Management and Evaluation

Fire & Ice operations are overseen by a Leadership Team that brings scientific expertise to the project, and a smaller Management Team that oversees day-to-day operations. Project leaders are in turn assisted by three panels of authorities and experts and two groups of evaluators. In addition to these panels, a pair of Student Ambassadors work with Fire & Ice project leads to implement programs and activities to benefit graduate and undergraduate students involved in the program. 

Fire & Ice Leadership Team

Name Role
Brenda Konar

Principal Invesitgator/Project Director, Coastal Margins Lead

Tara Borland Associate Project Director
Uma Bhatt Boreal Fires Co-Lead
Todd Brinkman Boreal Fires Co-Lead
Julie Schram University of Alaska Southeast Co-PI, Coastal Margins Co-Lead
Lee Ann Munk University of Alaska Anchorage Co-PI, Coastal Margins Co-Lead
Laura Conner DEW Lead


Fire & Ice Management Team

Name Role
Brenda Konar

Principal Invesitgator/Project Director, Coastal Margins Lead

Tara Borland Associate Project Director
Shannon Watson Fiscal Manager
Cherissa Dukelow Communications Manager
Naomi Hutchquist Data Visualization Specialist
Adrienne Canino Data Manager


EPSCoR's data is managed through an innovative public-private partnership between EPSCoR, UAF's Research Computing Systems, and Axiom Data Science, a private firm.

Three different panels offer input and oversight to the Leadership Team. A State Committee for Research (SCoR), consisting of leaders from government, agencies, academia, and the private sector, reviews F&I progress and provides guidance to assure the program achieves state science and technology goals. The group oversaw the creation of the Alaska Science and Technology Plan, which prioritizes the state's S&T needs and helped shape the Fire & Ice project.

Management Flowchart
Project structure of Fire & Ice, including both internal and external elements.

The Leadership Team also draws on recommendations from an External Advisory Council (EAC) consisting of five experts in F&I fields:

  • Michelle Mack, Professor at the Center for Ecosystems and Society at Northern Arizona University
  • Dar Roberts, Professor of Geography at the University of California Santa Barbara
  • Matt Edwards, Professor of Biology at San Diego State University
  • Phil Higuera, Associate Professor of Fire Ecology at the University of Montana
  • Malinda Chase,  Tribal Liaison with the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center

A third group, the Alaska Advisory Board, recommends ways Fire & Ice researchers can make their work relevant to Alaskan community members, agenices, and businesses.

External evaluators of the project as a whole are Julia Melkers, Foundation Professor of Public Policy and Management in the Arizona State University School of Public Affairs and director of ASU's Center for Organization Research and Design, and Eric Welch, Director of ASU’s Center for Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Studies, serving as independent consultants. An additional DEW evaluation is being undertaken by Angela Larson of the Goldstream Group LLC, a Fairbanks-based planning, development and evaluation company. Both Melkers/Welch and Larson provide annual reports, including summaries of data, findings, and recommendations, which are shared with the F&I Leadership Team and with the NSF. F&I leaders institute annual changes based on these evaluations as appropriate.