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Kristin L. Zouhar

Technical Information Specialist (Fire Ecology)

5775 Highway 10 West
Missoula, MT 59808-9361
Contact Kristin L. Zouhar

Current Research

I am an editor and writer for the Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory. I specialize in synthesizing information from the scientific literature on fire regimes and fire effects in North American ecosystems, with an emphasis on fire and nonnative invasive species, for use by managers and the public.

Research Interests

  • Effects of nonnative invasive plants on fuel characteristics and fire regimes in invaded communities
  • Effects of roads and trails on the establishment and spread of nonnative invasive plants
  • Impacts of invasive species on native ecosystems

Past Research

  • Fire effects on nonnative invasive plants, and the effects of nonnative invasive plants on fuels, fire behavior, and fire regimes
  • Using fire to control invasive plants
  • Effects of fire and logging on nitrogen availability in ponderosa pine forest soils
  • Soil morphology and classification

Why This Research is Important

The impacts of invasive plants on native communities can be severe and long-lasting. Understanding the relationship between fire and invasive plants can help managers evaluate risks and strategize effective prevention and mitigation of plant invasions in order to sustain the ecological integrity and resilience of forests and grasslands. This is especially important within the context of a changing climate. Research on road impacts (including, but not limited to, effects on the introduction and spread of invasive plants) is important because management and policy discussions and decisions often include opening up roadless areas for resource extraction, and we need to know the true ecological costs of such actions.


  • New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, B.S., Soil Science, 1991
  • New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, B.A., Psychology, 1991
  • University of Montana, Missoula, M.S., Resource Conservation, 1997
  • Featured Publications


    McKinney, Shawn; Juran, Ashley; Murphy, Shannon K.; Abrahamson, Ilana; Fryer, Janet L.; Zouhar, Kristin L. , 2020. A synthesis and meta-analysis of ponderosa pine fire regimes from five U.S. regions
    Smith, Jane Kapler; Fryer, Janet L.; Zouhar, Kristin L. , 2009. The Fire Effects Information System - serving managers since before the Yellowstone fires
    Smith, Jane Kapler; Zouhar, Kristin L.; Fryer, Janet L. , 2009. Writing syntheses for managers: Lessons from the Rainbow Series and Fire Effects Information System
    Smith, Jane Kapler; Zouhar, Kristin L.; Sutherland, Steve; Brooks, Matthew L. , 2008. Chapter 16: Fire and nonnative plants-summary and conclusions
    Smith, Jane Kapler; Zouhar, Kristin L.; Sutherland, Steve; Brooks, Matthew L. , 2008. Chapter 1: Fire and nonnative invasive plants-introduction
    Harrington, Michael G.; Fiedler, Carl E.; Arno, Stephen F.; McCaughey, Ward W.; Theroux, Leon J.; Carlson, Clinton E.; Zouhar, Kristin L.; DeLuca, Thomas H.; Bedunah, Donald J.; Ayers, Dayna M.; Beringer, Elizabeth A.; Hejl, Sallie J.; Bacon, Lynn; Benson, Robert E.; Smith, Jane Kapler; Floch, Rick , 1999. Effects of ecosystem-based management treatments
    The Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) provides scientific information for resource management, restoration, rehabilitation, and fire management. FEIS continues to improve its service to managers by providing new and updated products and a new user interface is currently under development.