WiRē Advisory Committee
USDA Forest Service – Washington Office, Fire and Aviation Management
Chris Barth is an Emergency Management Specialist with the USDA Forest Service, Washington Office, Fire and Aviation Management, National Incident Management Organization (NIMO). He is a Public Information Officer (PIO) on NIMO Team 3. He has more than three decades of fire experience with diverse experience in strategic communications. As a PIO, Chris’ communication style is shaped by his operational, professional, and research experiences. He works with the public, internal and external partners, elected officials, and the media to communicate fire management strategies and disaster response, planning, and fire adaptation concepts.
Chris is a founding member and subject matter expert for the Wildfire Research (WiRē) Team – with research interests in homeowners’ attitudes towards wildfire mitigation and public perception of wildfire risk. He has co-authored papers on homeowners’ attitudes towards wildfire mitigation and public perception of wildfire risk. He has also presented at national and international conferences related to his work in this field.
Chris has been committed to the application of science and new and emerging technologies to inform best practices for creating fire adapted communities. He has received several national awards for his work to reduce community wildfire risk. Chris holds Bachelor’s Degrees in both Biology and Environmental Conservation from the University of Colorado at Boulder, as well as a Master’s Degree in Environmental Education from the University of Montana.
USDA Forest Service – Rocky Mountain Research Station
Patty Champ is an economist in the Human Dimensions Program at the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) in Fort Collins, CO. She has been with RMRS since 1994. Patty’s research focuses on three aspects of wildfire: wildland-urban interface (WUI) homeowners’ risk mitigating behaviors, the economic costs of exposure to wildfire smoke, and the effects of wildfire risk on home sales prices. In addition to wildfire, one of Patty’s other research interests is in nonmarket valuation.
Patty is also lead editor of A Primer on Nonmarket Valuation. Patty has undergraduates degrees in Economics and International Relations, a Master’s Degree in Economics, and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Agriculture and Applied Economics.
James Meldrum is a research economist in the Social and Economic Analysis Branch at the US Geological Survey (USGS) Fort Collins Science Center. In addition to his work with the WiRē Team, he investigates the effects of natural resource decisions, including those about fuels and fire management, on ecosystem services. James has authored numerous publications on wildfire risk, plus other topics including water resources, energy, flood risk, and invasive species. James has a PhD in environmental economics from the University of Colorado Environmental Studies Program and a BS in physics from Washington University in St. Louis.