Donald Long is an ecologist at the Fire Sciences Laboratory of the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula, MT. He earned a B.S. degree in forest science from the University of Montana and a master of science in forest resources at the University of Idaho. During this time, he accumulated over fifteen field seasons of experience with timber and vegetation inventory throughout the Northern Rocky Mountains.
Don has worked on a variety of research projects concerned with ecosystem dynamics, fuel and vegetation inventory and mapping, and fire behavior and effects. He began his work at the Fire Lab in 1994 coordinating vegetation and fuels mapping and succession modeling for the Columbia River Basin Ecosystem Assessment Project. In the late 1990’s, he moved on to a number of other landscape level vegetation and fuels mapping efforts on National Forest lands in the Northern Rocky Mountains and the Gila National Forest in New Mexico. In addition, he helped developed analysis techniques and tools for landscape assessments in Montana and Colorado. In the early 2000’s, Donald focused his efforts in the Southern Utah area where he coordinated large-scale vegetation and fuels mapping and modeling for the Southern Utah Fuels Demonstration Project. In 2003, he began work with the LANDFIRE Project. For LANDFIRE, he coordinated succession model development for the LANDFIRE Prototype; and then worked on several projects for the LANDFIRE National Project, including vegetation map unit development and vegetation mapping analysis.
Currently, Don is the Technical/Science lead for the LANDFIRE Refresh project, which is slated for completion in March of 2011.