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Forest & Fire Learning Series: The Chemistry of Wildfire Smoke

April 22, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The Chemistry of Wildfire Smoke: The 4th installment of the Learning Series will feature Dr. Gilman and her research on the air quality impacts of wildfire smoke. Dr. Gilman will describe her work making detailed chemical measurements of biomass burning from the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) lab in Boulder, the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, and aboard the NASA DC-8 research aircraft as it flew through smoke plumes in the western and southeastern U.S. We will then explore with her the chemistry of wildfires and how its emissions impact air quality and climate.


• Jessica Gilman, Ph.D.: Research Chemist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Livestream on Mountain Studies Institute YouTube page and Facebook at 6pm.

More about the series:

Since 2017, the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado have experienced exceptional drought and fire alongside record snowpack and swollen rivers. In response to community concerns regarding these climatic fluctuations across our landscape, MSI and partners began the Forest & Fire Learning Series in the spring of 2018. For the past three years, this lecture series has offered information and resources to how we, as a community, can better understand and approach local climatic changes using the best available science and landscape expertise to promote both ecological and community resilience.

There are many increasingly relevant conversations to address, one of which is the context of historical fire regimes – though 2021 may not prove to be an intense fire year, impacts from climate change suggest that fire events with increased frequency will occur. As our community continues to experience the fluctuations in climatic extremes alongside the consequences of more than a century of wildfire suppression throughout the West, we must discuss what it means to cultivate community resilience within the context of the forest ecology of the San Juan Mountains, historical fire regimes, and societal relationships to wildfire. The relationships and responses people have to wildfire can be complex and multi-faceted, which is why MSI aims to include what varying areas of science have to say about fire, forests, and community resilience.

To continue exploring these ideas, MSI is preparing for its 4th annual Forest & Fire Learning Series with the intent to educate and engage our community. This livestream e-vent will feature a Q&A session following presentations that cover topics of fire adapted communities, the connection between wildfires and water, adaptations to COVID19, wildfire smoke and air quality, local seasonal outlooks for 2021, and personal stories of living with fire. Because engagement with a virtual audience is important, interactive questions will be posed throughout the event to encourage a sense of connection and better understand how to reach community members online. Analytics resulting from these questions and the e-vent as a whole will be drafted in a 1-2 page document and shared with partners, sponsors, and local government officials, and posted to MSI’s website.

We invite you to join the conversation, ask questions, and help to inform a community approach to living with fire.


April 22, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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