Matthew P. Thompson
200 East Broadway
Missoula, MT 59802
Contact Matthew P. Thompson
Integrated wildfire risk assessment to human and ecological values; Application of actuarial principles to wildfire financial planning; Risk-based fuel treatment evaluation; Suppression cost modeling; Systematic incorporation of expert judgment into fire effects analysis; Identification and classification of uncertainties faced in wildfire decision-making; Human factors, behavioral economics, risk perception, and decision-making; Partial observability and the value of information
Application of principles from systems engineering, industrial engineering, risk analysis, operations research, economics, and decision-making under uncertainty to complex resource management with economic and environmental objectives. With future work I hope to better incorporate spatiotemporal dynamics into integrated risk assessment, facilitate the application of comparative risk assessment frameworks to inform strategic planning efforts, better understand the role of human factors and incentives in decision-making, improve our ability to model the effectiveness of suppression resources, and continue to systematically explore methods for addressing uncertainty.
My past research has focused on the integration of engineering and economics to improve decision making across a variety of disciplines and contexts. My doctoral dissertation focused on forest transportation planning with environmental and economic objectives, with a strong incorporation of operations research methodologies in particular multi-objective optimization. My master's thesis focused on forest economics and policy in the context of climate change, and highlighted the need to extend attention beyond carbon sequestration to include, among other issues, the albedo effect and the implications of land use change. Undergraduate research focused on the design of a standardized data collection form to improve the examination and diagnosis of patients with acute abdominal pain.
Why This Research is Important
The spatial, temporal, and social dimensions of wildfire risk are challenging the Forest Service to meet societal needs while maintaining the health of its land base. The confluence of past management practices and philosophies, a changing climate, and increased human development into fire-prone areas result in magnified threat to human and ecological values. Further, escalating large fire suppression costs present a major challenge to the fiscal health of the agency. Thus there is a continued need for increased analytical rigor and alignment with risk management principles within federal wildfire management. Collectively my research seeks to better achieve cost containment objectives, promote landscape restoration and resource protection, and ultimately to inform and improve decision-making processes, be it related to wildfire management or more broadly to natural resources management with multiple objectives.
- University of Virginia, BS Systems Engineering, 2001
- University of California, Berkeley, MS Industrial Engineering & Operations Research, 2002
- Oregon State University, MS Forest Management, 2008
- Oregon State University, Ph.D. Forest Engineering, 2009
Publications & Products
- Calkin, David E.; Cohen, Jack D.; Finney, Mark A.; Thompson, Matthew P. 2014. How risk management can prevent future wildfire disasters in the wildland-urban interface.
- Calkin, David E.; Stonesifer, Crystal S.; Thompson, Matthew P.; McHugh, Charles W. 2014. Large airtanker use and outcomes in suppressing wildland fires in the United States.
- Haas, Jessica R.; Calkin, David E.; Thompson, Matthew P. 2013. A national approach for integrating wildfire simulation modeling into Wildland Urban Interface risk assessments within the United States.
- Thompson, Matthew P.; Scott, Joe; Kaiden, Jeffrey D.; Gilbertson-Day, Julie W. 2013. A polygon-based modeling approach to assess exposure of resources and assets to wildfire.
- Thompson, Matthew P.; Calkin, David E.; Finney, Mark A.; Gebert, Krista M.; Hand, Michael S. 2013. A risk-based approach to wildland fire budgetary planning.
- Scott, Joe H.; Thompson, Matthew P.; Calkin, David E. 2013. A wildfire risk assessment framework for land and resource management.
- Thompson, Matthew P.; Scott, Joe; Langowski, Paul G.; Gilbertson-Day, Julie W.; Haas, Jessica R.; Bowne, Elise M. 2013. Assessing watershed-wildfire risks on National Forest System lands in the Rocky Mountain Region of the United States.
- Thompson, Matthew P.; Hand, Michael S.; Gilbertson-Day, Julie W.; Vaillant, Nicole M.; Nalle, Darek J. 2013. Hazardous fuel treatments, suppression cost impacts, and risk mitigation.
