Chad Hanson Ph.D.

Director and Principal Ecologist
Chad Hanson Ph.D.

Chad Hanson co-founded the John Muir Project in 1996. He first became involved in national forest protection after hiking the 2,700-mile length of the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada with his older brother in 1989. During this hike he witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by rampant commercial logging on our National Forests in California, Oregon and Washington.

Chad finished his Bachelor of Science degree from UCLA after completing the Pacific Crest Trail and then attended law school at the University of Oregon, during which time he also began his career as an environmental advocate working for Native Forest Council and volunteering for the Sierra Club. Chad earned his law degree in 1995, and started the John Muir Project shortly thereafter.

In 2003 Chad returned to school, and earned his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California at Davis in 2007, with a research focus on forest and fire ecology and the rare wildlife species that depend upon post-fire habitat in forests of the Sierra Nevada and elsewhere in the western U.S.. He has published an impressive list of scientific research papers on forest and fire ecology, wildlife use of burned forest and fire history and trend.

This past year he and Dominick DellaSala, Ph.D. co-edited and authored several chapters in a new book entitled The Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires: Nature’s Phoenix which is being published by academic publisher Elsevier due out in June/July of 2015.