Speakers

Meet our professionals



Pete Bauman

Pete Bauman

Pete grew up in rural MN and moved to SD in 1992 where he attended SDSU and earned B.S.(s) in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences and Environmental Management and a Masters in Wildlife Sciences with an emphasis on Large Mammal Ecology. Pete wanted to be a smokejumper after college but a knee injury resulting from doing something far more dangerous (Rugby) prevented it. Pete was stationed at Wind Cave National Park in the mid-1990’s studying elk for his Master’s, which was his first introduction to organized Wildland Fire and he found himself much more aligned with the fire crew than the cave tour intern.

In 1998 Pete joined The Nature Conservancy as a Land and Program Manager for eastern SD and Western MN. In this role, Pete became a Certified Burn Boss under TNC’s system. TNC transitioned to NWCG in 2002, at which time he completed additional training and taskbooks for RXBII certification. Pete also served as the SD Fire Manager for TNC. It was in his role as Burn Boss and Fire Manager that Pete helped shape TNC’s private lands fire outreach program, working closely with local offices of SD GF&P, SD Wildland Fire, US FWS, NPS, and a host of private/NGOs. It was also during this time that Pete became fully aware of the good, the bad, and the ugly within the NWCG system which was designed for federal wildland fire suppression and coordination, but was increasingly being pushed downhill into NGO’s, VFDs, and private lands prescribed fire.

Pete made a career switch to SDSU Extension in 2012 as a Range/Pasture/Habitat Field Specialist and was successful in orchestrating a position duties expansion for himself with a strong focus on hands-on private lands prescribed fire education. These duties have not fully come to fruition due to SDSU’s default affiliation with NWCG……which he will explain/discuss here today.

Pete lives in Watertown, SD with his wife Bridget and four kids.

Pete Bauman

Gwen Beavans

Gwen Beavans is the National Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation Branch Chief for the United States Forest Service, under the Department of Agriculture. She has worked for the Forest Service for over 30 years and has served in a variety of positions from Forester to National Environmental Policy Act coordinator to Interpretive Education Coordinator, to acting Public Affairs Officer. Gwen has a Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina State University and has always loved the outdoors and teaching. These interests and experiences came together in her current position where she oversees programs that assist communities to be more adapted to wildfire, manages Fire Prevention Education Teams, the official Smokey Bear license program, and the Smokey Bear wildfire campaign which involves working closely with the Ad Council and the National Association of State Foresters. She has been in this national position since 2014 and has had the unique opportunity to work with Dolly Parton and Jeff Foxworthy, be interviewed by Al Roker and Jim Cantore, and most importantly meet and support so many hard-working people who make a vital difference in reducing unwanted human-caused wildfires.

Gwen is married to Clark Beavans who is a retired urban forester. They have twin adult sons, one on each coast of the United States. Gwen and her husband enjoy biking, hiking and singing together in venues from church to coffee houses.

Darren Clabo, MD

Darren Clabo, MD

Dr. Clabo is the South Dakota State Fire Meteorologist and a Research Scientist at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T). He is also a qualified Incident Meteorologist (IMET) on one of the two Type 2 Rocky Mountain Incident Management Teams. As the state’s fire meteorologist, he focuses on assisting all interagency partners on the preparation and execution of prescribed fires as well as the prevention and suppression of wildfires. He is passionate about educating the wildland fire community on the interaction between wildfire and the atmosphere and actively participates as an instructor for basic and intermediate wildland fire behavior courses. At SDSM&T, Dr. Clabo teaches courses in Meteorology, Wildfire Meteorology, and Engineering Mechanics. His research focus is on wildfire-atmosphere interactions and wildfire-climate relationships. Additionally, he is interested in the pyrogeography of the region and the impacts of humans on the natural fire regime.

Jason Hartman

Jason Hartman

Jason Hartman works for Kansas Forest Service as the Fire Protection Specialist stationed out of the State Office in Manhattan Kansas. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor's degree in Forestry in 2001. In 1999 Jason began working in wildland fire. He holds various national wildland firefighting, structural firefighting and incident management certifications. He works with local fire departments, agencies, and organizations to assist Kansas citizens and communities with increasing knowledge of wildfire hazards through programs such as Smokey Bear and Firewise. Jason also takes a lead role in projects aimed at reducing the risk of wildfire, such as prescribed fire.

