Interested in joining the Wildland Fire lab as a graduate student?

The work in our lab is focused on generating a better understanding of the ecology and management of fire and the conservation and natural history of fire-prone ecosystems. This list of “interests” is broad; my areas of expertise are more limited and should match your own pretty closely. I typically have funded projects with several “parts” available, but I will encourage you to be original and generate your own ideas/thesis within the larger project goals. Other students work on projects with no initial funding and have successfully acquired full funding (with my help) or are independently wealthy and just enjoy school and working in a beautiful place.

There are currently three graduate students in the lab. See Current Opportunities page for possible positions that might be available.

If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in our lab, please do the following:

  1. Read Getting What You Came For (Author: R.L. Peters, ISBN 0-674-52477-7), or at least several chapters. This text is available for about $5 from your local or internet bookstore. This text will tell you why you should avoid me, why you shouldn’t seek a graduate degree, and other reasons to not attempt step 2.
  2. Send me a detailed email or snail-mail package with the following information:
    1. Letter including your interest areas
    2. Scores: GPA during last 60 units or a good ball-park guess
    3. Experience: lab or field research; related work experience
    4. Any publications or a writing sample; and any relevant presentations given
    5. Funding needs (already have $, looking, ideas…)
    6. Contact info for 2+ references
    You will need to gather these things and more for a real application to Cal Poly Humboldt’s graduate school.
  3. When I fail to reply to your email or phone call, call me (I am busy and really just forgot).
  4. I highly recommend that you complete the FASFA form (usually due at the beginning of March each year), this will open up potential financial aid opportunities at the federal or state level).


As a member of our lab, I expect that you will:

  1. contribute to the intellectual capital of our work by discussing literature, methods, and reviewing proposals and manuscripts in our weekly lab meetings;
  2. contribute to field and laboratory work of lab members;
  3. write and submit grant proposals;
  4. write and submit manuscripts to peer-reviewed outlets;
  5. be active in our field (student organizations, attend and present at conferences); and
  6. be involved in the undergraduate courses I teach (share your experience, interests, and talents).

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