As part of the William Main Seminar Series, Berkeley Forests proudly welcomed Thom Porter —UC Berkeley alum and recently appointed director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)—to the UC Berkeley campus on March 12th. Addressing a standing-room only crowd of students, faculty, and staff, Chief Porter discussed the historic 2018 fire season, the challenges CAL FIRE faced in dealing with the fires, and the recovery efforts currently underway. Following the presentation, a group of ESPM students and faculty had the opportunity to dine with Chief Porter at UC Berkeley’s Faculty Club; the group discussed the role of CAL FIRE in fuels management, fire prevention, and education and outreach. During dinner, students heard more from Chief Porter about his career path from a young forester working for the timber industry in Oregon and Washington to his current role as Director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). Students and faculty had the opportunity to ask direct questions Chief Porter, and further discuss the role of CAL FIRE in fuels management, fire prevention, and education and outreach.
Chief Porter holds a bachelor’s degree in forest management from UC Berkeley. Prior to his presentation, he visited Mulford Hall–home to the forestry major and his old stomping grounds. A number of Chief Porter’s former professors and classmates were in attendance for his presentation.
The William Main Seminar Series is made possible by the generosity of the Main Family. The series provides students the opportunity to meet and interact with leaders in the field, providing them a forum for exploring topical issues in forestry and natural resource management. Recordings of all presentations from the 2019 William Main Seminar Series, including Chief Porter’s, can be found on the Berkeley Forests Events page.