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Workshop on Wildfire Management

The Case of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties
Monday, March 16, 2020 - 11:30am to 5:00pm
Gunn-SIEPR Building
366 Galvez Street
Stanford University

Adapting to Wildfires in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties

Adaptation to climate change will not only require new infrastructure and policies, but it will also challenge our local, state and national governments to collaborate across jurisdictional lines in ways that include many different types of private and nonprofit organizations and individual actors. In conjunction with Stanford University’s winter quarter course, Environmental Governance and Climate Resilience, this workshop seeks to share new information about climate change adaptation strategies pursued in other parts of the U.S with public officials in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. The course and workshop have been designed to inform and complement the work of local government officials, including planners, public works, and resiliency officers, and to promote cross-jurisdictional planning and collaboration.

Stanford University invites local policymakers and resiliency staff to join for a one-day workshop on issues surrounding wildfires, building upon early efforts in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties to identify risk and vulnerability and pivot to actionable solutions that can be implemented by cities.

Guests are asked to please RSVP using this form by February 21st.

Information on Keynotes and Panels:


What Motivates Homeowners to Mitigate Fire Risk? Lessons from Social Science

This keynote will highlight aspects of US Forest Service research that examines wildfire risk perceptions incentives for creation and mainenance of defensible space, and how neighbors can work together to better address these goals.

Sacramento’s New Wildfire Policy Proposals

This keynote will explore status of current and recent wildfire policies proposed in Sacramento, and how these new policies may affect local community efforts to prepare for, respond to, and recover from wildfires.


Disaster Preparedness

Drawing upon neighborhood, county, and regional efforts, this panel discussion will explore the challenges and opportunities of preventing wildfires and improving community preparedness.

Long-Term Disaster Recovery

This panel discussion explores the practical issues involved in long-term recovery by applying lessons learned from recent wildfires in the American West. Panelists will offer their recommendations for how communities can prepare for recovery before a disaster comes.

Working Agenda

Monday, March 16

11:30am - 12:00 pm

Registration, networking, and buffet lunch

12:00 – 12:15

Welcome and Program Overview

Professor Bruce Cain, Stanford Bill Lane Center for the American West
Professor Len Ortolano, Stanford Civil and Environmental Engineering

12:15 – 1:00

Keynote Address: What Motivates Homeowners to Mitigate Fire Risk? Lessons from Social Science

Sarah McCaffrey, Research Forester, US Forest Service (tentative)

1:15 – 2:15

Panel: Disaster Prepardness

Moderator: David Shew, Wildfire Defense Works, LLC, Napa, CA


  • Brian D'Agostino, Director of Fire Science and Climate Adaptation, San Diego Gas & Electric, San Diego, CA
  • Dwight Good, Fire Marshal, CAL FIRE/Morgan Hill Fire
  • Nitsa Lallas, Firewise leader and organizer, Marin County, CA
2:30 – 3:15

Student Poster Session

3:15 – 3:30

Coffee and Networking Break

3:30 – 4:15

Keynote Address: Sacramento's New Wildfire Policy Proposals

Michael Jarred, Senior Consultant for the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources

4:15 – 5:15

Panel: Long-Term Disaster Recovery

Moderator: Jenny Suckale, Assistant Professor of Geophysics, School of Earth, Stanford University


  • Amy Bach, Executive Director, United Policyholders
  • Sophia Hamilton, Adjunct Professor of Law, Director of the Recovery Clinic, Pepperdine Law School
  • Anne Reynolds, Executive Director, California Wildfire Recovery Program/Red Cross
  • Jennifer Gray Thompson, Executive Director, Rebuild North Bay Foundation
5:15 Adjournment




Event Sponsor: 
This workshop was made possible through the generous support of Tom and Mary DeMund.
Contact Email: