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Class Pass: Managing Wildfires
Large wildfires continue to burn across the western United States. The National Interagency Fire Center reported that large fires had burned nearly 4.1 million acres in California alone in 2020.
Wildfires not only scorch millions of acres each year but also destroy thousands of homes and cloak cities in unhealthy levels of smoke. California is experiencing wildfires of abnormal size and severity.

But it wasn’t always this way. Indigenous Californians have used cultural burns to mitigate wildfire spread, improve species abundance, and enhance resource quality since time immemorial. However, colonial fire exclusion policies and native land dispossession have hindered the application of cultural fire.

Dr. Marks-Block, an assistant professor of Anthropology, Geography, and Environmental Studies, will cover the importance of cultural burns and how they can help California manage wildfires.

Oct 19, 2021 12:30 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Dr. Tony Marks-Block
Assistant Professor in the department of Anthropology, Geography, and Environmental Studies @Cal State East Bay
Dr. Marks-Block is an assistant professor in the department of Anthropology, Geography, and Environmental Studies at California State University, East Bay. He is an interdisciplinary scholar trained in ecological and anthropological theory and methods at Stanford and Cornell universities. Support from these institutions, the National Science Foundation and the Joint Fire Science Program gave him the opportunity to learn Indigenous ecology and philosophy from Karuk and Yurok Tribal members during his doctoral education. His research is focused upon the socioecology of small-scale subsistence practices, such as anthropogenic (prescribed) fire, and the political ecology of land management and Indigenous sovereignty movements.