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Coal and Peat Fires Editors Receive Recognition

By: , Posted on: June 2, 2016

coal peat fires

Coal and Peat Fires: A Global Perspective*, the last volume of which was published in September 2015, presents a fascinating collection of research about prehistoric and historic coal and peat fires. Magnificent illustrations of fires and research findings from countries around the world are featured, offering a totally new contribution to science. Its editors are world-renowned experts on these topics, and their excellent work has continued to be recognized in recent months.

Glenn B. Stracher, chief editor of all four volumes of Coal and Peat Fires: A Global Perspective was made a Geological Society of America Fellow in 2015. James C. Hower, one of the people who nominated him, wrote “Glenn Stracher has excelled in building public awareness of the problem of coal fires. His efforts in outreach, editing and publishing, and training of geologists have supported this effort. He has inspired many of his colleagues to study coal fires and to present their findings to the general public.”

In April of 2016, Dr. Stracher gave a presentation about coal fires to the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He was hosted by Drs. Robert F. Dymek and Jill D. Pasteris, former editor and associate editor, respectively, of American Mineralogist.  

And in August of 2015, Dr. Stracher appeared on BYU Radio’s show Top of Mind with Julie Rose discussing the Centralia Coal-Mine Fire, which has been burning for over 50 years. Listen to the fascinating discussion below:

Anupma Prakash, co-editor of the multi-volume set, has led a number of research projects that affect a large and interdisciplinary community of people, including resource and environmental managers and policy-makers. These projects include: Alaska Adapting to Changing Environment (ACE), that helps to improve the research infrastructure in Alaska by conducting biological, physical, and social research about the adaptive capacity of Alaskan communities; Hyperspectral Imaging Laboratory (HyLab), that acquires and processes infield and airborne hyperspectral data to support new, basic and applied research in ecology and natural resource exploration in Alaska; Glacier-Ice Habitat for Harbor Seals, which uses an 8-year time-series of digital imagery to assess the relationship between glacier-ice availability and harbor seal spatial distribution and abundance in John Hopkins Inlet, Alaska; and Evapotranspiration Mapping and Modeling, that measures water loss to the atmosphere through soil evaporation and plant transpiration by establishing two instrumented field-sites that provide calibration and validation data for remote sensing.

Guillermo Rein, co-editor of Volume 4 in the set, Peat – Geology, Combustion, and Case Studies, received the 2016 Early Career Award by the International Association of Wildland Fire, which recognizes a promising early-career professional who has demonstrated outstanding ability in any field of wildfire studies. The award announcement praised Dr. Rein for his contributions to the field, stating that “At this early stage of his career, Guillermo’s greatest contributions have been in the emerging field of smoldering wildfires, where he has become the international leader and revolutionized the experimental and numerical description of these fires, translating science to engineering and to applications, such as fire history, prevention, emissions and climate change.”

Glen Stracher biopic


Glenn B. Stracher is Professor Emeritus of Geology and Physics at East Georgia State College, University System of Georgia, Swainsboro, Georgia, USA. After receiving his M.S. in Geology and a Ph.D. in Geology and Engineering Mechanics from the University of Nebraska, he served as a Lady Davis Scholar at the Institute of Earth Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. He was also nominated by the United Nations as a Fulbright Scholar while in graduate school before completing his postdoctoral work in Israel. Dr. Stracher is the former chair of the Geological Society of America’s Coal Geology Division and served on the society’s External Awards Committee. He is the co-author of three chemical thermodynamics books, published in English and Japanese, and taught graduate level courses in this subject at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. In 2010, he was named a University System of Georgia “Shining Star,” by the state’s Board of Regents, for excellence in research and teaching. In 2015, he was named a Geological Society of America Fellow for his contributions to coal-fires science.

Trained as a structural geologist, mineralogist, and metamorphic petrologist, the main focus of his research since 1995; and for which he is internationally known, is coal fires burning around the world. In addition to numerous peer-reviewed publications about coal fires, he has convened coal-fires symposia with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Geological Society of America (GSA), and led four GSA National coal-fires field trips. Dr. Stracher is the editor of the Geological Society of America book, Geology of Coal Fires: Case Studies from Around the World. He also edited the International Journal of Coal Geology special publication, Coal Fires Burning Around the World: A Global Catastrophe.

The latest project Dr. Stracher completed is a four-volume book published by Elsevier and entitled: Coal and Peat Fires: A Global Perspective.  He is now working with Elsevier on a fifth volume.

In September of 2016, Dr. Stracher was a guest lecturer at The China University of Mining and Technology in Beijing; Tianjin University in Tianjin, China; and The Xi’an University of Science and Technology in Xi’an, China.

Dr. Stracher appears in two National Geographic Channel (NGC) movies about coal-fires: Wild Fires, part of a seven part NGC series entitled Built for Destruction, and the more recent movie Underground Inferno, that has won several international film-festival awards. He has worked with historian Timo Hauge at the German Mining Museum in Bochum, Germany, on a permanent display about mine fires. The display in the 37,000 square foot museum will open in 2018 and feature much of Dr. Stracher’s work, photos taken by Glenn and Janet Stracher during their numerous field expeditions, and samples collected by Melissa and Joseph T. Nolter of Mahoney City, Pennsylvania. The German Mining Museum is the most famous mining museum in the world. The web address of the museum is:

Details about Dr. Stracher’s research projects, teaching, publications, and education are available at:

Dr. Anupma PrakashDr. Anupma Prakash is Professor of Geophysics (Remote Sensing) at the Department of Geosciences and the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA.  After receiving her M.Sc. degree in Geology from Lucknow University, India, and a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from the Indian Institute of Technology – Roorkee, India, she moved to the Netherlands to work for the International Institute of Geo-information Surveys and Earth Sciences (ITC), Enschede, The Netherlands. She is internationally recognized for her research on the use of remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) techniques for investigating surface and underground coal-mine fires. Her coal-fires research involves fire detection, mapping, monitoring, depth estimation, characterization and quantitative estimation of environmental impacts.

 Dr. Guillermo ReinDr. Guillermo Rein is a Senior Lecturer of Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Fire Technology. He earned an MSc and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley and has held academic positions at the University of Edinburgh and Imperial College London. His research focuses on fire behavior and combustion of solid fuels, fire dynamics and how engineers design safer buildings and tunnels, and mitigating the accidental burning of ancient carbon deposits. He has received several international awards, including the Hinshelwood Prize and the FM Global Award. Most recently, he is the recipient of the Early Career Award by the International Association of Wildland Fire (2016). He has contributed to many book chapters and journal papers and maintains a blog, Fortune Favours the Bold, where he writes occasionally in a more informal tone about engineering and fire science.

Learn more about all volumes of Coal and Peat Fires: A Global Perspective here

See additional resources, including an interactive world map of coal and peat fires created and periodically updated by Dr. Rudiger Gens, Remote Sensing Scientist at the Alaska Satellite Facility, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, at our comprehensive companion sites for Coal and Peat Fires: A Global Perspective.

*Just announced! Due to popularity of the first four volumes in this set, Volume 5 has now been approved and is in the works. Volume 5 – New Perspectives is expected in late 2017/early 2018. Watch this space for more details as they become available.

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