 

 

 

Linda Hecker

Linda Hecker

Fire Prevention and Education Team Lead

Linda began her Forest Service career in 1984 as a volunteer on the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland teaching fire prevention to elementary school children in Northern Colorado.  Since then she has worked as a wilderness ranger and recreation technician on the White River National Forest; provided visitor information and public affairs on the Pike, San Isabel and San Bernardino National Forests; Pacific Southwest Research Station and the Rocky Mountain Regional Office.  In 1999 she joined the Center for Design and Interpretation (CDI) as an interpretive planner and program manager for interpretive services, conservation education and fire prevention.

She continues to work extensively in fire prevention.  In 2011 she was part of the teaching cadre for the California Fire Prevention Academy in Anaheim, CA.  Her first Fire Prevention and Education Team (FPET) assignment was in 2010 for the BIA on the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, MT.  In 2012 she participated on the After Action Review Team for the Waldo Canyon Fire, evaluating the effectiveness of the City of Colorado Springs fuels mitigation program.  In 2014 she spend most of the summer working on various teams in the Pacific Northwest and was instrumental in the creation of PNW FAC.  She also worked on the BLM’s first FPET on the California Desert District and was instrumental in developing fire prevention material addressing recreational shooting.  In 2016 she worked again for the BLM Mother Lode District in California develop an action plan for their tree mortality.  She also led a FPET in Alabama during their significant fall fire season.  In 2017 her team worked for the Mark Twain NF to develop their forest Fire Prevention Plan and provide patrols to detour recreational arsonists.

She continues to work at a national level providing assistance to the Branch Chief of Fire Prevention with the Smokey Bear licensing program, updating Forest Service Handbooks and Manuals, Smokey Bear Guidelines, and Smokey’s Dos and Don’ts.  She is part of the national team for Smokey’s 75th birthday working with the Tournament of Rose Parade, Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and the Smithsonian Zoo along with other activities and events.

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science, Outdoor Recreation, Environmental Interpretation; Colorado State University, 1985
  • Certificate, Recreation Short Course, Clemson University, 1997
  • Certificate, Universal Design, Minnesota University, 1998
  • Masters in Religious Education, Middle Eastern Studies, American Institute for Advanced Biblical Studies, 2013

Fire Qualification:

  • PIO Type 1
  • Liaison Officer trainee
  • Fire Prevention Team Lead
  • Fire Prevention Team Member
Gwen B. Hensley

Gwen B. Hensley

I have been a Graphic Designer for the Daniel Boone National Forest since 1995. In the private sector, I worked for three advertising agencies, four newspapers, and three print shops. In 1998, I began creating wildfire prevention graphic products for Wildland Fire Prevention and Education Teams. I have served on National Wildfire Prevention Teams in Texas, Idaho, Utah, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, California, and Colorado. In 2015, I won the Golden Smokey Award.

 

 

 

Terri Jenkins

Terri Jenkins

Terri is a lifelong career civil servant, serving 13 years with the US Forest Service and 20 years with US Fish and Wildlife Service. In former lives Terri was a Forestry Technician, Smoke Chaser, Law Enforcement Officer, and Fire Management Officer. She is currently a member of the Southern Area Prevention Working Team, a Fire Prevention Education Team Leader, serves on a national Community Mitigation Assistance Team (CMAT), and the Southern Region’s Type 1 Blue Team. Terri is the current Chair of the NWCG Communication, Education Prevention Committee.

 

 

 

Skyler Lofgren

Skyler Lofgren

  • Flagstaff Fire Department Wildland Fire Supervisor- 11 years
  • Outdoor Education B.S. Degree with Environmental Studies Minor from Northern Arizona University
  • City Managers Excellence Award- Communication 2011
  • Worked as Undergraduate Research Assistant for the Ecological Restoration Institute from 2005-2007
  • Training and experience in structure and wildland fire professions

 

 

 

Laura McConnell

Laura McConnell

Laura McConnell began her career in the Emergency Services in 1999. During her eight years with her first agency she served as the Lieutenant responsible for Public Information/Community Education, Recruitment and Retention of Fire Personnel.

