Chad Hanson

Research Ecologist

Chad Hanson is a research ecologist and the director of the John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute, located in Big Bear City, California. Dr. Hanson has a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California at Davis, with a research focus on fire ecology in conifer forest ecosystems, and he is the author of the 2021 book, “Smokescreen: Debunking Wildfire Myths to Save Our Forests and Our Climate”. He is also the co-editor and co-author of the 2015 book, “The Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires: Nature’s Phoenix” (Elsevier, Inc.). He has published dozens of scientific studies and articles in peer-reviewed journals pertaining to forest/fire ecology and climate change. Research by Dr. Hanson covers topics such as: natural post-fire forest regrowth and carbon sequestration; carbon flux in wildland fires; current forest fire patterns and trends; fire history; habitat selection of rare wildlife species associated with habitat created by high-intensity fire; and adverse impacts to wildlife caused by logging. He became involved in forest conservation work after hiking the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada in 1989 with his older brother, and seeing firsthand the devastation to forests caused by the commercial logging program on federal public lands in the U.S.

Podcast Guest Appearances

Firefight: How to Live in the Pyrocene

We’ve experienced yet another summer of record wildfires in the western U.S., endangering lives, displacing communities, and sending unhealthy smoke across the nation.