Dr. David L. Martell

Ember Award
Ember Award for Excellence in Wildland Fire Science For 45 years Dr. David Martell has been a passionate and dedicated member of the wildland fire science and management community. Dr. Martell is recognized as a synergistic force for his work in operations research, renewable resource management and forest fire science, and for his contributions to the development of innovative fire occurrence prediction modelling. One of Dr. Martell’s seminal research projects involved the development of an initial attack simulation model which strongly influenced the Province of Ontario’s decision to expand their air tanker fleet. This decision led to the development of the Level of Protection Analysis System, which allows the structured assessment of the outcomes and costs associated with alternative fire management policies, budgets, and suppression resource mixes, and has been adapted for use by several Canadian fire management agencies. Dr. Martell has had a strong influence on the development of fire leaders and managers across Canada because he dedicated time to understanding their operational point of view, integrating academic and operational perspectives, and absorbing the real application of fire management. In addition to his research and modelling accomplishments, Dr. Martell is an outstanding collaborator, professor, and student mentor. Dr. Martell established the Fire Management Systems Laboratory in the Faculty of Forestry (now the Institute of Forestry and Conservation in the  John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design) at the University of Toronto where he developed approaches to solving regional, national, and international management problems. Under Dr. Martell’s guidance dozens of students have received graduate degrees through this laboratory and many now have leadership roles in fire management agencies. Dr. Martell has authored or co-authored more than 75 peer-reviewed papers and dedicates time as an Editor and Member to a number of prestigious national and international organizations.