She has designed, developed and implemented Fire Prevention/Community Outreach and media relations programs for: Lyons Fire Protection District, Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District, City of Longmont Fire Department, Mountain View Fire Rescue District and American Medical Response Ambulance.

In 2001 she began working with the Colorado Wildland Fire & Incident Management Academy (CWFIMA) as a Public Information Officer. Since then she has participated at academies in Colorado, New York, Idaho, Utah, Nebraska and Arizona as a coach, mentor, lead instructor, and lead information officer.

In 1995 she graduated from Metropolitan State College of Denver with a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science with an emphasis in Special Needs/Learning Styles and Deviant Behavior. Since graduating she has continued to further her education in the fields of Leadership, Crisis Communications, Human Behavior, Disaster Psychology, and Social Media.

She was the Lead PIO for the Rocky Mountain Type II Incident Management Team (RMIMT) Team-B for six years. She was the Coordinator/Lead for the Public Information Officer function for the Boulder County Type III Incident Management Team (Colorado State Team 4) and remains active with the Eastern Colorado IMT3 PIO function. Since 2013 she has gained additional experience working as needed with the National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) as a public information officer on disasters, large wildfires, and line of duty death memorials.

 

Jordan Neeb

Jordan Neeb

Jordan Neeb is a graduate from Purdue University.  He works for Meade County’s Commission Assistant/Human Resources Office, and has been the program coordinator for the Meade County Firewise Program since mid-2016. 

The Meade County Firewise Program is a veteran-hire program funded primarily by federal grant dollars through the Bureau of Land Management.  It is part of the "Veteran in the Woods" Initiative started in Meade County in December of 2012 with two goals in mind: mitigate the risk of wildland fires in our local communities and- more importantly- assist veterans in reintegrating into civilian life.  We achieve the first goal of mitigating the risk of wildland fires through a combination of public outreach and education efforts, as well as sending a crew out to partner with private landowners to physically reduce and clean up hazardous fuels- such as dense or overgrown vegetation and trees- which creates a survivable space around structures.

The Meade County Commission Office, under which the Firewise Program operates, handles a wide variety of tasks for the county: it houses the Human Resources department for the county, as well as the Veteran Services Officer.  The HR department offers veteran participants in the Firewise Program assistance with resume writing, job interviewing skills, and finds them pertinent job shadowing opportunities within the community.  The Veteran Services Officer offers assistance with the numerous veteran benefits for which a participant might be eligible through the various state and federal agencies.  Meade County uses all resources available to them as a public entity to aid veteran participants in the program by giving them the tools to be successful.

We measure the true success of the program in lives positively impacted.  Many of the veterans that participate in the program have their own struggles in life, ranging from physical, emotional, financial, or sometimes even legal trouble.  The structure they had in their military lives is often absent in their civilian lives, and the camaraderie they shared with their brothers- and sisters-in-arms dissipates quickly with time.  It can be overwhelming.  The Firewise Program gives them a safe landing zone to work their way through those issues.  They get to plug into a network of veterans going through the same struggles.  It is a benefit to the veterans, Meade County, and the local communities.
Lucinda Nolan

Lucinda Nolan

Fire Prevention and Education Team Member

Lucinda began her Forest Service career in 2004 as the secretary for the Fremont-Winema National Forest’s Title 2 program. Within two years she moved up to Program Lead. The Title II program for the Fremont-Winema NF received recognition as one of the top Title II programs in the nation, as well as awards for diligence in tracking budgets and in awarding/implementing outstanding ecosystem restoration projects.

