Jessica Block is the Associate Director for the WIFIRE Lab at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UCSD. Her work aims to mitigate disasters using emerging technologies including satellites, sensor networks, machine learning tools, and virtual reality. She has spent her career addressing fire, water, and geologic risks in the American West and Southeastern Australia. Since 2013, the WIFIRE team has worked to integrate real-time geospatial data to create scalable and adaptable predictive wildfire spread models at the wildland urban interface. In October, she was appointed by Governor Newsom to the California Wildfire Safety Advisory Board. She holds a bachelor's degree from UCLA and a master's degree from ASU in Geology with a focus in sustainability and urban ecology.
WIFIRE is a program started by UC San Diego, LA and Orange County that consists of a laboratory and aerial firefighting recon and response team that together conducts fire modelling and simulation of potential paths for wildfires which they then use to communicate to firefighting teams on the ground. Members of the WIFIRE team will speak about their experiences and potential application of similar programs for local, state and federal agencies.