FEIS Staff

ILANA ABRAHAMSON leads the Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) team of the Fire Modeling Institute in the Fire, Fuel, and Smoke program of RMRS. Prior to leading the team, Ilana was a writer/ecologist FEIS. Ilana also manages the FireWorks Educational Program, which provides interactive, hands-on curricula for students and educators to study wildland fire. Ilana has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a master’s degree in forestry from the University of Montana. Before coming to RMRS, Ilana worked for the National Park Service in fire ecology and vegetation management.

Phone: 406-329-4831
Email: ilana.l.abrahamson@usda.gov

 

LEILA DUCHAC is an ecologist/writer for the Fire Effects Information System (FEIS). Based in Oregon, Leila researches and writes syntheses of scientific information. Leila has a bachelor’s degree in Archaeology from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University. Prior to working for FEIS, Leila was a researcher with the USFS Pacific Northwest Research Station where she monitored northern spotted owl populations using non-invasive methods and evaluated how forest owls use recently burned landscapes.

Phone: 406-829-6895
Email: leila.duchac@usda.gov

 

JANET FRYER is an ecologist who writes for the Fire Effects Informantion System (FEIS). She received a master’s degree in plant ecology from the University of Montana and a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Stanislaus. Janet has written more than 100 syntheses for the FEIS, including Species Reviews of whitebark pine and quaking aspen and Fire Regime Syntheses of Alaskan black spruce and California riparian communities.

Email: Janet.Fryer@usda.gov

 

OLGA HELMY is based in Missoula, Montana and is an ecologist/writer for the Fire Effects Information System (FEIS). Olga researches and writes syntheses of scientific information. She has a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Southern Illinois University, a master’s degree in entomology from the University of Kansas and completed further graduate work in freshwater ecology at the University of Montana. Throughout her career, Olga has alternated her focus between science research and science communication. With over a decade of experience working as a field biologist on conservation projects in the USA and internationally, she still enjoys keeping her “feet wet”, occasionally joining fisheries crews on conservation-related projects. In the years leading up to joining the FEIS team, Olga spent several years developing science exhibits and interpretive signage for museums.

Phone: 406-829-6818
Email: olga.helmy@usda.gov

 

ROBIN INNES is an ecologist, writer for the Fire Effects Information System (FEIS). Based in New Hampshire, Robin writes and edits syntheses of scientific information. Robin has a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in ecology from the University of California, Davis. Prior to working for FEIS, Robin managed several ecological research projects, including a large-scale, collaborative project that evaluated effects of land management practices on plants and animals.

Phone: 603-447-5448 ext 118
Email: robin.innes@usda.gov

 

COURTNEY JOHNSON is a biological technician who provides library support for the Fire Effects Information System. She also assists with the FireWorks Educational Program and conducts education outreach. Courtney has a diverse natural resource background ranging from wildlife and sensitive plant monitoring to managing a National Forest fire prevention program. She is the recipient of the 2016, Gifford Pinchot Excellence in Interpretation & Conservation Education award, and the 2017, Idaho Environmental Educator of the Year for non-formal educator award. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.

Phone: 406-329-4820
Email: Courtney.Johnson2@usda.gov

 

SHAWN MCKINNEY is an ecologist for the Fire Effects Information System. He writes and edits literature reviews on native species’ relationships with fire and historical fire regimes in native plant communities. Shawn earned his BA and MS in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Colorado and a PhD in Forest Ecology from University of Montana. His career has focused on understanding impacts of human perturbations in forested communities to inform management in these systems. Before coming to RMRS, Shawn worked as an Ecologist for the NPS Sierra Nevada Inventory and Monitoring Network, and as a Research Wildlife Ecologist for the USGS Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

Phone: 406-329-4805
Email: shawn.mckinney@usda.gov

 

KRIS ZOUHAR is an ecologist for the Fire Effects Information System in Missoula, Montana. She writes and edits literature reviews on native species’ relationships with fire and historical fire regimes in native plant communities. Kris also specializes in synthesizing information on fire and nonnative invasive plant species and was the lead editor and contributing author for the General Technical Report “Wildland Fire in Ecosystems: Fire and Nonnative Invasive Plants.” Kris earned a master’s degree from the University of Montana, where she studied the effects of fire on soil nitrogen dynamics, and a bachelor's degree in Agriculture (Soil Science) from New Mexico State University.

Phone: 406-829-6924
Email: kristin.l.zouhar@usda.gov


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