Dr. Penny Morgan

Ember Award
It is with great pleasure to announce that the recipient of the 2021 IAWF Ember Award is Dr. Penny Morgan, Professor Emerita of Fire Ecology and Forest Ecology and Certified Senior Fire Ecologist at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, USA.  The International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF) Ember Award is given to recognize and 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 to and influence on society may not be appreciable for a number of years. Since its inception the award has been bestowed on 12 individuals from several countries around the world. Penny Morgan, this year’s recipient has achieved excellence in wildland fire research, teaching, education, outreach, and technology transfer and has consistently demonstrated creative thinking innovation, exploration, and information dissemination throughout her more than 35-year career.   Her accomplishments and contributions fully embody what the Ember Award stands for and reflect many immediate benefits to wildland fire science knowledge including countless impacts that will have lasting influences for decades to come. Her impressive career brimming with accomplishments is worthy of a lengthy description more of which than I can do service to today. Penny’s specialization in fire ecology and management, landscape ecology, and natural resources ecology and conservation biology have yielded ground-breaking accomplishments, established new programs, increased our collective knowledge, and set the groundwork for dramatically improved awareness of the importance, role, and application of knowledge of these disciplines Some of her most notable achievements include:
  • A striking publication record including more than 85 peer-reviewed journal articles, 1 book in press, 12 book chapters, 28 technical reports, and 60 conference proceedings.
  • Excellence in teaching and lecturing and student advising.  She has mentored over 40 PhD and MS students, 10 senior thesis students, over 150 undergraduates, and has been a graduate committee member for 50 graduate students.
  • She helped develop and lead the first-ever BS and Master’s degree programs in Fire Ecology and Management in the US.  Her innovative approach to preparing future fire ecologists and developing and delivering education and training to managers is incomparable.
  • She has been recognized through numerous awards in education, including: Outstanding Teacher Award, Outstanding Advisor Award, and U of I Alumni Association Education and Service Award.
  • A selfless commitment to outreach and information dissemination.
  • And contributed considerable time and effort in support of professional organizations, including this one, among many others.
While her she has had a profound effect on the wildland fire science community, I also want to emphasize that she began her career as one of only a small handful of women pursuing careers in fire science.  Not only is she a stand alone leader in her field, but possibly more importantly, she is a well-respected and admired role model for women in fire science.  In short she is richly deserving of the recognition of the IAWF Ember Award. Congratulations Penny!