UWC, IB students learn about wildfire

Students at the United World College near Las Vegas, NM and International Baccalaureate schools from New Mexico learned about wildfire management, impacts and post-fire response during a presentation in February that including using a hands-on fire simulation table. Leading the presentation were fire ecologist Blanca Cespédes, chair of the Forestry Department at New Mexico Highlands University, and Shantini Ramakrishnan of the Conservation Science Center at the New Mexico Forest and Restoration Institute. The United World College at Montezuma Castle situated in Gallinas Canyon was directly in the path of the 2022 Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire that swept across more than 341,000 acres. Students and staff at the college had to evacuate during the fire along with hundreds of people from nearby communities. Later, the students and staff saw first hand the impacts of post-fire flooding. The presentation was supported by the National Science Foundation through a Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) grant focused on Forest Restoration Triangle (FORT),  NMHU, the Conservation Science Center and NMFWRI.