managers and career firefighters to quench their thirst and shoot the breeze. 

                  Students were surveyed beforehand regarding whom they would like to meet, and invitations were extended to ensure a wide variety of professions and interests were represented.  Missoula is at a unique crossroads where multiple agencies at all levels (county, state, federal) participate in all aspects of fire (pure and applied research, management for suppression and resource benefit, and wildland firefighters in all guises).  In a single evening, a student might have the opportunity to talk to a smokejumper, a state DNRC dispatcher and a Fire Sciences Lab researcher. 

                  Feedback from all participants was very positive. The students appreciated the opportunity to meet a diverse array of professionals, discover new career options and talk candidly about the pros and cons of different roles in fire. The professionals were excited to share their experiences, get to know the next generation of professionals, and impart advice. This was networking at its best - genuine, low key and actually fun.

                  SAFE is working to arrange a similar event at the Fire Congress this December in Portland, OR.  If you are interested in participating and have a specific career/focus area you would like to see represented by a professional, please email SAFE at  


SAFE congrats Congratulations!

Jeremy Baker, president of the University of Florida SAFE chapter, was the recipient of the 2012 Society of American Foresters Florida Division Graduating Senior Award.  His involvement with SAFE was one of the ways he demonstrated the positive attitude and leadership skills the award recognizes. 


Chapter Activities Update

safe fire 1

During the Spring 2012 semester, SAFE chapters nationwide supported a variety of state, local, and federal agencies in conducting more than 3800 acres of prescribed fires. These activities supported the goals of the agencies and provided valuable on-the-job training for SAFE members. SAFE also provided over 130 hours of fire training to student members.


Please let us know what your chapter has been up to!  We would love to hear about prescribed fire experience (both acreage tallies and narratives), unique chapter activities (your chapter's "highlight") and anything other news of note. On a more prosaic level, we are trying to collect chapter contact information including officer names, chapter website/facebook/twitter address to link to on the SAFE webpage, and any additions or deletions to your chapter's member list.  Thanks!

afe logo small transparent circle Association for Fire Ecology 
5th International
Fire Ecology and Management Congress:   
Uniting Research, Education, and Management

Please join us this December 3rd-7th in Portland, OR for the chance to explore new research, applications, challenges and solutions related to wildland fire ecology and management across the globe.  Student opportunities include presenting talks and posters, volunteering for reduced conference fees and participating in SAFE events.  Visit the Fire Congress website for more information and a list of important dates.  


Abstract Submission period re-opened for Students!

Students engaged in research on wildland fire are specially invited to participate in the Fire Congress.  Here are two great opportunities that have been extended for students:

Give an oral presentation:  "Fire Trek: The Next Generation" is a special session showcasing student research projects. These 15 minute oral presentations may cover past completed research projects, current works-in-progress (e.g. fieldwork that lacks completed data collection or analysis), or recently finished degree research (e.g. Master's or Dissertation projects).  For those students who have never presented at a professional fire science conference before, this is your opportunity!  Speaking at the International Fire Congress would make an excellent entry on your curriculum vitae, and a great step forward in your emerging professional career.

Give a poster presentation:  The Fire Congress offers a catered reception for poster displays of fire research, education, or management projects.  Student posters are eligible for the contest awarding prizes for best poster presentations.  Winning a poster presentation award at the International Fire Congress would be another great entry on your curriculum vitae.

Abstracts for the Fire Trek special session can be submitted on our on-line abstract submission page.

In Question #2 of the online form, click on "oral presentation that is part of a Special Session," then in Question #4 click the bubble for "this presentation is part of a Special Session" and type in "Fire Trek/Timothy Ingalsbee" in the box below.  Follow up your abstract submission by emailing a copy of your abstract and personal contact information as an attached Word file to Dr. Timothy Ingalsbee, Co-Director of AFE.

To submit an abstract for a poster presentation, in Question #2 of the on-line form simply click on "student poster presentation" in the drop-down window.  All submissions must be received by Tues, Sept. 25, 2012.


Volunteering/Student Service Worker Opportunities!

Students can get greatly reduced registration rates in exchange for 4-8 hours of volunteering during the event. To sign up, simply register as a Student Service Worker/Volunteer and we will get in touch with you. 


Photo Contest

We are planning a photo contest in conjunction with this event.  Winning photos will be selected to appear in a 12 month calendar that will be given as a premium at the event.  See our website for details, submit by Oct. 1.

Get Credit!

Attend the Fire Congress and get College Credit!  Oregon State University is offering a special 1 or 3 credit course just for our attendees.  Get details here.


TREE Grants!

These grants are designed to help students attend conferences, symposia, workshops, etc. associated with wildland fire science and management.  For more information, visit the AFE website, and to request a grant application contact  TREE grant applications for the Fire Congress are due Sept. 15.


Student Excellence Awards!

Nominations for outstanding graduate and undergraduate students involved in fire related research and activities are being accepted until October 15th, 2012.  Visit the awards page of the AFE website for details.