Awards Committee Liaison: C. Alina Cansler (University of Washington)

As the student liaison to the Awards Committee, my role to communicate to the student section the activities and procedures of the Awards Committee, and share the interests and perspectives of students with the committee. I welcome any feedback or suggestions about ESA’s awards process.

I am a Ph.D. student of Dr. Donald McKenzie in the Fire and Mountain Ecology Lab at the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington. My lab tackles research topics related to landscape ecology, climate change, and fire ecology. My personal research interests focuses on two main topics: understanding the cause and consequences in spatial variation in burn severity, and integrating contagious disturbances processes into climate-based models predicting shifts in vegetation distribution.

I received my B.A. from Willamette University in 2002, with a dual major in Environmental Science and Politics, and subsequently worked for the National Park Service conducting ecological field work monitoring the effects of prescribed fire on vegetation and fuels. My current Ph.D. research incorporates field methods, remote sensing, and spatial modeling to address the influence of local environmental and biotic factors and regional climate on post-fire tree regeneration at the alpine-upper treeline ecotone in the Cascade Range and northern Rocky Mountains. I am also doing research that builds upon my M.S. project (also conducted with the Fire and Mountain Ecology Lab), which used remotely sensed burn severity data to examine how climate, fire size, and topography influence the spatial pattern of burn severity in the northern Cascade Range of Washington state, USA.

acansler (at)


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