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Project ID: 11-4-1-2

Year: 2011

Date Started: 01/28/2011

Date Completed: 12/31/2012

Title: Northern Rockies Fire Science Network

Project Proposal Abstract: The Northern Rocky Mountain region is one of the most fire-prone regions in the United States. With a history of large fires that have shaped national policy, including the Fires of 1910 and 2000 in Idaho and Montana and the Yellowstone fires of 1988, this region is projected to have many large severe fires. Improving the effectiveness of exchange about fire science needs and products is critical to effective, science-informed management. Despite the availability of fire science in this region, land managers struggle to sort through scientific information; find the right tools, models, and applications to make management decisions; and access expertise relevant to management questions. A knowledge exchange consortium in the Northern Rockies will assist managers by offering a single place where they can access the latest knowledge and tools supporting fire and fuels management. The Northern Rockies Fire Science Network will also help identify regional research priorities and overcome barriers associated with the different cultures of science and management that ultimately reduce the effectiveness of scientist-manager communication. The partners in this proposal (RMRS, UI, UM, MSU, SKC) are eager to learn from users how a regional knowledge exchange consortium can strengthen the network of managers and scientists. The regional needs assessment will include six focus groups and a survey assessing preferred science delivery mechanisms, topics, potential consortium roles, and barriers to using research. The survey will be distributed throughout the region during Spring meetings, workshops, and training courses with line officers and mid-upper level fire and fuels managers. A social network analysis is also proposed in collaboration with the Southwest Fire Science Consortium. Following data collection and analysis of the full needs assessment, our two advisory boards will meet to review results and discuss priority actions for the Fire Science Network. Our End-User Advisory Board initially includes representatives of federal, state, and tribal management. This advisory board will gather input from a diverse end user community on science and science delivery needs, advise the consortium development team, and inform end users of consortium activities and products. We are developing a database of managers and scientists interested in the Northern Rockies Fire Science Network. The database currently includes individuals from federal, state, tribal, and non-governmental organizations, and private landowners. This database will be used to track and communicate with all interested stakeholders. We also draw from the wealth of experience in fire science application in this region to develop a Science Application Team (SAT) advisory board. The SAT collectively represents extensive and far-reaching experience in leading and implementing science application programs and activities. The SAT will gather and convey knowledge about the emphases and activities of other science delivery and application partnerships and look for opportunities for synergy. The SAT will advise the consortium development team on strategic direction, partnership opportunities, and potential activities. Network effectiveness will be evaluated via feedback from the two advisory boards, and by using a logic model approach that clearly identifies inputs, outputs, and desired outcomes. With this approach, we will track numbers of activities and end users reached; however, a deeper understanding of whether we are accomplishing objectives will come from an evaluation of short- and medium-term outcomes (for example, changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior). Overall, the Fire Science Network will strive to build and strengthen relationships among managers, scientists, and science delivery partnerships in the region to overcome institutional barriers, span cultural boundaries, and improve communication about fire management, science needs, and science products.

Principal Investigator: Vita X. Wright

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: RMRS-Human Factors & Risk Management RD&A

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Susan T. Major

Forest Service

RMRS-Rocky Mountain Research Station

Budget Contact

Edith M. Cates

Forest Service

RMRS-Rocky Mountain Research Station

Co-Principal Investigator

Todd R Kipfer

Montana State University

Big Sky Institute-MSU

Co-Principal Investigator

Crystal A. Kolden

University of Idaho

Department of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences

Co-Principal Investigator

Kristine M. Lee

Forest Service

Missoula Fire Sciences Lab

Co-Principal Investigator

Adrian D. Leighton

Salish Kootenai College

Department of Natural Resources

Co-Principal Investigator

James P. Riddering

University of Montana

National Center for Landscape Fire Analysis


Leana J. Schelvan

University of Montana

National Center for Landscape Fire Analysis

Federal Cooperator

Vita X. Wright

Forest Service

RMRS-Human Factors & Risk Management RD&A

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Northern Rockies






Interior West



Interior West


Project Deliverables

There is no final report available for this project.
There are no deliverables available for this project.

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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