Each participant will receive a conference Syllabus which contains pertinent reference material, exhibits and an attendee directory.
Doug Allen Michael Hestrin Ken Roye
Joseph Astleford Dr. Valerie Hipkins Jeffrey L. Sellon
Ken Barker Garry Hubert Philip J. Shaller, Ph.D.
David Bona Alan Jang Honorable Scott Snowden
Michael Cabral John Koltun Frank Steele
Shawn Caine Dr. Don Latham David Stivers
Robert G. Carr Jay Lininger Robert E. Unsworth
Jack Cohen Mike Mayman Paul T. Way
Thomas A. Cregger Bob McAlpine Gary L. White
Dr. Christopher A. Dicus John V. McCoy Jonathan Yoder, Ph.D.
Dr. Michael Eburn Joseph Mitchell, Ph.D Joseph B. Zicherman, Ph.D.
Dennis Field Dr. Philip N. Omi Dr. Bob Zybach, Ph.D.
Randy Gimple Chris Parker  
Mark Grotefeld Dr. Matt Rahn  
Sig Guggenmoos Dr. Mark A. Rhodes  
John Harris Dr. Sandra Rideout-Hanzak  

Doug Allen has over 45 years of fire and law enforcement experience. He retired as a Division Chief with over 32 years of service with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Upon retirement he was the Southern California Law Enforcement Coordinator for CDF, supervising the Southern Region Arson Investigation Unit and Civil Cost Collection Program. Chief Allen specializes in the analysis and profiling of "Serial Arsonists". He has been an investigator, technical advisor and Incident Commander on numerous Law Enforcement Investigations and Surveillance Operations throughout California. During one thirteen month period Allen coordinated 107 sworn personnel on eight major arson investigations in Southern California. These operations resulted in the apprehension of nine serial arson suspects and the clearance of over 600 arson cases.

Allen has teaching credentials in Police and Fire Science Curriculum in the California Community College System where he instructs the Fire-Arson Investigation courses, certified by the California State Fire Marshal and the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards And Training (POST). Additionally he presents Serial Arson Analysis Seminars for the B.A.T.F. Regional Prosecutor's Course, the American Bar Association-Young Lawyers Division, the Texas Arson Investigator's Association (Texas A & M) and the International Association of Arson Investigators. Doug Allen is a California-Certified Fire Investigator. He is Past President of the California Chapter-IAAI, Past Chairperson of the California Chapter Education/ Certification Committee and has Chaired the IAAI Wildfire Arson Committee. He has provided over 163,399 student hours of investigation training to 5,894 investigators.

Joseph G. Astleford is an associate with Jang & Associates, LLP in Walnut Creek, California, who focuses on subrogation law, insurance law and wildland fire litigation. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 2004. Mr. Astleford received a B.A. in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin and received his J.D. from John F. Kennedy School of Law while working full time as an insurance adjuster.

Mr. Astleford has handled a number of large catastrophic subrogation cases, including claims arising out of wildland fires, construction fires, electrical fires, gas explosions, product defects and landslides. He has managed the presentation, organization and gathering of insurance subrogation claims for several catastrophic losses.
Ken Barker is a plaintiffs’ attorney who has practiced as a civil trial lawyer for 26 years. He is a partner in the Barker Wilson Law Firm in Belle Fourche and Rapid City, SD. The firm specializes in complex litigation cases. The Governor of South Dakota hired the firm to represent the State in a civil action against a local power company for causing the “Grizzly Gulch fire.” The fire started near Deadwood, South Dakota as a result of power line contact with trees located within the transmission line right-of-way, resulting in substantial suppression costs and loss of public and private property. The case required a number of experts to prove the cause, origin, and damages as a result of the fire. His presentation will center on the challenges and efforts necessary to successfully prosecute the civil action and subsequent private property claims.
David Bona is a partner at Carlson, Calladine & Peterson LLP, a law firm with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. David is an experienced trial attorney who has devoted the majority of his career to defending his clients in high-exposure, complex litigation, including cases involving wildland fire, such as the Copper Canyon Fire of 2002, Freds Fire of 2004, and the Santa Catalina Island Fire, Guejito Fire and Rice Fire in 2007. David obtained his Bachelor's of Science degree from University of Utah and his Juris Doctor degree from the UCLA School of Law. He is admitted to the State Bar of California and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of California and is the author of "Reliability and Relevance of Expert Testimony in Federal Court."
Michael J. Cabral has been a prosecutor for over 24 years. He started in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in 1986 and helped to establish that office’s Arson Unit. He led the Los Angles County Arson Task Force which was responsible for the investigation and prosecution of Glendale Arson Investigator Jon L. Orr for the 1984 Ole’s Home Center arson homicide fire. He has served as a Chief Deputy District Attorney with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and is currently the Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office.
Shawn Caine is a lawyer and represents individuals, businesses, ranching operations and national insurance companies in complex litigation and transactions. His firm is experienced in personal injury and wrongful death cases, and is recognized in particular for catastrophic wildland fire litigation tracing back to 1993.

