Los Alamos National Labs with logo 2021

Frontiers in Science Talks

This series of conversations with scientists, engineers and other experts is a public service of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellows. Fellows are appointed by the Laboratory Director in recognition of sustained outstanding contributions and exceptional promise for continued professional achievement. All talks are open to the public and free of charge.

  • Bradbury Science Museum
  • (505) 667-4444


Frontiers in Science: Wildfire, water and climate change

Frontiers in Science presents Adam Atchley and a look at how scientific tools and expertise empower society to better predict and respond to fire behavior in complex conditions.

Climate change causes catastrophic wildfires threatening communities, critical ecosystems and resources. Prescribed burns improve ecosystems and reduce wildfire intensity but antiquated data and tools hinder planning in our rapidly changing and densely populated landscapes.

Los Alamos National Laboratory provides innovative scientific tools to safely manage burns to maximize ecosystem stability, reduce carbon release, and protect human health, air quality and water resources. These tools include novel 3D fire, hydrologic and ecosystem modeling; an atmospheric forensics facility; and portable, rapid simulators that capture site-specific conditions in real time.

Free. Registration not required.

January 11
6–7:30 p.m.
The Guild Cinema
Albuquerque, NM
January 12
5:30–7 p.m.
New Mexico Museum of Art
Santa Fe, NM
January 13
6–7:30 p.m.
SALA Los Alamos Event Center
Los Alamos, NM

This series is a public service of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellows.

About the speaker: Adam Atchley is a hydrologic scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He investigates how physical hydrology connects wide-ranging Earth system processes including climate impacted groundwater/surface water systems, hydrological connections to wildland fire behaviors, and Arctic hydrology. Atchley studied plant ecology and natural resources as an undergraduate at Oregon State University and received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Forestry. He studied hydrologic science and engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, receiving his master’s in 2009, and doctorate in 2013.

Atchley’s current work focuses on how wildland fire — both wildfire and prescribed fires — are altering because of climate change. Understanding wildland fire’s effect on our landscapes, and particularly the eco-hydrological response to wildland fire, is critical toward managing these beautiful places.  Examining how fire-adapted landscapes respond to wildland fire will help provide needed solutions to climate change and water scarcity.