Researcher Spotlights

Scott Lewis Stephens

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Scott Lewis Stephens is a Professor of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley. He conducts research at Hopland REC.

What led you to become an ecologist?

I have always been interested in the dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems. When I was young I grew up in Humboldt county and my family worked in forests. Later I became interested in how fire shaped California ecosystems and it has become the focus of my work.

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What brought your work to Hopland REC?

I wanted to begin a project on fire and chaparral and heard that Hopland had this type of vegetation. I also heard that this station was able to get prescribed fire and mastication treatments installed which was great. Bob Keiffer was a fantastic person to work with, he was incredible. 

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What do you hope to learn from your research at Hopland REC?

What is the difference in chaparral communities (plants and birds) when we use prescribed fire in 3 seasons (fall, winter, spring) and mastication without fire in 2 seasons (spring, fall)? Are there differences in what grows back and the bird community after these treatments? 

What is your favorite part about conducting your research at Hopland REC?

Fantastic place to work and the UC ANR people who work and worked there are so supportive of research and extension. I think more UC and other scientists should look into working at this site. It has been great.

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