The third event of the 2021 Climate Speaker Series to be held online Thursday, April 29, 7:00pm to 8:30pm, features Hugh Safford, a regional ecologist for the USDA and a member of the research faculty in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at UC Davis, whose work is increasingly timely and urgent as climate change alters our vast forests dramatically. Participants will learn of the wide array of important research Safford oversees, including time for questions and answers.

All are welcome to attend this special event. Registration is required to receive the event video link as well as a post-event link to watch at your convenience. While the event is free, donations are gratefully accepted to cover costs to host the event and to help Cool Davis and partners carry out their mission. This is a Davis Friends Meeting event co-sponsored by the Yolo Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice and the Cool Davis Coalition. The event was preceeded by two events (recording links below). Visit www.CoolDavis.org/signup to receive more information on future talks.

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Last year, thousands of wildfires burned millions of acres of land in the United States. California, Washington, and Oregon had multiple large fires burning throughout the summer and fall. The August Fire Complex, which was started by a lightning strike in the Mendocino National Forest was the largest wildfire in California history and burned for months. Hugh Safford, a fire ecologist with the Forest Service, will discuss the role that human influence—including climate change—may have on future wildfire seasons, and how this will affect the ecosystems and management of wildfires.  He will discuss how wildfires may change ecosystems.

Dr. Hugh Safford is Regional Ecologist for the USDA-Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region (California, Hawaii, Pacific territories), and a member of the research faculty in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California-Davis. Safford manages a boundary-spanning unit of Forest Service ecologists that provides expertise in vegetation, fire, and restoration ecology, climate change, inventory, and monitoring to the 18 National Forests in the Pacific Southwest Region.

Dr. Hugh Safford is untiring in his important work on fires, and it is encouraging to know someone of his expertise is hard at work to thoroughly understand the increasing role of fires in our region.  He works as Regional Ecologist for the USDA-Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region which includes California, Hawaii and the Pacific territories.  He is a key member of the research faculty in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California-Davis. Safford manages a boundary-spanning unit of Forest Service ecologists that provides expertise in vegetation, fire, and restoration ecology, climate change, inventory, and monitoring to the 18 National Forests in the Pacific Southwest Region. The Safford Lab at UC-Davis is focused on applied ecological support to resource and fire management in California, neighboring states, and other Mediterranean climate regions.

In addition, Safford is director of the Sierra Nevada section of the California Fire Science Consortium, co-chairman of the California Research Natural Areas committee, and he serves on science advisory boards for a number of national environmental collaboratives and NGOs. Safford provides international technical assistance on fire, forest management, and climate change issues in partnership with the US-Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Program of the Forest Service.

Safford even has an international reach. Recent projects include fire management planning in northern Mexico, climate change adaptation in southeast Brazil, and forest restoration in North Africa and the Levant. Safford was a fellow with the Fulbright Global Scholars Program between 2017 and 2019, where he studied post-fire ecosystem restoration practices in the Mediterranean Basin.

Safford co-edited a recent book entitled Valuing Chaparral: Ecological, Socioeconomic, and Management Perspectives, published by Springer in 2018, which deals with the complicated issues surrounding management and sustainability of chaparral ecosystems in California. Safford grew up in southwestern Montana, but he has lived in California since 1986 and splits his time between Davis and the Lake Tahoe Basin.

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  • Keep an eye out for news about the next speaker: Ermias Kebreab – The Green Moo Deal on Thursday, May 13