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Chaparral and sage scrub management in the California Central Coast: Balancing fire protection with environmental protection

May 9th, 2024,  7:45am - 5:30pm

This field trip was a collaboration with the California Fire Science Consortium and part of the larger CA Chaparral Symposium IV at Cal Poly May 7th and 8th. 

UC Sedgwick Reserve

We visited the UC Sedgwick Reserve, where UC Santa Barbara researchers and partners have been conducting experimental burns in sage scrub, oak woodland, and annual grassland. We began with a review of the Sedgwick Reserve, the variety of multidisciplinary studies that are carried out at the site, and the goals of the experimental burning. Then we conducted field visits to sage scrub sites that were burned in 2022 and 2023 to talk about objectives, monitoring, science, and the connection to management

Webinar Agenda
Time Item
7:45am Meet at California Polytechnic State University
  Sites TBD
12:30pm Arrive at Sedgwick Reserve
12:30pm Lunch
1:10pm Lunch ends
4:00pm Depart Sedgwick Reserve
5:30pm Arrive at California Polytechnic State University
5:30pm Field event ends


Frank Davis, Professor Emeritus at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management and Director of the La Kretz Center for Research at Sedgwick Reserve

Frank is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, and Director of the La Kretz Center for Research at Sedgwick Reserve. His research focuses on the landscape ecology and conservation of California ecosystems, oak population biology, and the ecological consequences of climate change. His current projects are concerned with effects of prescribed fire in California foothill ecosystems and remote sensing of biodiversity.

Hugh D. Safford, PhD, Chief Scientist for Vibrant Planet

Dr. Hugh Safford is Chief Scientist for Vibrant Planet, an environmental public benefits corporation, and a member of the research faculty in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California-Davis. Before joining Vibrant Planet, Safford was Regional Ecologist for the USDA-Forest Service’s Region 5 (California, Hawaii, Pacific territories) for more than two decades; he retired at the end of 2021. Vibrant Planet works at the interface between resource management, science, and technology, and applies Silicon Valley computer engineering and data management to complex environmental problems like forest resilience and wildfire mitigation in the western US and carbon sequestration, offsets, and REDD applications in the tropics. The Safford Lab at UC-Davis is focused on applied ecological support to resource and fire management in California and worldwide. Safford is director of the Sierra Nevada section of the California Fire Science Consortium, and he is PI of the California Prescribed Fire Monitoring Program (a partnership with CALFIRE), as well as the multipartner Southern California Montane Forest Conservation Strategy. Safford has provided international technical assistance on fire, forest management, and climate change issues since the 1990s. Recent projects include fire hazard and risk mapping in Georgia, fire management planning in Mexico, climate change adaptation in Brazil, and forest restoration in North Africa and the Levant. Safford was a fellow with the Fulbright Global Scholars Program between 2017 and 2019, where he studied post-fire ecosystem restoration practices in the Mediterranean Basin. Safford was co-editor of the 2021 Postfire Restoration Framework for National Forests in California, which provides guidance for management decision-making in burned ecosystems under changing environmental baselines. Safford was featured in the 2020 book Trees in Trouble by Daniel Matthews, as well as in a recent episode of the UK-based Conservation Careers podcast. Safford grew up in southwestern Montana, he has lived in California since 1986 and splits his time between Davis and the Lake Tahoe Basin. In his free time, Safford plays the piano, skis, climbs mountains, and gets hit periodically by lightning.

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