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Human Factors & Risk Management
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Human Factors & Risk Management

The Big Picture

Our mission is to simultaneously advance the theory and practice of risk management to improve individual and organizational health, safety and performance.

We seek to understand in detail how people adaptively manage risk to create safety in complex living systems.

We help Forest Service employees, especially fire managers, to be among the world's leading practitioners of complex risk management, decision-making, and sense-making.

We link leading scientists from varied disciplines (including human factors, risk analysis, and organizational development) with Forest Service practitioners, and interagency fire managers, to understand and promote the practice of leading edge risk management and high performance.

What We Do

Human Factors & Risk Management pursues a variety of research, development and application projects, most of which involve several of these focus areas.

link to Conduct Studies

Conduct Studies

We focus studies to improve individual and collective risk management capabilities.

link to Synthesize Knowledge

Synthesize Knowledge

We help make sense of what can often seem a daunting and confusing mountain of information on human factors and risk management. We seek to identify, synthesize and deliver relevant knowledge that can be readily applied to ground operations.


link to Build Theory

Build Theory

Most 'performance management systems' are implemented in piecemeal fashion with little thought to the underlying scientific foundation or untended consequences. We seek to articulate a comprehensive, coherent model of high performance in the Forest Service.

link to Advance Leadership

Advance Leadership

Excellence in risk management and high performance requires an on-going investment in leadership development. We search out, explore and evaluate leading edge experiential leadership concepts and trainings across the country, partner with volunteer units to pilot test potentially valuable concepts and techniques, then build successful aspects into new training and leadership development programs.