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Erin J. Belval

Erin J. Belval
Research Forester
Human Dimensions
240 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins, CO 80526-2098
United States
Current Research
Erin provides research products, decision support tools, innovative frameworks and answers to policy questions using state-of-the-art, empirically driven models and analyses. She specializes in the management of wildland fire, particularly focusing on the effectiveness and efficiency of the current management system and policies.
Past Research
Erin’s research projects generally fall into at least one of the following three categories: 1) data driven statistical analyses to identify historical and current patterns, 2) direct decision support and risk management tools provided to managers in response to current management issues and 3) decision support frameworks that improve management in the future, particularly focusing on frameworks that consider the inter-agency and multi-jurisdictional land management aspects of wildfire. Her research has spanned broad spatial scales, from a single fire model of fire suppression operations to national level dispatching response for wildland fire. Examples of past and current research cover diverse topics such as efficient dispatching of interagency hotshot crews, assessing effectiveness of suppression and fuel break strategies, the interagency and hierarchical environment in which fire is managed, risk assessments for large fires, seasonality of wildland fire resources, effect of human development on bird species richness and developing metrics for resource scarcity.
Why This Research Is Important
The management of wildland fire is critically important to our society and will demand innovative, collaborative solutions in the coming years as our society grapples with the effects of climate change, land use and conflicting priorities among different stakeholders. To address these issues, research in the field of wildland fire management requires the integration of knowledge from a wide variety of disciplines such as management science, operations research, ecology, economics, statistics and the social sciences.
  • Colorado State University, Ph.D. Forestry, Forestry and Operations Research, 2014
  • Colorado State University, M.E., Operations Research and Systems Analysis, 2012
  • Reed College, B.A. Physics, Physics, 2008
Professional Experience
  • Research Scientist / Research Associate,  Colorado State University,  2014 - 2020
  • Post-doctoral Fellow,  Colorado State University,  2013 - 2014
Other Publications