Skip to main content

Sarah Trainor | Principal Investigator

Photo of Sarah Trainor

Sarah has lived in Fairbanks since 2003 and has directed the Alaska Fire Science Consortium since it started in 2008 and is passionate about making science relevant and useful for policy, management and decision-making.  She is Associate Professor in the Natural Resources and Environment department at UAF and also directs the NOAA funded, Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy. 

Alison York | Coordinator

Photo of Alison York

Alison has lived in Alaska since 1986. She has been working with scientists and managers to understand and address the impacts of environmental change in high latitude systems since 1997. She is particularly proud of how the needs of Alaska's interagency management community drive the innovative work of the AFSC team and is very appreciative of the support structure provided by the Joint Fire Science Program's exchange network.

Primary AFSC Contact

Randi Jandt | Fire Ecologist

Photo of Randi Jandt

Randi has 30 years field experience in Alaska as a fire ecologist, wildlife biologist and sometimes firefighter. She enjoys engaging research groups from all over the country & fire management agencies in Alaska to facilitate "fire science we can use". Recent focus areas involve the effectiveness of fire fuels breaks in boreal forest (2019 JFSP Final Report), application of new remote sensing products in fire management, and how climate warming is changing fire regime, tundra, and forests in northern latitudes. 

office: 907-474-5088 

cell 541-398-8033 

Zav Grabinski | Geospatial Analyst and Data Visualization Specialist

Photo of Zav Grabinski

Originally from Fairbanks Alaska, Zav received a masters in natural resources from Humboldt State University. His background includes geospatial and visual modeling of fire interactions on landscapes, regional-scale data analysis of drought impacts on forests, and website development and design. Currently, Zav is interested in communicating complex biophysical processes to diverse audiences using modern visualization techniques and digital-media formats. 

Mitch Burgard | Fire Analyst

Photo of Mitch

Mitch Burgard has decades of experience in wildland fire modeling, geospatial and weather data analysis, science communication and technology transfer, and operational systems. His experience includes 12 years as Fire Technology Transfer Specialist with the Interagency Wildland Fire Management Research Development and Applications Team. He is well versed in all of the main operational fire models, and has instructed the National Course for teaching these fire models, as well as all of the introductory fire behavior courses. On the operational side, he has served more than 10 years as an assistant or acting Fire Management Officer or Long-term Fire Analyst, including three seasons in Alaska. 

Heather McFarland | Communication Specialist


Heather McFarland is the Science Communications Lead at AFSC. She translates complex scientific information into visual and written stories that people connect with and understand. She has experience in science writing, graphic design, science illustration, social media, communicating to diverse audiences and community outreach. Heather’s background is in Arctic biology and conservation.