2020 IAWF Scholarship Recipients
Mary Armstrong, MSc Student , University of Florida
As a master’s student at the University of Florida in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Mary is writing her thesis on the effects of season of prescribed fire on reproductive characteristics of several species in the Asteraceae and Poaceae families. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Eckerd College, she began her career in prescribed fire with The Nature Conservancy in southeast Georgia. Since then, she has worked on prescribed fire crews with The Department of Natural Resources in Georgia, Lake Travis Fire Rescue in Texas, and Wildland Restoration International in Florida. She has also worked wildfire suppression on an engine and helicopter crew in Helena, Montana. After four years of field work, she decided to continue her education at the University of Florida to expand her knowledge of ecosystems and prescribed fire, and to write a thesis that could assist land managers in their decision making. In her fire career, she learned that land managers across all four states have many similar research questions. Her goal is to conduct research to help answer these questions, beginning with timing of fire and its effects on the reproduction of groundcover plants.
Robert Scott, PhD Student, Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder
Robert received a BS in Sociology from Westminster College (Salt Lake City, UT) and an MA in Sociology from the University of Victoria (Victoria, BC). He is a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Colorado and has worked in various fire management positions (Type 1 Crew Member, Type 1 Crew Leader, Provincial Training Officer) for the Government of Saskatchewan.
For his doctoral research, Robert uses historical and interview methods to investigate how single- and multiple-fatality incidents involving firefighters affect the construction of self among other firefighters. The research includes a comparative analysis of Canadian and American firefighter fatalities that occurred in a 30-year period. Robert is especially interested in how firefighter fatalities influence who firefighters become in terms of their subsequent experiences and perceptions of risk. He anticipates his research will have significant value for the wildland fire community as well as occupations involving risk.