Mike daLuz Memorial Student Scholarship Award Winner

In October 2013, the Association for Fire Ecology lost an esteemed member of our board of directors, Mike da Luz. Mike was instrumental in the helping to strategize the financial growth and future direction of AFE. His clear and intelligent analyses and his humble wisdom will be greatly missed. In cooperation with Mike’s family, AFE has created “The Mike da Luz Memorial Student Scholarship” to help fund student travel to attend AFE conferences and other educational events.  We are very grateful to the family for this opportunity to honor Mike by continuing to foster his vision of knowledge transfer and fire ecology education.  


2015  Esther Ekua Amfoa Amoako, Ghana

2014  Vasyl Gumeniuk, Ukraine

AFE is thrilled to have the opportunity to offer these awards to young scholars in such a way that honors the work of our friend Mike. And we’re deeply touched by the generosity of his friends and family who have contributed to this scholarship fund.  

Click here to learn about donating to this fund.

2015 Award: Esther Ekua Amfoa Amoako, Dep't of Ecotourism and Environmental Management, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana

In November, 2015, AFE was pleased to present the 2nd daLuz award to Ms. Amoako at the 6th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress in San Antonio, Texas, USA.  She was nominated by Dr. Adam Watts, who stated in his letter:

Ms. Amoako studies the impact of burning regimes on soil seed bank, soil nutrients, and plant species diversity in Ghana, and she has recently extended her dissertation research to include sites in Tanzania and additional work in Ghana on the fire ecology of two economically important tree species. Her work certainly is relevant to our field, and represents the kind that is needed in an area of the world where fire is not only widespread and still used in the daily lives of millions of people, but where studies of fire ecology are far less common than on other continents. Ms. Amoako therefore represents the kind of researcher I believe the DaLuz Scholarship is meant to encourage.

2014 Award:  Vasyl Gumeniuk, National University of Life and Environmental Sciences, Ukraine

In May, 2014, at the Large Wildland Fires Conference in Missoula, Montana, we were honored to present the first scholarship to Vasyl Gumeniuk, a Ph.D. student from the Fire Lab at the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine. His letter of recommendation stated:

Vasyl is one of a small group of young scientists attempting to understand the relationship of wildland fire with the forest resources in Ukraine. The research that Vasyl is conducting will lay the foundation for management and protection of Ukrainian forests and will be especially helpful in future mitigation efforts for forests impacted by the Chernobyl nuclear event. Attendance at the Missoula conference will give Vasyl a great opportunity to connect with scientists conducting wildland fire research. This opportunity is especially important for both Vasyl and Ukraine as the country reexamines its natural resource policies and practices.  Vasyl has since published a paper about his research and his experience coming to the US and winning this award.  

You can view his paper here (in Ukranian).  

Photo: Vasyl and AFE Board Member Leda Kobziar

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