Tom Zimmerman.Distinguished Service Award
The IAWF Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals, groups or organizations for their outstanding contributions to furthering the goals of the Association. We are pleased to announce the 2020 recipient, Dr. Tom Zimmerman. Tom is retired from the Wildland Fire Management Research, Development, and Application Program, Rocky Mountain Research Station, U.S. Forest Service. He worked at multiple federal land management agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and US Forest Service during his career. Tom has conducted training in the United States, China, Canada, and India, and presented papers, either in person or virtually, at conferences in the United States, Canada, Italy, South Africa, and Cyprus. Wildland fire and emergency response constituted a major focus area and Tom has over 30 years of involvement in incident management team operations including service as an Incident Commander and Area Commander on wildland fire incidents and all hazard emergency responses across the country. Tom was on the IAWF Board of Directors from 2012 – 2017 and was the IAWF President from 2014-2017. During his term and continuing to the present, Tom has chaired or participated on multiple committees, including the Nominations, Strategic Planning, Fund Development, Ember Award Sub-committee, Membership, Finance, Stewardship, and the Diversity and Inclusivity Committee. Tom has actively participated on and/or chaired 12 conferences planning committees since 2013. Tom also represents the IAWF as a Member of the Association for Fire Ecology Diversity and Inclusivity Committee, he is the AFE Board liaison, the IAWF Representative to Western Regional Strategy Committee, and the NASA Earth Science Senior Review of NASA satellites. For the past 8+ years Tom has made himself readily available to further the mission and success of the IAWF. He always finds time to provide support and/or advice to current board members and to the Executive Director, Mikel Robinson. Mikel has expressed her sincerest gratitude to Tom, and said she can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award. Tom’s comments about receiving this award: “Thank you so much for the IAWF Distinguished Service Award. I was certainly surprised and amazed of what a well-kept secret this was and that the award was actually sitting in my house while I had no indication of anything. When Toddi presented it and then my wife brought it into my office, I was so surprised that I was actually speechless for a few moments. This is such a prestigious IAWF award, I don’t know if I can express how humbling it is to receive this recognition from the Board, Association members, and the global fire community. It is an honor to serve and represent the IAWF and a pleasure to be able to be involved in the mission of IAWF. I truly enjoy all the things that I have been fortunate to be involved with, all that IAWF has exposed me to, and all the individuals around the world that I have met and worked with because of IAWF – what an honor to be able to experience such a rewarding, learning, and fulfilling experience! Everyone involved with IAWF brings a genuine passion and commitment to wildland fire management and the ability to share that passion for such a common good is truly awe-inspiring. I look forward to continuing to serve and represent IAWF in all manners that I can and am motivated and inspired to further our goals for the betterment of global wildland fire management."