 In 2009 she also became a Public Information Officer at the request of the Ranger, Barb Machado. She has worked as Initial Attack PIO for her eight years. While gaining skills as a Type 1 and Type 2 lead for Incident Management Teams. This includes running a shop of 50+ PIOs and working as a liaison between National Forests/Cal Fire and IMTs with multiple fires and fire complexities. Currently she holds a PIO2 qualification. She left the Forest service in 2013 and works as an AD for the Fremont-Winema NF, averaging 70+ days of fire per year. She is also Co-owner/Operator of a cattle brokering business with her husband since 2001.

Lucinda became a Fire Prevention Team Trainee at the request of Linda Hecker in December 2017 with the first assignment for the Mark Twain NF. The Forest deals mostly with arson caused fires and the Team wrote a prevention plan to address this issue as well as created products for the forest to use in future prevention campaigns.

Most recent the Team (Lucinda working as the PIO for the Team and as a Team member trainee), worked a 52 day assignment with the San Juan NF. This assignment included writing the SJNF Fire Prevention Plan and while there, the Team had the opportunity to implement the plan. This allowed the team trainees to gain extensive knowledge and experience with Fire Prevention. Along with assisting the team in writing and implementing the Fire Prevention Plan, Lucinda was tasked with initial attack duties for the Forest. This included two fires, the 358 Fire and the 416 Fire.

Education:

  • Bay City Community College and Central Oregon Community College with studies in Sociology and Psychology 1980-1984

 
Fire Qualification:

  • PIO Type 2
  • Fire Prevention Team Member trainee
Kimberlee Phillips

Kimberlee Phillips

Public Affairs Officer

Kimberlee Phillips has dedicated over 11 years to the Forest Service with her most recent transition being the Public Affairs Officer on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMGU) National Forests. She has been on the GMUG since August 2016. As the Public Affairs Officer, Kimberlee provides guidance on communication topics, handles social media strategies, legislative affairs, media coordination, issue management, partnership development, volunteer coordination, Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) management, conservation education, visitor services, and web management.

As a fourth generation Arizonian she began her career in region three on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests as a seasonal Engineering Technician. Kimberlee worked as an Engineering Technician for six years on the Apache-Sitgreaves NF’s before moving onto region four as a dual career couple with her husband David who currently is a Timber Sale Administrator for the GMUG.

Kimberlee brings forth creativity, innovation, and a formidable skill set to Public Affairs which is enhanced with an enthusiasm for the love of the resource along with a deep sense of public service.

Kimberlee is married to David, and they have two teenage daughters, Emmylu and Bailee. Kimberlee enjoys many outdoor activities including: gardening, hunting, fishing, mushroom hunting, jeeping and hiking.

 

She also worked for the City of Colorado Springs Fire Department in various roles, including: Firewise Program Coordinator, Community Services Unit Manager and Public Information Officer from 2002 to 2009.

 

 

 

Cathy Prudhomme

Cathy Prudhomme

Cathy is the Firewise USA™ Program Manager with the National Fire Protection Association’s Wildfire Division, based in their Denver field office. Prior to joining the NFPA team, she worked for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security as the All-hazards Community Preparedness Program Manager for the State of Colorado.

She also worked for the City of Colorado Springs Fire Department in various roles, including: Firewise Program Coordinator, Community Services Unit Manager and Public Information Officer from 2002 to 2009.

 

 

 

Emily Pruett

Emily Pruett

Fire Prevention and Education Team Member

Emily Pruett began working with the National Park Service as a partner employee in 2013 at World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument starting as an Education Specialist, working her way up to Assistant Education Coordinator, Centennial Coordinator and Special Events Coordinator, creating field trip curriculum, planning National Pearl Harbor Commemorations, and Summer Teacher Workshops and the live interactive diver programs.

After transferring to Cabrillo National Monument as a Park Ranger, she was asked to join the National Park Service’s Western Incident Command Team as a PIO trainee. From there she was recruited in to Fire and sent on her first assignment to Medford Oregon to work in the JIC during the summer 2017 fire season.

Now serving as an AD, her first fire prevention assignment was with the Linda Hecker and Lucinda Nolan for the Mark Twain National Forest, where her area of focus was expanding educational, staffing and volunteer capacity on the forest to increase eyes and ears in the forest while combating recreational arson. During her assignment with Hecker’s team on the San Juan National Forest she focused on creating a service learning project and expanding the forests digital outreach.

