Fire & Mountain Ecology Lab
2006 - present
Phone: (206) 543-9138
Email: kkopper @ u.washington.edu
M.S., Ecosystems Analysis (2002)
University of Washington, Seattle, WA
B.S., General Biology, Botany Minor
Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
Curriculum Vitae (Microsoft Word document)
Fire Frequency and Severity in Stehekin, Washington
Wildfires and fire management activities are on the rise in the
Douglas-fir / Ponderosa pine forests of Stehekin, North Cascades National Park. In 2006
the Flick Creek wildfire burned 7900 acres of this watershed, including two of the eight
high priority prescribed fire units described in the 2005 Fire Management Plan.
Resource and fire managers recognize the importance of protecting the remote Stehekin
community from wildfire through the implementation of this new plan, and the need to
achieve desirable fire effects within the adjacent wilderness. My doctoral research
on the historic fire frequency and severity will greatly facilitate this aim. Without
which, managers have had to rely on expert opinion and the results of studies from other
forests, despite their differences, to plan for, predict, and manage fire within its
desired range of effects, and with respect to its historic frequency.
The goal of my research is to determine the severity and historical
fire frequency of various forest groups based on structure, species composition, aspect and
elevation. I will perform stand reconstructions and collect and interpret fire scar data in
order to determine the historic fire frequency of the forest groups. Concurrently, the effects
of fire on these same forest groups will be evaluated by comparing burned areas within the
Flick Creek fire perimeter to adjacent unburned areas. During the 2007 field season the burn
severity of the forest groups within the Flick Creek fire perimeter was assessed.
Additionally, a remotely sensed burn severity image of the fire developed by the National
Park Service – U.S. Geological Survey National Burn Severity Mapping Project was assessed
for accuracy with Composite Burn Index protocols.