Invited Speakers

Download the Invited Speakers Flyer Here (updated 4-6-14)

New Speaker Confirmation, Tom Tidwell, Chief of the US Forest Service.


Jerry T. Williams, retired National Director of Fire and Aviation Management, USDA Forest Service, Montana, USA Jerry Williams

Mr. Williams began his career as a firefighter with the United States Forest Service in 1969.  In 1977, he received his permanent appointment while in the smokejumper program.  He completed his master’s degree in fire sciences at the University of Washington in 1979.  Mr. Williams has extensive fireline and fire-use experience and numerous assignments in command and coordination roles.  His work experience includes fire management positions at the district, forest, regional, and Washington Office levels of the organization.  His career has spanned the organization’s shift from fire control to fire management. In 2000, Williams co-led the agency’s first strategic-level plan to accelerate restoration work in the West’s fire-adapted ecosystems.  In 2003, he co-led an interagency fire policy effort that expanded the post-fire review process to address predisposing land-use factors.  Williams participated in the agency’s first National Fire Plan (2002) and the Healthy Forest Restoration Act (2004). In 2005, he retired as the Forest Service’s national director of fire and aviation management.  Since then, he has continued to write, advise, and speak on wildland fire topics in the United States and abroad.  He has presented at the Kennedy School of Government, the University of Alberta, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the University of Montana’s Center for the Rocky Mountain West, Oregon State University, and Australia’s Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre. In 2012, Williams published “Exploring the Onset of High-Impact Mega-Fires Through a Forest Land Management Prism” in the journal, Forest Ecology and Management.

Rick Lanoville, retired Manager, Forest Fire Management Services, Department of Renewable Resources, Northern Territories, Canada  Rick Lanoville

Rick was born and raised in Creston British Columbia. After graduation from high school, Rick worked seasonally for the British Columbia Forest Service in fire management while attending university where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry from the University of British Columbia in 1976. Upon graduation, he accepted a job offer for the position of District Protection Officer with the federal government located in Fort Simpson NWT. In the winter of 1982, he was appointed the position – Fire  Behaviour Specialist (the first such appointment in Canada) – located in Fort Smith. In 1989, the fire program was transferred to the Territorial Government with the option of transfer to other federal government jobs; Rick decided to stay with the fire program. In 1994, he was appointed to the position of Manager, Forest Fire Management Services and supervised fire meteorology, GIS specialists, and continued as a Fire Behaviour Specialist as and when required. Rick retired in the spring of 2005 after nearly 30 years during which time he managed three experimental burn projects: the Porter Lake Project (1982), the International Crown Fire Modelling Experiment (1996 – 2000), and Innovations Canada burn projects (2001 – 2005); authored and co-authored a number of case studies; helped develop and deliver two national fire behaviour courses at the advanced and specialist levels; and assisted with fire operations in Saskatchewan (2002) and British Columbia (1998 and 2003). Rick received the Premier’s Award for Excellence presented to him by the Honourable Joseph Handley, Premier, on June 17 2005 at the Great Hall of the Legislative Assembly, Yellowknife. Currently, Rick is a consultant and qualified expert witness. Rick is married and has two adult children.

Alan Goodwin, Chief Fire Officer, Victoria, Australia   Alan Goodwin

Alan Goodwin is the Chief Fire Officer, a role he has held since October 2012. Previously, Alan was the Regional Director for the North West region of the former Department of Sustainability and Environment. Alan has 20 years’ experience working in the forest and fire industry, including roles with Forestry Tasmania. Alan’s previous roles for the Victorian Government also include Assistant Chief Fire Officer and Director Planned bunting. He has been involved in several wildfire response deployments from Australia to the United States. In 2008 / 2009 Alan and his family spent 12 months living in the United States spending time at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho and the Office of Wildland Fire at the US Department of Interior, Washington DC. Alan is a board director for the International Association of Wildfire, a fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and received the Australia Fire Service Medal in 2012.

Tom Tidwell, Chief, US Forest Service, Washington, DC, USAtidwell

Tom Tidwell has spent 33 years in the Forest Service. He has served in a variety of positions at all levels of the agency, including as district ranger, forest supervisor, and legislative affairs specialist in the Washington Office. As deputy regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region, Tom facilitated collaborative approaches to wildland fire management, roadless area management, and other issues. As regional forester for the Northern Region, Tom strongly supported community-based collaboration in the region, finding solutions based on mutual goals and thereby reducing the number of appeals and lawsuits.

In 2009, after being named Chief, Tom set about implementing the Secretary’s vision for America’s forests. Under his leadership, the Forest Service is restoring healthy, resilient forest and grassland ecosystems—ecosystems that can sustain all the benefits that Americans get from their wildlands, including plentiful supplies of clean water, abundant habitat for wildlife and fish, renewable supplies of wood and energy, and more.

Such benefits are at risk from the effects of climate change, and Tom has led the way in forging a national response. Under Tom’s leadership, the Forest Service has charted a national roadmap for addressing climate change through adaptation and mitigation. The Forest Service is taking steps to help ecosystems adapt to the effects of a changing climate while also taking action to mitigate climate change, partly by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Tom has facilitated an all-lands approach to addressing the challenges facing America’s forests and grasslands, including the overarching challenge of climate change. Such challenges cross borders and boundaries; no single entity can meet them alone. Under Tom’s leadership, the Forest Service is working with states, Tribes, private landowners, and other partners for landscape-scale conservation—to restore ecosystems on a landscape scale.

