Pamela G. Sikkink
1) My current work focuses on developing an objective classification method for predicting burn severity from surface fuels. 2) I am exploring ways to integrate fire severity designations from remote sensing with ecological modeling to create better burn severity maps3) I am exploring seasonal changes in biomass production and live fuel moistures in several species of grasses to determine curing and fuel characteristics. 4) I am also exploring ways to improve vegetation sampling in Yellowstone National Park to create a bridge between data collected historically and data collected by more modern techniques.
My research interests include classifying fire effects in live and dead fuel; determining how combustion affects productivity and physiological characteristics of grasses, forbs, and shrubs; determining limits of heat tolerance in vegetative parts of understory fuels; and developing ways to bridge modern and historic field sampling methods in vegetation communities.
Objectively classifying fire effects provides for consistent collection of data in fuels studies and standardized communication between researchers and managers. Research on grass curing and live fuel moistures of all understory vegetation is needed to improve the prediction of fire effects when modeling wildfire and prescription burns. Research on the heat tolerance of vegetative parts of plants is important to judging severity of burns and assessing restoration needs. Finding ways to bridge the sampling methods of past and present is important to assessments of the effects of climate change in Yellowstone National Park.
Why This Research is Important
1) I have studied multi-decadal vegetation change in grassland communities of Montana.2) I have published a paper comparing how several surface fuel sampling methods differed in output and usefulness.3) I have created a field guide for sampling downed woody debris surface fuels. 4) I have published on the Artemisia tridentata community in Yellowstone Nat. Park.5) I have worked on the development team to create software that integrated FEAT and FIREMON (databases for field data).
- Bemidji State University, Bemidji, MN, BS Biology and Geology,
- University of Montana, Missoula, MS Forestry and Geology,
- University of Montana, Missoula, Ph.D. Forestry,
Publications & Products
- Sikkink, Pamela G.; Renkin, Roy; Chong, Geneva; Sikkink, Art. 2013. Assessing five field sampling methods to monitor Yellowstone National Park's northern ungulate winter range: the advantages and disadvantages of implementing a new sampling protocol.
- Sikkink, Pamela G.; Keane, Robert E. 2012. Predicting fire severity using surface fuels and moisture.
- Sikkink, Pamela G. 2011. The Yellowstone sage belts 1958 to 2008: 50 years of change in the big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) communities of Yellowstone National Park.
- Chong, Geneva; Barnett, David; Chemel, Benjamin; Renkin, Roy; Sikkink, Pamela. 2011. Vegetation monitoring to detect and predict vegetation change: Connecting historical and future shrub/steppe data in Yellowstone National Park.