The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), on behalf of the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP), conducted an evaluation of the Fire Science Exchange Network (FSEN), which connects wildland fire scientists and practitioners through 15 individual exchanges across the United States to help address complex wildfire needs and challenges. The study was divided into two phases: The first phase was a literature review and synthesis from materials provided by the JFSP Board. Phase two, informed by the JFSP review, was an online survey sent to more than 16,000 exchange network users compiled from the electronic mailing lists for each exchange. Respondents were asked their opinions on the importance, quality, and delivery of information for 16 key fire science topics, the prioritization of FSEN objectives, and from where and to what extent respondents are gathering information on key topics. Overall, respondents believed that sharing information and building relationships are the most important objectives of the FSEN. Respondents believed the exchange network is successful in delivering information for many of the key science topics (for example, fire behavior, prescribed fire, firefighter safety, and incident management); gaps were identified in scientific resources available for some topics (for example, economic impacts, social science and human dimensions, Indigenous knowledge). Most respondents participated in one to two exchanges and relied heavily on their respondent location (the exchange in which they primarily live and [or] work) for information. Respondents also often relied on external sources outside of the exchange network. Regional patterns emerged in information gathering whereby respondents from exchanges in the western United States (for example, Northern Rockies, Southern Rockies, and Northwest) and respondents from exchanges in the eastern United States (for example, Southern, Oak Woodlands, and Tallgrass) frequently gathered information from each other.
|Title||2021 assessment of the Joint Fire Science Program’s Fire Science Exchange Network|
|Authors||Natasha Collins, James Meldrum, Rudy Schuster, Nina Burkardt|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Fort Collins Science Center|