Chris Ives

Background and motivation:

As a serial land manager, I have been working in western US ecosystems since 2005. From leading conservation corps crews to working with small scale private forest products industries, I have sought to understand and make a positive impact on natural environments and the people who enjoy them.  In 2011 I shifted gears and started a career as a wildland firefighter with the US Forest Service. I feel strongly that our country’s public lands are one of its greatest gifts to the people and I want to be a part of managing it for both ecosystem and human benefit.  While conducting a burn severity survey on the effects of the 2011 Wallow Fire, I came across prolific moss growth on forest slopes that had burned only three months earlier.  I noticed the moss growing most prolifically on the high severity burned areas.  Spurred on by the questioning minds of young americorps members I had worked with in the past, I began taking classes at Northern Arizona University’s School of Forestry and was soon given an opportunity to study this curious moss I had found growing in the wake of the Wallow fire.

Research interests:
  • Using fire moss as a tool for post-fire restoration
  • Natural history of fire moss species (Funaria hygrometrica, Ceratodon purpureus, and Bryum argenteum)
  • Viability of post-fire restoration techniques
  • Small scale forest products industries and their role in sustainable local communities
  • Fire history of southwestern forested ecosystem, especially warm/dry mixed conifer
  • Communication and knowledge exchange between fire researchers and fire managers
  • History of land use change and public lands in the United States and Mexico  

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