Our Mission

The Utah Forest Institute is a science-based outreach and engagement organization hosted by the Department of Wildland Resources and the S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources at Utah State University. Utah State University is a land-grant university with a mission to foster the principle that academics come first, by cultivating diversity of thought and culture, and by serving the public through learning, discovery, and engagement - tenants that the Utah Forest Institute strives to uphold. We were established by the Utah State Legislature in 2018.

We, personally, envision a collaborative organization with the principal objective to improve wildfire outcomes with respect to burn severity, recovery, and provision of ecosystem services. As it stands, the wildfire regimes of Utah have not been adequately characterized, making long-term planning and management of wildfire difficult. We are quantifying the "wildfire" normals for wildfires in Utah as a whole and within Utah's major vegetation types more specifically. We seek to increase the scientific understanding of wildfire in Utah to ultimately examine the long-term efficacy of forest treatments. And as soon as we develop the capacity, we will partner with stake-holders, land managers, and policy makers to assist with implementing evidence-backed forest treatments.

Our Staff


James A. Lutz, Ph.D.

Megan K. Nasto, Ph.D.
Senior Technical Analyst

Undergraduate Technical Analysts

Sheven Andersen

Kylee Madsen

2020 Field Crew

Emily Liese

Hiromi Kondo

Natalie Otto

Kadin Woolever


Justine Cornwall

Jordan Hanson

Kyle McMurray

Tiana Price

Erika Blomdahl
Senior Technical Analyst

Etta Crowley

Sessions Lowham

Cache Rasmussen

Shawnee Tebbs

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