Speaker Bios


Wildfire: More good than harm
Lori Daniels is an Associate Professor of Forest Ecology in the Forest and Conservation Sciences Department in Forestry at UBC Vancouver, where she directs the Tree-Ring Lab at UBC. She is a UBC Forestry alumna – with degrees in Ecology (BSc, U Manitoba), Forest Ecology (MSc UBC) and Biogeography (PhD U Colorado-Boulder).

Lori’s research applies tree-ring analyses to investigate disturbance regimes and the impacts of climate and humans on forest dynamics. Given her interests in conservation and sustainable resource management, much of her research has practical application and is collaborative with NGOs, government agencies, private companies and aboriginal communities. She is a member of BC’s Prescribed Fire Council. With her graduate students, Lori has on-going research on fire regimes and forest resilience to climate change in the interior of British Columbia, Rocky Mountain National Parks and foothills of Alberta.


Climate change adaption without getting burned
Lyle Gawalko is the Manager of Fire Prevention for BC Wildfire Service and has managed this program for the past 6 years. The program includes fire sciences, fire behaviour, fire weather, fuel management and landscape fire management.

He holds an honours degree from the UBC Natural Resource Conservation Program (1996) and a BCIT diploma in Forest Technology.
Lyle enjoys any outdoor activity and is an avid hiker, backcountry skier, ocean kayaker, trail runner and mountain biker.


Managing fire with fire for resilient landscapes
Jed Cochrane began his fire career at 19, witnessing the dynamics of fire ecology first-hand as an initial attack crew member with the Province of BC in the Rocky Mountains. Over the next nine fire seasons Jed returned to the mountains on a fire crew and completed a BSc in biology at the University of Victoria and an MSc in fire ecology at the University of British Columbia. In 2007, Jed joined Parks Canada as a national fire management officer in Calgary and in 2013 took on a new position with Parks Canada as the Fire and Vegetation Specialist for Lake Louise, Yoho and Kootenay field unit. As the Fire/Veg Specialist Jed’s time is spent overseeing operational response to wildfires, planning and implementing prescribed fires, mitigating/managing non-native plants and protecting/restoring rare and threatened ecosystems and native flora. When he is not out in the forest or at his desk, he enjoys spending time with his family, mountain biking and fly-fishing.


Catching fire: transformative management of Canadian forests
Bruce Blackwell has more than 28 years’ experience as a Professional Forester and Biologist primarily focused in fire and forest ecology, forest management, fire management, wildland/urban interface planning, forest policy and practice audits and reviews. He is a UBC Forestry alumnus and is considered a provincial expert in fire and fuels management.

Bruce has managed numerous innovative projects related to fire risk identification and mitigation for both the public and private sector. He has provided expert opinion testimony and numerous interviews on the topic of wildfire in BC. Bruce assisted the Firestorm 2003 Review Team in the development of recommendations on forest management and policy to mitigate the risk of catastrophic fires in the wildland/urban interface of BC. In Alberta, Bruce has been involved with development of the provincial fire management planning standard and the development of the first landscape scale fire management plans. He has been an instructor in fire science and fire management at both the University of British Columbia and the British Columbia Institute of Technology.


Can videogames save urban forests from climate change?
Stephen Sheppard teaches in sustainable landscape planning, climate change, community engagement, and visualization in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC. He received a BA/MA in Agricultural and Forest Sciences at Oxford, an MSc in Forestry at UBC, and a PhD in Environmental Planning at University of California – Berkeley. He directs the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP), an interdisciplinary research group using interactive visualization tools to support public awareness and participatory planning on climate change. He has over 30 years’ experience in environmental assessment and public participation, and authored a seminal book on ” Visualizing climate change”.

He is passionate about visualizing low-carbon futures in compelling ways – and helping communities take action on sustainable solutions.

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