Karen L. Stafford
Texas A&M Forest Service
Karen Stafford has been with the Texas A&M Forest Service for 11 years; the first six of which she worked as a firefighter while in college pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Forest Management with a minor in Business. Karen continued on to graduate school pursuing a Master’s degree in Fire Management in the Wildland Urban Interface and conducted her field research in Bastrop. The focus of her research included the correlation of fuel moisture, fuel loading, and soil moisture, and using a fire modeling program to examine fire intensity and behavior on varying watersheds. In December 2005, Karen was hired as a Wildland Urban Interface Specialist and has devoted her career to educating homeowners on wildfire preparedness, and working with community and elected officials in the development of Community Wildfire Protection Plans and other wildfire preparedness measures for their communities. She has been involved in many post-fire damage assessments on the major wildfires in Texas, which have also lead to case studies and been made available to the public since 2006.
Karen has been published in several journal articles and poster presentations at conferences while focusing on the human dynamics of wildfires and community actions and preparedness. Starting in 2012, Karen will be embarking on a three year project with The Netherlands in which she will be a part of a team assisting in designing a framework and program for public education and wildfire prevention and preparedness as they begin to examine their wildfire and Wildland Urban Interface problems for the first time in their country. The project will be modeled after Firewise Communities/USA and Ready, Set, Go and then altered to fit the needs of The Netherlands. Karen is also a recent graduate of the first cohort of the Texas A&M Forest Service’s Leadership Enrichment Program and a certified arborist through the International Association of Arboriculture.