Sandra Rideout-Hanzak received her Ph.D. in Forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2001. Sandra then began a post-doc position as a research forester with the USDA Forest Service at their Southern Research Station in Athens, GA and later Clemson, SC. In 2005, Sandra joined the faculty at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. She was appointed to the faculty at Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2010 where she is currently a professor and research scientist in the Department of Animal, Rangeland and Wildlife Sciences and Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, respectively.
As a researcher, Sandra has explored such topics as effects of the East Amarillo Complex wildfires of 2006 on vegetation, soil erosion and bird communities, fire and water relations in hedgehog cacti varieties, season of burn effects on native grasses of the Southern Great Plains, and fire effects in southern pine, Piedmont, and Appalachian ecosystems. Currently, Sandra is studying effects of growing season burning on tanglehead, an invasive grass, as well as restoration of endangered slender-rushpea habitat.
Sandra is a founding member of the Association for Fire Ecology and former advisor of the Texas Tech SAFE chapter (Student Association for Fire Ecology). She has also served as Vice President of the Association for Fire Ecology and a member of the Texas Prescribed Burn Board.