He prosecuted his first wildland fire case in 1996 against SDG&E for causing the Guejito Fire of 1993. He has obtained many multimillion dollar wildland fire recoveries from various California Public Utility Companies, Irrigation Districts and Governmental Agencies. Most recently, he served as Co-Liaison Counsel for the Insurers in the 2007 San Diego County wildland fire cases and obtained a substantial settlement with the United States of America arising from the Pines Fire litigation.
Robert Carr has been in employed in the insurance industry since 1981. His insurance career has included Multi-line Adjuster, Adjuster in Charge, Claim Training Manager, Branch Claim Manager, Regional and Home Office Supervisor, and his current position as Sr. Claims Analyst. Bob’s specialty is handling large commercial liability claims including forest fires, multiple fatalities and litigated claims. . Bob has handled commercial liability claims in 40 U.S. States and Canada. He had been involved in wildfire cases in 11 states.

Bob has a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Education from Tarleton State University, TX and Masters in Business in Administration from Seattle University. WA. His professional insurance designations include the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) Associate in Claims (AIC) and Associate in Risk Management (ARM)
Jack has been involved in wildland fire research since 1972 and has served at US Forest Service fire laboratories in Missoula, MT, Riverside, CA and Macon, GA (defunct). He was a co-developer of the U.S. National Fire Danger Rating System and has contributed to the development of U.S. fire behavior prediction systems. At the Riverside Fire Laboratory he conducted research on live fuel fire behavior in southern California shrub lands (chaparral) and also served operationally as a prescribed fire ignition supervisor and fire behavior analyst. Jack focused his research on how wildland-urban interface (WUI) fire disasters occur and how homes ignite during extreme wildfires starting in 1989. He was one of the principal scientists involved in the International Crown Fire Modeling Experiment, NWT, Canada (1997-2001), where he investigated the thermal characteristics of crown fire related to structure ignition. Jack currently divides his research between the WUI fire problem and understanding the fire dynamics of live-fuel, shrub and tree canopy fire spread (active crown fires).
Thomas Cregger is a partner in the Sacramento firm of Randolph, Cregger & Chalfant. He has been involved in litigation affecting the rail industry since the mid 1980’s and has represented clients such as Union Pacific Railroad Company, BNSF Railway, Westinghouse Airbrake Company and several short line carriers. He is a member of the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel and has litigated a wide range of railroad matters including worker injuries, contract disputes, property damage and inverse condemnation claims. He recently represented Union Pacific in an inverse condemnation case in San Luis Obispo County, Bookout v. County of San Luis Obispo, et al, which ended in a directed verdict in favor of the several defendants. The directed verdict was upheld by the Court of Appeals with a petition for review subsequently denied by the Supreme Court.
Dr. Chris Dicus is a Professor and Coordinator of the Wildland Fire and Fuels Management Concentration in the Natural Resources Management Department at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. His research focuses on how fuel treatments in the wildland-urban interface impact both fire behavior and ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and vegetative air pollution removal. He regularly serves as a fire behavior analyst on large wildland fires and has participated in many post-fire disaster assessments, including the 2007 Southern California Fire Siege and the 2009 Black Saturday Fires in Victoria, Australia. Dr. Dicus serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for Fire Ecology and has spoken at over 50 international and national conferences, including the keynote speaker at the 2009 Department of Homeland Security Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Research Colloquium.

Dr. Michael Eburn is a lawyer and researcher at the Australian National University, Canberra. His doctoral thesis was on international disaster response law and he has written the only Australian text on the law and emergency response. Dr. Eburn is currently engaged on a three year research project funded by the Australian Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre to enquire into the impact of law and policy on fire management in Australia.

Dennis Field is an expert witness and fire investigator certified through several agencies. He holds a CFI (certified fire investigator) with the International Association of Arson Investigators and is a certified fire and explosion investigator “CFEI” through the National Association of Fire Investigators. He attended the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland as well as the FBI Academy in Quantico Virginia for advanced arson training.

Dennis is a partner with Fire Cause Analysis serving as an expert witness, fire investigator and senior training instructor.  He has conducted over 2000 fires in the private sector including structures, marine vessels, road transportation vehicles and industrial equipment. Within the past year, has conducted three large loss fires in the railroad industry and has performed testing and root cause analysis on railroad equipment and several other investigations related to potential RR applications. As part of this work, he has assisted with establishing new policy and procedure guidelines for acquisition and specification of specific railroad operating equipment.

