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Climate and Wildfires in the West at MJC

UC Merced professor to speak on “Climate and Wildfires in the West” at MJC

(Modesto, CA) –The Modesto Area Partners in Science (MAPS) will offer a presentation by Anthony Westerling, Ph.D., associate professor of Environmental Engineering and Geography at UC Merced, on the topic of “Climate and Wildfires in the West” on Friday, November 22, at 7:30 p.m. in Sierra Hall 132 on West Campus. The event is open to the public and admission and campus parking are free. Westerling will discuss how forests in the western United States, which have been intensively managed by federal agencies for over a century, have been affected by changes in fire suppression resources, technologies, and strategies, as well as by land use changes and development pressures. Global warming has led to an increase in large, severe fires in recent decades, a trend that is expected to continue in the coming decades as climate change continues to accelerate due to the changes in the atmosphere. Westerling will talk about how the forests respond to a changing climate, with temperature and precipitation strongly influencing the types and characteristics of vegetation that fuels wildfires, their spatial arrangement, and how they respond to human actions. Prior to joining the faculty at UC Merced in 2006, Westerling spent six years in the Climate Research Division of Scripps Institution of Oceanography as a post-graduate researcher and an assistant project scientist. His research interests include applied climatology and seasonal forecasting for wildfire management, climate change impacts on wildfire and related aspects of mountain hydrology, and paleo reconstructions of climate-wildfire interactions. Westerling holds a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego. He has published extensively on wildfire and climate in the western United States. For more information about the MAPS program contact MJC professor Noah Hughes, 575-6800 or



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