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Sim Larkin

Sim Larkin
Climate Scientist
Threat Characterization and Management
400 N 34th St., Suite 201
Seattle, WA 98103-8600
United States
Current Research
  • Smoke impacts from wildland fire
  • Fire emissions from wildland fire
  • Climate change and fire
  • Climate change and smoke
  • Statistical analysis of climate patterns

Research Interest
  • How to minimize uncertainties and improve accuracy by combining disparate information sources
  • How to analyze variability including extreme events in non-static systems
  • How to disseminate scientific and probabilistic information to managers such that is is usable in decision support
  • How to display complex information for ease of use and applicability to management problems
  • University of Washington, Ph.D., Climate Diagnositcs, 2000
  • Unversity of California, Berkeley, B.A., Physics, 1991
Awards & Recognition
  • PNW Science Delivery Award, 2011
    For leading the effort to supply the best smoke information and smoke outlooks to fire and regional managers during the historic New Mexico / Arizona wildfires.
  • National Fire Plan Excellence in Research Award, 2005
    Awarded to the BlueSky Smoke Modeling Consortium.
Other Publications
Research Highlights

The Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment: Improving Fire and Smoke Forecasting, Protecting Public Health

Year: 2019
With researchers and wildland fire crews in position, weather and smoke monitoring equipment activated, and camera carrying drones launched, air crew ignited what would become a prescribed stand-replacement fire in the Fishlake National Forest, Utah. The event on June 20, 2019, was the latest in a s...

New Tool Supports Informed Decision-Making on the Combined Effects of Wildfire Smoke and COVID-19

Year: 2020
Degraded air quality due to smoke from wildland fires may exacerbate the respiratory effects of COVID-19, potentially increasing infection rates and worsening infection outcomes. To mitigate the health impacts from the confluence of smoke and COVID-19, researchers from the Pacific Northwest Research...

The Map Makes Air Quality Data Readily Available to the Public for the First Time

Year: 2020
Wildfire smoke is the predominant cause of major air quality events in the United States that affect millions of Americans each year, causing significant negative health effects. To enhance the current air quality monitoring system across the country, researchers from the USDA Forest Service and th...

Delivery of Smoke Science to Incident Operations

Year: 2014
Forest Service scientists, working with the Washington Office Fire and Aviation Management to support the Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program, responded to fires throughout 2014, providing access to smoke predictions and smoke science tools that were used to help the region and incidents resp...

Mitigating Arctic Black Carbon Deposition

Year: 2012
Scientists identify meteorological conditions when black carbon does not travel to the Arctic

New Techniques Improve National Emissions Inventory for Wildland Fire

Year: 2012
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is using new techniques to create the next national emissions inventory for wildland fire

A Continued Success: The U.S. Interagency Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program

Year: 2019
This program founded by the USDA Forest Service delivers information to people in areas affected by wildland fire smoke. In 2018 alone, more than 45 million people received smoke outlooks from the Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program Air Resource Advisor. The success of this relatively new and...

Scientists Acquire Better Knowledge of Smoke Transport During Prescribed Burning in the Wildland-urban Interface of Bend, Oregon

Year: 2015
Smoke from prescribed fires in the Deschutes National Forest has negatively affected the city of Bend, Oregon, nine times over the past two years. These smoke events threaten the ability of land managers to use prescribed burning as a tool to mitigate hazardous fuels in the wildland urban interface...