US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
You are here: Home / People / Profile


Erin Noonan-Wright

Fire Application Specialist
5775 W. Broadway
United States

Phone: 406-829-6964
Contact Erin Noonan-Wright

Current Research

I'm investigating decision making practices on wildland fires utilizing the Wildland Fire Decision Support System (WFDSS) and other databases to provide a summary of how various regions are making decisions on wildland fires.

I'm investigating the usage of the various wildland fire behavior modeling systems (FSPro, Near-term, Short-term) and how they are utilized to assist with decision support on wildland fire.

I continue to remain focused on providing technology transfer to the user committee through various avenues:

I'm chair of the NWCG Advanced Fire Environment Learning Unit which strives to provide tangible continuing education for fire behavior specialists in the form of workshops, webinars, and other presentations:

I’m on the steering committee for the S-495 Geo-spatial Fire Analysis, Interpretation and Application Course and teach the online Unit 4, Assumptions and Limitations of fire behavior modeling systems and Unit 8, Strategic Level Risk Assessment for LTANs and FBANs. 

Research Interests

As a member of the Wildland Fire Management Research, Development and Application Group, I’m interested in providing assistance to fire management practitioners doing spatial fire behavior analysis, decision support and fuels analysis.

I’m interested in providing technology transfer to the fire management community especially during the pre-fire planning stage before an ignition occurs. I facilitated the Wildfire Risk and Fuel Treatment Analysis Workshop to provide an introductory framework and practices to implement wildfire risk assessment on DOI and Forest Service lands.

Finally, I’m interested in finding new ways to produce and communicate spatial fire behavior modeling and decision support information to incident management teams. As a qualified Long- term Analyst (LTAN), I enjoy working with Fire Behavior Analysts (FBANs) and Incident Meteorologists (IMETs) to provide a range of fire behavior products for fire fighter safety and strategic planning to an incident management team.

Past Research

Long-term monitoring of wildland fuels and fire behavior:

I’ve analyzed fuel treatments in the Northern Rockies and evaluated their effectiveness.

I’ve led a field crew, analyzed data and wrote summary reports and publications for the Prescribed Fire and Fuels Treatment Monitoring Project in the Pacific Southwest Region.

Fuels and Fire Behavior Analysis:

I’ve provided spatial fire behavior modeling products (fuels and fire behavior analysis) for the US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5) as a member of the Adaptive Management Services Enterprise Team.

I was a member of the Fire Behavior Assessment Team (FBAT) that collected fuels and real-time fire behavior information on wildland fires.

Why This Research is Important

I believe if we can integrate fire research into fire managment practices, land management agencies will be better poised to think strategically and long-term about forest and range management, providing for all the services communities need such as water, wildlife, recreation, etc.


  • University of Montana, Missoula, Ph.D. Candidate Forestry, Emphasis in Fire Science 2015
  • University of Nevada, Reno, Master Of Science Environmental Resource Sciences GIS, Remote Sensing 2002
  • University of California, Berkeley, B.S. Forestry Forestry 1997

Professional Experience

  • Fire Application Specialist, Wildland Fire Management RDA
    2009 - Current
    Technology Transfer projects related to spatial fire behavior modeling, decision support and fuels analysis for the Department of Interior land management agencies (DOI) and the U.S. Forest Service.
  • Analyst, Systems for Environmental Management, LLC
    2006 - 2009
    Contractor to the Fire Sciences Lab. assisting with fuels analysis and applications (Behave Plus, Fuel Calc)
  • Ecologist, Adaptive Management Services Enterprise Team (AMSET)
    2003 - 2006
    Provided fuels and fire behavior analysis to National Forests primarily in the Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5).
  • Fire GIS Specialist, Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area
    2002 - 2003
    Provided GIS support to fire management; analyzed vegetation data and composed a spatial fuels GIS raster dataset encompassing both National Parks for spatial fire behavior modeling in FARSITE.

Awards & Recognition

  • Region 5 Women in Science, Math, Engineering and Technology Award, 2013
  • Redding IHC Rookie Award, 2005
  • FY2006 Region 5 Scholarship Program Recipient, 2005


Last updated on : 01/14/2016