Jennifer K. Balch is Director of ESIIL, Director of Earth Lab, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, and a CIRES Fellow. She held the position of NC CASC University Director from 2018-2021. Her research looks at the patterns and processes that underlie fire disturbance and ecosystem recovery. She is a fire ecologist who aims to understand how fire influences ecosystem dynamics, and vice-versa, how ecosystem patterns and processes control the fire cycle. Jennifer is also a RIO (Research & Innovation Office) Faculty Fellow, a member of the campus-wide research and creative works leadership program that supports rising CU Boulder faculty interested in furthering their leadership skills to achieve maximum impact within and beyond the campus. Prior to her tenure at CU, Jennifer was an Assistant Professor of Geography at Pennsylvania State University and Postdoctoral Associate at the National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Jennifer received her Ph.D. from the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.