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Riley, Karin

Research Ecologist
Focus Area/Association: 
Employee Role: 
Research Scientist
Phone Number: 
(406) 329-4806

RMRS Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory
5775 US Hwy 10 West
Missoula, MT 59808

Photo: Karin Riley
  • A.B., Earth and Planetary Science, Geological Option, Harvard University
  • M.S., Environmental Systems, Humboldt State University
  • PhD, Geosciences, University of Montana
Research topics: 
  • estimation of risk to terrestrial carbon resources from wildland fire; 
  • creating CONUS-wide maps of trees, understory, and downed woody material;
  • analysis of fuel treatment effects.
Personal Summary: 

Karin has been lurking around the Fire Lab as a contractor or postdoc since 2009 and is now a permanent Forest Service employee. Karin’s work focusses on estimation of fire risk – in the service of this work, she uses a suite of fire modeling, geospatial, and machine learning tools. Prior to working at the Fire Lab, Karin completed a PhD in Geosciences at the University of Montana, where she studied post-fire debris flows and the role of drought in driving large wildland fires.

Modified: Nov 03, 2020

Select Publications & Products

Google Scholar Profile

Riley, Karin L., A. Park Williams, Shawn P. Urbanski, Dave E. Calkin, Karen C. Short, and Christopher O’Connor. 2019. Will landscape fire increase in the future? A systems approach to climate, fire, fuel, and human drivers. Current Pollution Reports. 

Riley, Karin L., Matthew P. Thompson, Joe H. Scott, and Julie W. Gilbertson-Day. 2018. A model-based framework to evaluate alternative wildfire suppression strategies. Resources 7(4); doi:10.3390/resources7010004.

Riley, Karin L. and Rachel Loehman. 2016. Mid-21st century climate changes increase predicted fire occurrence and fire season length, Northern Rocky Mountains, US. Ecosphere 7(11), article e01543.

Riley, Karin L., Anna E. Klene, Isaac Grenfell, and Faith Ann Heinsch. 2013. The relationship of large fire occurrence with drought and fire danger indices in the western USA, 1984-2008: the role of temporal scale. International Journal of Wildland Fire 22(7): 894-909. 

Finney, Mark A., Charles McHugh, Isaac Grenfell, and Karin L. Riley. 2011. A simulation of probabilistic wildfire risk components for the continental United States. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment 25:973-1000. DOI: 10.1007/s00477-011-0462-z.