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Each year the International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF) awards two graduate-level scholarships typically valued at $3,000 USD to Master of Science (M.Sc.) or Ph.D. students studying wildland fire or wildland fire-related topics. Student-submitted essays are evaluated by an international panel of fire science experts and one award recipient is chosen for the Masters level and one for the Doctoral level. The IAWF has been presenting this award annually to members of the fire science community since 2007.

Congratulations to the 2020 Scholarship Recipients

Mary Armstrong, MSc Student, University of Florida
As a master’s student at the University of Florida in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Mary is writing her thesis on the effects of season of prescribed fire on reproductive characteristics of several species in the Asteraceae and Poaceae families. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Eckerd College, she began her career in prescribed fire with The Nature Conservancy in southeast Georgia. Since then, she has worked on prescribed fire crews with The Department of Natural Resources in Georgia, Lake Travis Fire Rescue in Texas, and Wildland Restoration International in Florida. She has also worked wildfire suppression on an engine and helicopter crew in Helena, Montana. After four years of field work, she decided to continue her education at the University of Florida to expand her knowledge of ecosystems and prescribed fire, and to write a thesis that could assist land managers in their decision making. In her fire career, she learned that land managers across all four states have many similar research questions. Her goal is to conduct research to help answer these questions, beginning with timing of fire and its effects on the reproduction of groundcover plants.

Robert Scott, PhD Student, Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder
Robert received a BS in Sociology from Westminster College (Salt Lake City, UT) and an MA in Sociology from the University of Victoria (Victoria, BC). He is a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Colorado and has worked in various fire management positions (Type 1 Crew Member, Type 1 Crew Leader, Provincial Training Officer) for the Government of Saskatchewan. For his doctoral research, Robert uses historical and interview methods to investigate how single- and multiplefatality incidents involving firefighters affect the construction of self among other firefighters. The research includes a comparative analysis of Canadian and American firefighter fatalities that occurred in a 30-year period. Robert is especially interested in how firefighter fatalities influence who firefighters become in terms of their subsequent experiences and perceptions of risk. He anticipates his research will have significant value for the wildland fire community as well as occupations involving risk.


Save the Date for our upcoming 16th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit and 6th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Virtual Conference, May 24-27, 2021.

Since 1997, the International Wildland Fire Safety Summit has been the gathering place for members of the global wildland fire community to focus on how we keep our workforce and communities safe. This event is a time for us to discuss significant events and trends in safety, to promote best practices in safety training and operations, to share safety related research findings, and to explore new approaches to both firefighter and community safety. Likewise, since 2007, the Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference has aimed to advance the knowledge and practice related to the social, political, economic, psychological, and other human aspects of managing fire prone landscapes.

This joint conference offers a forum where past experience and lessons learned are documented, current work showcased, and emerging ideas/technology presented to provide a strong foundation for reflection and action to set the future course of practice, management and research in response to local, regional and global challenges. The 2021 conference will place particular, but not exclusive, emphasis on the COVID-19 and its effects on wildland fire management and our communities around the world.

This Virtual Conference May 24-27, 2021 will allow us to reach a truly international audience, with global topics and speakers from around the world, on most continents and most time zones. CONFERENCE WEBPAGE


The 3rd International Smoke Virtual Symposium (ISS3) was held earlier this year and was very well received by everyone who joined! All the presentations were recorded and are available for viewing on the Virtual Conference Platform. We have reduced the registration fee to $125 ($55 for students). All presentations will be available through April 2021.



We encourage you to gather your information to nominate some very deserving folks for these prestigious awards! The recipient does not need to be an IAWF member to receive an award. If you have nominated someone in the past and they were not selected as the recipient, please do not hesitate to re-nominate them.


Ember Award for Excellence in Wildland Fire Science
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.
Firebreak Award for Excellence in Wildland Fire Management
The “Management Award” was established to honor achievements and excellence in the management of wildland fire programs. This award recognizes an individual who have made lasting contributions in program management and inspired others through their creativity, innovation, leadership, application, guidance, and communication in response to challenging and controversial wildland fire management issues.
Early Career Award in Fire Science
This award is to recognize a promising early-career professional who has demonstrated outstanding ability in any field of wildland fire science. Early career is nominally taken to include professionals who are under 40 years of age when nominated.
Early Career Award in Fire Operations
This Award is to recognize a promising early-career professional who has demonstrated outstanding ability in any field of wildland fire operations. Early career is nominally taken to include professionals who are under 40 years of age when nominated.