Governing Board

Our program is jointly funded by the Departments of Agriculture and Interior and governance is through a 12-member Governing Board with members from the Forest Service, the Bureaus of Land Management, Indian Affairs, Fish and Wildlife Service, Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey and Office of Wildland Fire.

Board Members
Joint Fire Science Program Governing Board June 2017 Utah Meeting (not all members present)

Paul Steblein Paul Steblein
Governing Board Vice Chair
Fire Science Coordinator
USGS, Washington, DC
(biography not yet available)

  Scott Goodrick
Project Leader & Research Meteorologist
USDA Forest Service
Athens, GA

(biography not yet available)

Jim Menakis Jim Menakis
National Fire Ecologist
Washington Office - Fire and Aviation Management (Detached)
USDA Forest Service
Fort Collins, CO
Jim Menakis has been the National Fire Ecologist for Forest Service Washington Office Fire and Aviation Management since 2010.  He joined the JFSP Governing Board in spring of 2011.  Prior to 2010, Jim worked for the Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station Missoula Fire Science Laboratory for 20 years: on various research projects relating to fuels and fire ecology, on national mapping projects including Wildland Fire Potential, LANDFIRE Rapid Assessment and Fire Regime Condition Class, and on applying the best available science to support management needs including the Hazardous Fuels Prioritization and Allocation System (HFPAS) and Forest on the Edge publication -- Wildfire, wildlands, and people: understanding and preparing for wildfire in the wildland-urban interface (   Today, Jim is working on evaluating the effectiveness of fuel treatment when tested by wildfire, supporting national, regional, and forest level wildfire risk assessments, and supporting the fire ecology program in Forest Service. Jim received his B.S. degree in Forestry and M.S. degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, Missoula.

  Calvin Farris
Fire Ecologist
DOI National Park Service
Pacific West Region

(biography not yet available)

  Jolie Pollet
Division Chief, Fire Planning & Fuels Mgmt
Boise, ID
(biography not yet available)

Bil Grauel Bil Grauel
National Fire Ecologist
Bureau of Indian Affairs
National Interagency Fire Center, Boise Idaho

William (Bil) Grauel is currently the National Fire Ecologist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Branch of Wildland Fire Management, at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.  He serves as the Bureau lead in fire ecology and fire effects monitoring while providing support in fuels planning and fire behavior modeling.  Before joining the BIA he served as Fire Use Specialist for the San Carlos Apache Tribe in eastern Arizona from 2004 to 2012. He earned a B.S. in Range-Forest Management in 1984 and an M.S in Forest Management in 1994 from Colorado State University.  He served as an Agroforestry Extensionist in Paraguay for the Peace Corps from 1990-1993 and worked in basic and applied forest ecology research in Costa Rica and Panama from 1994-2000.  He earned a PhD in Interdisciplinary Ecology from the University of Florida in 2004.

Bertram Plante Bertram Plante
District Fire Management Officer, District 1
DOI US Fish & Wildlife Service, Alligator River NWR

C Bertram "Bert" Plante started his fire career on the Kaibab NF in Arizona in 1980. Shortly after, he was hired by the NJ State Forest Fire Service as a primary fire control officer in the pine barrens of southern New Jersey. Over the following 32 years, he rose through the ranks to a leadership position in the state headquarters, which included responsibility for the states' prescribed fire program. Other responsibilities included management of the states' contract aviation, fire danger and reporting programs, as well as leading response to air quality and legislative issues. He retired from the state to join the USFWS in 2011, joining the Alligator River NWR in eastern NC as a prescribed fire specialist.

During that time, he was an adjunct professor on wildland fire policy and practice at Rutgers University, as well as an elected councilman in his home town for 18 years.

Presently, he is the District (Zone) Fire Management Officer for the FWS in North Carolina. Additionally, he is a qualified PIO, and serves as a Division Supervisor on the Southern Area Red team, as well as on the Eastern Area Type 2 team.

Bert received his B.S. in Forestry from the University of Vermont.

Craig Leff
DOI, Office of Wildland Fire
Washington, DC
(biography not yet available)
Dana Skelly Dana Skelly
Governing Board Chair
Forest Service, Regional Fuels Program Manager
Pacific Northwest Region

Dana has worked in wildland fire for 20 years, beginning with an AmeriCorps*NCCC fire crew based in Colorado. The majority of her career has been in fuels and fire ecology and has spanned three federal agencies to date. She has been a member of the National Park Service Fire Ecology Steering Committee and spent several years with the Zion, Great Smoky Mountains, Everglades, and Natchez Trace sub-regional fire effects monitoring crews. After that she went to the Forest Service working in fuels and fire operations in Utah and northern Arizona. From 2010-2014 she had the unique opportunity to manage a small, complex fire program for the US Fish and Wildlife Service in the Florida Keys. Her professional passion has been implementing, studying, and promoting progressive and accountable fire management. She also worked on the Malheur National Forest as part of an outstanding team with those same core values. Today she is the Regional Fuels Program Manager for the Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service.

Dana has cross-trained with the US Coast Guard, Navy, and Air Force for all risk incident management. She has worked for the USFS Washington Office Fuels Program conducting fuels treatment effectiveness assessments and testing the national fuels treatment effectiveness assessment database. Her published fire-related works, both in her maiden name of Cohen as well as her married name Skelly, focus on lightning-caused fires and their management. Her 2007 publication about wildland fire use at Great Smoky Mountains National Park was recently recognized as one of the top 13 papers of the first 10 years of the journal Fire Ecology.

She received her bachelor's in History from Rutgers College, and prior to working in natural resources was an editor and graphic designer at an art magazine in New York City.

Toral Patel-Weynand
USDA Forest Service, Washington Office
Washington, DC
  (biography not yet available)
USDA Forest Service, Fire & Aviation
Washington, DC