Dr. Max Moritz

Max Moritz has research expertise in wildfire, biogeography, climate change, and spatial analysis. Max is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley and is California’s Cooperative Extension Specialist on fire-related issues. Max received his Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara and previously was faculty at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo. Max regularly integrates scientific findings into the public realm, speaking to and joining forces with a variety of stakeholders to help develop solutions to various fire-related problems. In 2005, Max co-founded the Center for Fire Research and Outreach at Berkeley (https://firecenter.berkeley.edu) which has become a focal point for disseminating fire-related data and information in California. He actively publishes his research in peer-reviewed journals (>25 articles), gives dozens of presentations each year, and participates in several academic and governmental decision-making committees (e.g., the California Climate Action Team Report to Governor Schwarzenegger and the Legislature, the Steering Committee for the California Fire Plan). Understanding fire regimes as a complex phenomenon, driven by a variety of biotic and abiotic factors, Max’s research focus has been to quantify the relative importance of these various factors. An emphasis has been on the chaparral shrublands of California, and this has recently been expanded to a variety of spatial scales, from ecoregions of California up to the continental US. Max’s latest work explores global fire patterns and how they will shift under climate change. These modeling and mapping methodologies are integral to answering questions that require quantitative and rigorous estimates of fire activity.

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