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Jose Iniguez

Research Ecologist
Wildlife and Terrestrial Ecosystems
2500 South Pine Knoll Drive
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
United States
Current Research
  1. Assessing the impacts of multiple fires on age and spatial tree patterns in the Gila National Forest.
  2. Assessing tree spatial patterns, patch size and other landscape attributes related to reference/historical conditions in an un-harvested experimental forest.
  3. Comparing pre and post wildfire forest conditions across burned landscapes in the sky islands of southeastern Arizona.
Past Research

One aspect that is unique to the United States in terms of land management is the concept of public lands. That is, lands that are managed for the good of the people. Public lands are a critical part of American life; therefore it is the responsibility of land management agencies to sustain these lands for current and future generations. A critical part of managing for sustainability is understanding the historical processes (including disturbances) that our current ecosystems evolved with. Our job as scientists is to provide managers information, knowledge and advice that will allow them to make land management decisions that will result in healthy and sustainable forest.

Research Interest

My research interests are in understanding how fire impacts forested ecosystems across temporal and spatial scales. Working at large spatial scales is facilitated by also expanding the temporal scale. I use dendrochronological techniques that allow me to re-construct fire history and age structure patterns both in stands and across landscapes. The next step is to apply the information we have learned from historical data to contemporary landscapes to restore both forest structure and natural fires.

Why This Research Is Important
  1. Lead author on a scientific paper titled "Topography affected landscape fire history patterns in southern Arizona" which describes how differences in fire size at the landscape scale impacted fire intervals at the stand level. This work has contributed to our understanding of how fires can be influenced by landscape topography and has led to the development of fire landscape (firescapes) which mangers use when planning and applying fire treatments.
  2. Lead author on another scientific paper titled "Temporally and spatially mixed-fire regimes in the Rincon Peak Sky Island" which describes how fire regimes change with time as a result of stand replacing fires that fragment fuels across the landscape isolating certain forest patches. This work has broadened our understanding of landscape fire patterns and how they can be impacted by landscape fuel arrangements and climate change.
  3. Developed an identification key and classification system for different cover types in the diverse forest of the sky island region of southeastern Arizona.
  • Northern Arizona University, B.S., Forestry, 1996
  • Northern Arizona University, M.S., Forestry, 2001
  • University of Arizona, Ph.D., Natural Resources, 2006
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

Can Managed Fires Restore Forests at Landscape Scales? Lessons from Two Southwestern Wilderness Areas

Year: 2016
The goal of this project was to evaluate the ability to restore wildfire at landscape scales within two wilderness areas in the southwestern U.S. and determine how that information could be related elsewhere. This study summarizes the effects of fire-management practices on key resources, documents ...

Remnant Old-growth Ponderosa Pine Forests Provide Insights on Spatial Patterns

Year: 2019
Researchers are increasingly recognizing that ponderosa pine forests naturally occur in clumps of trees with isolated single trees in a matrix of non-forested openings. This spatial pattern is important in sustaining ecological processes such as fire spread, tree growth and regeneration, and creates...

Spatial patterns of ponderosa pine regeneration in high-severity burn patches

Year: 2017
Over the past three decades, wildfires in Southwestern United States ponderosa pine forests have increased in size and severity, leaving large patches of tree mortality. Ponderosa pine evolved under fire regimes dominated by low- to moderate-severity wildfires, and they are poorly adapted to regener...

Monitoring Bird Communities with Citizen Science in the Sky Islands

Year: 2016
The Sky Islands of southeastern Arizona have bird species found nowhere else in the U.S., which leads to a vibrant state and local ecotourism industry. This research evaluates the use of citizen science in a region with increased stress from ongoing drought and wildfires.