San Antonio Conference Wrap-up and New AFE President Announcement

It has been a bit over a week since many of us were in San Antonio at the fire Congress.  For those who were in attendance, I hope the congress was as productive as you expected.  For those unable to attend, you missed a great event!   A special thanks to Catia, Tim, Brandy and members of both the program and steering committees for their work pulling this event off.  All of the talks I sat in on were outstanding, and seeing the excitement of the students attending the congress was great to see.  We had around 575 attendees, and over 75 student volunteers, many of whom received AFE/JFSP TREE grants to help cover some of their travel costs. THE NWCG course RX 310 was taught on site throughout the week, and six workshops showcased advances in tools and models for improving fire management.  Our opening plenary also focused on gender equality in the fire profession.

For those not in attendance, I have stepped down as AFE President after serving in that position for the past 5 years.  It has been my pleasure to serve AFE in that role, and to see the potential of where AFE can go in the future.  In some ways, AFE is experiencing a generational changing of the guard, as all 3 of the officers for 2015 started their professional relationship with AFE as graduate students.  That is a good thing, as it shows that AFE is established and will continue to be important for years to come.  I am extremely proud of what AFE has done these past 16 years, and see a bright future for AFE for a long time to come.

I have no doubt that the new AFE President Dr. Leda Kobziar will provide excellent leadership working with our outstanding staff, board and members.  Leda was one of the founding members of the Student Association for Fire Ecology, and has been actively engaged in AFE ever since through leadership roles on committees, review panels, and as a Board of Directors member since 2008.  She has recently moved from her position as Associate Professor at the University of Florida to join the fire faculty at the University of Idaho.  Her research, outreach, and teaching foci on fire ecology and restoring historical fire regimes has always had clear management implications, reflecting her commitment to furthering the AFE Mission of “improving the knowledge and use of fire in land management through science and education”.  Adam Watts and Karin Riley will be continuing their past roles as part of the AFE leadership team.

 ~ Brian Oswald


Reimbursements can now be done online (For TREE grants, speakers, award winners).  View our reimbursement form Here.


We will be publishing a digital proceedings of this conference, and all oral presenters are invited to submit to the proceedings. Your submission may be an extended abstract, a pdf of your powerpoint presentation, a full paper, a peer-reviewed paper, or other supporting documents.

The deadline to submit your proceedings is December 31, 2015. Please send them to our office via email.  Proceedings will be reviewed, and approved content will published the following spring.