Randy Gimple is a partner and founding member of Carlson, Calladine & Peterson LLP, a law firm with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Randy has represented plaintiffs and defendants in cases involving catastrophic losses such as floods and fires for over 20 years. He typically represents defendants in wildland fire cases, such as the Poe Fire of 2001, the Freds Fire of 2004 and the Island, Guejito and Rice Fires of 2007. Randy is a member of the California Conference of Arson Investigators, International Association of Arson Investigators and National Fire Protection Association. He is also a well-known contributor to the wildland fire community's study of catastrophic loss investigations, fire scene investigation, evidence preservation, forensic investigation techniques, admissibility of expert evidence, property damage evaluation and statutory and common-law duties arising as a result of negligently caused fires.
Mark S. Grotefeld is a founding member of the national law firm of Grotefeld & Hoffman, LLP, the firm having offices in Chicago, Illinois, Geneva, Illinois, San Francisco, California, and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Mr. Grotefeld's trial practice is focused on civil cases involving matters both national and international in scope. Admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1981 and the Florida Bar in 1982, Mr. Grotefeld received a B.A. from the University of Arizona in 1978 and his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School in 1981. He has served as a national and regional counsel in large scale catastrophic loss cases, including many wildfire matters, and has tried matters of national prominence in courts throughout the United States. Mr. Grotefeld has lectured on law related topics in the United States, Canada and Europe. In addition to being admitted to the Federal Trial Bar and several Federal District Courts, Mr. Grotefeld is licensed to practice before the United States Court of Federal Claims, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Bar Association affiliations include the American, Illinois and Florida Bar Associations, the National Association of Subrogation Professionals, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association of Justice.

Siegfried (Sig) Guggenmoos is the President of Ecological Solutions Inc. He has a degree in horticulture from the University of Guelph, Ontario, and is a Professional Agrologist and Certified Professional Consultant. His career in vegetation management began in 1970. He has been involved in research on growth regulators and herbicides. Sig served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of a national Canadian vegetation management contractor serving oil and gas companies, pipelines, power companies, railroads, National Defence and municipal authorities. In 1985 Sig joined TransAlta Utilities, where he was a chief architect of the Distribution Line Clearance program which: reduced tree related outages 80%; saved 48 million dollars over two maintenance cycles; had a 98% customer satisfaction rating; showed a 21% increase in crew productivity. He was responsible for an extensive herbicide program, associated research and communication. In addition, he was intimately involved in the design and assessment of contracting methods. In 1995 Sig formed Ecological Solutions Inc. (aka Ecosync) to provide consulting services in vegetation management and biotic greenhouse gas mitigation strategies including biomass derived energy.

Sig has authored over thirty articles appearing in technical journals, magazines and industry newsletters. He has presented at numerous conferences including chapter and international levels of the International Society of Arboriculture, International Right of Way Association, Edison Electric Institute and regional Vegetation Management Associations. He has served as president and several terms on the board of the Industrial Vegetation Management Association of Alberta; has been a summarizer for the Expert Committee on Weeds; is a member of the Alberta Institute of Agrologists, the Agricultural Institute of Canada, the International Society of Arboriculture, and the Utility Arborist Association.

