Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pilot project focuses on fire science communication

A consortium to communicate the results of northern latitude and boreal forest fire science to federal and state land and fire managers is forming. Funding for the pilot Joint Fire Information Consortium was recently given by the Joint Fire Science Program to the Scenarios Network for Alaska Planning and Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at UAF. The consortium is being created in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Land Management – Alaska Fire Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and the Fire Research and Management Exchange System. The consortium will work with land and fire managers to optimize modes and methods of fire science communication.

Two upcoming events of interest to fire service and land management professionals are:
• Fire Science Technology Transfer Workshop. Friday, Oct. 16, 8:30 a.m. to noon in the conference room, National Park Service, 4175 Geist Road, Fairbanks.
• Webinar on Interagency Fuels Treatment Decision Support System by Stacy Drury, SonomaTech. Tuesday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. To sign up contact Sarah Trainor.

Trainor, SNAP research assistant professor, said agencies are mandated to use the best available science, yet managers often don’t know what information is already available or the quality and applicability of that research to their management plans and projects. "Another problem is the research may not be integrated in a context meaningful to management," Trainor said. "And while the research may be of the highest quality and peer-reviewed, demonstration of science findings in the field is often lacking. The Joint Fire Science Program seeks to accelerate the awareness, understanding, and adoption of wildland fire science information by federal, tribal, state, local, and private stakeholders within identified regions. Their vision is a national network of regional consortia comprised of interested management and science stakeholders working together to tailor and actively demonstrate existing information to benefit management of a large ecologically similar region.”

A proposal to the Joint Fire Sciences Program in February 2010 will seek to implement an annual, in-person Alaska-wide workshop and tutorial for fire science delivery, institute a fire science newsletter and statewide fire science teleconference/webinar series, conduct information transfer workshops in remote hub-communities, staff an Alaska fire science help desk, update and coordinate existing fire science delivery products, develop innovative fire prediction tools, and evaluate methods.

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