31 August 2023

Fire and Clay

NREM wildfire expert answers 50+ media calls

Fire and Clay

A heartfelt mahalo from the CTAHR ‘ohana to Clay Trauernicht of the Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Management. As the Maui wildfires tragedy unfolded, Clay was interviewed by at least 50 different media outlets from across the country and internationally. 

With the highest level of scientific integrity, advocacy, and professionalism, he represented NREM, CTAHR, UH, and the state of Hawaiʻi to millions of people around the world.

Clay, who specializes in fire ecology, Pacific Island ecosystems, tropical forest and savanna dynamics, statistical modeling, and science communication, has been the go-to subject matter expert for many news stories in recent years. These include Rainfall and Wildfires, Man on Fire, and Reversing Wildfire Vulnerability. The most recent story, “What fuels Hawaiʻi wildfires? UH expert explains” has been viewed thousands of times since its posting. Clay is also the 2019 recipient of the CTAHR Dean’s Award for Excellence in Extension.

Mahalo nui loa as well to Susan Crow, J.B. Friday, and any other CTAHR faculty and staff who were able to respond to the countless media inquiries.

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