Bob Bale is President of Wildland Restoration International, Inc. (WRI), a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to integrated fire management. Bob managed prescribed fire programs for three organizations before starting WRI in 2013.
A NWCG certified burn boss Type 2, Bob has led prescribed burns in ten U.S. states and in The Bahamas, in vegetation ranging from prairie and savannah, sandhill, coastal heathlands, oak scrublands, pine-barrens, western mixed conifer, central hardwood forest, and pine rocklands. Bob received a M.A. in Geography and Planning from West Chester University in 2005 and a B.A. in Political Science from Pennsylvania State University in 1990.
Bob has extensive experience designing and delivering customized training, often collaborating with other highly skilled trainers to deliver sophisticated, experiential training. His training experience spans from serving as his agency’s Lead Firearms Instructor during his days as a Ranger, to providing High Reliability Organizing training for fire management professionals in the US, Canada, and South Africa; to delivering various NWCG course instruction; and designing and delivering customized wildland fire training for practitioners from Tanzania, Spain, and the Bahamas.
Bob’s experience with facilitation and building strong professional partnerships includes recruiting a Board of Directors for WRI, creating new curriculum and facilitating both of The Nature Conservancy’s Fire Manager Training Workshops to date, and facilitating a three-day workshop in Moshi, Tanzania for Tanzania National Parks’ staff ecologists and veterinarians to complete the Fire Management Plan for the 3.6 million acre Serengeti National Park.
Amanda Coveney has been with Wildland Restoration International since its inception in July 2013. She has degrees in Public Affairs and Political Science. Amanda has over 10 years of financial management experience in both the public and private sectors. Her work includes post-award contract administration; strategic planning; contract negotiation; organizational budgeting; policy development; financial systems development; proposal preparation; compliance with state and federal regulations; internal financial project audits; and local, state, and federal agency partnership facilitation.
Amanda served as the Grants Specialist and Financial Analyst for the Fire Program at the Florida Chapter of The Nature Conservancy for more than four years. During that time, Amanda supported the grant and financial activities of more than twenty fire professionals, including four prescribed fire modules, with diverse funding sources consisting of state, federal and private funds.
During her time at the University of Central Florida, Amanda served as a Contract and Proposal Manager and helped provide support to Faculty conducting more than $140 million per year in research. Amanda was also part of a team awarded the largest grant ever received by the University. She served as the lead financial manager on the $44 million subaward contracted out to another organization. Subsequently, she held the position of Project and Financial Analyst for the University of Central Florida Research Foundation where she was able to help the organization transition into a new financial management system in order to expand their business and increase efficiency.
An experienced educator, administrator, website designer, and volunteer wildland firefighter and prescribed burner, Tammy Serata directs critical business operations for WRI. Tammy earned a B.S. in Education with a minor in Spanish (Summa cum Laude) and M.S. in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Organizational Communication and Media & Representation (Gender & Power) from West Chester University. As part of her undergraduate degree, Tammy spent a semester abroad living and studying in Costa Rica.
During a 12-year period, Tammy taught in private and public schools, instructed as an adjunct professor, and served as the Assistant Dean of a private high school. Tammy later operated her own business providing web site design and graphic design services. An avid gardener, bird watcher, photographer, and social activist, Tammy combines her many vocational and avocational talents at work with a strong commitment to environmental conservation.
Board of Directors
Dr. Ronald Myers, Director
Ron is an International Environmental Management Consultant and Ecologist with a background in identifying and addressing conservation and ecosystem restoration and management issues around the world. He focuses on Latin America, the Caribbean, and the southeastern U.S. and has experience in China, Mongolia, Indonesia, South Africa, and the U.S.
Ron has unique expertise in developing strategies to address fire-related threats to biodiversity conservation, climate change, and people’s livelihoods, and in designing management options to deal with non-native invasive species. His fire management expertise includes:
- Creating the Latin America & Caribbean Fire Learning Network—a multi-country network that brought together scientists, decision-makers, fire experts, and land managers to accelerate learning related to the impact of wildfires and agricultural burning on biodiversity conservation and climate change;
- Developing a framework that integrates fire management technologies with fire ecology and socio-economic issues;
- Conducting fire management assessments in the USA, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Paraguay, Bolivia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Trinidad, China, and Mongolia;
- Designing and implementing fire management training courses in the U.S., Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Paraguay, Argentina, South Africa, and Indonesia; and
- Promoting country policy changes that support the use of prescribed fire in ecosystem management.
