Heat Illnesses in Wildland Firefighters


Wildland firefighting is an inherently dangerous job that puts these workers at risk of potentially deadly heat illnesses. Track heat illnesses in wildland firefighters to help us better understand circumstances surrounding their illness. 

Project is Not Currently Available

This project has reached full capacity for the current term. Please check back next semester for updates.

Project description

Be the first to help publish data on heat illnesses in wildland firefighters! Seeking a student interested in digging into a database about injuries and illnesses of wildland firefighters with an ultimate goal of a research publication. Work with Dr. Pryor to create a better heat illness tracking system, creating visually interesting figures and tables, and drafting a manuscript for publication. A student who works well independently, has creative problem-solving skills, and good communication skills will do best in this position.

Heat illnesses are occurring during wildland fire suppression due to the hot conditions, heavy equipment worn and carried, and exhaustive work, but they are not well tracked in this population. Exertional heat stroke is a heat illness that can be deadly if it is not treated quickly and appropriately. Unfortunately, treatment in a wilderness setting is not simple to achieve, resulting in issues in this profession. This project will help determine circumstances surrounding heat illnesses in wildland firefighters.

Interested in learning more? Email Dr. Riana Pryor (rpryor@buffalo.edu) regarding your interests and background. All majors welcome! 

Project outcome

Project outcomes will be determined by the student and Dr. Pryor at our initial meetings. Potential outcomes include creation of a working database to better track heat illnesses, creation of a research paper, and/or presentation of findings at a local conference. 

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment About 3-5 months
Start time Winter (December)
Spring (January/February) 
In-person, remote, or hybrid? Hybrid
Level of collaboration Individual student project 
Benefits Academic credit and volunteer experience
Who is eligible All undergraduate students 

Project mentor

Riana Pryor

Assistant Professor

Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Phone: (716) 829-5456

Email: rpryor@buffalo.edu

Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

The specific preparation activities for this project will be customized through discussions between you and your project mentor. Please be sure to ask them for the instructions to complete the required preparation activities.


Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Public Health, Biology, Physiology, emergency responder, environment, fire, wildland firefighter, heat illness