PICS event Escalating Wildfires

Join PICS and the British Consulate-General in Vancouver for this recorded public webinar discussing innovative wildfire research and nature-based solutions.

This event was held on October 26, 2021 in the lead up to the United Nations Climate Change conference (COP26) in Glasgow

Forests are one of our strongest assets in the fight against climate change but wildfires threaten to turn that asset into a liability by releasing huge quantities of carbon to the atmosphere. Investigators from PICS’ Wildfire & Carbon project and partners will explore how we arrived at our current wildfire predicament and discuss the complex risks that wildfires pose to human health, forests, and carbon dynamics.

Panelists will draw connections to highlight potential solutions to 1) adapt to the escalating threat of wildfires, 2) reduce wildfire emissions and 3) stabilize forest carbon stocks/sinks.

Panel discussion followed by Q&A.

Carly Phillips
Carly Phillips Researcher-in-Residence, Wildfire and Carbon: Event moderator

Dr. Carly Phillips joins PICS as a Researcher in Residence on the Wildfire and Carbon project. She brings expertise in ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, and carbon cycling. Prior to joining PICS, Carly worked at Woodwell Climate Research Center (formerly Woods Hole Research Center) and the Union of Concerned Scientists, studying carbon emissions from boreal wildfires and the climate mitigation potential of fire management.

Kerner Kurz
Werner Kurz, PhD – Senior Research Scientist, CFS

Dr. Werner Kurz is a Canadian research scientist at Canada's Pacific Forestry Centre in Victoria, British Columbia. He is leading the development of an accounting system to assess potential climate change known as the National Forest Carbon Accounting System for Canada. Currently, his research focuses on using forest land to its maximum carbon efficiency, reducing the impact of natural disasters, and managing forests. Kurz holds a PhD in forest ecology from the University of British Columbia. He has made significant contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the work of the IPCC (including the contributions of many scientists) was recognized by the joint award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Kira Hoffman
Kira Hoffman, PhD – Postdoctoral Fellow, UBC

Dr. Kira Hoffman is a fire ecologist and former wildland firefighter. She is currently a jointly appointed Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia and The Bulkley Valley Research Centre. Her research focuses on how present-day forests have been shaped by stewardship techniques such as burning and how ongoing fire suppression has eroded the resiliency of fire-adapted landscapes. She received her bachelor’s degree in geography and PhD in ecology from University of Victoria.

Angela Yao
Angela Yao, PhD – Regional Epidemiologist, BCCDC

Dr Angela Yao is a Regional Epidemiologist at BC Observatory for Population and Public Health, and an adjunct professor at UBC School of Population and Public Health. She is interested in modeling environmental exposures and assessing their population health impacts using novel data sources, especially climate change related exposures such as extreme heat events and wildfire smoke. Her PhD dissertation looks at the very acute health effects of sub-daily exposure to wildfire smoke. She earned both a Masters degree in Environmental Health and a PhD in Population and Public Health from University of British Columbia.