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Stanford News Service
June 28, 2021

MEDIA ADVISORY: Stanford experts on wildfires

Not for broadcast or publication.

Stanford scholars with expertise on wildfire drivers, impacts and other related issues are available to comment for coverage of the wildfires in California and elsewhere. For assistance locating scholars, contact:

Fire and climate

Noah Diffenbaugh
Diffenbaugh is an expert on the climate system and understanding the influence of climate change on extreme events, including wildfires. He has served as a lead author for Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and has provided testimony and scientific expertise to the White House, the governor of California, and U.S. congressional offices. Diffenbaugh is the Kara J Foundation Professor at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and the Kimmelman Family Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.
Contact: (650) 223-9425, diffenbaugh@stanford.edu

Chris Field
Field, a climate scientist, is part of a rural air quality research project, in collaboration with the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford, that examines wildfires’ effects on respiratory illness. He served from 2008 to 2015 as co-chair of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which provided the scientific foundation for the Paris Climate Accord. He is the Perry L. McCarty Director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment; founding director of the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology; the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences and School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences.
Contact:
(650) 736-4352, cfield@stanford.edu

Rob Jackson
Jackson studies a range of wildfire impacts, including those on the carbon cycle and soils. He is the Michelle and Kevin Douglas Provostial Professor at the Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Precourt Institute for Energy.
Contact:
(650) 497-5841, rob.jackson@stanford.edu

Alexandra Konings
Konings is an ecohydrologist who studies the carbon cycle and vegetation water content. Her recent work looks at wildfire risk implications of drying in peat forests and using AI and satellite data to measure and map wildfire fuels. Konings is a professor at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and a center fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.
Contact:
(650) 736-2083, konings@stanford.edu

Fire, air quality and public health

Marshall Burke
Burke’s research focuses on social and economic impacts of environmental change, and on the economics of rural development in Africa. He has recently published work on air quality impacts to human health. Burke is a professor of Earth system science at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, deputy director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford, senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.
Contact:
(650) 721-2203, mburke@stanford.edu

Sharon Chinthrajah
Chinthrajah is a pulmonologist and allergist who studies allergies and asthma and cares for patients who suffer from these diseases. She is a clinical associate professor in the divisions of allergy/immunology and pulmonary/critical care medicine at Stanford, and serves as director of the clinical translational research unit at the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research.
Contact: (650) 723-5227, schinths@stanford.edu

Kari Nadeau
Nadeau is the director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University, section chief of Allergy and Asthma at the Stanford School of Medicine, and the Naddisy Foundation Professor of Pediatric Food Allergy, Immunology, and Asthma at Stanford University. Nadeau is one of the nation’s foremost experts in adult and pediatric allergy and asthma and holds an MD and PhD from Harvard Medical School. Her recent work includes investigating the impact of a prescribed burns versus wildfires on the immune and cardiovascular systems of children.
Contact
: (650) 724-6780, knadeau@stanford.edu

Mary Prunicki
Prunicki is a research scientist who has studied the impact of air pollution on the immune system for several years in Fresno, an area of consistently elevated air pollution. Her research is currently focused on the health impacts of wildfires and prescribed burns.
Contact: prunicki@stanford.edu

Sayantani B. Sindher
Sindher is a pediatric and adult allergist who cares for patients with food and environmental allergies as well as asthma. She is a clinical assistant professor in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Stanford University. In addition to seeing patients in her outpatient clinic, she is also involved in clinical research trials at the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research.
Contact: (650) 724-6780, tina.sindher@stanford.edu

Wildfire management

Rebecca Miller
Miller, an affiliated scholar at the Bill Lane Center for the American West, researches historic and current wildfire policies and impacts in California. She examines how communities and governments prepare for, respond to and recover from wildfires.
Contact: (714) 393-5722, rkmiller@stanford.edu

New tools for preventing wildfires

Eric Appel and Craig Criddle
Appel and Criddle have developed an environmentally benign hydrogel that can retain fire retardants on target fuels such as dry grass for months. They’ve done small-scale trials in collaboration with Cal Fire and will do some large trials next fire season. Appel is a professor of materials science and engineering. Criddle is a professor of civil and environmental engineering and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.
Contact: eappel@stanford.edu / criddle@stanford.edu

Wildfire legislation

Michael Wara
Wara is the director of the Climate and Energy Policy Program, a senior research scholar at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and a commissioner on California’s Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery Commission. He is a lawyer and scholar focused on climate and energy policy and collaborates with economists, engineers and scientists on the design and evaluation of technical and regulatory solutions. Wara is an expert in California law and policy concerning wildfires and the utility industry. He recently authored A New Strategy for Addressing the Wildfire Epidemic in California, a white paper identifying needed interventions – such as natural fire regime restoration, prescribed burning incentives and institutional reform – and how to achieve them.
Contact:
(415) 250-9730, michael.wara@stanford.edu

Wildfire and human behavior

Bruce Cain
Cain is the Spence and Cleone Eccles Family Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West, and Charles Louis Ducommun Professor in Humanities and Sciences. He is an expert in U.S. politics, and particularly the politics of California and the American West. His recent work with Iris Hui has explored how California wildfires can shrink partisan differences about climate change strategies and the lack of will amongst Californians to subsidize prevention efforts.
Contact:
(650) 725-1320, bcain@stanford.edu

Iris Hui
Hui is a senior researcher with the Bill Lane Center for the American West. Her research is at the intersection of geography and political science and investigates the consequences of uneven spatial distribution of populations and natural resources. With Bruce Cain, Hui has done recent work exploring the impact of California wildfires on partisan divides and what Californians are willing to sacrifice in the name of wildfire prevention.
Contact:
(650) 721-1588, irishui@stanford.edu

Gabrielle Wong-Parodi
Wong-Parodi is an assistant professor of Earth system science at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and a center fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Her research focuses on applying behavioral decision research methods to address challenges associated with global environmental change. Wong-Parodi uses behavioral decision science approaches to create evidence-based strategies for informed decision making, with a particular focus on building resilience and promoting sustainability in the face of a changing climate. Recently, she looked at the impact of power shut-offs, a response to ignition threats for wildfires in California, on populations’ well-being.
Contact:
(650) 725-6457, gwongpar@stanford.edu

Additional Stanford experts can be found at
https://experts.stanford.edu

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Contact

Rob Jordan, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment: rjordan@stanford.edu, (415) 760-8058

Christine H. Black, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment: christineblack@stanford.edu, (650) 725-8240

   

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