SAFE logo
Spring 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

April 30, 2013--Deadline to apply for SAFE chapter grant (see article)


April 30, 2013--Deadline to request Nomex for your chapter  (see article)

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. 

Follow us on Twitter          Like us on Facebook

SAFE 2013 AFE Grant

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


To apply, write a one-page brief on the SAFE chapters' need for funding and the opportunities the grant money would support.  Also provide a budget spreadsheet on how the money will be utilized. Include other funding to meet objectives.  Mail one page brief and budget spreadsheet to


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

 Application Due: April 30, 2013 @ 5:00 pm Pacific standard time.

Nomex Pant Request Application

54 pairs of old style Nomex pants have been donated to SAFE and are available to the chapters.


Fill out the Nomex Request Form with a limit of 10 pairs of pants. Prioritize pant size in descending order. Include officer and college information on the form. Chapter will be charged shipping (COD). For more information contact Mike Tiller (


In addition to request form, write one paragraph describing the need for nomex pants and how they will be utilized.  Email the request form and the paragraph to

Download the Nomex Request Form here.

Application Due: April 30, 2013 @ 5:00 pm Pacific standard time.

Meet the new SAFE officers

Kevin Moriarty

Kevin Moriarty - President

 Kevin Moriarty is a master's student from Colorado State University's Warner College of Natural Resources who is pursuing a degree in forestry with an emphasis in fire science. Kevin received his undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon in biology and then worked for over 13 years in the field of natural resources with 10 of those years in fire.  Kevin has experience in a variety of settings and has worked on an engine, hotshot crew, fuels crew and wildland fire module for the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and the Nature Conservancy. He has spent the last 2 years as the president of the Colorado State University's SAFE Chapter facilitating opportunities for students to network and learn from distinguished professionals in the field and gain hands on experiences through seminars, prescribed fire trips, and field trainings. In addition, he has helped raise over $1000 in travel grants to support field trips and conferences. As SAFE's national president, Kevin is looking forward to providing opportunities of experiential learning and improving the networking platform between chapters and cooperative agencies. 



Jena Ferrarese pic Jena Ferrarese - Vice President

Jena Ferrarese is currently a Master's student in the National Center for Landscape Fire Analysis at the University of Montana, Missoula.  She has worked with the National Park Service and US Forest Service on fire effects, fire use, helitack and helirappel crews throughout the Inter-Mountain West, as well as for the The Nature Conservancy doing prescribed fire in Missouri.  At the University of Montana she is an active member of the Student Association for Fire Ecology and Management; her current research focuses on using terrestrial laser scanning to improve characterizations of crown fuels for input into fire behavior models.  In her free time she can be found playing outside or working in the ceramics studio. 


Kristen Miller

Kristen Miller - Secretary

Kristen was born and raised in Northeast Florida just outside of Jacksonville. She is a senior, majoring in Forestry Recreation at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. She has had her basic wildland fire certifications since 2005. She is a FFT1 (t) and a PIO (t). She has been a member of the UWSP Fire Crew for 3 years; she is currently Fire Crew leader and was previously the secretary. She has organized 4 burn experience trips to various states for the UWSP Fire Crew. She presented at the AFE conference in Portland, Oregon and at the Tall Grass Prairie Oak Savanna conference in Dubuque, Iowa. She is working on an engine this summer in South Dakota and will be graduating in December and then plans to pursue a master's degree in Fire Science.


Larry Lee - Treasurer

Larry was born and raised in Bozeman Montana for the first 27 years of his life.  While in Bozeman he held a multitude of random jobs from carpentry to survey work and wildland firefighting.  He graduated from Montana State University with a degree in Marketing.  Directly after graduating from MSU he took a job on the Gila National Forest with the Gila Hotshots.  It was a slow season but he learned a lot about fire and working as a crew none the less.  In 2012 he started studies at the University of Montana, seeking a master's of science in forestry.  Last summer he worked for the Salmon Heli-Rappellers.  It proved to be an interesting summer.  Currently Larry is in his second semester as a grad student and was recently elected to the position of treasure for SAFE.  


Daniel Godwin pic Daniel Godwin - Training and Education Coordinator

Daniel Godwin is a PhD student studying savanna fire ecology at the University of Missouri - Columbia. The founder of his school's chapter of SAFE, he went on to serve as the national SAFE President for the 2012 term. He worked previously with The Nature Conservancy on the NE Florida prescribed fire crew where he became an evangelist for quick connect hose coupling. He currently serves on the Executive Board of the Missouri Prescribed Fire Council, and enjoys gardening, daydreaming about life after grad school, and long walks on the fireline.



Summary of SAFE Meeting at the International Fire Congress in December, 2012

Common Challenges at the Chapter Level

  • Membership recruitment/retention
    • o   Meeting needs of both suppression and ecology foci, under grad and grad members
    • o   Motivating students without tangible projects/goals/plans
    • o   Continuity of members and officer corps (loss of active cohort)
    • Access to resources
      • o   Training opportunities (affordability)
      • o   Equipment (acquiring, tracking and storing)
      • o   Funding shortages/limitations
      • Building outside relationships
        • o   Limits on Rx fire participation
          • Agency bureaucracy
          • School liability
  • o   Specific problematic local agency liasons
  • o   Need to Red Card through Agency, not University
  • o   Networking for job placement
  • o   Establishing credibility with partners (SAFE quals vary year to year)


Successes at the Chapter Level

  • Membership recruitment/retention
    • o   Choose appropriate meeting frequency (e.g. biweekly or monthly) - don't hold meeting with no point
    • o   Combine membership with other related groups on campus
    • o   Give "What I did over the summer" presentations at 1st fall meeting to inspire/set goals early
    • o   Freshman meet-and-greet with office corps / mentoring between older-younger members
    • o   Incentive system to spur participation in more than just the big projects
    • o   Rx fire "lessons learned" reports as part of meetings
    • o   Big Rx trips (e.g. TNC NE for ID/CSU)
    • o   Training for how to apply for summer fire jobs (USAJobs)
    • o   Seminar series
    • o   Tours of local facilities (e.g. Fire Lab in Missoula)
    • o   Field trips to local (past) fires
    • Access to resources
      • o   Chainsaw raffle to raise money
      • o   Sharing with other university organizations
      • o   Look for lots of funding sources
      • o   Inquire with local organizations about inheriting hand-me-down gear
      • Building outside relationships
        • o   Mixers set up between local fire folks and students
        • o   Attending conferences
        • o   Look for partnerships beyond federal agencies
        • o   Defensible space counseling with local landowners
        • o   Elementary school outreach




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.