John A. Harris, Landscape Economist, is the Principal of Landscape Economics LLC and President of Earth Advisors, Inc. He is based in Hollywood, Florida. His environmental consulting and expert witnessing practices include work across the United States and the Caribbean. He has been working in the Green Industry for over 25 years with field practices, management, and consulting experience. His degrees include M.B.A., M.S., B.S., A.A.S., and he has industry related certifications including Registered Consulting Arborist, Certified Forester, Certified Arborist, Certified Landscape Inspector. John's expert work includes landscape and land improvements damage assessments, economic valuations, work audits, and expert witness testimony. He provides expert services to both plaintiffs and defendants in legal cases, and has been a mediated expert. He was inducted as an Elected Member of the Lambda Alpha International Honorary Land Economics Society in 1997 for his work determining and defending values of trees and landscapes. He is an author and co-author of numerous articles in trade journals, newspapers and publications. He has done TV interview appearances and serves as a resource to the media for landscape, natural areas, and forestry topics. John is an active educator, having taught over 150 different classes and field training programs for the industry and the public. He continues to learn and provide useful information in industry organizations and education programs.
Michael Hestrin has been a Deputy District Attorney with Riverside County California for 13 years specializing in homicide cases and capital litigation. Mr. Hestrin earned a B.A. from the University of Arizona in 1993 and a JD/MA from Stanford University in 1997. He has completed more than thirty homicide trials to verdict, including six death penalty cases. In 2006, he was assigned as lead counsel in the arson-murder case People v. Raymond Lee Oyler. In 2009, he and Deputy District Attorney Michael Mayman secured the conviction of Raymond Lee Oyler on five counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of U.S. Firefighters Mark Loutzenheizer, Jason McKay, Jess McLean, Pablo Cerda and Daniel Hoover-Najera. The jury also found Raymond Oyler guilty of twenty wild land arsons as well as the Special Circumstance of murder in the commission of arson. After the penalty phase trial, the same jury decided that Raymond Oyler should be put to death for his crimes. The jury’s death verdict in the Raymond Lee Oyler case was the first and only death verdict in a wild land arson murder case in U.S. history. In 2010, Michael Hestrin was named California Prosecutor of the Year by the California District Attorneys Association (CDAA).
Wes Higbie is a California lawyer who has represented timber companies and timber owners in hundreds of cases involving the destruction of, valuation of, and sale of timber. He has been an entrepreneur in the timber industry and has served as a Mediator on power line wildland fire cases. He is presently part of the faculty at UC Berkeley teaching in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management.
Dr. Valerie Hipkins is the Director of the National Forest Genetics Electrophoresis Laboratory in Placerville, CA. Valerie received her Ph.D. in Genetics and Forest Science from Oregon State University. Her program at NFGEL provides genetic information to land managers to guide restoration projects, conserve threatened and endangered species. She conducts analysis of molecular genetic markers (proteins and DNA) in plant material. Valerie has provided forensic DNA analysis in two major wildland fire cases, including the 1996 Calabasas Fire.
Garry Hubert is a California trial lawyer with almost 40 years of trial experience. While a deputy district attorney for Alameda County he taught criminal law and evidence. He has tried to jury verdict 135 plus Superior Court criminal cases and 30 Superior Court civil cases (the longest lasting 8 months). He founded Hubert & Yasutake in 1996 which specializes in civil litigation for both the plaintiff and the defense, with an emphasis on plaintiff's fire loss claims. He is an experienced arbitrator/mediator having presided over 1,000 such proceedings. Specific fire cases prosecuted by Mr. Hubert include self-igniting automobiles, construction practices causing fires, fireplace failures, electrical appliance failures, power line failures causing structure fires and wildland fires, and spontaneous combustion fires. Mr. Hubert is rated A-V by Martindale-Hubble and is a special master for serving search warrants.
Alan Jang of Jang & Associates, LLP in Walnut Creek, California, focuses on subrogation law, insurance law, wildland fire litigation and inverse condemnation. He was admitted to the California State Bar on November 29, 1978. Mr. Jang received a B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975. He received his J.D. in 1978 from Golden Gate University School of Law.

Mr. Jang has handled a number of large catastrophic subrogation cases, including claims arising out of wildland fires, construction fires, electrical fires, gas explosions, sinkholes, flooding and landslides. He has received an "AV" Preeminent rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards.

Mr. Jang has been involved in several important appellate decisions, resulting in the following published opinions: California State Automobile Association v. City of Palo Alto, (subrogation/inverse condemnation action); State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. East Bay Municipal Utilities District, (subrogation/inverse condemnation action); Delfino v. Sloan, (premises liability/negligence per se).

John Koltun is the co-founder and Vice President of Geographic Resource Solutions. He received his B.S. Degree from Humboldt State University in Forestry Science in 1983 with a minor in Computer Information Systems. John has over 27 years of Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing experience in a broad range of applications including forestry, wildfire, utilities, transportation, real estate management, wildlife management, mining, and petroleum. As a Senior Consultant and Director of GIS Services at GRS he provides systems design, analytical consultation, training, and software development for state, federal, and local agencies as well as multi-national corporations. John has designed and implemented complex geospatial analyses including the development of a geospatial model for determining wildfire risk and mitigation within the Wildland Urban Interface. He has also participated in wildfire litigation as a geospatial consultant on major fires throughout California.

John has served on software-design advisory committees for a major remote sensing/GIS vendors and has designed and taught GIS courses as well as presented papers and workshops at professional conferences and user groups. John designed and taught a course in Spatial Database Design and Management at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) where he currently serves on the Department of Geomatics Advisory Board. John is the Past President of Alaska Region of American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) and served as a Regional Director. John is also a member of the Society of American Foresters, California Licensed Foresters Association, and International Association of Wildland Fire. He is a Registered Professional Forester in California (RPF), Certified Forester (CF), and a certified GIS Professional (GISP).

Dr. Don Latham received his undergraduate degree from Pomona College in 1960. He subsequently enrolled in the Ph.D. program of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (Now New Mexico Tech). During his time at NMT he worked as a technician for a lightning and thunderstorm research project while pursuing his degree. As a consequence he was intimately involved with electromagnetic and radar systems. He received MS and PhD degrees and left NMT in 1968. He then taught and conducted research at the University of Miami Institute of Atmospheric Science, leaving as an Associate Professor in 1976. While at the Institute, he conducted research for the Air Force tethered balloon program, and for the Institute in the air-sea interface, including models for electric charge balance in ocean air.

