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Applying the best available science to fire management: Individual and organizational influences to success


Wright, Vita. 2012. Applying the best available science to fire management: Individual and organizational influences to success. In: Fox, R. L., ed. Proceedings of the 3rd Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference; April 17-19 2012; Seattle, Washington. International Association of Wildland Fire. p. 199.

Fifty years of scientific literature on human behavior, communication and organizations offers numerous insights into the communication and use of science in the context of public land management. Using diverse but complementary social science theories and methods, I studied individual and organizational influences on the use of science by federal fire managers and decision-makers. Results supported the Technology Acceptance Model by showing individual beliefs about research usefulness to be better predictors of use than beliefs about ease of use. Overall, individual beliefs and attitudes toward research were diverse, with National Park Service managers, fire ecologists, and those with graduate education showing more positive attitudes toward research, more use of research and more frequent relationships with scientists. Applying the Diffusion of Innovation Theory, percentages of early and late adopters were different in different fire management positions; for example, fire ecologists showed the greatest percentage of early adopters.

Keywords: fire management, communication


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Applying the best available science to fire management: Individual and organizational influences to success
Electronic Publish Date: September 17, 2013
Last Update:
September 17, 2013

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