Pyrologix LLC is a wildfire threat assessment research firm providing specialized services to private companies, NGOs, state and local governments, and federal agencies in the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Homeland Security, and Interior.
Pyrologix is based in Missoula, Montana, a small city in the northern Rocky Mountains. Missoula is home to premier wildfire and risk science research organizations like the Missoula Fire Sciences Lab, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, and Human Dimensions Program of the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station, the National Center for Landscape Fire Analysis, and the SAF-accredited School of Forestry at the University of Montana.
Joe H. Scott, the founder and Principal Wildfire Analyst at Pyrologix, has more than two decades experience in wildland fire science research, development and application. At Pyrologix and with previous employers, Mr. Scott has led projects related to surface and canopy fuel characteristics, wildfire behavior modeling, crown fire hazard assessment, and wildfire hazard and risk assessment. Joe is the lead developer of Nexus, a fire modeling system for assessing crown fire potential; the lead developer of FireWords, an annotated, illustrated glossary of wildland fire science terminology; and the lead developer of a set of standard fire behavior fuel models for national application.
Joe earned a B.S. in Forestry and Resource Management from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.S. in Forestry from the University of Montana. He is a Certified Forester with the Society of American Foresters, where he has been a member for nearly three decades, and a Senior Fire Ecologist with the Association for Fire Ecology, where he has been a member since its inception in 2000. Mr. Scott has reviewed journal articles for Forest Science, the Forestry Chronicle, the International Journal of Wildland Fire, Fire Ecology, the Western Journal of Applied Forestry, the Canadian Journal of Forest Research, and the European Journal of Forest Research.
Please email us to request Mr. Scott’s curriculum vitae.
Julie Gilbertson-Day joined Pyrologix as a spatial wildfire analyst in 2014 and is now the Program Manager. She has more than ten years of experience in wildfire research, development and application, with emphasis on integrating resource and asset data with wildfire hazard information in wildfire exposure and effects analyses. Ms. Gilbertson-Day has experience with spatial data analysis, fire behavior modeling, and developing data processing tools for landscape- to national-scale projects. Her past research efforts include data and scale issues related to wildfire modeling and wildfire risk assessments, downscaling wildfire risk assessments, and analysis of historical fire occurrence and suppression expenditure data. Julie earned a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and a M.S. in Geography/GIS from the University of Montana.
Kevin Vogler joined Pyrologix as a Spatial Wildfire Analyst in 2016. He holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from State University of New York at Oneonta and an M.S. in Forest Resources from Oregon State University College of Forestry. His past research work includes developing methods for fuel treatment prioritization, logging and transportation cost analysis, forest growth and yield modeling, and biomass/carbon assessment. His wildfire and silvicultural modeling expertise are grounded in previous field positions, collecting data on first order fire effects and wildfire disturbance history, as well as working on prescribed fire assignments in nine different states.
April Brough joined the Pyrologix team in 2017 with five years of experience in wildfire research, development, and application and over twelve years of experience as a GIS programmer/analyst. Ms. Brough uses GIS techniques to conduct spatial analyses related to human, social, cultural, economic, and ecological environments, with a recent focus on national forest plan revisions and wildland fire risk assessments. She has GIS experience with datasets at the national, regional, and local level and has been involved in GIS communities at local and state levels, including serving as the industry representative on the Utah Geographic Information Council and as president of the Bear River GIS User group. She earned a B.A. in Chemistry (Physics minor) from Brigham Young University and an M.S. in Forest Ecology from Utah State University.
Jim Napoli, Spatial Wildfire Analyst
Jim joined Pyrologix in early 2019 after spending more than a decade with the LANDFIRE fuel mapping team. He has ten years of experience in wildfire research, development and application, with over fifteen years of experience as a GIS-Database programmer/analyst. His wildfire and spatial analysis expertise are grounded in previous positions with Landfire and the National Park Service. Past research work includes leveraging spatial analysis techniques to develop data processing tools for landscape- to national-scale projects; including the development of canopy fuels modeling techniques for Landfire and coordinating the development of a multi-agency fire geo-spatial data layer for the Greater Yellowstone Area. Jim earned a B.S. in Geography/GIS from the Pennsylvania State University, M.S. in Geography/GIS for Northern Illinois University and an MBA from the University of Montana.
Chris Moran, Chief Fire Scientist
Chris joined Pyrologix as a Spatial Wildfire Analyst in 2019, after defending his Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Montana, and then became our Chief Fire Scientist in 2022. He has expertise in data science, remote sensing, and fire ecology with over ten years of experience in wildfire research, application, and management. He is adept at managing and processing large spatial datasets, setting up parallel processing environments, and modeling with machine learning algorithms. Past research work includes leveraging LiDAR and related 3D data to improve canopy fuel maps, evaluating fuel treatment effectiveness and the effects of mountain pine beetle-caused tree mortality, implementing research burns, burn severity mapping, and utilizing drones to assess vegetation and fire behavior interactions. Chris has a B.S. in Biology, an M.S. in Biological Sciences from South Dakota State University, and a Ph.D. in Forestry from the University of Montana, where he also continues to work as a remote sensing scientist.
Michael Callahan, Software Engineer
Michael joined the Pyrologix team as a Software Engineer in 2021 after close to three years writing software for analytical chemists. Before that he worked for the Forest Service in Montana on an IA module then later a Hotshot Crew. His software development experience is in cloud computing, and application development. Michael earned his BS in Management Information Systems from the University of Montana.
Julia Olszewski, Spatial Wildfire Analyst
Julia joined Pyrologix in 2021 following several years of experience in collaborative forest restoration monitoring. She has also held a variety of seasonal positions with the National Park Service, including as a wildland firefighter. Julia earned a B.A. in Anthropology from Brandeis University, an A.A.S in Natural Resources from Green River College, a Certificate in GIS from the University of Washington, and a M.S. in Sustainable Forest Management from Oregon State University.
Lisa Bickell, Business Administrator
Lisa joined Pyrologix after fifteen years with the Montana Natural History Center as the Director of Education. She has experience in developing, managing, and leading educational and public outreach programs, organizational strategic planning and vision planning, fundraising, contract management and staff supervision and management. She received her B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana and M.Ed in Science Education from Western Washington University. At Pyrologix, Lisa will be running the back-office operations, while she kick-starts her own interpretative-sign business, Field to Frame.