She continues to be a passionate public servant as a PIO2 trainee and Fire Prevention and Education Team Member assisting public lands whenever called while working towards her Graduate Certificate in Non-profit management and grant writing.

Education:

  • Bachelor of Arts, American Studies; University of Hawaii - Manoa, 2013
  • Certified Interpretive Guide, National Association of Interpreters, 2016
  • Certified Interpretive Writer, University of Indiana - Eppley Institute, 2016
  • Graduate Certificate, Non-Profit Management and Grant Writing, Texas A&M, 2019*

Fire Qualification:

  • PIO Type 2(t)
  • Fire Prevention Team Member(t)
  • FFT2
Ronda Scholting

Ronda Scholting

Fire Prevention Team Member

Ronda began her career in communications at a small television station, sitting in the middle of a cornfield, some 14 miles south of Kearney, Nebraska. The same TV station where Marg Helgenberger (actress who played Catherine Willows on CSI) was a weather anchor. Ronda obviously did not become a Hollywood star, but, as a reporter, she learned all about deadlines. And, as a fill-in sports anchor, she learned all about baseball statistics. Most of all, she learned how to get things done and work as part of a team. Those lessons were invaluable as she went on to work at television stations in Wichita, Kansas City, and finally- Denver.

In Colorado, she discovered wildland fire- taking an S130-190 course to learn the basics. Then, because she knew what a Pulaski was, she became the TV station’s “fire” reporter. A few years later, after working as a freelance reporter for several networks, including CBS, ABC, CNN and FOX, she transitioned to corporate public relations. There, she worked for an international real estate company, producing videos, posting on social media, and, having press releases translated into a dozen different languages.

That fascination with fire never left her, though, and when she had the opportunity to become public information officer for a Colorado fire district- she jumped at it. Now, she’s able to combine her passion for video, social media, and communications with promoting fire prevention and safety and telling the stories of the dedicated people who serve the public, protecting lives and property.

Education:

  • Bachelor of Arts, Journalism; University of Nebraska-Lincoln (with minors in English, Sociology, Anthropology and Film/Documentary)
  • TV Power Reporting Academy- Poynter Institute
  • Colorado Institute of Leadership Training (CILT)

Fire Qualifications:

  • PIOF
  • PIO2 trainee
  • Fire Prevention Team Member trainee

Organizations:

  • Fellow, Truman National Security Project
  • Director, South Metro Fire Rescue Board (elected position)
Sam Scranton

Sam Scranton

USDI Bureau of Indian Affairs, Deputy Director – Fuels Management, Branch of Wildland Fire Management, National Interagency Fire Center, Boise, Idaho

Sam is the Deputy Director of the BIA Fuels Management Program for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. As part of the duties of Deputy Director, Sam is the BIA’s National Prevention Program Manager.

Sam is a graduate of Northern Arizona University School of Forestry where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Forestry in 1988. He began his professional forestry career with the BIA at the Fort Apache Agency in Whiteriver Arizona in 1993 as a Forest Development Forester and later a Pre-Sale Forester before moving into a full time fire position. Sam moved into a full time wildland fire position in 1997 when he went to work in the Oklahoma Fire Center as the Assistant Coordinator. After a few years in that position he moved into the Wildland Urban Interface/Prevention Specialist position. In 2004 Sam moved from Oklahoma to Boise Idaho into his current position as Deputy Director of the BIA Fuels Management Program.

He enjoys the living in Idaho and especially being close to his 2 grandchildren.

Chris Stover

Chris Stover

Chris Stover is an Assistant Fire Management Officer for Fuels on the Black Hills National Forest. He started his career with the Forest Service in 2002 on the Mystic District working with Timber and Fire. In 2009, he began working in Fuels and has been in his current position since 2012. As you can imagine, he is a big proponent of returning fire to the landscape.