- Thompson, Matthew P.; Scott, Joe; Helmbrecht, Don; Calkin, Dave E. 2013. Integrated wildfire risk assessment: Framework development and application on the Lewis and Clark National Forest in Montana, USA.
- Thompson, Matthew P. 2013. Modeling wildfire incident complexity dynamics.
- Thompson, Matthew P.; Vaillant, Nicole M.; Haas, Jessica R.; Gebert, Krista M.; Stockmann, Keith D. 2013. Quantifying the potential impacts of fuel treatments on wildfire suppression costs.
- Wibbenmeyer, Matthew J.; Hand, Michael S.; Calkin, David E.; Venn, Tyron J.; Thompson, Matthew P. 2013. Risk preferences in strategic wildfire decision making: A choice experiment with U.S. wildfire managers.
- Thompson, Matthew P.; Marcot, Bruce G.; Thompson, Frank R.; McNulty, Steven; Fisher, Larry A.; Runge, Michael C.; Cleaves, David; Tomosy, Monica. 2013. The science of decisionmaking: Applications for sustainable forest and grassland management in the National Forest System.
- Warziniack, Travis; Thompson, Matthew. 2013. Wildfire risk and optimal investments in watershed protection.
- Thompson, Matthew P.; Calkin, David E.; Herynk, Jason; McHugh, Charles W.; Short, Karen C. 2012. Airtankers and wildfire management in the US Forest Service: examining data availability and exploring usage and cost trends.
- Calkin, David E.; Venn, Tyron; Wibbenmeyer, Matthew; Thompson, Matthew P. 2012. Estimating US federal wildland fire managers' preferences toward competing strategic suppression objectives.
- Scott, Joe; Helmbrecht, Don; Thompson, Matthew P.; Calkin, David E.; Marcille, Kate. 2012. Probabilistic assessment of wildfire hazard and municipal watershed exposure.
- Marcot, Bruce G.; Thompson, Matthew P.; Runge, Michael C.; Thompson, Frank R.; McNulty, Steven; Cleaves, David; Tomosy, Monica; Fisher, Larry A.; Bliss, Andrew. 2012. Recent advances in applying decision science to managing national forests.
- Thompson, Matthew P.; Ager, Alan A.; Finney, Mark A.; Calkin, Dave E.; Vaillant, Nicole M. 2012. The science and opportunity of wildfire risk assessment (Chapter 6).
- Calkin, Dave; Ager, Alan A.; Thompson, Matthew. 2011. A comparative risk assessment framework for wildland fire management: the 2010 cohesive strategy science report.
- Calkin, David E.; Thompson, Matthew P.; Finney, Mark A.; Hyde, Kevin D. 2011. A real-time risk assessment tool supporting wildland fire decisionmaking.
- Thompson, Matthew P.; Calkin, David E.; Gilbertson-Day, Julie W.; Ager, Alan A. 2011. Advancing effects analysis for integrated, large-scale wildfire risk assessment.
- Thompson, Matthew P.; Calkin, David E.; Finney, Mark A.; Ager, Alan A.; Gilbertson-Day, Julie W. 2011. Integrated national-scale assessment of wildfire risk to human and ecological values.
- Calkin, David C.; Finney, Mark A.; Ager, Alan A.; Thompson, Matthew P.; Gebert, Krista M. 2011. Progress towards and barriers to implementation of a risk framework for US federal wildland fire policy and decision making.
- Calkin, Dave; Phipps, John; Holmes, Tom; Rieck, Jon; Thompson, Matt. 2011. The Exposure Index: Developing firefighter safety performance measures.
- Thompson, Matthew P.; Calkin, Dave E. 2011. Uncertainty and risk in wildland fire management: A review.
|Risk Analysis Prioritizes Investments in Hazardous Fuels Reduction|
Scientists mitigate the adverse impacts of wildland fires