Scholarship recipients in 2014
Miltiadis Athanasiou (PhD student), National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Miltiadis studied Environmental Science at the University of the Aegean, Lesvos, Greece and has received a M.Sc. Degree in Prevention and Management of Natural Disasters from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. Degree in the same field at the same University. The emphasis in his post-graduate studies is on forest fire management. The title of his Ph.D. dissertation will be “Development of an optimal methodology for forecasting forest fire behavior in Greece”. His work includes data collection on “live” wildfires and relevant analysis. So far, he has produced a number of interim publications documenting wildfires and analyzing fire behavior (fire spread, spotting) in Greece.
In parallel with his studies he has compounded a total of seventeen years of experience in environmental management and has built significant experience in forest fire management.
His firefighting training and operational experience commenced in 2000, when he started being trained by the Special Units of Disaster Response, Hellenic Fire Corps on a weekly basis until 2003. At the same time he was the Lead Supervisor and Operational Coordinator, of a Natural Disaster Response and Relief Volunteer Team. He has also served with the 6th Fire Department Station of Athens as a Volunteer Firefighter (fire engine crew member). Since 2008, he is officially recognized as Specialized Volunteer Expert by the Hellenic General Secretariat of Civil Protection.
In his professional career that runs parallel to his studies, he has undertaken and carried out research projects, studies and operational plans for wildfires management and suppression, cooperating with the Technological Educational Institute of the Ionian Islands, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and with private companies. Since the summer of 2011, he also works in firefighting, as crew member of heavy-lift helicopters in Greece, during each fire season.
Trisha Gabbert, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, USA (MSc student)
Trisha is currently a Masters student in Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and an Air Force veteran. She is researching biomass burning emissions in the Northern Sub-Saharan African region. The project utilizes a first ever, gridded smoke-aerosol emissions coefficient (Ce) product developed by NASA’s Fire Energetics and Emissions Research (FEER) team. The goal is to process satellite measured fire radiative power and use FEER’s Ce product to generate smoke aerosol emissions to be ingested into NASA Unified Weather Research and Forecasting (NU-WRF) model for representation of smoke dynamics and impacts in the African Sahel and surrounding areas. Trisha was first introduced to smoke emissions research during a summer internship at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center during her undergraduate studies. She is very excited to continue learning about the interactions of fire emissions on our climate, weather, and air quality.