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Title: Bridging the worlds of fire managers and researchers: lessons and opportunities from the Wildland Fire Workshops.

Author: White, Seth M.;

Date: 2004

Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-599. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 41 p

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

Description: In March and April of 2003, over 250 managers, researchers, and other participants gathered for a series of workshops at Oregon State University, the University of Arizona, and Colorado State University, near the largest wildfires of 2002. In response to the need for better understanding of large fires, the Wildland Fire Workshops were designed to create an atmosphere for quality interactions between managers and researchers and to accomplish the following objectives: (1) create a prioritized list of recommendations for future wildland fire research; (2) identify the characteristics of effective partnerships; (3) identify types of effective information, tools, and processes; and (4) evaluate the workshops as a potential blueprint for similar workshops in other regions. Through a series of professionally facilitated workshops, participants worked toward speaking with one voice about many key issues. Although differences emerged among individuals, disciplines, and geographic locations, many common themes emerged. Participants suggested that research should be framed in the larger picture of fire ecology and ecosystem restoration, be interdisciplinary, be attentive to the effects of fire at different scales over the landscape and through time, and be focused on social issues. Effective partnerships occur when direct interaction takes place between people at multiple stages, adequate time is allowed for partnership building, partners are rewarded and held accountable for their roles, and when dedicated individuals are identified and cultivated. Participants identified effective information, tools, and processes as those that are adequately and consistently funded, user-friendly, interactive between people at multiple levels, and often championed by key, dedicated individuals. A survey of participants at the final meeting in Colorado revealed that the workshops did in fact create an atmosphere for positive interactions between managers and researchers, and that with some refinements, similar workshops could be carried out in other regions with productive results.

Keywords: Wildfire, fire, communication, technology transfer, applied research, management, information, partnerships

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White, Seth M. 2004. Bridging the worlds of fire managers and researchers: lessons and opportunities from the Wildland Fire Workshops. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-599. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 41 p

 


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