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Frank K. Lake

Frank K. Lake
Research Ecologist
Fire and Fuels Program
1700 Bayview Drive
Arcata, CA 95521-6013
United States
Current Research

My current research involves wildland fire effects, traditional ecological knowledge, Climate Change, and ethno-ecology with an emphasis on cultural management and fire ecology of forest, shrub, grassland and riparian environments in the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion. My research projects support the Western Klamath Restoration Partnership composed of the Mid Klamath Watershed Council and Orleans-Somes Bar Fire Safe Council, Karuk Tribe, Yurok Tribe, The Nature Conservancy, rural community members, and government agencies on fuels reduction, prescribed fire, ethno-botany, and other natural resource issues. My other projects and research include: American Indian Tribes and Climate Change; Agroforestry practices of Indigenous and tribal people, and Wildland Fire effects on Heritage and Cultural Resources. I mentor and serve as a graduate committee member for several students working on tribal food security, wildland fire, and forest management. I serve as a Resource Advisor on wildfires, and am a faculty member of the Rx 510 Advanced Fire Effects course at the National Advanced Fire and Resources Institute.

Past Research

I have worked as a fisheries habitat biologist in western Oregon on the Siuslaw and Rouge River National Forests and in Northwestern California for the Hoopa Tribe's Fisheries Program. I switched from fisheries habitat work in 1999 and started graduate school in the Fall 2000 to study traditional ecological knowledge, tribal/fire management practices and fire ecology.

  • Oregon State University, Ph.D., Environmental Sciences - Ecology section, 2007
  • University of California, B.S., Integrated Ecology and Culture, Individual major; Native American Studies minor, 1995
Professional Organizations
  • Chair,  Ecological Society of America,  2014 - 2016
    As a member and section leader (Vice Chair 2012-2014, and Chair 2014-2016) I assist with organizing TEK section events. These range from fieldtrips, Special Session-Sense of Place, Organized Oral Sessions, and Symposia.
Awards & Recognition
  • Pacific Southwest Research Station Distinguished Scientist, 2019
  • Eagle Feather Award, 2013
    For mentorship of the Klamath Basin Tribal Youth Program, summer 2013. By US Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director, Ren Lohoefener and KBTY Program Coordinator, Trevor Super.
  • PSW Community Enhancement and Diveristy Team Civil Rights Individual Award 2013, 2013
    Dr. Frank Lake has been working with tribes to integrate traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) with western science materials for natural resource management. He has made vital contributions toward service and outreach to multicultural communities.
  • Recognition, 2012
    Recognition of my support of the US Forest Service Tribal Relations Program in the National Tribal Relations Workshop. Presented by Deputy Chief of State and Private Forestry, James E. Hubbard. May 15, 2012.
  • Fellowship, 2004
    Community Forestry Research Fellowship recipient, U.C. Berkeley
Other Publications
Citations of Non-Forest Service Publications
  • Vinyeta, Kristen; Lake, Frank K.; Norgaard, Kari M. 2016. Chapter Three: Vulnerabilities of Traditional Foods and Cultural Use Species In Norgaard "Karuk Tribe Climate Vulnerability Assessment: Assessing Vulnerabilities from the Increased Frequency of High Severity Fires" prepared for the Karuk Tribe Department of Natural Resources report to DOI-BIA, pages: 65-133
Research Highlights

Returning fire to the land: celebrating traditional knowledge and fire

Year: 2017
What are the "must do" approaches for working with tribes for wildland fire research and management? Tribal members, managers, and researchersengaged to formulate solutions regarding the main topics regarding wildland fire: cross-jurisdictional work, fuels reduction strategies, and wildland fire ma...

Student Collaboration Links Tribal History with Cultural Resources, Fire Regimes, Forest Management, and Ecological Habitats

Year: 2016
Open prairie grass and oak-dominated woodlands provide numerous cultural resources to the Yurok Tribe. Since the 1940s, more than 80 percent of historical prairies have transitioned into forest, resulting in significant increases in fuels and vegetation contributing to the loss of open grassland and...

Paleoclimate Fire History Study Reveals Human Affects to Fire Regime Differs Than Expected Climate on Western Klamath Vegetation.

Year: 2015
Forest Service scientists examined low-elevation lakes to determine if American Indian and early American forest management could be detected using pollen and charcoal from lake cores, as well as growth rings and fire scars from trees. One lake revealed a change in fire regime and vegetation differe...