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Wildfire and Water: Exploring Climate Change in the American West - Part I

In the first installment of their new series, Emma and Jessa talk to Jeff Hicke, a professor at the University of Idaho and expert in forest ecology, about wildfires and their causes in the American west.

Wildfires are an increasingly visible issue in Idaho. They are a direct result of changing climate that Idahoans live through yearly. However, wildfires are not an isolated issue. Water and fire are intricately connected through geological and ecological mechanism that are now being disrupted with climate change. Through this new series, Jessa and Emma would like to inform their listeners about wildfire and water trends in Idaho, and also look into how scientists in and around Idaho are responding to climate change. Jeff Hicke helps Jessa and Emma kick off the discussion by explaining the mechanics behind wildfires and how climate change plays a big role into Idaho’s ever-expanding “burn season.”

For comments, topic suggestions, or more information, please reach out to Jessa at and Emma at

Jessa is in her final year of her undergraduate career, pursuing three majors: English with Creative Writing, History, and Global Studies with an emphasis in French Language and Literature. She is a published author through ISU's Black Rock & Sage literary magazine and hopes to join the Sustainability Club at ISU. Her sustainability journey began with her year abroad when she interned for Letters to the Earth, an organization dedicated to environmental sustainability. She hopes to work for Amnesty International until she can write books in the mountains full time.