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Stutler

Joe Stutler

Joe Stutler, currently the Senior Advisor for Deschutes County dealing with wildland fire and natural resource issues. He is the current co-chair for the Western Regional Strategy Committee for the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Strategy and member of the Wildland Fire Policy Committee for International Association of Fire Chiefs.

  • Background
    Joseph Stutler has enjoyed a 50-year career serving with the federal government, private sector and local government in a wide variety of emergency response, natural resources and law enforcement positions. Prior to his current job as Senior Advisor, Stutler served as the County Forester for Deschutes County in Oregon. Deschutes County is one of the most wildland fire prone area in the western United States, annually burning in excess of 50,000 acres with over 450 wildland fires. Stutler was responsible for community protection, planning, evacuations and creation of fire-adapted communities. Prior to working with local government, Stutler had a diverse career with the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management serving in many locations across the western United States. Stutler has served as a Forest and District Fire Chief, District Ranger, Law Enforcement Officer and Regional Fire Operations Specialist. Additionally, Stutler has served in practically every capacity on National Incident Command Teams and currently serves on Type 1 IMTs and leads an Area Command Team for both wildland fire and all hazard response.

    Stutler currently serves on the International Fire Chief’s Wildland Fire Policy Committee, has served on two major revisions of the Federal Wildland Fire Policy and has written numerous textbooks and manuals on the subject of wildland fire and preparedness. In addition to over 850 wildland fires of which 300 were either Type 1 or 2 complexities, Stutler has considerable experience with all hazard response including Ground Zero, earthquakes, floods, law enforcement activities and other natural hazards responses.

    He holds an A.S degree in Forestry from Bakersfield Jr. College, a B.S in Forestry and Natural Resources from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA; graduate of Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy; graduate of Interaction Associates, Master Facilitator training, and numerous leadership courses. Stutler is certified instructor with the National Wildfire Coordination Group (NWCG) and Emergency Management Institute (EMI) for all wildland fire and emergency response courses.
Mark Thibideau

Mark Thibideau

Mark is a Fire Prevention Technician from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. In 2013, recurring equipment related ignitions on his forest took center stage. With limited public education materials available, a need to find creative solutions to educate people on the effects of their behavior and actions when driving vehicles became the objective. The result was the One Less Spark One Less Wildfire Prevention Campaign.

During Marks’ 11 years in fire prevention he experience as:

  • Forest Protection Officer
  • Fire Investigator
  • Public Information Officer
  • Prevention Education Team Member
  • Prevention Education Team Leader
  • California State Fair Team Leader
  • Bronze Smokey Bear Award Recipient
Tim Weaver

Tim Weaver

Lieutenant Tim Weaver has been with the Rapid City Fire Department for 18 years, the last 8 spent in the Fire Marshal’s office. Tim has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Sioux Falls and an extensive construction background to compliment his 18 years of experience in wildland fire operations and mitigation training. Tim started Rapid City’s Survivable Space Initiative in 2011 which focuses on wildfire mitigation assistance and fire adapted education for landowners in Rapid City with the help of several grant programs. He is paving the path for new wildfire safety standards in Rapid City’s primary WUI hazard areas, and helped create a local cost share program with buy in from city leaders. Larger wildfire mitigation projects on tracks of land in and surrounding Rapid City are accomplished through the Initiatives Veteran Fuel Mitigation Crew with the help of the Bureau of Land Management. This program provides a good wage and training to veterans transitioning from active duty while mitigating large wildfire threats to Rapid City neighborhoods. He has worked closely with the South Dakota Wildland Fire Suppression Division to provide grant programs and education to landowners and local Volunteer Fire Departments alike, and has helped lead the local Great Plains Fire Safe Council’s public outreach campaign.

Sara Wood

Sara Wood

Sara Wood, from Topeka, KS, grew up in the volunteer fire service, alongside her dad. She fights fire using different tools now: with data and design. She is currently with the Office of the State Fire Marshal as the State Program Manager for the Kansas Fire Incident Reporting System (KFIRS). Sara works with all types of fire departments, tiny volunteer to large metro career. Her mission is to help fire departments have better data and bring better outcomes to their citizens.