Wildland Fire Safety Award
The IAWF WILDLAND FIRE SAFETY AWARD is given to someone in the wildland firefighting community who has made a significant contribution to wildland firefighter safety, either directly on the fireline, or indirectly through management or cultural changes.
2012 Recipient - Dave Thomas, Renoveling LLC, Ogden, Utah
The award was given to Dave in recognition of his on-going study of and instruction on the implications of human behavior to firefighter safety. During a 33 year career with the US Forest Service, Mr. Thomas worked as a firefighter, fire manager, fire behavior analyst, regional fire specialist and review team member.
Currently, he's working on capturing the "deep smarts" of retired fire management employees with high expertise in the fields of fire behavior, prescribed fire and wildland fire use with Harvard Business School.
He has been keenly involved with regional and national fire behavior workshops emphasizing fire safety, helped organize the first Wildland Firefighters Human Factors Worship, helped organize the first High Reliability Organizing (HRO) workshop in wildland fire, and taught numerous courses at the US Advanced Wildland Fire Behavior Interpretations Course where he made a point of emphasizing human factors in the course curriculum.
At the Safety Summit, Mr. Thomas presented a workshop titled Being Wrong, Being Human: Using Failure as a Recipe for Success as well as a presentation on Capturing the Deep Smarts of Our Fire Management Elders.
The Safety Award Committee who selected Dave as this year’s recipient is comprised of past Safety Award recipients. Marty Alexander, the 2012 Award Committee Chair and current IAWF Board member commented "Perhaps Dave's greatest gift is his innate ability to merge theory and practice when it comes to showing how HRO principles can be used to create a safer fire environment for all involved."
Dave was presented the award by Dan Bailey, IAWF President and Chairman of the Board.
The purpose of the IAWF EMBER AWARD is to acknowledge sustained achievement in wildland fire science. The name 'Ember' was chosen to reflect the fact that research and science often move slowly, and their benefits or impacts may not be apparent for years or more.
2012 Recipient - Charles Van Wagner, retired Canadian Forest Service senior research scientist from Deep River, Ontario, Canada.
The Ember Award is recognizes sustained excellence in wildland fire research and encourages innovation, exploration, application and dissemination of important research results. The name “Ember” reflects the fact that research and science often move slowly, and their benefits or impacts may not be apparent for years. The award was established to recognize sustained and excellent research contributions to wildland fire science, innovative solutions to important wildland fire challenges, and effective and appropriate communication of wildland fire science and research results.
During his 30-year career (1961-91) as a senior forest fire research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service, Van Wagner was the leading fire researcher in Canada and was respected both nationally and internationally as an imaginative and innovative scientist. His contributions to fire science influenced not only his generation of fire scientists but also current fire scientists throughout the world.
While located at the Petawawa Forest Research Centre (later the Petawawa National Forestry Institute), Van Wagner was most recognized (among many accomplishments) for his vital leadership role in visualizing and developing the current Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS), a system that has served as a foundation for the most important fire management information systems and decision-support tools used across Canada since 1970--and one that has been adopted in, or adapted to, numerous countries internationally over the past several decades .
Key component subsystems of CFFDRS, the Fire Weather Index (FWI) System and the Fire Behavior Prediction (FBP) System, were developed after years of dedicated research by a number of Canadian fire scientists; however, Van Wagner was the acknowledged leader of that group, and the person with the broad vision required throughout this process. His research products received, and continue to receive, broad scientific recognition and operational application, a true indication of their value and relevance.
The Ember Award was presented in October at the Wildland Fire Canada 2012 Conference in Kananaskis Country, Alberta.
Distinquished Service Award
The International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF) is pleased to announce the establishment of the Distinguished Service Award which recognizes individuals, groups or organizations for their outstanding contributions to furthering the goals of the Association.
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the International Journal of Wildland Fire, the Association proudly honors Dr. William T. Sommers of George Mason University as the first recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Through his vision and leadership as the Forest Service Director of Forest Fire and Atmospheric Sciences Research, the International Journal of Wildland Fire was created.
Congratulations Dr. Sommers. The IAWF is grateful for all of your contributions to the Association and the field of wildland fire science.
Managers Award for Relevant Reseach
The IAWF Managers Award for Relevant Research was established to recognize current excellence in wildland fire science as recognized by their peers in international land & fire managers.
In 2008 the award was given to Dr. J.D. Carlson, (USA, Oklahoma State University) for his presentation at the 7th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology titled “Field Validation of PB Piedmont” co-authored with Dr. Gary Achtemeier (USFS).
In 2011 the award was given to Sean M. Raffuse (USA, Sonoma Technology, Inc.), for his presentation at the 9th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology titled "BlueSky Playground: Interactive Smoke Modeling on the Web" co-authored with Narasimhan (Sim) Larkin, Alan Healy, Robert Solomon, Miriam Rorig, Janice Peterson and Tara Strand.
International Journal of Wildland Fire Student Award (Sponsored by CSIRO)
The 2011 award was given to Joaquin Blanco (Argentina, Servicio Meteorologico Nacional) for his poster presentation at the 9th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology titled "A simplified model for the study of smoke plume dispersion from grassfires and a methodology for forecasts validation with satellite images" co-authored with Dr. Guillermo J. Berri.