Appalachian Laboratory to host event on wildfires

February 7, 2020
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

On Thursday, March 5, 2020, at 6:30pm, Dr. Deborah Landau, Conservation Ecologist with Maryland/DC Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and Appalachian Laboratory fire ecologist Dr. Mark Cochrane will present "Wildfire in Appalachia: Fire history of the Central Appalachians and implications of a changing climate to our forests' health" as part of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES)- Appalachian Laboratory’s Watershed Moments Community Learning Series. 

Major wildfires have dominated the news in recent years.  Devastating fires have burned in Australia, Indonesia, the Amazon, and in 2016, much closer to home, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, bringing with them significant personal, political, economic, and environmental consequences for the communities they affected.

As part of this timely Watershed Moment event, Landau and Cochrane will share the history of wildfire in the Central Appalachian Mountains and explain what science can tell us about the possible threat posed by fire to the region in the future.

Looking back at the history of fire in Maryland is more important than ever as we work toward ensuring a healthy future for our forests in the Central Appalachians.

Dr. Deborah Landau
Conservation Ecologist, MD/DC Chapter of The Nature Conservancy


Dr. Deborah Landau has been the Maryland/DC Chapter Ecologist of The Nature Conservancy since 2001. She has a Ph.D in Entomology and Plant Biology (Louisiana State University), a Masters in Entomology and Plant Pathology (University of Tennessee), and a Bachelor of Science in International Environmental Studies (Rutgers University, Cook College). Her focus at The Nature Conservancy is ecological restoration through controlled burning, native tree planting, invasive species removal, hydrologic restoration, increasing forest resiliency, and monitoring how plants, animals, and natural communities respond to these conservation actions.

Dr. Mark Cochrane conducts interdisciplinary work combining ecology, remote sensing, and other fields of study to provide an Earth systems perspective of the dynamic processes involved in global change. He is an expert on wildfire, documenting the characteristics, behavior and severe effects of fire in tropical and temperate forests that are inherent to current systems of human land-use and management.  Recently published work has emphasized the climate change, human dimensions of land-cover change and the potential for sustainable development. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology from Pennsylvania State University and a S.B. in Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Cochrane currently holds the rank of Professor at the Appalachian Laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

This presentation, which will be held at the Appalachian Laboratory, 301 Braddock Road, Frostburg Maryland, is free and open to the public.  Doors open at 6pm. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.