Keynote Speakers

Dr. Kathleen Tierney

Professor in the Department of Sociology and Institute of Behavioral Science and director of the Natural Hazards Center (NHC) at the University of Colorado Boulder


Keynote Presenter - Thursday


Kathleen Tierney is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Institute of Behavioral Science and director of the Natural Hazards Center (NHC) at the University of Colorado Boulder. The NHC serves as a clearinghouse for knowledge on the societal dimensions of hazards and disasters and conducts research on hazard-related topics.  Dr. Tierney has studied many natural and technological disasters, as well as the 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attacks, and she has published on a wide range of topics related to hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Her current research focuses on the political economy of disasters and disaster risk reduction, community resilience, and business and economic resilience. With William Waugh, she co-edited Emergency Management: Principles and Practice for Local Government (2007). Her most recent book, The Social Roots of Risk: Producing Disasters, Promoting Resilience, was published in 2014 by Stanford University Press.


Jack Cohen, PhD

Research Physical Scientist

Fire Sciences Laboratory, Rocky Mountain Research Station, US Forest Service, Missoula, Montana, USA


Keynote Presenter - Friday


Jack has been involved in wildland fire research since 1972 and has served at US Forest Service fire laboratories in Missoula, MT, Riverside, CA and Macon, GA (defunct).  He was a co-developer of the U.S. National Fire Danger Rating System and contributed to the development of U.S. fire behavior prediction systems. He conducted research on live fuel fire behavior in southern California shrub lands (chaparral) and also served operationally as a fire behavior analyst. Jack started his research on how homes ignite during extreme wildfires in 1989. He conducted home ignition experiments and examined WUI fire disasters that lead to the development of the home ignition zone (HIZ) and the Firewise Communities USA program.


Jack currently focuses his research on understanding the fundamental physics of wildland fire spread with part of his time spent addressing the WUI fire problem.


Molly Mowery

Network Coordination Team, Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network

President and Owner, Wildfire Planning International


Keynote Presenter - Saturday


Molly Mowery has been working in the field of community planning and wildfire mitigation for over ten years. She currently works for the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network and manages her own consulting firm, Wildfire Planning International. Molly’s experience includes working with local, state and national government agencies, non-profits, professional organizations and the public. Her unique expertise focuses on finding community-based, sustainable solutions to the challenges posed by wildfire. Molly is a board member of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association, and previously served as board member for the Canadian non-profit association, Partners in Protection. She is an active member of the American Planning Association. She has presented and published internationally on a variety of wildfire mitigation and planning topics. 


Molly holds a Bachelor of Arts from Naropa University and a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology