Now Hiring: Join the Wildland Fire research team at UC Berkeley

November 22, 2022
Research and Outreach Specialist Positions

The Stephens Wildland Fire Science Lab and Collins Landscape Fire Dynamics & Forest Management Lab at UC Berkeley are jointly seeking multiple fire ecology/fire science specialists to begin work in early 2023.  

These positions will support ongoing research, lead new studies, coordinate fire science outreach efforts, mentor student researchers, and organize/supervise field research crews. These positions will join a diverse team of motivated researchers in studying the role of fire in some of California’s most dynamic and beautify landscapes. This research is conducted in partnership with land managers, Tribes, and extension advisors, with the intent of having strong applications to land stewardship and management. Below are three projects that these positions will work on, but work is not limited to just these three.  (Further details on the announcement and application instructions are available at:

Project 1: Tradeoffs in managing mixed-conifer forests for climate change, carbon sequestration, forest restoration, and wildfire hazard reduction

Forest managers are challenged with attempting to achieve multiple resource objectives simultaneously. While this challenge is not new to the forestry profession, the current demands on forest managers in California are particularly complex given the interactions between climate change, carbon sequestration, forest restoration, wildlife habitat, and wildfire hazard mitigation. This project will draw from existing long-term studies, which continue to be maintained and monitored to date, as well as initiate a new study to investigate tradeoffs in managing forests for these different, and possibly competing objectives. Study sites will be at Blodgett Forest and Grouse Ridge in the Sierra Nevada, and the Flatwoods in the southern Cascade Range. We will evaluate a suite of forest treatments including conventional wildfire hazard reduction, i.e., thinning/mastication and prescribed burning, restoration approximating early 20th forest conditions reconstructed from timber surveys, and silvicultural manipulation for climate adaptation. We will compare modeled wildfire behavior, carbon dynamics, understory vegetation, and tree vigor across treatments and sites.

Project 2: Managed wildfire in Sierra Nevada Wilderness

The study will investigate how the restoration of wildland fire in long fire-excluded areas influences forest structure, aboveground carbon, and plant and bat biodiversity in Yosemite National Park and the Ansel Adams Wilderness of the Sierra National Forest. Yosemite National Park has a nearly 50-year history of restoring natural fire for ecological benefit. Restoration of natural wildfire patterns through managed wildfire are being expanded to other areas including the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Results from this study may guide policy and fire management strategies in the Sierra Nevada intended to increase ecosystem resilience in a rapidly changing world. Backcountry forest inventories will be conducted along with acoustic monitoring of bat populations.

Project 3: California Fire Science Consortium

The California Fire Science Consortium (as part of the Joint Fire Science Program's Fire Science Exchange network) is a network of scientists and managers in California and Nevada that strives to accelerate the awareness, understanding, and adoption of wildland fire science information by federal, tribal, state, local, and private stakeholders within ecologically similar regions. Our mission is to be an inclusive, neutral, customer-driven collaborative group that facilitates the flow of fire science information and dialogue. The consortium includes approximately 10 people state-wide and the person hired at UC Berkeley would coordinate their efforts and also provide key leadership to the program (

Further details on the announcement and application instructions are available at:

The first review of applications will begin in mid-December 2022, with the desired start date of February through May 2023. Please contact Scott Stephens (sstephens[at] or Brandon Collins (bcollins[at] for any additional information.