Dr. Susan Conard

Distinguished Service Award
The International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF) Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals, groups or organizations for their outstanding contributions to furthering the goals of the Association. Since its inception in 2011, the award has been bestowed on three individuals. It is with great pleasure that we announce the 2021 IAWF Distinguished Service Award goes to Dr. Susan Conard. Editor-in-Chief at IJWF, Emeritus Ecologist, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station and Faculty Affiliate, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. Dr. Conard  has had a very productive career in wildland fire science, both as a research scientist, and as a research manager dealing with, and strongly influencing the direction, recognition, and funding of wildland fire science both within the US and internationally. She was on the IAWF Board of Directors in the early 1990’s. Perhaps most impressively is the invisible work she has done as an institution builder, contributing to multiple efforts that serve our wildland fire community and remain mostly hidden from public view. She began as an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Wildland Fire in 1992, and then joined the Editorial Advisory Board in 1998.  After her retirement in 2008 from the US Forest Service she became the Co Editor in Chief, with Stefan Doerr, and remains in the position today. She began her 25-year USDA Forest Service career in wildland fire research in the western United States, conducting fire ecology and effects research as a research scientist and project leader at the Pacific Southwest (PSW) Research Station in Riverside CA serving from 1983 to 1996. She served as the National Research Program Manager for Fire Ecology Research with USDA Forest Service in Washington DC from 1996 until her retirement in 2008. During her tenure she served in a long-term assignment to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she had an instrumental role in influencing U.S. national and international science policy. She played a key leadership role to increase US Forest Service wildland fire Research and Development funding from $15 million in 1997 to $50 million in 2002 through two new programs – the Interagency Joint Fire Sciences Program and the National Fire Plan. She also led the development of program priorities and strategies and oversaw allocation of funding as the first Chair of the Governing Board for the Joint Fire Sciences Program. As JFSP Chair, she guided development and installation of ongoing JSFP governance consistent with Congressional mandates. She has been a leader in establishing new collaborative research initiatives with Russia after the former Soviet Union opened to western fire scientists in the early 1990s. To this day she remains very active in supporting Russian scientists for research and publications. She is the author of more than 80 scientific publications on fire ecology and effects, vegetation structure and dynamics, vegetation management, and climate change impact studies in the United States and Siberia. For your very distinguished service, we congratulate Susan!