About AFE & SAFE Awards

Lifetime Achievement Awards in Fire Ecology and Management

AFE strives to honor career achievement in fire ecology and management by recognizing the pioneers and early advocates in our field. At AFE’s conferences, the Biswell, Stoddard, and Wright  Lifetime Achievement Awards are presented to individuals who have made a significant contribution to fire ecology and management in the United States, and who have inspired and mentored a generation of fire ecologists. Their contributions may be in research, management, teaching, service, outreach, or a combination of these areas.

The award for individuals whose primary work environment was in the western United States is named after Harold Biswell, longtime faculty member at the University of California-Berkeley. For those in the eastern United States, the award is named after the long-time prescribed fire advocate for longleaf pine management Herbert Stoddard, Sr.  For the grasslands and shrublands, the award is named after Henry Wright of Texas Tech University. Candidates outside the US who work in similar ecosystems as found in the western and eastern United States may be nominated for those awards, as may those who work in grasslands and shrubs for the Wright Award.

Student Association for Fire Ecology (SAFE) Graduate and Undergraduate Student Excellence Awards

AFE presents two awards to students each year, the Edward Komarek, Sr. Graduate Student Excellence Award and the Harold Weaver Undergraduate Student Excellence Award.  These awards are given to students who are active members of recognized SAFE chapters and who demonstrate superior academic achievement and involvement in fire related research and activities.

The Edward Komerek Sr. (1908-1995) was a protege of Herbert Stoddard, one of the renowned “fathers of fire ecology.”  Ed directed the Tall Timbers Research Station and organized the first  fire ecology conferences in the world.  Ed was a major advocate for the use of fire in land management, challenging official fire-exclusion policies of his time.

Harold Weaver (1903–1983) was a pioneer in the field of fire ecology and ecosystem management.  Weaver is best known for his work on prescribed burning effects in forested and forest-grassland ecosystems of the western United States.  His work shaped the evolution of wilderness fire policy and fire use.

Nomination Process

Any active member of AFE or SAFE can submit a nomination for the above awards.  Please see our Nomination Process page for details.

Nominations for all awards should be sent by email to the Award Committee Chair, Dr. Brian Oswald.

Other AFE Awards

AFE also supports students through our Mike daLuz Memorial Student Scholarship and we work with JFSP to award TREE grants for workshop and conference travel. 

Past AFE Award Winners at the 3rd International Fire Ecology
and Management Congress in San Diego, CA, Nov. 2006.


Bruce Kilgore, 2005 Biswell Award winner

Tyler Hawkins, 2006 SAFE Undergraduate Student Excellence Award winner

Bob Martin, 2003 Biswell Award winner

Bob Mutch, 2006 Biswell Award winner

Eric Pfaff, 2006 SAFE Student Poster Prize winner

Jay Lininger, 2006 SAFE Graduate Student Excellence Award winner

Not pictured: Ed Buckner, 2006 Stoddard Award winner

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