International Association of Wildland Fire

3rd Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference
Beyond Fire Behavior and Fuels:
Learning from the Past to Help Guide Us in the Future

October 25-29, 2010  ~  Red Lion Hotel at the Park

Spokane, Washington USA

Online Registration

Overview of Panel Discussion

“Can History Help Guide Our Fire Management Futures?”
Tuesday – October 26, 2010

Click here to view the Panel Discussion Overview Report written by Paul Keller, Wildland Lessons Learned Center.

In keeping with the conference’s theme, Dave Thomas, a consultant with Renoveling, based in Ogden, Utah, will facilitate a panel discussion titled “Can History Help Guide Our Fire Management Futures?” Panel members include:

  • Dr. Stephen J. Pyne, Arizona State University
  • Dr. Karen A Cerulo, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Dr. Jennifer Ziegler, Valparaiso University
  • Mr. Jim Roessler, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Our goal with this panel is not only to have the audience listen to four excellent speakers talk about the uses of history, but to seek feedback from that audience, using techniques of large group facilitation, about what they have heard. This should make for a lively give and take discussion.

Dave Thomas retired as the regional fuels specialist for the U.S. Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Ogden, Utah, in November 2006. Over a 37-year career with the Forest Service, Dave held a variety of fire positions, including firefighter, district fire management officer, type I fire behavior analyst, and wildland fire use specialist. He was one of the principal authors of an early fire plan for the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, and, from 1999-2000, he served as the fire management analyst for President Clinton’s Forest Service Roadless Area Conservation EIS. As a High reliability organizing consultant with the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center, Tucson, AZ, and a research associate with the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, Missoula, MT, he is currently working with Dr. Dorothy Leonard of the Harvard Business School to capture the “deep smarts” of fire practitioners with high expertise in prescribed fire, fire behavior, and wildland fire use.


Steve Pyne is a Regents professor in the School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University in Tempe and the author of more than a score of books, most of them on the history of humanity and fire; among them, Year of the Fires: The Story of the Great Fires of 1910 ( In a previous life he was a member of the North Rim Longshots for 15 seasons at Grand Canyon National Park. He has just published Voyager: Seeking Newer Worlds in the Third Great Age of Discovery. Voyager is an account of the Voyager space program-its history, scientific impact, and cultural legacy.


Karen Cerulo is Department Chair and Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University located in Piscataway, New Jersey ( Her research interests address culture and cognition (with a special emphasis on conceptualization), decision-making, technology, social change, and community. Her articles appear in a wide variety of journals and she is the author of several books including Never Saw It Coming: Cultural Challenges to Envisioning the Worst (University of Chicago Press). Currently, she edits Sociological Forum, the flagship journal of the Eastern Sociological Society. She has served as the Chair of the American Sociological Association’s Culture Section and the Vice President of the Eastern Sociological Society.


Jennifer Ziegler is an Associate Professor of Communication at Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana (, where she teaches courses in organizational and corporate communication, as well as digital media and liberal arts. Her research focuses on rhetoric and culture in the management and practice of safety in dangerous occupations, with a particular emphasis on communication in wildland firefighting. Her research has appeared in journal such as “Communication Monographs, Leadership,” and “Management Communication Quarterly,” where she now serves on the editorial board. Committed to the cause of wildland fire safety, Professor Ziegler has helped in the planning of other IAWF conferences such as the Human Dimensions Conference and the Wildland Fire Safety Summit.


Jim Roessler is a Timber Sales Forester for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Western Montana. Jim, raised in Enderlin, North Dakota, worked four summers as a steel gang laborer for the Soo Line (now Canadian Pacific) railroad. Following his railroad experiences, he worked nine seasons on the Flathead, Lolo and Mission Valley Inter-Regional Fire Crews throughout the U.S. Jim retired from Federal Service in 2006, having spent 29 years in Fire Management for the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and BLM-Alaska Fire Service. Jim earned an A.S. Forestry, North Dakota State University-Bottineau, a B.S. Forestry, University of Montana and an M.S. Natural Resources Management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). His thesis at UAF is titled “Disturbance History of the Tanana River Basin in Alaska: Management Implications.”



3rd Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference  ~  October 25-29, 2010  ~  Red Lion Hotel at the Park  ~  Spokane, Washington USA