ALWRI's Parks receives Eminent Science Publication Award

Dr. Parks, a middle-aged man wearing glasses, standing in front of a tree, smiling

We are pleased to share that Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute Research Ecologist, Dr. Sean Parks received the 2020 Eminent Science Publication Award.  The award was conveyed in 2021 and issued by the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

The Eminent Science Publication Award recognizes "a cumulative record of research and sustained effort that led to definitive answers on a particular subject. The award is also in recognition of an outstanding body of science or sustained scientific contributions of extraordinary merit. The award is given to one individual or to two people whose work is inextricably intertwined." 
Sean received this award for serving as the lead investigator for a line of research intended to quantify how previously burned areas influence subsequent fire activity in forested regions. 
A presented at the awards ceremony: Sean’s research provides a robust test of ecological theory while producing quantitative information with direct utility for fire and land managers. His work exemplifies the use of wilderness as a natural laboratory from which we can pull lessons to inform and improve management across all land designations. Since these studies are conducted in designated wilderness areas that have allowed fire to play a more natural role over the last several decades, Parks is able to study the influence of previously burned areas on subsequent fire activity in the absence of other factors that may confound analyses (e.g. roads, forest management, etc.). Importantly, Sean has been invited to present the findings of this work at various workshops and meetings geared toward managers, and this research is starting to be cited in Forest and Land Management Plans (e.g. Gila, Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman), each illustrating the importance of Sean’s work in providing guidance to the management of public lands.