2011 SAFE Award Winners

2011 Annual SAFE Awards

Every year at an AFE Conference we honor outstanding SAFE students at our Awards Banquet.  This year we were very happy to be able to give this award to three very accomplished students who are all very active in both their local SAFE chapter and the national AFE organization.

Chris Dunn and Garrett Meigs

The AFE Outstanding Graduate Student Award was presented to Chris Dunn and Garrett Meigs, both doctoral students in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. This is the first time a joint award was given due to the close collaboration Chris and Garrett maintain in their fire ecology research, education, and organizing.

Chris is pursuing a doctorate in the Department of Forest Engineering, Resources, and Management, and excels as a Graduate student instructor of upper division forest ecology courses.

Garrett is pursing a doctorate in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, and has published articles in the journal, Ecosystems, and more coming in press.  Both have given impressive oral presentations at AFE regional conferences and symposia. Chris and Garrett also co-founded the SAFE chapter at OSU known affectionately as the “Pyromaniacs.”

This chapter meets weekly at local restaurants to discuss current research publications, and have hosted several field trips and guest speakers to campus.

Chris and Garrett are also helped organize the 2012 International Fire Ecology and Management Congress in Portland.

Penny Whisenant

The AFE Outstanding Undergraduate Student for 2011 is Penny Whisenant, a senior Fire Management Major at Stephen F. Austin University.  Penny has held leadership roles at both the SAFE chapter level at SFA and in 2011 as SAFE president.

She has been featured in the SFA Alumni Magazine for her leadership role in the development of a County-wide Wildland Fire Plan for Nocagdoches County.

This plan provides the County officials, as well as individual volunteer fire districts, GPS locations of WUI type hazard conditions along every road in the entire county, along with a description of the hazard and suggested mediation activities.

She was also heavily involved in SFA becoming the first campus in the US to be designated a Firewise Campus.  In addition, Penny and a few other students worked with the local Country Club to provide them with the management plan to become designated Firewise.