In January, the IAWF Board of Directors welcomed three new Directors: Paulo Fernandes, Katherine Clay and Lemmi Briedis. We are pleased to add two new positions to the Board (we now have 17 board members) while increasing international representation.
Paulo Fernandes, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), Dept. of Forest and Landscape, Vila Real, Portugal, has a forest sciences background and holds a researcher and professor position at UTAD. He has carried out R&D activities since 1992, with participation in 10 international and 21 national projects addressing the behavior, ecology and management of wildland fire. His main contributions have been in the topics of fuel characterization and field-based assessment and modelling of fire characteristics and effects, namely in the frame of prescribed burning studies in Mediterranean shrubland and pine forests. More than 120 papers in the scientific and technical literature have resulted from this activity. Dr. Fernandes is highly committed to technology transfer, which has materialized in the form of regular involvement in prescribed burning training and assistance to Portuguese government agencies and forest companies in fire risk assessment.
Katherine Clay, fire marshal, battalion chief, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS, was born and raised on a farm in mid-central Illinois. Clay traveled west to find her dreams under the magnificent Teton Mountains in Jackson, Wyo. As battalion chief and fire marshal for Jackson Hole Fire/EMS, she serves the fire world promoting fire and injury prevention, works with new and existing structures to ensure code compliance, investigates structure and wildland fires, provides command on emergency incidents and maintains EMT certification for medical first response. Clay holds a fire science degree, is a red-carded engine boss, NFPA 1033 certified, and is Teton County's senior car seat technician.
Lemmi Briedis, New South Wales, Australia, began volunteer firefighting in 2002 when she joined her local volunteer brigade after moving to a rural property in New South Wales, Australia. By attending callouts, serving on the brigade executive team, sharing community engagement approaches at conferences, and as a Consultative Committee member, Briedis has developed wildfire fighting skills at practical and organizational levels. As the recipient of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service's Volunteer Research Fellowship in 2009, Briedis was able to research neighboring states' approaches to community engagement. She has an Australian Capital Territory Emergency Medal.
A professional background for several decades in accounting and systems auditing, as a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), provide Briedis a business perspective. Academic qualifications include Bachelor of Economics, Graduate Diploma in Computing Studies and more recently a Bachelor of Science (Resource and Environmental Management) with Honors from the Australian National University. These professional, practical and research skills are combined to provide a broad range of perspectives from which to address wildland fire.