Management and Evaluation

tableFire and Ice operations are overseen by a Leadership Team that brings scientific expertise to the project, and asmaller Management Team that oversees day-to-day operations. Project leaders are in turn assisted by two panels of authorities and experts and two groups of evaluators.

The Fire and Ice Project Director provides strategic guidance and leads synthesis discussions. The Project Administrator oversees project coordination. The Financial Manager provides financial oversight, the Communications Manager coordinates external engagement, and the Data Visualization Specialist leads Vis Space and Dev Space activities. Science leadership comes from the Coastal Margins and Boreal Fires co-leads, the DEW lead, and UAA and UAS campus liaisons.

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 Leadership Team also draws on recommendations from an External Advisory Council (EAC) consisting of four outside 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; Phil Levin, Lead Scientist of the Nature Conservancy; and Phil Higuera, Associate Professor of Fire Ecology at the University of Montana.

A third group, the Industry Advisory Board, recommends ways Fire & Ice researchers can make their work relevant to Alaskan economic stakeholders and businesses. Members of the board include board chair Mark Myers, a former head of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources as well as former UAF Vice-Chancellor for Research; Brian Holst, Director of the Juneau Economic Development Corporation; Tomi Marsh, a Ketchikan fishing captain and board member of OceansAlaska, which promotes Alaskan shellfishing, mariculture and wild stock enhancement; Pete Hickman, Program Manager for GeoNorth Information Systems, which specializes in the collection and processing of remotely sensed optical and radar imagery; and Eric Wyatt, a longtime oyster farmer,  director of OceansAlaska and President of the Alaska Shellfish Growers Association.

External evaluators of the project as a whole are Julia Melkers, Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Eric Welch, Director of Arizona State University’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 midcourse changes based on these evaluations as appropriate.