Ron also edited and contributed to Ecosystems of Florida, Myers, R. L. & J. J. Ewel (eds.), University of Central Florida Press (1990). His other recent publications include Fire in tropical pine ecosystems, Myers, R. L. & D. A. Rodríguez-Trejo, In: M. A. Cochrane (ed.), Tropical Fire Ecology: Climate Change, Land Use and Ecosystem Dynamics., Springer-Praxis, Heidelberg, Germany (2009).
Steve Pedigo holds a BS in Forest Management from Virginia Tech and more than 1200 hours of professional training in fire management practices, aviation, risk management, prescribed fire management, fuels, fire behavior, fire suppression, and systems management. Steve has worked for 10 years as a consulting service provider and for 33 years with the USDA Forest Service in Fire and Aviation Management. Steve’s experience includes:
- Prescribed Fire Instructor for National Advanced Resource Technology Center (NARTC) and National Interagency Prescribed Fire Training Center (PFTC), Colorado and New York Wildfire Academies, Great Plains Wildfire College, and Washington Institute;
- Unit Leader and Trainer for Senior Level Aviation Management at NAFRE;
- IQS rating as Air Attack Group Supervisor (ATGS), Air Operations Branch Director (AOBD);
- Burn Boss I, II;
- Leader in the development and implementation of risk assessments and Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWFPP) at local, regional, and national levels;
- Team Leader for Large Fire Cost Reviews and Strategic Assessments for wildfires and aviation;
- Participant in 200,000+ acres of prescribed burning in varied ecosystems and 300+ wildfires throughout the nation;
- Fire and aviation service provider to the United Nations, US Agency for International Development; the International Tropical Timber Organization; and to the nations of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia.
Steve is the president of Safe Fire Programs, a company dedicated to protecting public safety from the effects of wildfire.
Paul is the owner of Icebox Wildland Fire LLC which provides consulting services and training in Fire Use, Risk Management, Wildland Fire Risk Based Decisions and Prescribed Fire PlanningPaul is a graduate of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, where he received a B.S. in Resources Management. His Forest Service career began in 1977 as a seasonal employee with the White River National Forest in Colorado. During his Forest Service career he served as a resource technician on the Helena National Forest, in Montana, District Silviculturist and Timber Staff on the Kaibab National Forest in Arizona, Forest Silviculturist on the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico, Zone Timber and Fire Management Staff on the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado and Branch Chief for Fuels and Fire Ecology, for the Rocky Mountain Region of the Forest Service. He retired from the Forest Service in 2014.Paul served as the Acting National Fire Use Program Manager for the Forest Service from the fall 2010 to the spring of 2011. He was the Forest Service Representative to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Fire Use Sub-committee from 2010-2013 and from 2010-2012 he was the Forest Service Representative to the NWCG Fuels Management Committee.He was also a member of the Joint Fire Science Program Governing Board from 2002-2012 and served as vice-chair of the Governing Board from 2010-2012. Paul was a certified silviculturist and a graduate of Technical Fire Management.During his career Paul was actively involved with integrating fire management issues into the land management planning process, in the development of processes and procedures for the analysis of the effects of fuels treatments, increasing the effectiveness of science delivery and promoting risk based decision making.Paul’s fire management experience includes:
- Course Coordinator and Instructor for Mechanical Fuels Treatment Training
- Prescribed Fire Instructor for National Interagency Prescribed Fire Training Center (PFTC)
- Co-lead of the of the 2013 Interagency Prescribed Fire Planning and Implementation Procedures Guide Revision.
- Promoting and implementing Risk Assessments at the Regional, Forest and Project level.
- Geographic Area Coordinator and Instructor for the Wildland Fire Decision Support System (WFDSS)
Steve Morrison, Director
Steve Morrison served as The Nature Conservancy’s Central Florida Program Manager for 30 years, specializing in ecologically restorative controlled burning. Steve was responsible for land management on five TNC preserves, applying controlled burning in highly volatile Florida Scrub habitat.
On assignment for The Nature Conservancy, Steve worked in Belize, helping to set up controlled burning programs for the Department of Forestry and several local NGOs. In addition, Steve traveled to Cuba, Honduras, and Russia to observe fire management programs in those nations and consult on best management practices.
Over his three decades of applying controlled burns on the Central Florida preserves he managed, Steve hosted, instructed, and mentored generations of controlled burning practitioners who travelled from across the U.S. and from abroad for experiential training under his tutelage.
*National Wildfire Coordinating Group.