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Project ID: 09-S-04-9

Year: 2010

Date Started: 07/01/2010

Ending Date:  09/30/2018

Title: The Southern Exchange: Putting Fire Science on the Ground

Project Proposal Abstract: Fire is managed and utilized for different purposes in the South by a wide variety of natural resource professionals, including: five federal agencies; forestry, park and wildlife agencies in every state; county fire/rescue services; non-profit research and conservation organizations; natural resource consultants; and private landowners and managers. These fire professionals have numerous sources for new and existing fire science information through many excellent outreach delivery systems, such as the Encyclopedia of Southern Fire Science (ESFS) and Tall Timbers Research Station Fire Ecology Database. Despite these existing sources, there remains a distinct need to coordinate, improve or augment, and increase access to existing fire science information for both professional and general public audiences. During the development phase for our proposed regional Southern Fire Exchange (SFE) consortium, we conducted six focus groups to define SFE priorities and guide the development of an extensive survey questionnaire, which was distributed across 13 states to nearly 4,000 recipients. Twenty-nine percent of those contacted responded, of which the majority (55%) were from public agencies, followed by 30% from private ownerships, and 5% each from non-profits, academic institutions, and other sources. The survey assessed the following: 1) current use and utility of fire science information, 2) needs for new information or improvement, 3) sources of information and source preference, 4) usefulness of various information dissemination formats, and 5) barriers to obtaining current fire science information. Following the survey, we used a conference call and day-long workshop to discuss focus group and survey results with partners and end-users. These results provide a clear guide for the prioritization, as well as the evaluation, of the SFE consortium activities. The SFE will focus its efforts on enhancing and addressing the identified needs and shortcomings of current science delivery mechanisms. Our primary objectives are to coordinate, improve, and increase access to existing fire science dissemination mechanisms, while developing syntheses and enhancements to existing web-based platforms to fill gaps in available resources. We will create audience-targeted research syntheses, fact sheets, and digital presentations with fire science information specific to southern fire practitioner objectives and priorities, expand the utility of the Southern Fire Portal (SFP) as a one-stop access for fire science information, and coordinate and improve existing demonstration and workshop activities. Our long-term objective is to pave a two-way path by which the fire research community and fire use practitioners aid each others efforts toward meeting management objectives and expanding relevant knowledge.

Principal Investigator: Alan J. Long

Agency/Organization: University of Florida

Branch or Dept: School of Forest Resources & Conservation

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

David R. Godwin

University of Florida

School of Forest Resources & Conservation

Co-Principal Investigator

Leda N. Kobziar

University of Idaho

Department of Conservation Social Sciences

Co-Principal Investigator

Annie L Oxarart

University of Florida

School of Forest Resources & Conservation

Co-Principal Investigator

Kevin M. Robertson

Tall Timbers Research Station

Co-Principal Investigator

Joseph P. Roise

North Carolina State University-Raleigh

College of Natural Resources

Federal Cooperator

Leslie A. Hermansen-Baez

Forest Service

SRS-Ctr for Southern WUI Research & Information

Federal Fiscal Representative

Shelly M. Gates

Forest Service

SRS-Southern Research Station

Funding Cooperator

Joseph J. O’Brien

Forest Service

SRS-Ctr for Forest Disturbance Science

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Project Deliverables

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Supporting Documents

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