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Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Applying and delivering National Fire Plan research

Photo of Snapshot : Finding innovative ways to help natural resource managers learn and apply new technology.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Mowrer, Hobart T.  
Research Station : Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS)
Year : 2011
Highlight ID : 397


The Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) currently has 34 active research studies funded by the National Fire Plan (NFP), in addition to numerous successful past studies. The proportion of this research that is actually being applied is difficult to assess, but it is safe to assume that without application and delivery assistance, the average scientific journal article is less likely to be applied.

In an era of limited research funding that is often available only through competition, promising the most basic research bang for the buck from outside funding often means that communication and learning resources may not be provided for potential users. Publication in a scientific journal is usually seen as the point of successful completion of research, and one may assume that potential users of the research can simply understand and apply it. In reality, however, potential users must usually spend an inordinate amount of effort and time to apply the research without the assistance of learning resources.

The Station's Science Application and Integration (SA&I) Program facilitates the delivery and application of Station research. The SA&I approach is two-pronged, addressing both research that is currently under way, as well as highly relevant research that has already been completed. First, research currently in progress is described for potential users in one-page, two-sided briefing papers that present the ongoing research study techniques, preliminary findings, and management implications in concise language that natural resource managers appreciate (given the limited amount of time they have to become acquainted with new science). In Fiscal Year 2011, SA&I produced an initial series of 10 of these briefing papers for the four Fire Science Knowledge Exchange Consortia in RMRS territory. Second, to make already completed and highly relevant NFP research more accessible, SA&I is funding science application and delivery projects through the principal investigators of these projects. The nine major projects in Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 include demonstration models, tutorials, 3-D landscape displays, workshops, web pages, user guides, user tool boxes, mini-diskettes, and videos.

Through this two-pronged approach, SA&I helps natural resource managers learn and apply new technology without having to spend too much time away from their busy day-to-day workloads. Briefing papers are posted on the RMRS web page at ( Contact Todd Mowrer at for information on specific science application and delivery projects

Program Areas