Fireline Fellowship

Fireline Fellowship

pacific northwest forest overlooking a valley

Location: H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, OSU Corvallis Campus

The Fireline Fellowship is part of the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program.

Applications due: May 3, 2024 11:59 P.M.

The Fireline Fellowship invites writers, artists, and thought leaders in the humanities to become part of a thinking community that, for two and a half years, will explore issues related to wildfire at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest (the Andrews). In October, 2024, fellows will meet in person with scientists and stay at the Andrews and then will meet quarterly online. Fellows will receive a stipend, opportunities to learn alongside scientists in the field, and up to four weeks of residency time at the Andrews. Fellows will develop new projects for a public audience and/or involving public engagement, and projects will be presented in collaboration with the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts (PRAx). Eight Fireline Fellowships will be awarded: three by invitation and five by application.

newt in the forest
fire in the forest
forest fire with the sun coming through the sky
wildflowers in the forest


Set on the slopes of the Western Cascades, the 16,000-acre H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest is one of the most closely studied forests in the world. For 75 years, researchers have focused their attention on everything from the spread of tiny mycelial threads below ground to the old-growth trees towering above to all that lives and breathes in between. Scientific discoveries here have challenged prevalent notions about forest “management” and deepened our understanding of forests. And, over the past 20 years, writers, musicians and artists have joined the scientists in the forest as part of the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program, creating work that reflects on our relationships with forests and how that relationship changes over time.

On August 5, 2023, a lightning strike sparked a fire near Lookout Mountain in the Andrews forest. For months the Lookout Fire burned through the old growth, over study plots and up and over the ridges. Neighboring communities were evacuated for the second time in three years. In the forest, the fire blazed over creeks and turned great trees into smoldering stumps. The fire destroyed many long-term experiments, tools and equipment. By the return of the rain in October, 70% of the Andrews had experienced fire.
There are hundreds of miles of firelines in the forest now. These lines etched in the land mark what burned and what did not as wildland fire crews hacked and dug through the underbrush, feller-bunchers clipped down trees, and bulldozers scraped the old-growth moss to bare earth. Natural firelines formed with shifts in the wind, changes in topography, vegetation, or moisture, and finally, the coming of rain. 
There are firelines in the scientists’ datasets too. A delineation between the pre-fire known and the post-fire unknown. And firelines radiate into our thinking and imagination. The blurry lines between grief and curiosity, nihilism and hope, and fear and awe. Lines of inquiry about what it means to recover from and live with fire. Lines of poetry, music, essays, books and art that will make meaning, reimagine limited narratives, and help us find our way in this new era of wildfire.  
As both natural processes and part of socio-ecological systems bound to cultural traditions, values, habits, and imaginaries, wildland fires clear a space for re-envisioning our connections with each other and with the rest of the natural world. This fire, in a place with a deep history of long-term inquiry and interdisciplinary collaboration, offers a unique opportunity to engage with the many questions, complexities and experiences connected with wildfire. 

Fellowship Details

The Fireline Fellowship is supported by the Spring Creek Project at Oregon State University in collaboration with the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest and the Patricia Valian Reser Center for Creative Arts (PRAx). Fireline Fellows will be part of Spring Creek Project’s Long-Term Ecological Reflections program.

Fellowships are open to those who are experienced in using creative or humanistic methods to approach environmental questions, to those willing to invest in long-term exploration of issues connected with wildfire in the Pacific Northwest, and to those committed to creating new public work inspired by their experience in the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. Applicants from historically under-represented groups are encouraged to apply. Applications should be submitted by individuals rather than by collaborative teams. This opportunity is open to current U.S. residents only. We welcome applications from:

  • Artists, including visual artists, multimedia artists, musicians and filmmakers.
  • Writers and storytellers across genres including nonfiction, fiction, graphic narrative and poetry.
  • Writers, scholars and thought leaders in humanities disciplines including philosophy, ethics, history, religious studies and beyond. 

For more information about the relevance of your work and ideas to this opportunity, contact Joy Jensen at [email protected].

