UI’s Fire Ecology and Management Receives National Academic Certification

Tuesday, August 27 2013

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho is blazing the trail for fire ecology programs across the nation. The program received national academic certification by the Association for Fire Ecology.

UI’s program is one of the first fire degree programs to receive the national certification and will serve as a model for other higher education programs. The program has grown quickly and now enrolls about 100 undergraduate students from around the country.

“The wildland fire ecology and management program educates tomorrow’s students and professionals in wildland fire. The faculty also has a strong emphasis on peer-reviewed research on the physical, ecological and social aspects of wildland fire. I am proud that our program is a national leader in fire education and research,” said Kurt Pregitzer, dean of the UI College of Natural Resources.

For more than 35 years, the College of Natural Resources has been a leader in wildland fire education and research. The wildland fire program offers more courses focused on fire than any other natural resources school in the country.

“I wasn’t aware of just how far ahead of the curve we are at the university,” said Mike McManus, a recent wildland fire ecology and management alumnus who participated in a spring break class with students across the country with the Student Association for Fire Ecology. “In skill and theory, we were definitely more advanced, and the other students took notice.”

The program is known for its hands-on learning experience. Students learn how to assess fire hazards, forecast effects and understand fire science. The program strives to be a leader in wildland fire education in Idaho, the West, the U.S. and beyond.

“Learning by doing is key to our program. It’s important for our students to learn about fire operations, ecologically based fire management and how partners work together. We need to educate our students to be collaborative in order to move forward,” said Penny Morgan, professor in the fire ecology and management program.

The Association for Fire Ecology identified several strengths in the program, including the diverse and well-rounded curriculum, substantial partnerships with agencies and other organizations, well-designed advising from recruitment through job placement, an engaged and growing faculty, a long history of engagement in experiential learning, an active Student Association for Fire Ecology Chapter, and strong enrollment coupled with a vigorous research program.

For more information about the fire and ecology program, visit www.uidaho.edu/cnr/frfs/fire.
# # #

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.