Experts available to discuss wildfire activity, ecosystem recovery and costs

With climate change leading to an increase in wildfires throughout the American Southwest, Northern Arizona University has a number of experts available to discuss the different facets of wildfires, forest health and restoration, and fire response.

Ryan Fitch, assistant professor of environmental economics


  • Dr. Fitch studies wildfire economics and how different restoration techniques affect fire suppression costs throughout northern Arizona’s ponderosa pine forests.

Andrew Sánchez Meador, executive director of the Ecological Restoration Institute


  • Dr. Sánchez Meador, who is an associate professor of forest biometrics and quantitative ecology, focuses primarily on forest restoration and ecology, remote sensing, ecological restoration and using complex data sets to create more resilient forests.

Peter Fulé, Regents’ professor of forestry


  • Dr. Fulé studies the overuse of natural resources, ecological degradation and restoration and fire behavior modeling in the American Southwest and northern Mexico. His work focuses on the intersection of forests, wildfire, climate and people.

Yeon-Su Kim: Interim director of the School of Forestry, professor of ecological economics


  • Dr. Kim’s expertise is in economic valuation of forest ecosystem services and regional economic impact analysis. Her research focuses on social and economic dimensions of ecological restoration and wildfires in the Southwest and includes working with Native tribes in ecosystem restoration and conservation. 

Catrin Edgeley, assistant professor, School of Forestry

  • (928) 523-7347 or [email protected]
  • Dr. Edgeley is a wildfire sociologist who studies post-fire recovery, health impacts associated with fire and wildfire evacuation planning and behavior. Her latest study examined the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, and how communities can better prepare for and recover from destructive wildfires.

Andi Thode, professor, School of Forestry

  • (928) 523-5457 or [email protected]
  • Dr. Thode is a professor of fire ecology and management; her work focuses on fire effects, fire monitoring and landscape-level fire severity effects; she also is the principal investigator for the Southwest Fire Science Consortium, which connects scientists, land managers and members of the public to help protect communities and critical natural resources.

 PR contact: Heidi Toth, 928-523-8737 or [email protected]