The Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) holds a webinar each month for its members. ASWM Member webinars cover a variety of topics encompassing wetland science, policy, program implementation, and legal issues. These webinars, including recordings for past webinars are available to ASWM members. If you are not a member, you are invited to join ASWM. For information about membership, click here.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Eastern
• Emily Fairfax, Ph.D., California State University Channel Islands
Megafires, defined here as fires with burn areas greater than 100,000 acres, are partially the result of increasingly short wet seasons coupled with hotter, drier summers, year after year. Though megafires historically are rare, they have become increasingly common in recent years. Megafires often pose unique challenges – they can have explosively fast rates of spread, generate their own self-sustaining weather systems, and can easily cause secondary ignitions in the surrounding landscape via ember spotting and lightning strikes from pyroculumus clouds. Managing fires of this size and intensity while preserving sensitive riparian ecosystems is a landscape-scale challenge. Beaver activity has been previously shown to keep riparian vegetation green and lush during both droughts and small to medium-sized wildfires. Whether or not this effect persists in megafires has not been previously studied. We use Sentinel-2 remote sensing data (false color 8,4,3; false color 12,11,4; and NDVI), Landsat 8 remote-sensing data (NDVI), remote-sensing based evapotranspiration modeling (METRIC model), and high resolution true color satellite and aerial imagery to characterize fire spread and burn patterns in and around beaver-dammed riparian zones within several megafire burn perimeters from the 2020 and 2021 fire seasons. Our analyses suggest that beaver-created fire refugia can persist through megafires, and that the degree of fire protection is typically greater in 1) active beaver areas, 2) in beaver complexes with multiple dams in close proximity, and/or 3) where extensive active or historical beaver damming has created an anastomosing channel and/or a wide network of beaver-dug canals.
Dr. Emily Fairfax is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Resource Management at California State University Channel Islands. Dr. Fairfax double majored in Chemistry and Physics as an undergraduate at Carleton College, then went on to earn a PhD in Geological Sciences from the University of Colorado Boulder. She uses a combination of remote sensing and field work to research how beaver activity can create drought and fire-resistant patches in the landscape under a changing climate. Her colleagues and students can vouch that when Dr. Fairfax says she can talk about beavers all day, she’s not kidding.
A Certificate of Participation to be used toward Continuing Education Credits will be available for participation in all LIVE Webinars. ASWM members receive free Certificates of Participation. Non-Members who request a certificate will be charged a processing fee of $25.00. Certificates are not available for viewing recorded webinars. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Eastern
• Glorianna Davenport, Living Observatory, Plymouth, MA
More information coming soon!
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