In 1976, Dr. Latham joined the Research arm of the US Forest Service at the Forest Fire Laboratory, Missoula, MT. While at the Fire Lab, he conducted research and field investigations regarding wind patterns around large fires, lightning ignition of fires, and lightning damage. He developed and taught lightning detection system use in forest environments, working with the Weather Service, and with Canadian research and operational units. He was also involved with satellite systems as well as integrating fire behavior models with mesoscale meterology models, developing a model for plume rise due to wildfires. He retired from the Forest Service in 2002 as Project Leader of the Fire Behavior research work unit at the Fire Laboratory in Missoula, MT At retirement, he was responsible for 7 scientists, 3 mathematicians, 3 technicians, with an annual budget of $7 million.


Jay Lininger is a terrestrial ecologist with the Center for Biological Diversity, a non-profit organization based in Tucson, Arizona. He worked five seasons on private and federal fire and aviation crews as a wildland firefighter, helicopter crewmember and biologist, during which time he served as Legislative Director of Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics and Ecology (www.fusee.org). Jay consulted on precedent-setting lawsuits affecting management of public lands throughout the western United States and co-authored a Community Wildfire Protection Plan for the City of Ashland, Oregon, where he served on budget and watershed protection committees. Currently, he consults on the Four Forests Restoration Initiative to restore fire-adapted ponderosa pine forests on over four million acres in northern Arizona. Jay holds a B.A. from the University of Oregon and a M.S. from the University of Montana, where he was a Distinguished Conservation Fellow and received a Graduate Student Excellence Award from the Association for Fire Ecology.


Michael J. Mayman has been a Deputy District Attorney with Riverside County California for 10 years specializing in arson cases. Prior to becoming a Deputy District Attorney, Mr. Mayman, a former U.S. Marine, spent 11 years as a police officer before getting his LLM in Criminal Law from University of San Diego. Mr. Mayman is a trained arson investigator with an emphasis on wildland arson. He regularly instructs at the 1A through 2B arson courses as well at wildland arson classes.
Mr. Mayman has been involved in the prosecution of dozens of arson cases including four serial arsonists. Most recently he sat as the second chair in the case People v. Raymond Lee Oyler, a case involving a prolific serial arsonist who was found guilty and sentenced to death for the murder of five U.S. Forest Service Firemen.


Bob McAlpine is a founding partner of McAlpine & Parker LLC, an Independent Fire Cost Consulting company which provides wildland fire cost auditing services. He is a retired Fire Captain with over 40 years of fire/finance experience. Over his career, Mr. McAlpine performed finance responsibilities on over 200 fires. He has presented over 200 hours of finance training to CAL FIRE employees throughout the State. In addition, Mr. McAlpine completed fire cost audits and reviews that resulted in the recovery of over $125 million.

Mr. McAlpine served as a member of the Development and Maintenance committees for CAL FIRE’S Activity and Reporting Cost (ARC) and also co-authored CAL FIRE’s Incident Finance Training Program.


John V. McCoy is recognized as one of the country’s top trial lawyers in the field of catastrophic fire and explosion cases. Especially those involving flammable gases such as propane and natural gas.  He is also well known for his work in products liability and business disputes. He has recently been retained as defense counsel in a nationally reported $200 Million securities litigation lawsuit filed in Wisconsin. He has handled trials and appeals of lawsuits in over 38 states and serves as National Trial Counsel for several companies. A frequent lecturer and author at national conferences on litigation issues, John is a founding member and Past President of the Propane Gas Defense Association and has lent his time and expertise to numerous trade and industry associations in the field of litigation. He has been chairperson of the DRI Fire and Casualty Committee and has been on the Attorney Advisory Committee to the International Association of Arson Investigators. John has been named a “Wisconsin Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics Media Inc. every year since its inception in 2005 in Wisconsin and has been independently profiled for his contributions in the current edition of Marquis’ Who’s Who in American Law. John was also recognized as having one of the “Top 10 Defense Verdicts of 2004" in a nationwide survey conducted by the National Law Journal. He has been recognized in 2008 as a Leader in the Law by The Wisconsin Law Journal.  He is also the author of the “Legal Brief” column in LPGas Magazine and his articles appear in many state and national magazines and newsletters. John served in the Army JAGC from 1984 to 1988 and earned a Meritorious Service Medal. Among his many awards he was Outstanding Senior, Graduation Speaker and Distinguished Military Graduate at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and selected to the Order of Barristers at Drake University Law School where he is presently a member of the Advisory Board.
Joseph Mitchell has been an expert witness  before the California Public Utilities Commission since 2006, providing analysis and testimony on the subject of power line caused wildland fires under extreme weather conditions, including currently active proposals for changes to California regulations. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Ohio State University, and worked in the field of experimental particle physics for 15 years.  Since 2001, he has been involved in research and publication in the area of wildland fire, with a particular interest in the ignition of structures by firebrands. He is the owner of M-bar Technologies and Consulting, which he founded near San Diego in 2004, in a community impacted by both the 2003 and 2007 firestorms.

