New forest ecologist seeks to increase awareness of fire science in Nevada

Christina Restaino joins the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources

Christina Restaino posing in front of trees

Christina Restaino is a newly hired fire ecologist with Cooperative Extension. Photo by Robert Moore.

New forest ecologist seeks to increase awareness of fire science in Nevada

Christina Restaino joins the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources

Christina Restaino is a newly hired fire ecologist with Cooperative Extension. Photo by Robert Moore.

Christina Restaino posing in front of trees

Christina Restaino is a newly hired fire ecologist with Cooperative Extension. Photo by Robert Moore.

The University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, & Natural Resources welcomes Christina Restaino to the faculty as an assistant professor for University of Nevada, Reno Extension as well as the director of the Living With Fire Program.

As a forest ecologist, Restaino has studied how fire and climate alter tree growth and forest ecosystems.  Specifically, she is interested in how land management actions can alter how ecosystems respond to stress from drought, fire and climate change. She focuses on translating scientific information for use in land management and helping to inform the public about pressing ecological issues. Restaino has talked about fire science on many news programs including National Public Radio’s Science Friday and BBC Science in Action.

Restaino studied at the University of California Berkeley’s Forestry Program and the University of Washington Forest Resources Program. She completed her postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Davis, working alongside the U.S. Forest Service Region 5 Ecology Program. While at UC Davis, she coordinated the Sierra Nevada Region of the California Fire Science Consortium, which seeks to increase awareness and understanding of wildland fire science information. Before coming to the University, she spent some time working in the Lake Tahoe Basin as a forest health expert for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Restaino’s work with applied forestry, fire sciences and land management throughout the West has prepared her for this new role of teaching communities, working with land management partners and serving Nevada with specialized natural resources expertise.

“Extension brought together my love of academics and natural resource management,” said Restaino. “My environment is filled with hardworking and passionate people and provides a lot of opportunity to work on land management and wildfire issues in the region.”

Through her outreach work, Restaino plans to increase communication between scientists and land managers in order to find more effective ways of researching and managing natural resources in the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin regions.

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