Dr. Nick Skowronski, Principal Investigator
Nick Skowronski has been a Research Forester with the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station (NRS) since 2007. He has also served as the prescribed burn coordinator at Ft. Dix, NJ and as a research technician for the NRS.  Nick’s research is focused on the impacts that land management activities have on fuel loading, carbon cycling, and habitat quality. He is particularly interested in estimating canopy fuels in three-dimensional space using lasers on the ground and in aircraft.  Having worked formerly in fire management, Nick is extremely interested in developing better relationships between scientists and land managers so that research can become more integrated with the needs in the field.

Erin Lane, Exchange Coordinator
Erin is a co-founder and coordinator of the North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange serving the fire community of this region through advancement and delivery of relevant fire science.  Erin also works as the main coordinator for the United States Department of Agriculture Northeast Climate Hub—delivering science-based information to farmers and foresters to help them adapt to the changing climate. Her passions lay in teamwork and collaborations with partners. She enjoys bringing people together and addressing challenges. Erin started her career with the US Forest Service in 1997 and began by spending several seasons as a wildland firefighter first, learning about positive communications through digging line with her crew during 50 hour shifts. Tremendous accomplishments were achieved due to the camaraderie Erin experienced on her Hot Shot Crew and she strives to develop this highly effective function with her current teams.

Dr. Inga P. La Puma, Co-PI and Science Communications Director
inga.lapuma@rutgers.edu  |  @NorthAtlFireSci
As science communications director for the North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange Inga uses newsletters, research briefs and website materials to help facilitate relevant wildfire research and promote access to meaningful fire science. She is a spatial ecologist focused on how disturbances shape the trajectories of forest succession.  Her most recent research has been focused on modeling of forest disturbances such as fire and harvest in relation to human influences in land-cover and management decisions. Inga’s research in the past has spanned from leaf-level to landscape level, and from invasive exotic species to remote sensing and carbon flux measurements of tundra.  She has a Ph.D. in Ecology from Rutgers where she focused on wildfire, climate and land-use in the Pinelands of New Jersey.

Amanda Mahaffey, Workshop and Field Trip Coordinator
Amanda Mahaffey is a co-founder of the North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange and serves as Northeast Region Director for the Forest Stewards Guild, a professional organization of foresters and affiliated natural resource stewards that promote and practice ecologically responsible forestry. Amanda collaborates with partners on place-based projects on themes such as Foresters for the Birds, Women and Our Woods, the Rhode Island Woodland Partnership, and climate change adaptation. Amanda is a Maine licensed forester and holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Southern Maine. She has a history of conducting effective collaborative events and is excited to bring the Forest Guild’s experience with fire science and management in the Southwest to the North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange.

Community Representatives

The Community Representatives provide important feedback to the Leadership Team on NAFSE’s vision and plan of work, share timely and relevant information on the needs and interests of the community, and assist with the dissemination of information to and from their organizations.

The Nafse region

The Nafse region


Greg Nowacki, USFS
Michael Gallagher, USFS
Kenneth Clark, USFS
Thomas Parent, NEFFPC
Maris Gabliks, USFS
John Ross, CIFFC
Tom Gerber, NJFFS
John Cecil, NJ Audubon
Brad Simpkins, NHDFL
Neil Gifford, APBPC

Kathy Schwager, BNL
Jessica Leahy, U of ME
Lauren Howard, Arcadia U.
Joel Carlson, NEFFM, LLC.
William Patterson III, UMass
Matthew Duveneck, Harvard Forest
Tim Simmons, Consultant