Dr. Philip Omi is Professor Emeritus, Forest Fire Science for the Warner College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado and Guest Instructor, Humboldt State University, Arcata, California. He received a B.A. in Mathematics (1969), M.S. (1973) and Ph.D. (1977) in Wildland Resource Sciences, from the University of California, Berkeley. His Ph.D. dissertation examined long-term planning for fuel management on the Angeles National Forest in southern California. Prior to and during his graduate studies he worked four seasons as a firefighter in northern and southern California, and pioneered a study of prescribed natural fire management in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park (1974-76). He coordinated the Forest Fire Science program at Colorado State University during 1977-2004 and has taught in the Technical Fire Management series (a mid-career refresher for fire managers), consecutively since 1985. During 1987-88 he served as Visiting Professor of Wildland Fire Management, University of Washington, Seattle. In the past, he has consulted with NATO, the European Community, and cooperators in Canada, Mexico, Spain, Israel, Italy, Greece, Japan, China, Finland and Australia regarding fire management issues. The current application (Fuel Treatment Science—Knowledge and Needs) is based on his 12th completed research project since 1998 for the Joint Fire Science Program. He has published over 120 technical papers and journal articles related to fire science and management. His book, Forest Fires: A Reference Handbook (ABC-CLIO Publishing Co.) was published in May 2005. Dr. Omi teaches two courses entitled “Fuels Management” and “Wildland Fire Use,” offered for academic credit (through Humboldt State) at the Wildland Fire Training Academy in McClellan, CA. Dr. Omi currently resides in Sebastopol, CA with his wife Nikki and helps care for her parents. He enjoys running, swimming, and writing in his spare time.


Chris Parker is a founding partner of McAlpine & Parker LLC, an Independent Fire Cost Consulting company which provides wildland fire cost auditing services. He is a retired Assistant Chief from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection with 36 years of fire and finance experience, together with three seasons with the United States Forest Service. As an Assistant Chief, Mr. Parker managed and supervised the Department’s Law Enforcement Unit, Civil Cost Collection Program, and FEMA’s Disaster Assistance Reimbursement Program. His fireline qualifications ranged from firefighter to incident commander. His assignments included multi-agency joint jurisdictional fires.


Dr. Matt Rahn has nearly two decades of experience in applied sciences and policy, with an emphasis on research design, statistics, environmental science, public policy, and law. Much of his work has focused on the interface between science and policy, supporting state and federal programs in collaboration with environmental lawyers and scientists on the design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental impact reports, multi-species conservation plans, endangered species protection programs, watershed management plans, and land use planning.
As a researcher, Dr. Rahn has been involved in wildfire issues throughout his career on topics such as communications, wildfire detection technology, environmental impact assessment, post-disaster recovery, habitat restoration, endangered species impacts, and climate change. Recently, he has worked in collaboration with CAL FIRE and CDF Firefighters on wildfire issues. Results from a 2009 study helped establish the benchmark for evaluating economic impacts from large-scale wildfires and understanding the total economic burden. His 2010 firefighter staffing study was the first project to address how firefighter staffing influences initial attack effectiveness, and how staffing is directly related to firefighter health and safety. This seminal work has become the most heavily cited study on the issue, used in recent legislative hearings and discussion on firefighter staffing and budgets.

Today, Dr. Rahn is serving as the Policy and Resource Director for the SDSU Field Stations Program and academic advisor for the Environmental Sciences Program. In his spare time, he is pursuing a law degree at the University of San Diego, with an emphasis in environmental law, wildfire issues, and land use planning.


Dr. Rhodes received his B.S.E.E. from Tufts University and his M.S. and a Ph.D. from U.C.L.A. where he studied Applied Plasma Physics in the Electrical Engineering Department. Dr. Rhodes is also a licensed Professional Electrical Engineer in California. Dr. Rhodes continues to work as a full time Research Engineer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he is part of a team developing powerful lasers as drivers for Fusion Energy power plants. Dr. Rhodes has a long list of published papers and is a regular presenter at numerous technical conferences such as the IEEE International Conference on Pulsed Power and the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics annual conference. Dr. Rhodes is the author of a number of patents covering large aperture optical switches, high gradient accelerator structures, and microwave detection of proteins. On a part time basis, Dr. Rhodes operates Rhodes Engineering where he offers consulting and expert witness services for matters involving electrical effects including wildland fire cases, electrical shock cases, and incidents involving industrial machinery and controls.


Sandra Rideout-Hanzak is a Research Scientist with the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute and an Assistant Professor of Restoration and Fire Ecology in the Department of Animal, Rangeland and Wildlife Sciences at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. After completing her PhD in Forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2001 Sandra began a post-doc position as a research forester with the USDA Forest Service at their Southern Research Station in Athens, GA and later Clemson, SC. She then went to Texas Tech University in 2005 where she taught Fire Ecology, Prescribed Fire and Introductory Wildlife Management. As a researcher Sandra has explored such topics as effects of the East Amarillo Complex wildfires of 2006 on vegetation, soil erosion and bird communities, fire and water relations in hedgehog cacti varieties, season of burn effects on native grasses of the Southern Great Plains, and fire effects in southern pine ecosystems. She is a former Vice President of the Association for Fire Ecology and former member of the Texas Prescribed Burn Board.