PANEL PRESENTATION:  Socio-Economic, Political and Ecological Impacts of Large Wildland Fires

Moderator: Chuck Bushey, President of Montana Prescribed Fire Services, Inc. & IAWF Past President  chuck bushey

Mr. Bushey is the President of Montana Prescribed Fire Services, Inc. performing duties as fire ecologist, prescribed fire specialist, fire behavior analyst, and fuel mitigation specialist. Previously Chuck worked at the USDA Forest Service, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory and later Systems for Environmental Management, Inc. on fire research topics dealing with post-fire effects, fire use, wilderness fires, fire behavior, and smoke management. A few of his fire qualifications have included Fire Behavior Analyst, Wildland Fire Arson Investigator, and Strike Team Leader (Engines). Chuck has an MSc from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, and has authored over 50 publications and reports. Charles Bushey was the President of the IAWF from 2007-2011.

Panelist: Dan Bailey, International Code Council™, Washington, DC, USA  Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey is Executive Director for National and International programs dealing with Wildland Fire, Natural Resource, Environmental and Natural Hazard Programs for the International Code Council™.   Dan was a staff assistant to Senator Wayne Morse (Oregon) before moving to the USDA Forest Service where he was involved with land management, forestry and wildland fire programs in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Arizona and Washington, DC. He served as a National Incident Commander leading efforts on more than 200 of the largest wildfires, hurricanes and other disasters.  Prior to retiring from the Forest Service, he served as the National Program Manager for Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Fire and Firewise programs.  Dan was also the founder of the National Firewise Communities Workshop series.  He served on the NFPA Board of Directors, and founded the NFPA Wildland Fire Management Section, serving as chair for 8 years. He has served on the Boards of the National Wildfire Foundation, the United Nations, International Wildland Fire Alliance, and the World Forestry Alliance. Dan Bailey was the President of the IAWF from 2012-2013.

Panelist: Penny Morgan, Wildland Fire Program Professor, University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences  Penny Morgan

Penny Morgan is a professor in the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho. She directs the University’s Wildland Fire Program. The fire program has been educating and working with leaders in fire education, research and outreach for more than 30 years. Penny was born, raised and educated in the West. She earned her bachelor of science and master of science degrees from Utah State University and holds a doctorate from the University of Idaho. Her current research focuses on some of the broad challenges facing people in the West: How will the changing climate influence fire occurrence and severity? Where, when and why do fires burn severely? How do bark beetles affect crown fire hazard in forests and burn severity? What drives landscape dynamics, and how can we best manage landscape change? How does vegetation recover following large fires, and how does post-fire management affect weeds and other vegetation regrowth? Penny is committed to helping people understand and use science in natural resources management in Idaho, the western U.S., and beyond.

Panelist: Matthew Thompson, Research Forester, USFS Rocky Mountain Research StationMatthew Thompson

Since August 2009, Mr. Thompson has been a Research Forester in Human Dimensions Program at the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula, Montana. He works in Fire Economics group of National Fire Decision Support Center, intended to link the fire science and fire management communities.  His focus is on nexus of economics, risk analysis, and decision sciences to support wildland fire and natural resource management. He is the recipient of Forest Service’s 2013 Research & Development Deputy Chief’s Early Career Scientist Award. Matt is happily married to his high school sweetheart and has one dog and no kids.  His hobbies include hiking, camping, snowboarding, basketball, crossword puzzles, and playing drums in my basements “jam cave”. He enjoys travel, including recent trips include Ireland, Nicaragua, and Colombia; Canadian Rockies are destination for summer 2014. Education: BS Systems Engineering, University of Virginia MS Industrial Engineering & Operations Research, University of California, Berkeley PhD  & MS Forest Engineering, Oregon State University 


Michael Kodas, photojournalist, author and videographer and Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism, University of Colorado, Journalism and Mass Communication Department  Michael Kodas

Michael Kodas is the Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism in the University of Colorado’s Journalism and Mass Communication department, as well as a photojournalist, author and videographer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Denver Post, National Public Radio, The PBS Newshour, Newsweek, the CBS Evening News,, GEO, Der Spiegel, OnEarth, National Geographic New Watch, Mother Jones, Suddeutsche Zeitung, and many other publications. In 1999 he was part of the team at The Hartford Courant awarded The Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage. His book, High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed, was named Best Non-Fiction in USA Book News’ National Best Books Awards of 2008, and was a question on the game show Jeopardy! In 2003 his environmental photography was honored with solo exhibition at Yale University. From 1987 until 2008 he was a staff photographer, picture editor and writer at The Hartford (Conn.) Courant. For the research into his environmental projects he has circumnavigated Long Island Sound in a sea kayak, worked as a seasonal US Forest Service firefighter in Colorado and Wyoming, hiked the Appalachian Trail, trekked through the arc of deforestation in Brazil, sailed on the Amistad and climbed mountains in Nepal and Tibet. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, held a Davidoff Scholarship at the Wesleyan Writers Workshop, and, in 2009, was awarded a Ted Scripps Fellowship in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado. He is currently working on a book studying the global increase in wildfire for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Film Festival Host

Dr. Stephen Pyne, Regents professor in the School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University in Tempe pyne

Dr. Steve Pyne is a Regents professor in the School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University in Tempe ( and the author of more than a score of books, most of them on the history of humanity and fire. In a previous life he was a member of the North Rim Longshots for 15 seasons at Grand Canyon National Park. Dr. Pyne is currently working on a two-book endeavor that will survey the past 50 years of American fire history. Between Two Fires will provide the play–by-play narrative, and To the Last Smoke, which is a suite of regional studies, will provide the color commentary.