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2012 In the News

2012 New Publications

2012 Research Accomplishments - Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program

2012 FMI Annual Report

2011 RMRS Annual Accomplishments Report
2011 News Archive
A 50-Year Dedication to Understanding Wildlands and Fire
RMRS Research Accompishments publications 2002 to date


In The News

Tenderfoot Creek Experimental Forest Administrative Facilities: The Rocky Mountain Research Station and the White Sulphur Springs Ranger District of the Lewis and Clark National Forest have executed an agreement for development of administrative facilities serving the Tenderfoot Creek Experimental Forest located in the Little Belt Mountains of central Montana. The 30-day Notice of Comment period began with a legal notice printed in the Great Falls Tribune on September 12, 2012. In addition, a scoping letter was mailed to interested parties on September 11, 2012.

JFSP to Fund 3-Year Fire Effects Project: Research Ecologist Rachel Loehman, Research Mechanical Engineer Bret Butler, and Ecologist Jim Reardon, Missoula, along with colleagues Ana Steffen and Jamie Civitello (Valles Caldera National Preserve), Jennifer Dyer (Santa Fe National Forest), Rory Gauthier (Bandelier National Monument), Vince Archer (Forest Service Enterprise Teams), and Alexander Evans (Forest Guild) have been awarded funding from the Joint Fire Science Program for a three-year project. Titled “Linking Field-based and Experimental Methods to Quantify, Predict, and Manage Fire Effects on Cultural Resources,” the project will provide information on potential fire effects on cultural resources, quantify the magnitude and duration of heating that result in damage to cultural resources, and link these fire effects to operational fire models. This collaborative effort among fire scientists, forest ecologists, earth scientists, archaeologists, and fire managers includes laboratory experiments to replicate variable burn environments and the direct effects of fire exposure on archaeological materials, field-based examination of post-fire effects, and knowledge synthesis and science delivery. The primary study area for the project is the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico, including areas burned in the 2011.

FireWorks Delivered: On June 13-14, Ecologist Jane Kapler Smith and Biological Science Technician Nancy McMurray, Missoula, met at our Rapid City lab with Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) staff from the Pine Ridge, Fort Berthold, and Fort Washakie Reservations (photo) to deliver “FireWorks for Missouri River Country.” Jane, Nancy and Ilana Abrahamson developed this program with support from the BIA to provide educators with curriculum and hands-on activities for teaching about the science of wildland fire in the Front Range and Great Plains. BIA partners received 8 boxes of materials, including lab equipment, botanical specimens, and essays for children. They will work with individual tribes to add cultural knowledge about fire and local ecology to the program. Business Manager Susan Bradford and Supervisory Ecologist Jack Butler, Rapid City, arranged for use of the facility and RMRS laboratories. FireWorks is an educational program about the science of wildfire and is designed for students in grades 1-10 (http://www.firelab.org/con-ed/92-fireworks).

UM Fire Center Recognizes Cooperative Work with Fire Lab: In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the National Center for Landscape Fire Analysis at The University of Montana (http://firecenter.umt.edu), the school’s Fire Center commissioned a limited edition original woodblock print by artist Claire Emery (www.emeryart.com). At a recent meeting of the Wildland Fire Science Partnership (http://www.firesciencepartnership.org/), Fire Center Director LLoyd Queen presented a signed, hand-colored print to RMRS Fire, Fuel and Smoke Science Program Manager Colin Hardy in appreciation of the Fire Center’s longstanding and very productive relationship enjoyed by the Fire Center and the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory (http://www.firelab.org). The Fire Center develops science, technology, and applications to improve fire management, while training and educating future fire professionals. The Center’s interpretative description accompanying the artwork tells it all: “The image was designed to reflect our active participation in fire operations, training, education, and research, and to acknowledge the ecological role that fire plays on landscapes. Each of us has stood in the shoes of the firefighters depicted in the image, collecting fire information, developing management strategies, or contemplating our role in nature.”

Award: Research Physical Scientist Pat Andrews, Missoula, received the national 2011 Research and Development Deputy Chief’s Science Delivery Award at a ceremony held last week in Fort Collins during the Forest Service Research Executive Team (FSRET) meeting. The award, presented by R&D Deputy Chief Jimmy Reaves  and Station Director Sam Foster, recognizes Pat for making scientific models available for fire management applications in the form of fire behavior prediction and fire danger rating systems. She is one of three Forest Service researchers who received a 2011 R&D Deputy Chief’s Award. RMRS hosted the FSRET meeting, a gathering of Station Directors and WO R&D leadership. On Thursday, the Fort Collins Social Activities Committee put together a BBQ luncheon for FSRET members and Fort Collins employees.

