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IAWF awards prestigious scholarships for wildland fire studies
Published:  10 July, 2012

Two accomplished, experienced students are the latest recipients of scholarships from the International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF).  Dianne Hall, a California graduate student, and Rachel Carter, a PhD candidate in Victoria, Australia are the 2012 recipients. 

“We see these scholarships as a cornerstone of our association helping join together our members and our rising experts in the field to better understand and address current wildfire issues and to learn from each other,” said IAWF President Dan W. Bailey. “I congratulate them and look forward to their future contributions to our broader knowledge of wildland fire.” 

Dianne Hall is a Masters student in the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San Jose State University in California. Her current area of research is to measure and document the interaction between fire and the atmosphere in complex terrain through a series of head fire experiments on slopes. The data set created from the fires will be used by scientists to help understand fire behavior at a micro-meteorological scale and thus lead to improvement of fire behavior predictive models. Dianne has worked multiple seasons as a firefighter in California and has been a volunteer fire fighter in her community for more than 12 years. She was drawn into this research by her fascination with fire behaviour while studying to be a fire behaviour analyst (FBAN) for large incidents.

Rachel Anne Carter is a PhD Candidate and Legal Scholar with La Trobe University located in Bundoora, Victoria, Australia. As part of her PhD, Rachel holds an industry scholarship with the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia. Rachel’s work is primarily centered on insurance and fire related events. Her research involves an international comparative approach whereby she is currently undertaking an analysis of different systems in Europe, America, Asia and the Australia pacific region. In order to undertake this aspect of her research, Rachel spent time as a visiting scholar at the International Institute of Sociology and the Law in Onati, Spain and also in the research offices at the OECD, Paris. At the OECD, Rachel liaised with policy makers, economists and senior officials discussing the different insurance models.

Rachel has co-authored a book, published in academic journals and presented at conferences both in Australia and internationally. In 2011 Rachel presented evidence in relation to insurance in Australia in the aftermath of the Queensland flooding to the Australian Senate. Rachel was also involved in the insurance media work in the aftermath of the flooding which resulted in political attention being drawn to the issue and subsequently the issue was cited by various senators. She has also worked with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in reviewing disaster policy. Rachel hopes that her overall findings will better assist in improved individual economic planning for disaster events, particularly through the means of insurance.

The IAWF has awarded scholarships for advanced studies related to wildland fire since 2007 to students from Mexico, Canada, the Netherlands as well as Australia and United States. Information on all of the recipients as well as future scholarship application announcements is available at:  http://iawfonline.org/scholarships.php.