Missoula, MT, USA….June 15, 2011..Two advanced degree students recently received scholarships from the International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF). Alexis Lewis, a PhD candidate in the Department of Exercise and Sports Science at Oregon State University and Victoria Pantoja-Campa, a master’s student in the Division de Ciencias Forestales at the Universidad Autonoma Chapingo in Mexico were selected for their dedication to furthering fire science in disparate programs important to wildland firefighters globally. “We are pleased to be able to support these students in their research to aid firefighters and communities,” said Chuck Bushey, IAWF President, “and to benefit from their unique programs and backgrounds.”
Alexis Lewis is a PhD candidate in the Department of Exercise and Sports Science with an emphasis in Sports Psychology at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR . Her research revolves around ways to improve human performance through leadership and decision-making in wildland fire through mindfulness and self-compassion interventions. She aims to make her research as practical as possible for fire personnel, while upholding scientific rigor. She has worked closely with fire managers and personnel in developing appropriate and effective strategies for implementation. Alexis fought wildland fires for eight seasons throughout the western US and begins another season this month.
Victoria Pantoja-Campa is a first year master’s student in the Division de Ciencias Forestales, Universidad Autonoma Chapingo in the State of Mexico, Mexico. She has concentrated on planning and implementation of integrated fire management in Mexico, Central and South America. She has been trained in prescribed burning based on community fire management and fire ecology. In 2006, she studied under a scholarship at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain. Victoria’s professional career includes serving as the Regional Coordinator for fire management in southeastern Mexico with the Fondo Mexicano para la Conservacion de la Naturaleza, A.C., and the Nature Conservancy. She also served as the fire ecologist for Latin America with The Global Fire Team of Nature Conservancy, has conducted research for Pronaturaleza, Peru, and conducted analytical mapping of wildfires in Maya Fores region with the CATIE (Research and Higher Education Center) – BID (Inter-American Development Bank).
The IAWF awards scholarships for advanced studies related to wildland fire management each spring. “Promoting education and sharing wildland fire research is a core objective for the IAWF,” said Bushey and “we’re pleased to include studies that span the American continents.” More information on the scholarships and past recipients is available at www.iawfonline.org/scholarships.php .
The IAWF is a nonprofit, 501(c) (3) professional association representing members of the global wildland fire community (www.iawfonline.org and http://wildfireworld.org) and is uniquely positioned as an independent organization whose membership includes experts in all aspects of wildland fire management. IAWF’s independence and breadth of global membership expertise allows it to offer a neutral forum for the consideration of important, at times controversial, wildland fire issues. IAWF produces Wildfire magazine, the International Journal of Wildland Fire, and FireNet.