Ep. 24Climate Change Impacts on High Severity, Low Frequency Fire Regimes with Phil Higuera

We covered such a broad range of subjects with guest Phil Higuera in this episode that it was hard to nail down a title. Nonetheless, Phil’s expansive research background lended well to a conversation that covered paleoecology, how lake sediment is used to determine events that happened 13,000 years ago, how forests are changing with a warming climate and how we humans can choose to respond to those changes.

Our main objective with the conversation was to discuss Phil’s research in Western Washington’s San Juan Islands (host Amanda’s backyard) while getting his Master’s degree at the University of Washington; the work he did there is part of a limited pool of research on fire history in Western Washington, and we wanted to see if Phil might have some perspective on the risk of a large, high-severity conflagration in this area, particularly with the 2020 Labor Day Fires as a pertinent reminder of what can happen in these ecosystems.

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