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Smith, Helen

Position: 
Ecologist
Focus Area/Association: 
Employee Role: 
Support Scientist
Phone Number: 
(406) 329-4707
Address: 

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

Education: 
  • M.S., Resource Conservation, University of Montana
  • B.S., Wildlife Biology, University of Montana
  • A.A.S., Flathead Valley Community College
Personal Summary: 

Helen is an ecologist at the Missoula Fire Sciences Lab and the manager of the Tenderfoot Creek Experimental Forest, which is located in the Little Belt Mountains in central Montana.

Helen’s career with the Forest Service began as a seasonal on a stand exam crew on the Flathead National Forest. Since being employed at the Fire Lab, Helen has been involved in a wide variety of research projects ranging from fire history and reconstruction of historic stand structure to determining the effects of forest management on forest and fuelbed characteristics. She presents fire history and ecological overviews in the Northern Rockies for Rx310 (Introduction to Fire Effects) and Rx410 (Smoke Management Techniques) at the Northern Rockies Training Center and is a steering committee member of Rx510 (Applied Fire Effects). In addition, Helen has presented lodgepole pine ecology to many FireWorks classes and participated in various Conservation Education tours of the Lab to school-aged children.

In 2004, Helen was invited to be a facilitator at the “Managing the Unexpected in Prescribed Fire and Fire Use Operations: A Workshop on the High Reliability Organization” in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She also facilitated at the third workshop titled “Managing the Unexpected in Wildland Fire Operations” in Missoula, Montana, in 2006. These workshops and the philosophy of High Reliability Organizing are important to Helen because they focus on making the prescribed fire and wildland fire environments safer places to work.

Helen also helped facilitate the Environmental Management System Lessons Learned Workshop, held in Tucson, Arizona, in 2006.

Affiliation: 
RMRS-FFS
Modified: Dec 15, 2016

Select Publications & Products

Smith, H.Y.; Hood, S.; Brooks, M.; Matchett, J. R.; and Deuser, C. 2006. Response of fuelbed characteristics to restoration treatments in pinyon-juniper-encroached shrublands on the Shivwits Plateau, Arizona. In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W., comps. 2006. Fuels Management-How to Measure Success: Conference Proceedings. 28-30 March 2006; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 513-521.

Hardy, C. C.; Smith, H. Y.; McCaughey, W. 2006. The use of silviculture and prescribed fire to manage stand structure and fuel profiles in a multi-aged lodgepole pine forest. In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W., comps. 2006. Fuels Management-How to Measure Success: Conference Proceedings. 28-30 March 2006; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 451-464.

Hillis, M.; Applegate, V.; Slaughter, S.; Harrington, M. G.; Smith, H. 2001. Simulating historical disturbance regimes and stand structures in old-forest ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir forests. In: Barras, Stanley J., ed. Proceedings: National silvicultural workshop; 1999 October 5-7; Kalispell, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-19. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 32-39.

Smith, H. Y., ed. 2000. The Bitterroot Ecosystem Management Research Project: What we have learned. Proc. RMRS-P-17. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 154 p.

Smith, H. Y. 2000. Wildlife habitat considerations. In: Smith, Helen Y., ed. 2000. The Bitterroot Ecosystem Management Research Project: What we have learned: symposium proceedings; 1999 May 18-20; Missoula, MT. Proc. RMRS-P-17. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 26-27.

Smith, H. Y.; Arno, S. F., eds. 1999. Eighty-eight years of change in a managed ponderosa pine forest. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-23. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 55 p.

Arno, S. F.; Smith, H. Y.; Krebs, M. A. 1997. Old growth ponderosa pine and western larch stand structures: Influences of pre-1900 fires and fire exclusion. Res. Pap. INT-RP-495. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Intermountain Research Station. 20 p.