UW News

UW experts on wildfires, smoke impacts

This list includes experts who can talk about wildfire behavior and trends, responding to wildfires during the COVID-19 pandemic, and effects of wildfire smoke on human health.

Also see a list of climate scientists and weather experts.

Wildfires & COVID-19 FAQ

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Wildfire behavior, causes and trends:

Brian Harvey
Assistant professor, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
bjharvey@uw.edu | 206-685-9929 (desk) | 650-521-1988 (mobile) | Website | Twitter: @Brian_J_Harvey
Expertise: Forest fire ecology (causes and effects of forest fires), how fires interact with other disturbances (e.g. insect outbreaks, drought), how forests respond to fire (e.g. post-fire tree establishment).

Susan Prichard
Fire ecologist, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
sprich@uw.edu | 509-341-4493 | Website
Expertise: Wildfire ecology, climate change and fire, wildfire management, fuel treatment effectiveness, dry forest restoration, changing landscapes (legacies of fire exclusion, recent wildfires and climate change). Prichard is based in Washington’s Methow Valley.

Ernesto Alvarado
Research associate professor, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
alvarado@uw.edu | 206-616-6920 | Website
Expertise: Forest fire ecology, fire management, prescribed fire, smoke emissions, climate change, tropical forestry, landscape, international forestry, modeling

Crystal Raymond
Climate adaptation specialist, Climate Impacts Group
clrfire@uw.edu | 206-616-4304 (email is best) | Website
Expertise:Climate change and wildfires, climate adaptation and impact on risk of forest fires

Maureen Kennedy
Assistant professor, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Division of Sciences and Mathematics at UW Tacoma
mkenn@uw.edu | 253-692-4981 (email is fastest) | Website
Expertise: General regional wildfire issues, wildfire ecology, wildfire science, wildfire severity, strategies to reduce wildfire fuels, reducing fire hazards and impacts on wildlife and homes.

Jessica Halofsky
Research ecologist, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
jhalo@uw.edu | 360-753-7677 (desk) | Website
Expertise: Wildfire ecology, resource management, climate change

David Peterson
Affiliate professor, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
Retired senior research biologist, U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
wild@uw.edu | 360-422-5735 (desk) | Website
Expertise: Wildfire ecology, forest ecology, climate change, natural resource management, general forestry issues

James Agee
Emeritus professor, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
jagee@uw.edu | 425-408-1493 (desk) | 425-233-4872 (mobile)
Expertise: Wildfire ecology, fire science, fuels management, fire severity

Don McKenzie
Affiliate assistant professor, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
dmck@uw.edu | Website
Expertise: Forest ecology, wildfire ecology, landscape ecology, climate change

 

Wildfire response during COVID-19 pandemic:

Tania Busch Isaksen
Senior lecturer, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences 
tania@uw.edu | 206-685-4919 | Website | Twitter: @TBuschIsaksen
Expertise: Public health outcomes associated with extreme heat and wildfire smoke exposures, clean air, safe workplaces, risk communication methods, climate change-related public health adaptation planning and response, sustainable materials management

Marissa Baker
Assistant professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
bakermg@uw.edu | 206-616-4709 | Website 
Expertise: Worker health and safety, worker health effects related to COVID-19, occupational risks firefighters face and how that could be compounded during a pandemic, how to think about controls during this new time

Nicole Errett
Lecturer, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
nerrett@uw.edu | Website | Twitter: @NicoleErrett
Expertise: Public health response, community resilience, health impacts of disaster, health care emergency preparedness

 

Smoke, air quality and human health:

Dan Jaffe
Professor, atmospheric and environmental chemistry, UW Bothell
djaffe@uw.edu | 425-352-5357 | Website
Expertise: Particles in wildfire smoke, particle transport, wildfire plumes

Joel Thornton
Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
joelt@uw.edu | 206-543-4010 | Website
Expertise: Tracking wildfire smoke impacts on air quality and climate, detecting emissions

Tania Busch Isaksen
Senior lecturer, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences 
tania@uw.edu | 206-685-4919 | Website | Twitter: @TBuschIsaksen
Expertise: Public health outcomes associated with extreme heat and wildfire smoke exposures, clean air, safe workplaces, risk communication methods, climate change-related public health adaptation planning and response, sustainable materials management

Dr. Joel Kaufman
Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and School of Medicine
joelk@uw.edu | 206-616-3501 | Website
Expertise: Environmental and occupational epidemiology, health effects of diesel exhaust exposures, environmental factors in cardiovascular and respiratory disease, traffic-related air pollution, environmental health

Dr. Jeremy Hess
Associate professor, School of Medicine and Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
Expertise: Climate change health impacts, health care disaster risk management, public health adaptation to climate change, health effects of heat exposure, early warning systems
Note: To reach Dr. Hess, please contact UW Medicine media relations at mediarelations@uw.edu.

Amy Kim
Assistant professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
amyakim@uw.edu | 206-685-0228 (email is best) | Website
Expertise: Indoor (building) air quality during wildfire season

Anjum Hajat
Assistant professor, Department of Epidemiology
anjumh@uw.edu | 206-685-3618 | Website
Expertise: Air pollution (including from wildfires) impacts on disadvantaged populations

Christopher Simpson
Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
simpson1@uw.edu | 206-543-3222 | Website
Expertise: Air pollution monitoring and modeling, wood smoke, ambient air pollutants, diesel exhaust, indoor air, pesticides, trace contaminants

Dr. Catherine Karr
Professor, School of Medicine and Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
ckarr@uw.edu | 206-616-4355 | Website 
Expertise: Pediatric environmental health, air pollution, asthma, pesticides, global children’s environmental health, farmworker health

Dr. Coralynn Sack
Acting assistant professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and School of Medicine
Expertise: Lung problems, health effects of smoky air
Note: To reach Dr. Sack, please contact UW Medicine media relations at mediarelations@uw.edu.

Michael Yost
Professor and chair, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
airion@uw.edu | 206-685-7243 | Website
Expertise: Agricultural safety and health, ambient air pollutants, children’s health, climate change, diesel exhaust, pesticides, noise, vibration exposure