Mike Kuhns, Professor and Extension Forester in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University, promotes fire safety in landscapes. As an Extension forestry expert first in Nebraska and then in Utah, his work moved toward urban forestry, so focusing on landscaping around buildings was a natural topic because he understood the vegetation. Early on he was on a committee that popularized the term ‘firewise’ and developed research and education materials to help people maintain firewise landscapes.
Parts of the wildland-urban interface land that borders Logan, Utah have burned in four wildfires since Mike has lived there. “There’s panic during the fire and then people forget about being safer once it’s over.” So Mike works to educate those who live in wildfire-prone areas.
Mike received his bachelor’s in forestry and his master’s in forest ecology/tree physiology from the University of Missouri. After working two years in timber sale preparation for the Medicine Bow National Forest in southern Wyoming, he returned to school for a doctorate from Auburn University, specializing in tree stress physiology.
A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Mike’s first Extension position was forestry specialist at the University of Nebraska. He then moved to Utah to work as the Extension forestry specialist.
Utah State University bio
Professor and Extension Forester,
Department of Wildland Resources,
Utah State University