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Immersion Therapy for Journalists

The Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory hosted a group of journalists from the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources (IJNR) as part of their 2-day “The Future of Wildfire” workshop. Those attending this preseason primer on wildland fire included freelance journalists from Science, Nature, Scientific American, The New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, High Country News, EarthFix, and local outlets such as the Montana West New Bureau, La Grande Observer, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and Aspen Public Radio. The IJNR is a nonprofit that conducts immersion-style programs for journalists to help them understand and cover natural resources issues. The journalists experienced a tour of the fire lab led by FFS Program Manager Colin Hardy and Deputy Program Manager Thomas Dzomba, which included a stop in the lab’s combustion chamber for a briefing by Research Physical Scientist Shawn Urbanski on an active study of air quality monitoring equipment underway with the U.S. EPA. Research Ecologist Matt Jolly, Research Mechanical Engineer Sara McAllister, and Research Forester Mark Finney pr esented current examples of FFS research by providing some preseason looks into critical research topics relating to wildland fire. A brief panel discussion on lessons- learned regarding media relations followed. Several journalists expressed an interest in learning more about currently research and recent publications. In addition to their time at the Fire Lab, the journalists also spent two days meeting with partners and cooperators, including retirees in the Montana area, Forest Service land managers, University of Montana staff, County and Tribal officials, and Headwaters Economics officials.

Modified: May 21, 2018