The knowledge exchange consortia: getting fire science on the ground

Blog Post created by aronanderson Employee on Jul 18, 2013

Authored by: David R. Godwin, FAC Amabassador

 Access to local fire science is now easier than ever!

With most professionals, including natural resource managers and wildland fire specialists, time is a very limited commodity.  After meetings, paperwork, fieldwork and all of those unscheduled pop-up projects, often little time or energy remains for keeping up with the latest fire science research.  In spite of this common limitation, resource managers and wildland fire specialists at many levels are often expected to base their management decisions on the latest published scientific evidence.

An experimental prescribed fire in a mechanically treated pine flatwoods forest in the Osceola National Forest in north Florida.  This research site was part of a fuel treatment efficacy workshop and field tour hosted by the Southern Fire Exchange consortium in 2011.  

Photo Credit: David R. Godwin

In 2010, after recognizing the need for improved adoption of recent fire science research, the federally funded U.S. Joint Fire Science Program began the nationwide Knowledge Exchange Consortia project.  The Knowledge Exchange Consortia is comprised of fourteen unique regional consortiums that represent nearly all of the major wildland fire fuel types and ecosystems found across the U.S.  In addition to improving access to and adoption of the latest in wildland fire science, each consortium is also tasked with increasing communication and collaboration between the scientific research community and natural resource professionals and wildland fire managers.  While the individual consortiums vary in organizational structure, staffing, and product development, all are mandated to be unbiased brokers of wildland fire science

For resource managers and wildland fire specialists, the Joint Fire Science Knowledge Exchange Consortia program is designed to make access to the latest regionally applicable wildland fire science easier and faster.  Consortiums have hosted free webinars by federal and university researchers, organized field tours and workshops of experimental forests and demonstration sites, developed short informational videos showcasing research syntheses, and published factsheets that translate lengthy scientific journal articles into useful and relevant summaries.  Because the individual consortiums are comprised of local scientists, experts, and managers, each program is designed to provide the latest regionallyapplicable wildland fire science that addresses the specific needs and questions of the local resource managers and wildland fire specialists.

To help make your community more fire adapted, improve your management decisions, and find timesaving access to the latest fire science for your region, connect with your local Joint Fire Science Knowledge Exchange consortium.