Urban WildFIRE will be offered as a 1-year, hybridized educational experience through which participants will gain skills in urban and community forestry, wildland fire, and professional development through the lens of justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. This program will utilize virtual learning environments (Summer – Fall 2021, Spring-Summer 2022) and field-based training activities (Spring 2022) to provide instruction in the following content areas:
- Urban and Community Forestry (Core concepts include i-Tree applications; socio-ecological benefits of urban trees; pests, pathogens, and diseases of the urban forest; the role of nurseries in urban forestry; land management along the wildland-urban interface; and strategies for effective community engagement)
- Wildland Fire (Core concepts include fire effects in ecosystems; fire behavior; historical fire regimes and related implications; human dimensions of wildland fire; interactions with climate and invasive species; development and implementation of burn plans; online components of Type II Wildland Firefighter certification)
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Core concepts include navigating natural resources careers as underrepresented scholars/practitioners, unconscious and explicit bias, inclusive language, benefits of diversity in the workplace)
Urban WildFIRE participants will meet twice weekly in July and August 2021, and twice monthly from Fall 2021-Spring 2022 using a virtual meeting platform. The program will culminate with a field-based fire training, which will be led by program partners at The Nature Conservancy and offered in three regional hubs (locations TBD). Student participation in this field-based training will facilitate their completion of Type II Wildland Fire certification requirements.
All student expenses for the field-based training will be covered, and students will receive a stipend for their participation in this program.