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

In addition to his research on wildfires, Dr. Hicke specializes in bark beetles and how they contribute to Idaho’s forest ecosystem. In the second part of his interview, Jessa and Emma talk about Bark Beetles in the US’s western forests, and how they are affected by climate change.

Bark beetles, though only the size of a grain of rice, are an important part of forest ecosystems. The picture for this episode shows a forest struggling with beetle infestation in the middle of its Red Phase (discussed in the episode). Beetle infestations contribute to wildfires and the burn season that is becoming a regular part of American western summers. 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. This second installment takes a microscope to small, relatively unknown causes that contribute to increased wildfire severity with the help of Dr. Hicke’s research.

To learn more about Dr. Hicke and his work on bark beetles, visit his webpage at:

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.