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Science You Can Use

Station Data Archive

The Forest Service Research Data Archive is a resource for accessing long-term research data as well as data supporting published conclusions of Station research.

There is a wide variety of tools and knowledge exchange efforts within the Forest Service and in collaboration with our partners. They are organized by topics below.

Feel free to contact us if you know of other exemplary science application and delivery efforts that should be on this list.


Aquatic Communities and Stream-Riparian Ecosystems

image of fish

Tools

  • Stream Temperature Modeling describes three different statistical procedures for predicting suitable fish habitat by modeling or inferring stream temperature. Statistical temperature models are well suited for broad-scale applications because they are less data intensive than mechanistic stream models, provide estimates of parameter precision, and can often be easily derived from existing databases.

Forest Service Collaborations

  • The RMRS Boise Aquatic Sciences Lab Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences Technology Transfer Program enhances collaboration among researchers, technology developers, and managers to produce more informed management and research decisions about aquatic communities and stream-riparian ecosystems.
  • The Stream Systems Technology Center is chartered to improve knowledge of stream systems and watershed hydrology, develop operational tools and technology, provide training and technical support, and identify research needs for the purpose of coordinating development of needed technology to secure favorable conditions of water flows. STREAM is a joint national partnership between the national Watershed, Fisheries, Wildlife, Air, and Rare Plants program and RMRS.

Climate Change

image of researcher

Tools

  • Adapting to Climate Change: A Short Course for Land Managers, developed by the Forest Service, summarizes current science for natural resource managers and decision makers regarding climate variability, change, and projections and ecological and management response to climate variability.
  • SAVS: A System for Assessing Vulnerability of Species is an assessment tool focusing on the effects of climate change for terrestrial vertebrate species. This tool aids managers by identifying specific traits and issues related to individual species vulnerabilities. Scores generated by completing a questionnaire are meant to be used to inform management planning.

Forest Service Collaborations

Ecosystem Management and Monitoring

image of multiuse landscape

Tools

  • ArcHSI (Arc Habitat Suitability Index) is a geographical information system (GIS) model that estimates the ability of an area to meet the food and cover requirements of an animal species.
  • SIMPPLLE is a spatially explicit, landscape level, dynamic simulation system that is designed as a management tool to facilitate the use of landscape ecology concepts in designing and evaluating land management alternatives for a range of planning scales.
  • WATSED assesses cumulative watershed effects from the introduction of sediment and changes in quantity and timing of water flow.

Forest Service Collaborations

  • The Bitterroot Ecosystem Management Research Project addresses the social, biophysical, and management challenges of applying ecosystem management principles on landscapes in the Northern Rockies. Participants include scientists from RMRS and the University of Montana, together with managers from the Bitterroot National Forest and Northern Region.

Additional Resources

  • Ecoshare is an interagency clearinghouse of ecological information, providing access to publications, data sets, GIS data, images, and project descriptions.
  • The Inventory and Monitoring Program of the National Park Service collects, analyzes, synthesizes, and delivers data to provide a better understanding of the status of trends of natural resources at each park.

Fire and Fuel Management

image of fire

Tools

  • BehavePlus predicts wildland fire behavior for fire management purposes.
  • FARSITE simulates fire behavior and growth.
  • FireFamily Plus combines the fire climatology and occurrence analysis capabilities of the PCFIRDAT, PCSEASON, FIRES, and CLIMATOLOGY programs into a single package.
  • FlamMap is a fire behavior mapping and analysis software application that computes potential fire behavior characteristics.
  • The Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) provides up-to-date information about fire effects on plants and animals. The FEIS database contains literature reviews covering about 900 plant species, 7 lichen species, 100 wildlife species, and 16 Kuchler plant communities of North America. The emphasis of each review and summary is fire and how it affects each species.
  • The Fire Effects Planning Framework helps resource managers and line officers estimate the risks and benefits from wildland fire across landscapes under different conditions.
  • Fire Weather supports the RMRS Rocky Mountain Center development and deployment of real-time computer applications for fire-weather intelligence and smoke dispersion forecasts over the Western USA.
  • FOFEM (First Order Fire Effects Model) predicts tree mortality, fuel consumption, smoke production, and soil heating caused by prescribed fire or wildfire.
  • LANDFIRE (Landscape Fire and Resource Management Planning Tools Project), an interagency project, produces models and maps of wildland fire behavior, regimes, and effects.
  • Video Guide to Fuels Treatment Practices for Ponderosa Pine describes present management recommendations for fuel treatment for ponderosa pine in the Black Hills, Colorado Front Range, and Southwest based on a synthesis of existing knowledge acquired from the literature and the expertise of practitioners.

