WASHINGTON – At a recent USDA Forest Service-sponsored meeting in Seattle, Washington, Wayne Cascio, director of the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, presented the EPA’s Silver Medal for Superior Service to Forest Service Air Resource Specialist Pete Lahm, “for prescient research on wildfire smoke and for constructive tools used by public health officials, health providers and the public to protect human health.” In presenting the award, Dr. Cascio highlight the key role that Lahm has played in creating opportunities for EPA staff to serve as Air Resource Advisors, building strong interagency relationships, and educating EPA scientists on mutually shared agency objectives. As a result, these objectives have been translated into EPA research products having greater public health impact.
“I was completely surprised to receive the award from EPA and am deeply honored to be recognized at this level for what has become a truly collaborative effort,” said Lahm. “The EPA is a critical partner for the Forest Service in addressing smoke from wildland fire and the challenges smoke poses to public health.”
The meeting was held to plan an integrated assessment of smoke science research and management applications in the U.S. The participants included Forest Service researchers and managers, other federal and state agencies, tribes, NGOs and academics. These participants explored key topics related to smoke including science management and social science issues including impacts on communities and human health.