Fire Science Co-production Workshop

Morgan Varner and Kevin Hiers were tapped by the Joint Fire Science Program to lead a national strategic workshop in Salt Lake City, UT (Oct 28-30) on how to improve and institutionalize scientist-manager co-production of actionable fire science. Scientist-manager collaboration or “co-production” is a new buzz word for how Tall Timbers and a few others have generated actionable science in the past. Co-production as a research model involves scientists and managers collaborating from idea conception, experimental design, data collection, interpreting results and transitioning the results to on-the-ground outcomes.

Co-production between fire managers and scientists is a method used by Tall Timbers since its inception and is now being embraced by the broader fire science community. Photo by Ellen Eberhardt, US Forest Service.

The workshop’s participants were scientists from federal agencies (USDA Forest Service, US Geological Survey), universities (Idaho, Utah State, Northern Arizona, Oregon State, Alaska), the Southern Fire Exchange, NGOs (Center for Natural Lands Management), and managers from across federal and state agencies (National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and New Jersey Fire Service), the Joint Fire Science Program, and Australia’s Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC.

This team is working on a report from the workshop that charts business models for the Joint Fire Science Program and other extramural funders. Another intended output is identifying how co-production can work within agencies and in current and future manager-scientist collaborations. A manuscript on the challenges and opportunities related to coproduction in fire science is underway with the participants. Tall Timbers was recognized as a national leader in this approach and will lead these efforts.

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