Many people have helped me on my journey — in life and in pursuit of this project. Here are a few words of thanks to a few of them:
To my husband, Loomis: I never would have imagined that our paths would have taken us down this road. Your tolerance of my stress level and propensity towards stupidly ambitious projects, willingness to listen to me work through problems, and your simple acceptance of my incessant drive to explore evolving ideas and opportunities is remarkable. Your support means the world to me. You have my heart.
To my family: Mom, Dad, and Heather – thank you for your keen eyes, critical feedback, and unrelenting encouragement. William – you’ve been amazingly helpful and I feel particularly blessed to have such a wickedly smart brother at my back. And to William’s lovely and amazing wife, Angela – thank you for lending your eyes and tolerating all of my phone calls to your smarty-pants-of-a-husband. To Uncle Joe and Auntie Hien – your enthusiasm, questions, and encouragement brought about a renewed sense of purpose; thank you so much. To Uncle Steve and Aunt Sue – thank you for continually checking in with me and for reminding me that I need to keep perspective.
To my former Superintendent, Gina Papke: Without your willingness to take a chance on me, a 20-year-old girl who had never seen a forest fire, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am lucky that you stepped into my life during such transformative years. Thank you for your mentorship, friendship, and genuine care throughout my career. I feel enormously proud to have been able to interview you for this project.
To my Prescott College community: To Peter and Paul – thank you for your support, feedback, encouragement, and direction throughout my thesis planning and project implementation. To Jared – your support over the years has been phenomenal; thank you for your continual insight and encouragement. And to my Environmental Studies cohort – your friendships and critical feedback have been invaluable. Much appreciated. A quick plug for Prescott College: this place is full of passionate, dedicated people and a perfect place to focus on exactly how you want to impact the world. Top notch.
To my friends: Those of you who have taken the time to review my work prior to launch – sheesh; I owe you one. A big shout out to Allie Olson, co-founder of a brand new start-up, Indiesew, and fabulous web designer; thanks for taking the time out of your busy, busy schedule to provide me such balanced feedback. I’m so lucky to know such amazing, spirited people who inspire and invigorate me just by being themselves. You are the best.
To the artists: The Talking Maps on this site wouldn’t be possible without the fantastic talent of Mark Lighthiser (whom I met only this last summer and who willing dove in without a second thought), Joshua Groves (a good friend, old Hotshot buddy, former Prescott firefighter, and current Albuquerque Firefighter Paramedic), and a new acquaintance, Elena Rios (a current USFS employee with a fantastically diverse background). Thank you for bringing my vision to life and for lending your artists’ eye to the stories.
To my wildland fire participants and advocates: I hope this project will make you proud. I feel privileged and honored to work with you all, to capture your stories, and to help preserve the legacy of fire. This community is extraordinary. Thank you all.