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SAFE in Action ~ Awards, Trainings, Recognition

AFE Student Excellence Awards

Every year, AFE awards a Graduate and Undergraduate Student Excellence Award at our conferences.  Check out our webpage to see our recent winners!

JFSP GRIN Awards Encourage Young Scientists to Ask Bold Questions

This following excerpt is from an article published in the Joint Fire Science Program’s Fire Science Digest Newsletter, ISSUE 18 APRIL 2014


The Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP), in partnership with AFE, offers Graduate Research Innovation (GRIN) awards yearly to a handful of top-quality graduate students conducting research in fire science. GRIN awards are intended to nurture the next generation of fire and fuels scientists and managers, enhance their professional development, help them become engaged with their community of peers, and equip them to tackle the fire and fuels management challenges of today and tomorrow.


To earn a GRIN award, master’s and doctoral students are invited to submit succinct four-page proposals for original research in fire ecology, management, science, or human dimensions of wildfire, including climate. The award is intended to augment already-funded thesis or dissertation research. Since the program began in 2010, 21 graduate students have received GRIN awards for up to $25,000; these recipients were selected from a total of 103 applicants. The 2014 call yielded 38 proposals, of which 7 were selected for funding.


The GRIN program has received kudos from across the fire science community. GRIN funding helps fire science students dig deeper into their thesis or dissertation research, but it does more than that. It gives them a leg up into the professional community. It gives them experience in developing proposals for competitive grants. It helps them become more competent scientists. It allows them to contribute valuable work at a young age. It plugs them into ongoing research and management networks. It increases students’ professional exposure, paving the way to presentation, publishing, and funding opportunities and making young scientists and future managers more competitive in the job market.  For more information see the full article here or visit JFSP’s website at www.firescience.gov.


Fire Trex–Fire Training Exchange with SAFE and The Nature Conservancy

The next generation of conservationists is taking fire leadership seriously. Fifty members of SAFE from five universities spent their 2014 spring breaks working with The Nature Conservancy, getting training and helpint to reduce fuels in Nebraska’s Niobrara Valley Preserve.  They learned how to use equipment, ignite fires and plan controlled burns, as well as studiedthe effects of fire on grasslands by visiting and studying controlled burns that were completed in the past several years.  Working with The Nature Conservancy, SAFE students were able to get training and help reduce fuels in Nebraska’s Niobrara Valley.



Tamara Bennett (left), Owen Best, and Cade Hickman (right) traveled from Stephen F. Austin State University to participate in the Fire Training Exchange in Nebraska. Photo by Anu Kramer






Students from Colorado State University, Humboldt State University, Northern Arizona University, University of Idaho, and University of California Berkeley also partook in the learning and the fun! Photo by Emily Phillips





When adults are encouraged to play with toy trucks in the dirt, you know you’ve found something special! TREX participants practice strategies and tactics they learned in a mock fire scenario. The individual in the “hot seat” must communicate clearly and decisively with all available resources to safely and effectively manage the situation. Photo by José Luis Duce.


April 2011:  SFA students receive Firewise Recognition

In a presentation on April 19, 2011, Stephen F. Austin State University students were recognized with a national level award from Firewise Communities/USA. Students in the Student Association of Fire Ecology (SAFE) recognized the wildfire dangers the university campus possesses, and set forth in an effort to mitigate those risks. The Firewise Communities program is designed to empower communities to take proactive measures to protect themselves from the dangers of wildfire. Currently there are 36 recognized communities within the State of Texas, and SFASU is the first university in the nation to receive the prestigious award.

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