Keane Selected to Science Advisory Board: Research Ecologist Bob Keane, Missoula, has been named to American Forests’ Science Advisory Board. The Board informs and evaluates American Forests’ forest restoration work and public policy initiatives, including helping develop new programs and projects. Bob brings expertise in the areas of landscape and ecosystem modeling, whitebark pine restoration, wildland fuel science, fuel mapping, fire hazard and risk analysis, fire ecology and fire regimes.

Fire Lab Hosts Bhutan Visitors: The RMRS Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program, Fire Sciences Lab, and Deputy Program Manager Kris Lee, hosted Phub Dendup and Kinley Tshering (photo) from the Bhutan Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture on Tuesday, April 3. They were accompanied by Brian Schwind, Director of the Forest Service Remote Sensing Application Center (RSAC), Ken Brewer, National R&D Program Leader for Remote Sensing, and Ron Wakimoto, professor from the University of Montana. Prior to their Montana visit, Phub and Kinley were in a training program at RSAC for six weeks. While at the Fire Lab, they listened to presentations by Program Manager Colin Hardy, Don Long and Greg Dillon, analysts from the Fire Modeling Institute, Faith Ann Heinsch, post-doctoral research scientist, and Jack Cohen, research scientist. The visitors also toured the smokejumper base and met with other scientists to talk about fire and forest management issues.

Fire Lab Hosts Fire Behavior Class: Our Fire Sciences Lab hosted a University of Idaho undergraduate Fire Behavior class on Friday, March 23. The class is part of the University's Wildland Fire Program, which is affiliated with the Fire Lab through the Wildland Fire Science Partnership (http://www.firesciencepartnership.org/). The field trip was hosted by Rachel Loehman, research ecologist, and included presentations by Kris Lee, Pat Andrews, Faith Ann Heinsch, Jack Cohen, Mark Finney, Sara McCallister, Jason Forthofer, and Jim Reardon. Presentation topics encompassed fire modeling and prediction, fire danger rating, and live demonstrations of fire behavior and physical fire processes in the burn chamber, wind tunnel, and other laboratory facilities. Professor Phil Higuera passed along the following comments: "Several students said that the trip exceeded their expectations, and literally every presentation was noted as one student's most interesting experience at the lab, so the diversity of projects they were exposed to was really helpful! The various topics and your enthusiasm also helped them see how the processes of science can be exciting, fun, and relevant for management, all key teaching goals I have in the class."

RMRS/UM projects: Research Foresters Greg Jones and Nate Anderson, Missoula, and University of Montana (UM) cooperators Colin Sorenson, Tyron Venn, and Woodam Chung, recently met with a delegation from the Hitachi-Zosen Corporation (http://www.hitachizosen.co.jp/english/index.html), to discuss RMRS/UM projects focused on the deployment of distributed-scale advanced pyrolysis systems to produce heat, electricity, biochar and bio-oil from woody biomass. The group of researchers and managers from Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, were visiting research and industry sites in the United States and Canada to understand the technical and economic aspects of these technologies as Hitachi-Zosen develops new high-efficiency biomass pyrolysis systems to provide facility heat and power in rural areas. They were particularly interested in the RMRS/UM economic analysis comparing mobile systems to centralized ones, including the relationships between facility size, feedstock demand, and feedstock cost.


Wildland Fire in Ecosystems: Effects of Fire on Cultural Resources and Archaeology, General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 3, Kevin C. Ryan, Ann Trinkle Jones, Cassandra L. Koerner and Kristine M. Lee, technical editors. http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_gtr042_3.html

RMRS-GTR-270: The Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory: A 50-year dedication to understanding wildlands and fire

Elsevier Publishes MPB Study Results: The international Elsevier journal Forest Ecology and Management recently published a scientific study titled Relationships Between Moisture, Chemistry, and Ignition of Pinus contorta Needles during the Early Stages of Mountain Pine Beetle Attack, authored by RMRS Researchers Matt Jolly, Russ Parsons, Ann Hadlow, Greg Cohn, Sara McAllister, John Popp, Robert Hubbard and Jose Negron.

Science Direct: W. Matt Jolly, Russell A. Parsons, Ann M. Hadlow, Greg M. Cohn, Sara S. McAllister, John B. Popp, Robert M. Hubbard, Jose F. Negron, Relationships between moisture, chemistry, and ignition of Pinus contorta needles during the early stages of mountain pine beetle attack, Forest Ecology and Management, Volume 269, 1 April 2012, Pages 52-59, ISSN 0378-1127, 10.1016/j.foreco.2011.12.022. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112711007699)