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Frank Kanawha Lake-Ph.D., Research Ecologist, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Orleans, California. email@example.com
Frank began his academic pursuits in 1990 at University of California-Davis. In the summer of 1991, he participated in the Tahoe-Baikal Institute. This international cultural and environmental exchange broadened Frank’s awareness of the complexity of global issues surrounding indigenous people, conservation of natural resources, and tribal land tenure rights. Frank was one of the founding students of the Nature and Culture degree program at UC Davis. In 1995, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Integrated Ecology and Culture with a minor in Native American Studies.
Starting in the summer of 1994 and continuing from then until spring 1996, Frank was a student Co-op fisheries habitat biologist with the US Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Siuslaw National Forest. Concurrently with finishing courses at UC Davis, the summers were spent on the Oregon Coast conducting out migrant juvenile salmonid monitoring, stream and salmon spawning surveys, riparian thinning and in-stream habitat restoration projects. From spring of 1996 until fall of 1998 Frank was the Cascade Zone fisheries habitat biologist on the Rogue River National Forest. Frank continued surveys and fisheries habitat monitoring, worked on interdisciplinary teams regarding the assessment of potential impacts to fisheries from various projects, including timber sales. Frank received his basic fire fighter training and started becoming interested in aspects of fire ecology with an emphasis on tribal burning practices and affects on aquatic systems. Frank worked with other agencies, landowners and organizations with the formation of the Upper Rogue Watershed council. Then he moved to northwestern California and worked with the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation as a habitat fish biologist conducting similar surveys monitoring and assessments. Frank served as a Burn Area Emergency Repair specialist in the late summer/fall of 1999 during the Megram Wildfire. While working for the Hoopa Tribe, Frank became more familiar with tribal specific Natural Resources, Forestry, Fire and Fisheries issues. During this time he continued cultural subsistence and ceremonial activities with family and other tribal community members in northwestern California.
It was at this time that Frank’s professional and cultural interest broadened to learn as much as possible about fire history/ecology, in particular, how fire as an ecological process affects fish and how might this be important to fisheries habitat restoration and conservation of at-risk stocks. Understanding the ecological role of fire in western forested/watersheds, required learning more about how and why Native American (pre-) historically used fire and desired more active fire management to support contemporary cultural practices and subsistence activities. After the Megram fire assignment, Frank moved to Corvallis, Or. and began work with the Native American Marine and Space Sciences program at Oregon State University. Frank’s restoration interest turned from fisheries to more forestry/fire management and ethnobotany. Frank served as a research/teaching assistant and then in the fall of 2000 started his graduate studies with the Environmental Sciences degree program, with an Ecology emphasis. Frank worked on gaining more knowledge related to forestry, plant physiology, fire ecology, and traditional ecological knowledge of tribal cultures in northwestern California and the southern Pacific Northwest. Frank also continued as a consultant working on fisheries habitat related projects. Frank’s graduate research focused on conducting oral history interviews with tribal elders, riparian sandbar willow prescribed fire experiments for enhancement of basketry material for tribal weavers, and documenting changes in historical vegetation associated with fire suppression/exclusion that impacted tribal cultural use quality in the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains.
In the spring of 2004, Frank served as a community forestry delegate for the Global Caucus of Community Forestry and participated in the United Nations Fourth Forum on Forest in Geneva, Switzerland. Frank was able to present testimony before the UN council on topics related to Traditional Forest Related Knowledge and Social and Cultural Aspects of sustainable forest management. This experience allowed Frank to share his own cultural experiences and research with tribal communities from northwestern California with other international indigenous and tribal peoples, as well as, governmental representatives. During this same year Frank received the Community Forestry Research Fellowship, from UC. Berkeley-Ford Foundation, which supported his research efforts. After completing his course work and preliminary exams, in the summer of 2004 Frank moved from Oregon back to northwestern California to complete his graduate research. In the fall of 2004, Frank was selected for a Student Career Experience Program-Scientist Recruitment Initiative position with the US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. This opportunity provided Frank with support to finish his graduate research and placement in the agency with a full-time scientist position. Frank began working more closely with restoration groups/Fire Safe Councils, tribal basket weavers, and private landowners on hazardous fuels reduction projects. These projects considered and incorporated traditional ecological knowledge to enhance tribal use quality, increase biological diversity and protection from undesired wildfires.
In 2007 Frank completed his Ph. D. graduate degree from OSU, Environmental Sciences Program. He is currently working for the US Forest Service-Pacific Southwest Research Station on tribal and community forestry and related natural resource issues. His research focuses on restoration ecology and traditional ecological knowledge related to tribal management and fire ecology of forest, grassland and riparian environments of the southern Pacific Northwest and northern California, with an emphasis on the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion. His research interests include ethnobotany and fire management related to how fire affects culturally significant habitats or species. Another research interest is fire’s effects on fisheries and aquatic systems. Frank served as a USFS resource advisor working with tribes on wildfires in 2006 and 2008 in Northwestern California. His research is expanding to include paleo-climate, fire history and dendro-ecological studies which incorporate historical and archaeological data to better understand past anthropogenic and natural fire regimes. Frank continues to lecture regionally, nationally, and internationally regarding his research interests.
Other activities have included being an ethno-ecologist and socio-cultural consultant for cultural and natural history, community forestry and forest certification projects. His hobbies include: wood working/art; gathering wild foods, medicines, and materials; gardening; hunting; fishing; storytelling; and most of all, trying to be a good husband and father. He lives near Orleans, Ca., up-slope of the Mid-Klamath River near the confluence of the Salmon River.