Ken Roye is a California trial lawyer with over 100 civil jury trials to verdict in twelve California counties including Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento. He is presently litigating wildland fire cases in Los Angeles, San Diego, Sonoma, Trinity and Ventura Counties. He represents subrogating fire insurers and private landowners and limits his practice to mass tort catastrophic loss cases. Ken is the founder and host of the Wildland Fire Litigation Conference, now in its fifth year. He litigates these cases, for the most part, with Garry Hubert of Hubert & Yasutake in Concord, California and with Alan Jang of Jang & Associates Walnut Creek, California. He is also associated with the County Counsel’s office in Sonoma County on the Geysers Fire case and with Bill Apger of Chico, California on the Sims Fire case in Trinity County. Ken has previously worked in the Legal Services program and thereafter followed a career as a criminal defense lawyer for 10 years with over 250 criminal jury trials. He is a continuing education provider for the State Bar of California, is the author of “California Consumer Protection” (1994) (Fullcourt Press) and has taught law school at California Western University, School of Law. He was a speaker at the November 2009 Annual Conference of the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) (Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs) and at the 2009 Spring meeting of the Western Chapter in Costa Mesa, California.
Jeffrey L. Sellon is a Principal Engineer at Western Engineering & Research Corporation in Denver, Colorado. He is a licensed professional engineer in all states west of the Mississippi River. He has worked as an electrician on high and low voltage power systems. Mr. Sellon is also a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator.

Mr. Sellon has more than 30 years of broad-based experience in engineering and scientific investigation, failure analysis, design, and start-up. Mr. Sellon helps resolve electrical system failures and fire causes involving utility, heavy industry, equipment breakdown, boiler & machinery, oil & gas, elevators, construction, mines, appliances, renewable energy, and vehicles; shock and electrocution.

Mr. Sellon master planned the electrical power from the 230,000 volt transmission lines to 120 volt receptacles at the Denver International Airport, one of the largest construction projects in the world at the time at a cost of $5,000,000,000. He also helped fix the broken baggage system of that new airport, which was costing $1,000,000 per day in lost interest.
Dr. Philip Shaller is a Senior Managing Scientist and head of the Geo Group within the Civil Practice at Exponent - Failure Analysis Associates in Irvine, California. He is a licensed Professional Geologist and Engineering Geologist in the State of California, and a licensed Geologist in the States of Idaho and Washington.

Dr. Shaller has over 20 years of experience investigating the cause and origin of landslides, debris flows, and flooding phenomena, including evaluation of the fire-flood-erosion sequence in natural watersheds. He has investigated post-wildfire floods and landslides at numerous locations in California by means of field investigation, aerial photo and remote sensing analysis, assessment of historical flood pathways, and evaluation of historical precipitation records.
Hon. W. Scott Snowden (Ret.) has been a leader for over 25 years in case management, modern court administration, and early resolution. Under his guidance for over 15 years, the Napa Superior Court has resolved the majority of civil actions within 12 months of filing. A pioneer of court-based mediation, he brings decades of skills as an effective settlement specialist. In 2010, Judge Snowden mediated over $700M in fire related claims including direct claims by individuals with fire losses, inventory claims by groups of plaintiffs with fire losses, coverage claims b/w defendants and insurance carriers, and cross-complaints among defendants alleged to have caused wildland fires.
Frank Steele was the Chairperson for the 1999 rewrite of the California Railroad Fire Prevention Field Guide. During his career in Fire Prevention, he inspected over 500 locomotives with regard to fire prevention issues. He has developed and taught railroad fire investigation courses in Montana, Oregon, Washington, California and for the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG).

Frank retired from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) after serving 30 years in firefighting and law enforcement. The last nine years, he was a Fire Prevention Battalion Chief serving a three county area.

