Cover Image for MCJ AMA: James Sedlak - Kodama Systems

MCJ AMA: James Sedlak - Kodama Systems

Past Event
Welcome! To join the event, please register below.
About Event

Join us in the MCJ Community Slack for a 24 hour 'Ask Me Anything' with James Sedlak, Operations and Community Engagement Lead at Kodama Systems.

Our next MCJ Ask-Me-Anything is with James Sedlak, Operations and Community Engagement Lead at Kodama Systems. Kodama Systems, a MCJ portfolio company, is a startup developing automated ways of thinning overcrowded forests and utilizing low-value biomass.

  • MCJ Podcast: Listen to James’ episode with Yin here.

  • Want a reminder for this AMA? Add it to your calendar by registering for this event.

Let’s meet our guest…

Meet James: James is driving Operations and Community Engagement for Kodama. In this role, he is implementing forest thinning practices with autonomous machines, benchmarking operation productivity, and streamlining coordination between field equipment. He is also establishing connections with forestry partners and stakeholders while managing Kodama’s public relations. Originally from New Jersey, James traveled out West in 2018 to pursue working for the U.S. Forest Service. After three seasons of fighting wildfires, James transitioned from the frontlines to focus on wildfire mitigation. He interned with the CA Governor’s Office of Planning and Research Climate Team tracking adaptation efforts across the state. He served as a CivicSpark Fellow under the Sierra Business Council driving climate resiliency projects for counties in the Sierra Nevada. Most recently, he supported outreach initiatives for key partners of the Tahoe Central Sierra Initiative. He joined Kodama to pursue innovative ways to increase the pace and scale of forest restoration and prevent catastrophic wildfire. When not working, James likes to spend time in nature - splitboarding, hiking and mountain biking – or tinker on projects like his DIY truck camper. He lives with his wife and dog in Lake Tahoe, CA.

Our AMA with James will start on Wednesday 17th May at 9am PST - 12pm EST - 5pm GMT and will run asynchronously in the MCJ AMA slack channel for 24 hours.

In Yin’s episode with James, they cover:

  • [2:00] James' background and how he landed his current role at Kodama

  • [5:43] An overview of the El Dorado National Forest and James' work in wildland fire

  • [7:04] Different types of firefighting and how to get started

  • [12:02] Career progression for working in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS)

  • [17:51] An overview of hotshots

  • [19:27] What it's like to be a firefighter and the typical experience during a fire season

  • [22:41] The importance of pre-season training and supporting mental health programs for firefighters

  • [26:43] Challenges with retention in the federal wildland firefighting workforce

  • [28:21] An overview of mitigation suppression to prevent wildfires

  • [30:27] Wildfire trends from out on the frontlines and within the workforce

  • [32:49] James' work at Kodama

  • [38:01] Implications of recent flooding on the fire season for this year and years to come

You can dig in further to James’ work via:

Set your reminders, and get your questions ready! You can ask James anything!


NOTE: This event will act as a placeholder in your calendar. Only MCJ members will be able to attend. Not yet a member? Apply to join here.