2022 IAWF Scholarship Recipients
We are pleased to share the 2022 scholarships recipients. We had a tie for the PhD applicants so we awarded an additional scholarship this year.
Master of Science, Forestry
Northern Arizona University
Sam Ebright has worked in fire ecology and management as a student, wildland firefighter, and researcher since 2014. He graduated from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in 2018 with a B.S. Forestry and B.A. Modern Languages (Spanish), returning to NAU for a M.Sc. Forestry in 2021. As an undergraduate he was funded by NASA to study high-severity fire impacts to aspen regeneration with remote sensing and assisted international field research in Argentinean Patagonia. With the forest ecology lab, he also had the opportunity to work with the Navajo Nation and Mescalero Apache Tribe to study historic fire regimes and culturally sensitive resources. After college he worked four seasons as a USFS wildland firefighter, with two seasons on the Flagstaff Interagency Hotshot Crew. Sam’s thesis continues his remote sensing work by exploring spatiotemporal relationships of fire and forest cover change in his father’s homeland of Vietnam. His specialties and interests are fire ecology, remote-sensing, dendrochronology, and international conservation. Sam now works in the US Forest Service, Washington Office; one step closer to a lifelong career in international conservation and fire ecology.
PhD of Environmental Science
Western Sydney University
Simin is a PhD student in the field of fire ecology in Western Sydney University (WSU). She received her Master of Environmental Biology from University of Wollongong (UOW) in 2018. She studied the pollution level from bushfire smoke plumes. She started working as a research assistant in UOW and Western Sydney University where she collected field data, did laboratory works and statistical analysis to examine effects of drought and fire on forest mortality and recovery. After that, she started my PhD and my research focuses on drought and fire integration and their effect on tree mortality and recruitment.
Doctoral program in agricutlural and forest sciences
National University of La Plata (Universidad Nacional de la Plata), Argentina
Originally from Chicago, Matt has spent much of his adult life living in the western U.S and Argentina. He graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2017 with a master’s degree in forestry. While in Flagstaff, Arizona, he spent a summer on a seasonal conservation crew, hand-felling conifers to release aspen and reduce fire risk for The Nature Conservancy. After graduating, he worked for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) as a forester. In the latter job, he oversaw every element of multiple restoration timber sales aimed at reducing fire risk and improving forest health around local communities. Matt also had the opportunity to work with prescribed fire crews and regularly burn slash piles during that time. His personal and professional experiences in the western U.S. introduced him to fire and ever since he has been fascinated by its power to drive ecosystem change. When the opportunity arose to study post-fire tree regeneration dynamics in his wife’s hometown of Ushuaia, in southern Argentina, he jumped at the opportunity. Matt currently lives in Ushuaia where he is raising his newborn son, Luca, while he pursues his doctorate in forestry. After completing his PhD, he hopes to become the first permanent researcher in the region to focus exclusively on the impacts of wildfire on native forests. Matt is very grateful for IAWF’s support of his PhD work and is thankful to be engaged with the international wildfire community through IAWF.