NATIONAL UPDATES PART 2 – Fire Research & Innovation

Date: Tuesday, November 19th from 4:00 to 5:00 pm

CIFFC Fire Science

Maria Sharpe

Maria Sharpe is the Fire Science and Information Manager for the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC).


Maria’s fire career began in 2007 as a Wildfire Information Officer with the Province of Alberta for an aggressive prescribed fire program in a busy mountain forest area.  Throughout her time in Alberta, she became fascinated by wildland fire science and worked her way towards a position as resident fire behavior analyst and fire growth modeler through extensive field work and achievement of her MSc in the field of Fire Ecology.  Maria began working with CIFFC in 2018 and is the Chair of the CIFFC Fire Science Committee and CIFFC IM/IT Committee in addition to leading the CIFFC Diversity and Inclusion portfolio.  She also represents Canada’s interests globally on the International Association of Wildland Fire Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Canadian Partnership for Wildland Fire Science

Cordy Tymstra

Since 1990, Cordy's work has focused on innovative wildfire science and technology initiatives in support of advancing Alberta’s Wildfire Management Program.


Cordy’s work experience began in 1976, working as a Seasonal Park Naturalist in Point Pelee National Park.  He graduated in 1978 with a B.Sc. Degree from the University of Guelph. From 1978 to 1990, Cordy worked in different National Parks holding positions as Park Naturalist, Interpretive Planner, Resource Management Planner, Park Warden and Forester. In 1985 he studied forestry briefly at the University of Montana, then transferred to the University of Alberta to begin graduate studies – completing his M.Sc. Degree in Forest Science in 1991. In 1990, Cordy began work at the Provincial Forest Fire Centre (now called the Wildfire Management Branch HQ) in Edmonton to assist in the Provincial implementation of a Fire Management Information System. Since then, his work has focused on innovative wildfire science and technology initiatives in support of advancing Alberta’s Wildfire Management Program.

He is also concurrently pursuing a PhD at the University of Alberta. His research interests include landscape fire simulation modeling, fire preparedness, and the development and implementation of statistical visualization techniques for early spring e surveillance.

FP Innovations

Greg Baxter

Greg spent the last 19 years with FPInnovations' Fire Operations Research group focusing on fuel management, firefighter safety and community protection projects.


Greg began his career in the fire business in 1984 when he worked as a seasonal firefighter on the University of Calgary’s fire crew. He then spent the next 7 summers fighting fire in Alberta’s rappel program while completing both an undergraduate degree and a Masters degree with a thesis titled “Climate Change and Fire Danger” in the early 1990’s. After, Greg had a 2 year term position with the CFS in Victoria before heading to New Zealand for 3 years working with the fire research group from Scion. With the last 19 years working for FPInnovations’ Fire Operations Research group, Greg now focuses on fuel management, firefighter safety and community protection projects.

Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction

Glenn McGillivray

Glenn McGillivray is Managing Director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. Prior, he served as Assistant Vice President of Corporate Communications for Swiss Reinsurance Company Canada and was Corporate Secretary for three Swiss Re operations in the country.


He began his insurance career at The Personal Insurance Company of Canada in Toronto and went on to work for a major Canadian corporate law firm before joining Swiss Re in 1994 and the ICLR in November, 2005.

As an insurance writer and commentator, his work has been widely disseminated across Canada. Glenn has written more than 225 magazine and journal articles, publications and blogposts on a range of issues for Canadian Underwriter, Canadian Insurance, Municipal World, Disaster Management Canada, Canadian Consulting Engineer, The Lawyers Weekly and The Globe and Mail, as well as for the International Journal of Insurance Law. Additionally, he speaks and lectures regularly on subjects related to the area of property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and natural hazards. Glenn is author of the Swiss Re publications “Cross-border litigation in the age of free trade”; “Twister: The professional reinsurer’s perspective”; and “Inside an Icestorm”.

He holds a B.A. in political science from Wilfrid Laurier University, a M.A. in political science from McMaster University, and a graduate diploma in corporate communication from Seneca College. He recently earned his Certificate in Risk Management from University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Education.

Scroll to top