As part of UC Berkeley's recently expanded research and outreach program on wildland fires, Max Moritz joined the College of Natural Resources on Jan. 1 as the nation's first Cooperative Extension specialist devoted to wildland fire.

Moritz joins the faculty of the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, and will work closely with the college's Center for Forestry.

Moritz, who earned his Ph.D. in spatial ecology from UC Santa Barbara, wrote his doctoral thesis on the relationships between fire, land management techniques and chaparral vegetation in Los Padres National Forest. He holds a bachelor's degree in management science from UC San Diego and a master's degree in energy & environmental studies from Boston University.

He has broad expertise in fire modeling, fire effects, brushland fire ecosystems and spatial patterns of fire disturbance. In addition to continuing his own fire management and ecology research, Moritz will serve as a link between faculty researchers and county Cooperative Extension advisors. He will also provide direct links with professional resource managers, landowners, policy-makers and a diverse array of public and private organizations on issues related to fire.