- Updating the best available science in NWCG fire behavior and prescribed fire courses.
- Observing and analyzing fire behavior and fire effects.
- Building self-paced training to demonstrate how to use software maintained by the Missoula Fire Lab, such as the three BehavePlus online courses hosted in the Wildland Fire Learning Portal.
LaWen Hollingsworth has worked as a Fire Analyst for the Fire Modeling Institute at the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula, Montana, since 2011.
LaWen started as a Range Technician in 1999 on the Payette National Forest conducting long-term vegetation monitoring in upland and riparian systems. In 2001 she moved to Montana and worked during the summer of 2002 as a firefighter on the Stevensville District of the Bitterroot National Forest. In 2003, LaWen started graduate school at the University of Montana and focused on assessing post-fire vegetation recovery following the wildfires of 2000 in the Bitterroot Valley, Montana. She also received her first permanent appointment at this time as a Fire Ecologist on the Helena National Forest. Her duties included establishing an inventory and monitoring program within prescribed fire units, serving as a fire/fuels representative on interdisciplinary teams, assisting collaborative groups as a fire technical expert, and supporting operations and planning for prescribed fires and wildfires.
LaWen is currently focused on improving science applications and delivery in NWCG fire courses, developing delivery methods to improve foundational fire behavior knowledge in the field, applying the best available science in project planning, and incorporating the concepts of wildfire risk assessment as part of the strategic planning process on incidents. She mentors and trains field personnel from all agencies in using fire behavior systems and gathering, modifying, and calibrating data. LaWen serves on the faculty for Rx-301/341 Prescribed Fire Implementation/Prescribed Fire Plan Preparation, Rx-510 Advanced Fire Effects, S-490 Advanced Wildland Fire Behavior Calculations, S-482 Strategic Operational Planner, and S-495 Geospatial Fire Analysis, Interpretation, and Application in addition to wildfire assignments in operations and as a Long Term Fire Analyst.