In 1971, he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Range Management from California State University, Chico. He is a member of Oregon Chapter 31 of the International Association of Arson Investigators (I.A.A.I). Frank currently works as an instructor and consultant in railroad related fires.
David Stivers is a proven expert on credit damage, and how to quantify it. David had a career evaluating or processing about 40,000 credit applications and learned first-hand why bank decision makers approved or rejected them. Damage to credit has become a contemporary issue for many people today, due to various important roles that one’s credit may play in achieving success. Some of the largest banks in the world have hired him in litigation on this topic. Individual consumers (and their attorneys) have sought David’s expertise to first evaluate whether credit damage occurred, as well as quantify it in dollars.
Mr. Unsworth, President of IEc, is an internationally recognized expert in natural resource damage assessment. Over the past two decades he has established a reputation for applying a balanced, pragmatic approach to natural resource damage assessment. He has worked on over 50 environmental damage assessments at sites throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean . His clients include the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of the Interior, various states and Indian Tribes, non-governmental organizations, private companies and law firms.
Mr. Way is a Senior Electrical Engineer and Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator. He has extensive experience in both electrical and mechanical engineering, design and failure analysis. Casework experience includes product failure analysis, residential, commercial and industrial fire and explosion investigations, heavy equipment failures, electrocution and electric shock, and appliance failure investigations. Before pursuing an engineering career, Mr. Way worked as an appliance and furnace repair technician for his family’s business. As a result of this background, he is experienced with proper operation and repair of large appliances including clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, and furnaces. In addition, Mr. Way has experience with hydroelectric power plants, gas turbine driven power plants, combined cycle power plants, electrical substations, petrochemical plants and pipelines, waste water treatment plants, potable water pumping systems, heavy manufacturing plants, and heavy construction. He is well versed in material selection for strength and corrosion resistance, mechanical design, failure analysis, and pressure drop studies.

Gary White is a retired U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management Criminal Investigator. He has 30 plus years of experience in wildland fire suppression, wildland fire origin and cause determination, and natural resource law enforcement with the United States Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Mr. White now owns and operates GL White and Associates, a consulting firm, specializing in wildland fire origin and cause analysis, and wildland fire origin and cause determination training. Since his retirement Mr. White has consulted on numerous major wildland fire cases.  Mr. White also teaches basic and advanced wildland fire origin and cause determination courses throughout the United States for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, CalFire, and other public agencies. Mr. White has been a member of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group Wildland Fire Investigation Working Team since its inception in 2000, is a member of the IAAI Wildland Arson Committee, and currently is serving on the NFPA 921 Wildfire Investigations Task Group.

Bob Wright is an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California (Sacramento Office). He presently represents the United States in civil actions in federal court seeking recovery of resource damages and fire suppression costs resulting from wildland fires on federal lands. His 38 years of experience in both private and public practice range from prosecuting environmental and white collar crimes to complex civil and environmental litigation. Mr. Wright’s prior cases of national significance include obtaining the ruling in a national class action that school buildings are damaged by the mere presence of asbestos in light of federal asbestos management requirements, In re: Asbestos School Litigation, 1991 WL 175819 (E.D. Pa. 1991), and the decision overturning nationwide forest land management planning known as RARE II (roadless area review and evaluation), California v. Berglund, 483 F.Supp. 465 (E.D. Cal. 1980), affirmed, 690 F.2d 753 (9th Cir. 1982). He also taught Environmental Law as an Adjunct Professor at San Joaquin College of Law from 1990 to 2003. Mr. Wright is rated AV by Martindale-Hubble.
Jonathan Yoder is an Associate Professor in the School of Economic Sciences at Washington State University.  He received his Ph.D. in Economics from North Carolina State University in 1999, an MS in Applied Economics from Montana State University, and a BA in biology from Indiana University. Yoder’s research focuses on environmental and natural resource economics, with an emphasis on law, policy, and contracts.  He has published several articles on the economics of liability law for prescribed fire and wildfire in the Journal of Law and Economics, the Journal of Forestry, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. More details can be found HERE.
Joe Zicherman is a principal in Fire Cause Analysis and has been practicing as a fire safety scientist and consultant since the 1970’s. During that time he has developed a specialization in studying the fire performance of rail vehicles, with an emphasis on passenger trains. His work in this area began as part of the team from UC Berkeley investigating the multiple fatality fire in the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit System) tunnel under SF Bay in 1979.

Since then he has served on the NFPA 130 Committee as well as the Passenger Rail Equipment Safety Standards task group of the American Public Transit Association (APTA) and has acted as a consultant to both car builders and the operators of rail passenger systems. As part of his consulting activities, Joe and FCA staff have investigated on-board fires, assessed the fire performance properties of rail passenger cars and components for DOT, the FRA, and acted as a consultant to NIST.

Joe Zicherman received a Ph.D. degree from UC Berkeley and is a member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, the NFPA, and the IAAI and CCAI.
Dr. Bob Zybach received his Environmental Sciences Ph.D. from Oregon State University in the fields of Forest Science, Cultural Anthropology, and Historical Archaeology. His research focused on a comparative analysis of Indian burning and catastrophic wildfire patterns of western Oregon during the past 500 years. Prior to earning his doctorate, Bob owned and operated a reforestation business for 20 years that performed more than 80,000 acres of prescribed burning and forest restoration work in the Pacific Northwest.

Since 1996, he has been Program Manager of a nonprofit 501 c(3) organization, Oregon Websites and Watersheds Project, Inc. (www.ORWW.org), which reaches more than 100,000 students and teachers a year via its educational website. His primary research interests are in the fields of forest and fire histories, Internet communications, and catastrophic wildfire mitigation.