  •  A 2.5-year commitment. 
  • Create and participate in a creative intellectual community by:
    • Attending an online orientation meeting (June 17, 2024, from noon to 2 p.m. PST).
    • Spending a day in Corvallis at the Oregon State University campus meeting with H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest researchers and PRAx staff, tour possible installation and event spaces, then depart for the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest (October 4, 2024).
    • Attending an in-person gathering at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest in Blue River, Oregon (October 4-6, 2024). Fellows will come together to gain a deeper understanding of the place and the Lookout Fire, share ideas, ask questions, and build community.
    • Participating in online meetings once a quarter from fall 2024 through fall 2026. 
    • Completing two to four weeks in residence at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. Residency stays may be split into multiple blocks and can be scheduled individually or with other fellows.
  • Actively engage with a researcher and/or lab at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. Program staff will help fellows identify science collaborators studying how wildfire interacts with research areas like stream ecology, hydrology and geomorphology, vegetation, canopy ecology and plant physiology, animals and interspecies or animal-plant interactions, climate, carbon and nutrient dynamics, soils and fungi, social science and conservation ethics, information management and remote sensing. 
  • Develop a new project or creative work that engages with wildfire. Some element of the project should be connected with the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. Projects may also engage the neighboring communities in the McKenzie River corridor. Projects should be created with a public audience of non-specialists in mind and/or directly involve the public in development. Images of visual artwork and media and written work will be preserved in the Long Term Ecological Reflections online archive and may be used in program-relevant promotional materials.
  • Participate in the events and exhibition hosted by the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts (PRAx) at Oregon State University on November 6-7, 2026. Fellows should plan to be in Corvallis for two days. Visual artists will need to transport work to Corvallis. While on campus, fellows will also engage with students (e.g., via a lecture, conversation or workshop). We will also work with interested parties to create opportunities for engagement within the local community. 
  • Submit a mid-fellowship progress report in fall 2025 (2 pages).
  • By December 1, 2026, complete final fellowship requirements:  
    • Submit a 20–30-minute recorded presentation about your fellowship experience and project for a Fireline series that will be published on Spring Creek Project’s YouTube channel.  
    • Submit a plan for one additional outreach event for your work, either solo or in collaboration with other Fireline Fellows. 
    • Share with us your work, or documentation of your work, for entry in The Forest Log, an online archive of creative responses to the Andrews Forest by residents in the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program.
    • Submit a final reflection on your project and experience (2-4 pages), and programmatic feedback
      throughout the fellowship.

Each fellow will receive:

  • A $5,000 stipend ($2,500 awarded at the beginning of the fellowship and $2,500 awarded after a midway progress report). 
    • Fellows will use some of the stipend to cover travel to Corvallis and the Andrews, including for the in-person gathering, residency time and final event. Fellows will also cover the cost of lodging in Corvallis.
    • Program organizers will cover the cost of lodging at the Andrews during residency stays and lodging and meals during the in-person gathering at the Andrews. 
  • Visual artists may request additional funds of up to $1,500 for materials and/or shipping costs associated with bringing art to Corvallis.  
  • A residency of up to four weeks at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. Residency stays may be split into multiple blocks and can be scheduled individually or with other fellows.
  • The opportunity to engage in learning, deep listening, and creative reflection within a diverse and welcoming interdisciplinary thinking community. 
  • Opportunities to connect with scientists and to experience changes over time in old-growth forest and in landscapes affected by wildfire. 
  • Support coordinating and promoting a presentation or event connected with their creative work or project near the end of the fellowship.

  • May 3, 2024: Application deadline. 
  • May 31, 2024: Applicants notified of status.
  • June 17, 2024: Attend an online orientation and schedule residency time. 
  • September 2024: First quarterly meeting online. 
  • October 4-6, 2024: In-person gathering in Corvallis and the Andrews.
  • November 6-7, 2026: In-person event in Corvallis, Oregon.
  • December 1, 2026: Submit final fellowship requirements. 

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 3, 2024, via Submittable. All applications will be evaluated by a diverse review committee composed of scholars, writers, and artists working in relevant fields. Applicants will be notified of status by May 31, 2024. Apply here.

If you have questions about any of the above, contact Joy Jensen at [email protected].