Forest Service Collaborations

  • The Fire Modeling Institute provides assistance with fire-related planning, research, practical applications of fire management tools, and finding or ordering scientific literature. The Institute includes highly skilled fire professionals and information specialists at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory who are available to help managers and scientists with a wide range of fire-related needs.
  • The Fire Research and Management Exchange System (FRAMES) serves as a “one stop shop” for delivering scientific knowledge and decisions support tools to policymakers, wildland fire managers, and communities. The website is administered by the University of Idaho, University of Montana, the Rocky Mountain Research Station of the USDA Forest Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
  • The JSFP Knowledge Exchange Consortia accelerates the awareness, understanding, and adoption of wildland fire science information by federal, tribal, state, local, and private stakeholders. The Consortia is funded by the Joint Fire Science Program.
  • The Wildland Fire Management RD&A Program facilitates the development and application of wildland fire science, develops decision support tools, and provides science application services to the national interagency wildland fire community. The program is administered by RMRS.

Additional Resources

Forest Health and Management

image of unhealthy forest

Tools

  • Bark Beetle databases provide historical records of outbreaks in the Interior West and phloem and air temperatures in bark beetle infested trees.
  • FINDIT analyzes insect and disease population information taken during stand surveys.
  • The Forest Vegetation Simulator is the national standard used by the Forest Service for modeling forest growth and yield. The model can simulate a wide range of silvicultural treatments for most major forest tree species, forest types, and stand conditions.
  • NED is a collection of tools developed by the Forest Service Northern Research Station to assist natural resource managers with developing goals, assessing current and future conditions, and producing sustainable management plans.

Forest Service Collaborations

  • The Birds and Burn Network is an applied research project designed to explore the ecological consequences of fire management on wildlife in ponderosa pine forests of the Interior West and to help develop design criteria for post-fire salvage logging. Funding is provided primarily by the Joint Fire Sciences Program, the National Fire Plan, and RMRS.
  • The Forest Encyclopedia Network, developed jointly by the Forest Service Southern Research Station and Southern Regional Extension Forestry, provides natural resource professionals and the general public with a scientific base of forest information and tools that can help address management needs and issues.
  • The Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team of the Forest Service develops and delivers assessment and management tools to help managers address forest health issues.
  • The High Elevation White Pines project is aimed at understanding the increasing mortality of these pines. This mortality is being caused by a combination of factors including (but not limited to): white pine blister rust, mountain pine beetles, dwarf mistletoe and advanced ecological succession from fire exclusion. This project is a joint effort of RMRS, the National Park Service and Colorado State University.

Human Dimensions

image of mountain bikers

Tools

  • Aquarius: A Modeling System for River Basin Water Allocation models the temporal and spatial allocation of water among competing uses in a river basin.
  • FS WEPP is an online set of interfaces designed to allow users to quickly evaluate erosion and sediment delivery potential from forest roads.
  • MAGIS (Multiple-resource Analysis and Geographic Information System) is a a software spatial decision support system for scheduling a variety of vegetation treatments and road-related activities including construction, reconstruction, and obliteration. It is also available in an EXPRESS version, structured primarily as a timber harvest-road access tool.
  • PLATA (Project Level Analysis of Treatment Alternatives) is a software application providing economic analysis of a planning project.
  • RMRATE analyzes rating judgments, useful to practitioners needing to summarize or analyze rating data, and to researchers interested in comparing and evaluating alternative scaling methods.
  • RMRS Raster Utility, a GIS data analysis tool, streamlines and simplifies Data Acquisition, Sampling, Raster Analysis, and Statistical Modeling.

Forest Service Collaborations

  • The Human Factors and Risk Management RD&A Program, administered by RMRS, is helping the Forest Service develop a safety culture that is highly reliable and resilient. The RD&A provides support for accident investigations, reviews escaped prescribed fires, and designs and conducts high-priority research.

Additional Resources