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What's with women and fire?


Uploaded on March 8, 2022


What's with women and fire?

2022-03-08 – In our field of work – space – we have come to meet many women interested in fire. Engineers, students, scientists and even an astronaut! In this video, meet five inspiring women who work with fire. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA, Natural Resources Canada, U.S. Geological Survey, Ryan Smith, Canadian Forest Service, OSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview, NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, Lux Aerobot, AlbertaSat, Marc-André Couture)


Lynn Johnson: From a very early age, I was always the kid poking at the bonfire when we were camping.

Narrator: What’s with women and fire?

In our line of work – space – we have come to meet many women interested in fire.

Whether they are students, entrepreneurs, researchers, engineers, or even astronauts, they all had the spark.

How did you get interested in fire?

Jenny Sidey-Gibbons: I had this really cool professor who studied fire. And, I did some combustion experiments in microgravity which got me interested in fire and space.

Elizabeth Chao: I was first interested in fire when the Fort McMurray wildfires occurred in 2016.

Katrina Albert: Back in 2019 I was actually physically in Australia just before the big wildfire season. And it made me realize how important addressing wildfire can be, in order to save lives, infrastructure, and biodiversity.

Narrator: What is the most fascinating thing about fire?

Helena van Mierlo: In Canada, there's more than 7,000 fires, every year. 3% of these fires, are actually accountable for almost 97% of all the area burned.

Narrator: What types of problems do you solve?

Lynn Johnson: Real world science that supports practical use. That can make people more safe from fire. Or make a fire manager’s job easier, more efficient.

Elizabeth Chao: We have our imagers on our satellite, which look down from space to Earth to look at the different vegetation areas and how they reflect the changes before and after the fire.

Katrina Albert: Right now, the time between the acquisition of information on fire and the time that we actually have access to that information, there's a little delay.

So we work on shortening that delay to address the fires more quickly and prevent them from getting bigger.

Narrator: What do you like the most about your work?

Katrina Albert: Definitely working on real world problems, it’s really valuable and I can concretely see the impact of my work.

Lynn Johnson: One of the most interesting things is being able to go out to the field and actually burn and see how fire behaves.

Helena van Mierlo: Working on space solutions is always working on something new.


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