Forest Resources Department's 2022 Seminar Series

The Department of Forest Resources is offering a free seminar series each month this spring from February to April.

Lessons Learned 10 years after the Pagami Creek Fire: A conversation with Aaron Kania

Date: 28 February, 2022 from 3:30-4:30pm
Speaker: Aaron Kania, US Forest Service

On February 28, to kick off the Spring 2022 Forest Resources Seminar Series, we'll hear from Aaron Kania, Kawishiwi District Ranger with the Superior National Forest based in Ely. Aaron has over 25 years of experience, mostly in the intermountain west, caring for public lands with the US Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management. Since moving to the Superior National Forest in 2020, Aaron has immersed himself in issues related to wild and managed fire on the Superior, including a leadership role in management of fires during the summer of 2021. His role in the Greenwood Lake Fire response was grounded heavily in lessons learned from the 2011 Pagami Creek Fire, which burned 90,000 acres including an incredible 16-mile run in a single day. Aaron has made community engagement and input a priority, ensuring that diverse voices are heard and that as a community we learn from our past and move forward in a proactive way as we plan the future of our communities and natural resources. Aaron has quickly become known as a thoughtful and well-informed voice around issues that can be divisive and controversial, including fire. In an hour-long live conversation, Eli Sagor and Aaron will discuss how he has built a network and established himself in Minnesota after his 2020 move, and how he is working to advance knowledge and action around wildland fire ten years after the Pagami Creek Fire.

Five questions between two foresters: Krause and Kyle converse about queer life in the natural resource’s community

Date: 28 March, 2022 from 3:30-4:30pm
Speaker: E. Krause, Michigan Tech University

Krause and Kyle are both queer-identified foresters in the Natural Resources (NR) community. As with everybody, their journeys as people and foresters are unique to them. Krause’s professional journey has taken them through wildland firefighting, criminal justice, and a Masters of Forestry at Michigan Tech. Along the way, they’ve been very open and forward through their writing and presentations at regional and national conferences about also being a member of the queer community. Since 2004, Kyle’s professional journey has primarily been based within the UMN, CFANS, and the FR department. For reasons that he is still learning about, he has been much less willing to be up front in professional settings about his identity as gay man.

During this conversation, Krause and Kyle will discuss their professional and personal lives as queer-identified people in NR. They’ll follow the Five Questions with a Forester interview format Kyle developed for the Camp 8 podcast and are also likely to be Caught in the Krausefire (Krause’s podcast). Their goals in sharing their stories through this conversation are to highlight that queer people are and have been working the NR community - a historically exclusive field for those who do not identify as a cisgender, straight, white, male - and to demonstrate allyship to people with similar or other discriminated identities.


Interpreting the stories from the rings of trees: Cultural fire use and the shaping of Great Lakes pine forests

Date: 25 April, 2022 from 3:30-4:30pm
Speaker: Kurt Kipfmueller

Tree-rings have long been an instrumental proxy for understanding fire on the landscape. In the Boundary Waters, M.L. Heinselman used tree-rings to eloquently and convincingly demonstrate the dependency of pine forests on fire for maintenance and regeneration, while also showing that a century of fire exclusion was having detrimental impacts. Fire suppression, he and others argued, would eventually lead to dramatic changes in the structure and composition of the pine landscapes of the Great Lakes. Tree rings provided an important temporal perspective on the history of fire during the centuries before Colonization and the lack of fire thereafter. However, it’s possible they didn’t reveal the entire story of fire. By illustrating several case studies, I’ll draw on more than a decade of fire history work in Minnesota to illustrate the important role played by Indigenous Peoples in tending the landscape using fire for cultural and resource management purposes. Throughout the talk I’ll touch on shifts in my own way of thinking about fire over time, and the agents that have driven Minnesota’s fire regimes over the last several centuries.

Contact Us

Eli Sagor, SFEC Program Manager | 218-409-6115