Quinn-Davidson to lead UC ANR Fire Network

Apr 14, 2023

Quinn-Davidson to lead UC ANR Fire Network

Apr 14, 2023

Lenya Quinn-Davidson has been named director of the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources' Fire Network, effective April 1. UC ANR's statewide Fire Network will build connections and capacity among UC ANR scientists, practitioners, land management and regulatory agencies, policymakers and communities to work toward fire resilience in California.

Wildfire has become more frequent and intense in California with climate change. To meet the challenge of wildfire, UC ANR has hired several new UC Cooperative Extension fire advisors and staff to study issues related to wildfire and to assist Californians with their preparations. Quinn-Davidson and the Fire Network will provide critical coordination and connection across geographies and disciplines ranging from forestry to food safety to livestock to water quality.

“Lenya has more than a decade of work in fire science and has carried out her work through partnerships and community engagement,” said Glenda Humiston, UC vice president of agriculture and natural resources. “Her experience and successful track record will enhance how we coordinate our many layers of research and education related to fire prevention, recovery, public policy and workforce development.”

Quinn-Davidson has served as a UC Cooperative Extension fire advisor for the North Coast since 2016. During her three-year term as the Fire Network director, she will continue her research program and continue to build capacity among landowners, tribes and other communities to use prescribed fire throughout the state. Quinn-Davidson also leads the national/international WTREX program, focused on empowering women and other underrepresented people who work in fire.

 “I'm honored to take on this new role, and I can't wait to further grow, connect and support our fire efforts within UC ANR,” Quinn-Davidson said.

“There are currently dozens of UC ANR people working on fire issues throughout California, including four new UC Cooperative Extension fire advisors and a new academic coordinator who were hired in the last year,” Quinn-Davidson said. “We also have plans to hire more fire advisors and fire-focused staff in the coming year. This network of UC ANR fire leaders will be able to provide more resources, training and research to help Californians better live with fire.”

UC ANR's Fire Network will also enhance communication.

“The network will increase the flow of information to improve how we conduct academic research, strengthen local efforts by sharing relevant data and ideas, create and build capacity for different management techniques and tools, and facilitate new research and programming related to diverse facets of fire in California,” said Deanne Meyer, UC ANR interim associate vice president. 

Before becoming a UCCE fire advisor, Quinn-Davidson worked on fire projects for five years as a UCCE staff research associate. Since 2009, she has served as director of the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council. Prior to joining UC Cooperative Extension, she was a research assistant in the Wildland Fire Laboratory at California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt and worked on stream restoration for Bioengineering Associates, Inc.

She earned a master's degree in social science, environment & community from Cal Poly Humboldt and a bachelor's degree in conservation and resource studies from UC Berkeley.

Quinn-Davidson, who has published more than 70 peer-reviewed and popular articles, will be based in Humboldt County. Follow her on Twitter @lenyaqd.

By Pamela Kan-Rice
Author - Assistant Director, News and Information Outreach