Fire Expert Receives Teaching Honor

On Monday, January 25thStephen Pyne, a Regents’ Professor, Distinguished Sustainability Scholar and Center for Biology and Society faculty member thought it was going to be a normal day of lecturing at the National Advanced Fire and Resource Institute in Tucson, AZ. That is, until he was presented with a national award honoring his 28 years as Faculty, teaching the “Fire in Ecosystems Management” course.

The story begins in 1982 with Pyne’s publication of Fire in America. The book was a big deal, but the fire community didn't know what to do with it because it didn't come out of the usual fire schools. It helped that Pyne had 15 seasons on a fire crew under his belt and was writing fire plans for the National Park Service. Eventually, Pyne was invited to attend training sessions and conferences.

Fire in America led to an invitation in 1984 to speak for an hour on “Advanced Fire Management” at the National Fire Training Center (now the National Advanced Fire and Resource Institute) on a largely abandoned air force base, what is now Pinal Air Park in Tucson. After that talk, Pyne was consistently asked to return. The course was renamed “Fire in Ecosystem Management” around 1994.<

This honor is well deserved for Pyne’s dedication to education of those working in national fire management.