The Deep Dive project is a centerpiece of a learning pilot program collaboratively initiated by WEPO’s, Policy, Accountability and Analysis and RMRS’s Office of Innovation and Organizational Learning (IOL) to build organizational learning capacity with specific focus on gender harassment and discrimination in the USDA Forest Service. Agency, academic and industry consultant social scientists with backgrounds in operational fire, gender, inclusion, culture, communications, and organizational learning are collaborating to lead this initiative. The intent of the Deep Dive is to inquire into the lived experiences of wildland firefighters as it relates to harassment and discrimination in everyday work experiences, with the purpose of understanding and transforming systemic organizational cultural norms toward an inclusive, high performing workplace. This inquiry utilizes an action research approach, utilizing a program called ThoughtExchange in which respondents provide their thoughts to an open-ended question and rate the thoughts of other respondents. ThoughtExchange uses an algorithm to ensure every thought is seen and ranked an equal number of times. The team of scientists analyze the data through a critical feminist and appreciative inquiry lens to identify collaborative approaches to problem solving in organizations. Findings from each ThoughtExchange are shared with respondents and compared to relevant academic literature. Findings and analysis will be presented to focus groups to vet and to develop action steps to be piloted during the 2023 field season.
Wildland Fire Deep Dive Project
Matt Carroll is an Organizational Learning Ambassador with the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station’s Office of Innovation and Organizational Learning (IOL). He has been embedded with the Forest Service’s Work Environment and Performance Office (WEPO) to imbed forward-looking learning philosophies and practices into the anti-harassment program. Matt was part of the team that developed the Coordinated Response Protocol/Learning Review (CRP/LR) process, and has participated as a subject matter expert, facilitator or team lead in many of the Learning Reviews since the process was officially adopted.
Matt has an Associate’s degree from Paul Smith’s College in Environmental Technology, a Bachelors of Arts in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic, and a Masters of Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.