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Geography: Southwestern Region (R3)

Near real-time burned area mapping with VIIRS

Projects Posted on: April 05, 2018
Wildland fires emit significant amounts of greenhouse gases, particulate matter, and ozone precursors. This can have a significant negative effect on public health at multiple scales.

Impacts of wildfire emissions on Salt Lake City

Projects Posted on: April 03, 2018
Impacts of upwind wildfire emissions on CO, CO2, and PM2.5  concentrations in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Wildland fire: Nature's fuel treatment

Pages Posted on: March 06, 2018
Every year wildland fires affect much more acreage in the United States compared to controlled burns. Like controlled burns, wildland fire can help promote biological diversity and healthy ecosystems. But despite these facts, wildland fire is not often considered as a fuel treatment in the United States. Scientists working with the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station have evaluated more than 40 years of satellite imagery to determine what happens when a fire burns into a previously burned area. Results from this research are helping land managers to assess whether a previous wildland fire will act as a fuel treatment based on the length of time since the previous fire and local conditions such as ecosystem type, topography, and fire weather conditions.

Where's the beef? Predicting the effects of climate change on cattle production in western U.S. rangelands

Pages Posted on: March 01, 2018
Matt Reeves, a research economist with the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station, along with collaborators, have been trying to understand the impacts of climate change and what they might mean for cattle numbers and operations. A model was developed that uses projections of temperatures and precipitation conditions across western rangelands to model the future vulnerability of cattle production to warmer, drier and more variable conditions.

Co-Management of Fire Risk Transmission (CoMFRT)

Groups Posted on: February 26, 2018

The aquatic eDNAtlas project

Projects Posted on: February 08, 2018
The website provides: 1) A large list of supporting science behind eDNA sampling. 2) The recommended field protocol for eDNA sampling and the equipment loan program administered by the NGC. 3) A systematically-spaced sampling grid for all flowing waters of the U.S. in a downloadable format that includes unique database identifiers and geographic coordinates for all sampling sites. Available for download in an Geodatabase or available by ArcGIS Online map. This sampling grid can be used to determine your field collection sites to contribute. 4) The lab results of eDNA sampling at those sites where project partners have agreed to share data.

How do wildfires and forest restoration efforts affect spotted owls?

Science Spotlights Posted on: February 06, 2018
High-severity wildfires are increasing and researchers are issuing different findings regarding wildfire impacts on spotted owls (Strix occidentalis), a threatened species that nests in mature, western forests with large trees and high canopy cover. Data from different studies show mixed responses of spotted owls to fire, but suggest that the effects of high-severity wildfires could be significant throughout the range of all three subspecies. The debate over owls, wildfire, and managed forest restoration needs further evaluation.

Dr. Sean Parks earns Early Career Scientist Award

FS News Posted on: November 27, 2017
Dr. Sean Parks’ accomplishments conducting high-impact relevant and applicable scientific studies with the potential to advance ecological and fire sciences has earned him the 2017 Research & Development Deputy Chief’s Early Career Scientist Award. He earned his PhD from the University of Montana in May 2014.

Forests transformed by fire exclusion help us understand climate resilience

Science Spotlights Posted on: November 06, 2017
The onset of fire exclusion in western North American forests in the late 1800s began one of the largest unintended landscape ecology experiments in human history. The current ecology of these forests and the ecological impacts of returning fire to these forests is strongly influenced by the amount of forest change that has occurred during the fire-free period. Understanding how different forest types responded to fire exclusion is important for implementing management strategies that restore fire as a natural process, promote forest health, and maintain well-functioning forests for future generations.  

Southwestern white pine - threats to the species in a changing world

Science Spotlights Posted on: October 19, 2017
Collaborative research is quantifying adaptive variation in tree species, specifically in southwestern white pine, across the western United States. This research predicts changes in species distribution and their ability to adapt in the face of global change by combining population-wide genomic data collection, common garden manipulative experiments, pathogen resistance trials, and simulation modeling.