Our group brings diverse expertise in economics, sociology, and wildfire risk mitigation to a multiyear research project on homeowner wildfire risk mitigation and community wildfire adaptedness.
Chris Barth is a Fire Mitigation & Education Specialist with the Bureau of Land Management. Chris has worked in fire management since 1992 for volunteer, municipal, county and federal agencies. He has worked with the public and stakeholders to promote fire education and mitigation strategies, as well as led several regional wildfire and environmental coalitions. Chris holds Bachelor’s Degrees in both Biology and Environmental Conservation, as well as a Master’s Degree in Environmental Education. In addition to contributing his expertise as a practitioner to the group, Chris has co-authored several research publications on homeowners’ attitudes towards wildfire mitigation and public perception of wildfire risk. His background spans wildfire to wildlife and has taken him throughout the American West and into East Africa.
Hannah Brenkert-Smith is an environmental sociologist whose work examines social/environmental interactions in the face of environmental change, particularly in the American West. In the past ten years, Brenkert-Smith’s work has focused primarily on household and community response to wildfire risk. In particular, this work has focused on risk mitigation decision-making and forest and wildfire hazard planning related to informal social interactions and sense of place. Her recent field work has two main areas of inquiry: seeking to understand social relationships shaping trust and coordination during extreme events and assessing long-term change on social and biophysical aspects of forest communities affected by major wildfire events. Hannah earned her BA in women’s studies from University of Colorado, her MA in women’s studies from San Francisco State University, and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. More on Hannah’s research can be found here.
Patty Champ is an economist in the Human Dimensions Program at the Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) in Fort Collins, CO. She has been with the station for eighteen years. Prior to working at the Research Station, she completed her PhD in Agriculture and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Patty has focused her research effort on three aspects of wildfire: wildland-urban interface 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, Patty’s other main research interest is in nonmarket valuation. Patty is also lead editor of A Primer on Nonmarket Valuation and board member of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. More on Patty’s research can be found here.
Lilia Falk is the Director of the West Region Wildfire Council (WRWC), a collaborative, interagency organization that works to promote wildfire preparedness, prevention, and mitigation education across six Colorado counties. Lilia has worked for the WRWC since 2011, focusing her efforts on furthering the organization’s homeowner wildfire education program, developing fuel reduction cost share incentive programs, and effectively developing and implementing wildfire planning initiatives. Prior to working with the WRWC, Lilia worked in emergency management for the Westminster Fire Department. Lilia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography with an emphasis in natural hazards from the University of Colorado Boulder. More on Lilia’s work can be found here.
Pam Froemke is an information technology (IT) and geographic information systems (GIS) specialist in the Human Dimensions Program at the Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) in Fort Collins, CO. In addition to her work on wildfire risk mitigation, Pam contributes to research on water quality in Colorado and assessing watershed conditions nationwide. Pam holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Equine Science from Colorado State University. More on Pam’s research can be found here.
Jamie Gomez is a Mitigation & Education Coordinator with the West Region Wildfire Council (WRWC) and provides services to the residents of Delta, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel Counties. Jamie first began working with the Council in 2013. Jamie has a diverse background in natural resource science and management and has worked in several capacities to assist landowners and managers develop and implement projects that serve to improve conditions while meeting landowner goals. Jamie received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Environmental Biology from Fort Lewis College and maintains a sincere interest in wildfire ecology and natural resource conservation. More on Jamie’s work can be found here.
James Meldrum is a research economist in the Social and Economic Analysis Branch at the US Geological Survey (USGS) Fort Collins Science Center. He earned a B.S. in physics from Washington University in St. Louis and a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2012. Prior to joining the USGS, James was on the research faculty at the University of Colorado’s Institute of Behavioral Science. James’s research experience spans the human dimensions of a variety of natural resources (including water, energy, and non-timber forests) and hazards (including wildfire, floods, and invasive species). More on James’s research can be found here.
Travis Warziniack is a research economist with the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) in Fort Collins, Colorado. Much of his work focuses on the relationship between environmental risk and human behavior. Travis’s fire research focuses on the influence neighbors’ fire mitigation has on those around them and whether these influences can aggregate up into real landscape level reductions in fire risk. Prior to coming to the RMRS, Travis was a professor at the University of Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany. He has a PhD in Economics from the University of Wyoming, a Masters in Economics from the University of Texas, and Bachelors in Economics and Mathematics from Louisiana State University. More on Travis’s research can be found here.
Pam Wilson is Executive Director for FireWise of Southwest Colorado and has served as its Program Director since October 2008. During her tenure, FireWise has added two chapters in Montezuma and Archuleta Counties, doubled the number of Neighborhood Ambassadors, seen ten subdivision-level CWPPs completed, and had two communities attain FireWise Communities status. Pam retired from the U.S. Forest Service in 2007 after 23 years of service, most recently on the San Juan National Forest in Durango as a Public Affairs Specialist for the fire and fuels program. Pam is a Type 1 Public Information Officer and has worked wildfire and hurricane assignments throughout the U.S. More on Pam’s work can be found here.